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Storm Goliath

Storm Goliath

Storm Goliath

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Storm Goliath

James Sellick

Craig Shuttlewood

New Frontier, 2022

32pp., hbk., RRP $A26.99

9781922326546

Goliath the Gorilla is always angry.  He wakes up angry because the jungle birds sing too loudly, and even though he tries to not lose his temper, it’s not long before he does.

Anything can spark his anger and it means that not only does he have a miserable day, but all the animals around him do too as they fear the consequences of even the most simple pleasures like celebrating a birthday.  Things come to a head when Paco the Parrot mimics everything he says, and Goliath is set to blow his top but then….

Written for young readers who are just learning to understand their feelings and manage them, this is an ideal one to share with them because as well as offering them an opportunity to develop their own strategies to employ when big feelings overtake them, it also demonstrates how these feelings and subsequent actions impact those around them.  

This is the first in a series of picture books focusing on Dealing with Feeling in which the author wants children to recognise and manage their emotions by talking about them, learning their trigger points and developing ways to cope with them when they are overwhelmed.  He has written teaching notes  to guide those sharing the book with the sorts of questions to have children think about as well as helping them name and understand their emotions – in this book, as well as anger the focus is empathy as Goliath starts to realise how his emotions affect others. 

Such books play an important role in the development of our little ones who experience these natural emotions but who don’t yet have the insight to understand them nor the words to articulate the reasons behind them. Learning their anger is usually a result of frustration at expectations not being met can not only help them control their outburst but also help them build the vocabulary to express it and the resilience to cope with it.  Helping them understand that everyone has similar feelings at times, so they are neither alone, unique or naughty, and that they have the power to manage them is a huge step forward for positive mental health in the future. 

A second book, Saving Piku featuring a penguin learning to sing, will be available in November.

 

Peppa Pig: A Trip to the Moon

Peppa Pig: A Trip to the Moon

Peppa Pig: A Trip to the Moon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peppa Pig: A Trip to the Moon

Peppa Pig

Ladybird, 2022

28pp., hbk., RRP $A16.99

9780241610664

Prepare for take-off! George and his friend Edmond love pretending to be astronauts.

But what will happen when they go on a trip to the moon?

Familiar characters are back in this print version of a popular episode enabling our youngest readers to put what they already know of the story into a retelling of it for themselves. As our littlest viewers start moving towards preschool and big school and the promise of learning to read, supports such as this go a long way to developing those expectations and early reading behaviours that promote success.  So as well as extending their vocabulary and developing concepts for places they will only know vicariously, but will meet in other stories, we should not under-estimate the role these sorts of cross-overs play as we endeavour to build readers. 

Purple

Purple

Purple

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Purple

Terri Rose Baynton

Little Steps, 2022

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

9781922678591

Monster One likes red; Monster Two likes blue.  And the two quite happily paint side-by-side with their favourite colours until a dollop of red paint ends up in the tin of blue.  But instead of squabbling about it, the two monsters decide to mix them together to see what happens – and are delighted with the result. 

As well as being useful for teaching our youngest readers the names of the colours, and perhaps even experimenting with new combinations such as using blue and yellow or yellow and red, then perhaps going further and playing with tints and hues, this is also about being willing to step out of our comfort zone to try something new, such as a new food or activity.

Written in rhyme which provides the rhythm young listeners like, it also offers opportunities for them to share their own knowledge – if they were painting with only red, what objects would be their focus? It could even focus on conflict resolution strategies. Early childhood teachers will find much teaching scope in this.  

 

Out of the Pouch

Out of the Pouch

Out of the Pouch

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Out of the Pouch

Laura Hamilton

Nandina Vines

Little Steps, 2022

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.95

9781922358431

Poppy the baby joey is learning to be independent and so her mother often nudges her out of the pouch to explore.  Poppy loves the freedom but one day she zigs and zags and zooms so much she gets lost.  Using her smarts, she doesn’t panic but asks the other creatures for help.  But Kookaburra. Koala and Echidna are too busy in their own little worlds to know where Poppy’s mother is.  Until Cockatoo comes to the rescue…

This is an Australian twist on a familiar theme that would be the perfect introduction to talking to our youngest readers about what they should do should they get lost.  An opportunity to teach them about who the safe strangers are, the importance of knowing their name, address and telephone number, and having the resilience to take a deep breath and think of the best strategy to use. 

