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One Bird Band

One Bird Band

One Bird Band

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

One Bird Band

Sacha Cotter

Josh Morgan

Little Steps, 2022

32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95

9781922678485

With its rinky-dink-dink, rat-a-tat-tat, toot-a-toot-toot, and clang-a-clang-CLANG, the little bird really is a one-bird-band, But as it makes its way through the jungle, it discovers other creatures who are really sad and to cheer them up, it gives away its instruments one at a time, until it has none left.  Now it is the sad one!  But then…

While the main focus of the story is the concept of sharing, little readers could have fun deciding which instruments make each sound, and then perhaps even discover what noises other instruments make and suggest vocabulary for them in the style of the author.  What would their one-man-band sound like? While onomatopoeia is a big word for little mouths,  it can be a lot of fun as the child pays attention to the sounds around and increases their vocabulary so this is a charming story to share and build on.

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MONSTER! THIRSTY! DRINK!

MONSTER! THIRSTY! DRINK!

MONSTER! THIRSTY! DRINK!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MONSTER! THIRSTY! DRINK!

Sean Taylor

Fred Benaglia

Bloomsbury, 2023

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

9781526606839

It’s a hot summer day at the beach and Monster is thirsty. But when he trips over and spills his own drink, the trouble begins as he hunts for another.  The queue at the juice van is long, only race-runners can have one from Kangaroo and the toilet water is a no-no.  His problem seems to be solved when some penguins having a picnic offer to share theirs – or is it?

This will be a familiar scenario to those with fractious toddlers who demand instant satisfaction and who will see the humour, but it is also one to encourage them to look at the pictures to work out the storyline because the text is minimal.  Then, having read it through with adult guidance they will be able to read it themselves, making up the story as they go and empowering them as readers.  Worthwhile for our youngest readers.

The Last Crayon

The Last Crayon

The Last Crayon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Last Crayon

Fifi Colston

Little Steps, 2022

24pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95

9781922678522

When the squirrels find a box of crayons, each takes one and knows exactly what they are going to draw based on its colour.  Except for grey squirrel who gets the grey crayon.  If yellow is for the sunrise, blue is the sky and green is the grass, what is grey for?

This is another story evolving from The Book Hungry Bears television show in which the main characters share picture books, hungry to learn all they can from those they settle down to share together. With so much screen-based interaction for our littlies, taking the time to share a story and discuss it with them is critical if they are to learn about the constancy of print and the potential that the stories offer, and particularly that they can return to them time and time again and even build their own stories. What else could they draw with the red crayon? What might happen if the squirrels mixed the colours together?  Can they use pictures from magazines to make a collage of purple things?  Is one colour more common than the others? What might the world look like if it was monochromatic? And so on…

Cicada Sing Song

Cicada Sing Song

Cicada Sing Song

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Cicada Sing Song

Pat Simmons

Katrin Dreiling

Little Steps, 2022

32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.95

 9781922358462

After spending so many years underground as nymphs, the warm winds have brought the cicadas to the surface and they are ready to get together to make their music, the loudest insects on the planer and the sound of summer evenings in Australia for so many.  

Yellow Monday, Black Prince, Green Grocer, Orange Drummer, Brown Bunyip, Floury Baker, Razor Grinder… all the males are pumping out their own particular song  to try to attract a mate and begin the cycle again. Even their rock star names suggest something special- which other insects have such tags? 

Written in rhyme, this is a fascinating book that brings the songs of the cicadas to life in what to some humans is just a cacophony because it  can be up to 120 dB at close range (approaching the pain threshold of the human ear), or so high in pitch that the noise is beyond the range of our hearing but which is unique to each species so that they only attract the females of the same species.

So as well as being entertaining it is also educational and combined with a book such as Searching for Cicadas could open up a whole new world of investigation for the young reader as they not only discover new things about this ubiquitous creature but perhaps the world of music too.  Which is their favourite genre? And if they were a cicada, what would their name be?

Sleep Through the Night

Sleep Through the Night

Sleep Through the Night

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sleep Through the Night

Byll & Beth Stephen

Simon Howe

ABC Books, 2022

24pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99

9780733342707

Some species sleep wherever they choose to roam,
but human beings sleep the very best when they are home.

Sometimes getting little ones to settle to sleep in the evening can be overwhelming and frustrating, and so this is an interesting book to share with them that shows not only why we need to sleep but that all species do, even if their habits are different to humans.

From the creators of the important books Boss of Your Own Bodyit gently explains that sleeping is an important part of growing and thus might be more effective than a brusque goodnight and a firm door-closing. Sometimes knowing why is all the reassurance a child needs. 

Alphabetical Sydney

Alphabetical Sydney

Alphabetical Sydney

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Alphabetical Sydney

Antonia Pesenti

Hilary Bell

NewSouth, 2022

56pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99

9781742237763

This is our Sydney, the brightest and best of it,
North to the south to the east and the west of it.
Bats and cicadas, lawn bowls and the zoo,
This is our town. Let us share it with you.

As the holidays stretch out, this might be the perfect book to share with young readers to plan what they might do for the next few weeks.  For those in Sydney it could become a checklist of things to see, do and visit, ticking off each item as it is discovered, some of which are as easy as going outside.  While it has places such as Luna Park and the Harbour Bridge, it also has entries like J for Jacaranda and N for nature strip and even learning that Vinegar is a quick antidote for bluebottle stings! And who hasn’t needed U for Umbrella in recent days?  Meanwhile those in other places could be challenged to start building their own alphabet of their region, perhaps creating something that could be offered to the local Information Centre as a guide for tourists – practical and purposeful.

This is the 10th anniversary edition of this gem that offers all sorts of potential once you start thinking about it beyond just a rhyming read. 

 

Our Home on Wheels

Our Home on Wheels

Our Home on Wheels

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Home on Wheels: A Big Trip Around Australia

Jessica and Stephen Parry-Valentine

Ashlee Spink

Puffin, 2022

32pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99

9781761046827

As holidays loom and many children look forward to days, if not weeks, spent in family caravans, imagine if this were their way of life for months, waking up in a new place almost every morning.

Hunter’s parents have decided that the family is going to do the quintessential round-Australia trip and this is her perspective of that journey as she discovers  beaches and billabongs, paddocks and plains, forests and dugouts, and even underwater worlds on the big adventure.  Visiting iconic sites such as the Twelve Apostles, the Great Barrier Reef and crossing the Nullarbor this is an introduction to some of Australia’s most well-known tourist attractions, offering young readers not only the opportunity to explore them with Hunter but also helping them understand there is a lot more to this country than their immediate neighbourhood. They could share and map the places they have been to already and if living in a caravan or camping is part of their experiences, share their own adventures too. 

 

 

Sticking Out

Sticking Out

Sticking Out

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sticking Out

Terri Owbridge

Emma Stuart

Little Steps, 2022

32pp., hbk., RRP $A26.95

9781922358356

Simon was shy at the best if times, and luckily for him, being a stick insect meant he could change colours to match his surroundings and hide from those around him.  That was until the day he stayed the glowing pink of the rose he had been resting on!  He was certain that all the other bugs who were gathering for the Spring Fest would laugh at him and the thought terrified him, so when a friendly beetle told him that there would be a magic gypsy moth who would help him, Simon set off in search of this saviour.  But as well as eventually finding her, he also discovered something much more important…

Told in rhyme, this theme of who you are as you are is enough is a common one in literature for young children but it is one that they need to hear again and again in all sorts of situations so they learn that it is okay to be pink or purple, or straight or bent, or spotty or striped or whatever… That no one really looks twice at your differences because they’re too busy involved in whatever else is going on, and if someone does make a nasty comment, then they are not worth your time.  For some, this is not something easily accepted and body image can become a major issue in the future so perhaps they can have fun imagining what it would be like to be able to change colour like Simon and how that would change who they are inside.  

As little ones face the challenges of new places, new schools, new people at this time of the year, this is one to help them overcome any anxieties they might have. 

 

Nice and Slow

Nice and Slow

Nice and Slow

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Nice and Slow

Sarah Ayoub

Mimi Purnell

HarperCollins, 2022

24pp., hbk., RRP $A22.99

 9781460761137

Let’s take today nice and slow,
have a break from the go-go-go.

We can lounge about and rediscover
what we love about each other.

The madness of Christmas and New Year is over and the holidays stretch before us – but for some, instead of being a time to rest and recuperate, it seems to be an opportunity to pack in as much activity as possible.  In fact, some even feel guilty if they have a day without something particular planned.  So this is a gentle book that reminds readers that to take the time to relax and reconnect with those around us is okay – even necessary.  Reading a book, learning something new, or returning to old favourites like building a cubby from sheets and chairs are all that is needed to reset, especially if we turn off the screens!

With words that soothe like a lullaby and a palette of soft colours, this book is as gentle as lying on the grass and watching the clouds make pictures – something many young readers need to learn as their lives seem to have become a competition as to who can do the most or have the most or be the most. Definitely one for the mindfulness collection as we encourage them to share what they would do if they had a whole day of choice that cost nothing. 

The Lazy Lizard

The Lazy Lizard

The Lazy Lizard

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Lazy Lizard

Tamara Floriani

Paula Formosa

Little Steps, 2022

32pp., pbk., RRP $A16.95

9781922833976

One summer’s day in the bush, a lazy lizard finds himself caught in the path of a bushfire! He knows he has to run but is he faster than the flames?

As summer slowly takes hold across the country, the memories of the devastating bushfires of 2019-2020 are rekindled as people watch both sky and weather forecast anxiously. Many will drive through the devastated areas that are slowly recovering and their thoughts will turn to the wildlife that was lost during that time daring to imagine that it will once return to what it was.  This story, written in rhyme, reminds us that the impact on those that live in the bush was as destructive as it was for the humans, and for a much longer time as they wait for their habitat to restore itself, if it ever will.

During that time there were reports of animals seeking shelter in wombat burrows, normal “relationships” forgotten as they huddled together to survive, and this is another story that is based on that.  Young readers will become aware of just how careful they have to be in the bush and surrounds because who knows what might be living just where they are going to put their foot or break that branch as they begin to understand that there are more creatures there than the iconic ones they know and can see.