One for the preschooler’s library…

 

Tatty Mouse Rockstar

Tatty Mouse Rockstar

Tatty Mouse Rockstar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Tatty Mouse Rockstar

Hilary Robinson

Mandy Stanley

Catch A Star, 2022

16pp., board book., RRP $A14.99

 9781922326553

Tatty Mouse wants to play in her brother’s band, but given they already have a guitarist, a saxophonist and a singer, she has to find a place.  Known as the ‘mend-it, make-it mouse”, and so, after consulting a book she decides on maracas and drums and sets to, using everyday objects from her home to make her own musical instruments.

The board book format lends itself perfectly to a lift-the-flap experience for our youngest readers as they follow Tatty Mouse’s instructions, perhaps making their own versions as they do because everything she uses is readily available.  

Catch A Star continues to recognise the need for even our youngest readers to have engaging stories that are sturdy enough in their own hands so they can mimic the reading of those who read to them, a critical step in becoming a reader, and this is no exception. The text is simple but the story can be followed without being able to read it because the pictures are colourful and clearly amplify what the words say, while the lift-the-flap and the invitation to do so adds to the engagement.  Above all, this format shows little ones the value of the constancy of print – rather than being a fleeting image on a screen, it is one they can return to again and again, not just to enjoy Tatty’s inventiveness but also to explore their own. 

 

Milo’s Monster

Milo's Monster

Milo’s Monster

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Milo’s Monster

Tom Percival

Bloomsbury, 2022

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

9781526613011

Milo loves spending time with his best friend, Jay. But when a new girl called Suzi moves in next door, Milo starts to feel left out. The jealous feeling gets stronger and stronger – until suddenly, a GREEN-EYED MONSTER pops up beside him! Soon, the monster is poisoning Milo’s thoughts. It won’t leave him alone!
Can Milo find a way to free himself from the monster and repair his friendship?

Once again, Tom Percival has tackled a tricky emotional issue in this Big Bright Feelings series that helps young readers understand their responses to certain situations and how to deal with them.  The series which includes Tilda Tries AgainPerfectly NormanRuby’s Worry,  Ravi’s Roar, and Meesha Makes Friends ,  examines the big feelings that are a natural part of a child’s life, feelings that they might not yet be able to articulate and don’t have the strategies to deal with, in this case jealousy.  It offers affirmation that the feelings are normal and common, which, in itself, helps the child confront and control them. Using a story format depersonalises the situation so no one has to disclose what they don’t want to, and by portraying the green-eyed monster as an actual thing rather than an abstract idea, demonstrates that it can be conquered and vanquished.

A perfect conversation starter for early childhood readers.  

Snakes Awake

Snakes Awake

Snakes Awake

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Snakes Awake

Jarrod Paine

Shannon Boland

Ford Street, 2022 

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

9781925804928

Pip and her mum love to explore the bush, particularly in summer when so many creatures have woken from their winter slumbers and are out and about.  Pip’s favourite creatures are snakes, especially the red-belly black snake, but there are lots of things to know and do so she and her mum stay safe while they are exploring.

Written for younger readers so they too can heed Pip’s advice, this is a timely book to share as the weather warms up and families and animals are more active. As well as the story, it includes easy-to-read charts for both staying safe and first aid should there be the need.  Above all, it shows that while we must take care in the bush, just as we do at the beach, there is much to see and admire if we are prepared to wear our “special nature goggles”. 

 

An Important Message From Mr Beaky

An Important Message From Mr Beaky

An Important Message From Mr Beaky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

An Important Message From Mr Beaky

Cassie Leatham & Sue Lawson

Wild Dog Books, 2022

32pp., hbk., RRP $A24.99

 9781742036533

Meet Mr Beaky, the budgerigar from the Taungurung Country, part of the Kulin Nation in Victoria. He has an important message about what it means to be an Aboriginal person in Australia. Mr Beaky is blue and white, not green and yellow, but he is still a native bird, just as Aboriginal people are still Aboriginal regardless of their colouring because it is in their murrup, or soul and spirit. 

In this new picture book co-written in both the author’s indigenous language and English, Cassie Leatham, herself an Indigenous artist, master weaver, traditional dancer, bushtukka woman and educator, uses Mr Beaky to tell young readers of the importance of being Aboriginal, honouring that culture, belonging to and respecting Country. Accompanied by striking illustrations, this is another in the ever-growing collection of books for young people that is now available to help them understand and appreciate the special connection that our First Nations people have to their heritage and Country so that when they hear a Welcome to Country and an Acknowledgement of Country, they know that they are so much more than just ritualistic words. 

Backyard Buddies

Backyard Buddies

Backyard Buddies

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Backyard Buddies

Andy Geppert

Lothian, 2022

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

9780734421470

There are lots of creatures and critters that live in our backyards that fascinate our young readers – things like butterflies, spiders, blue-tongue lizards and even pet rocks.  So this “somewhat factual introduction to the hoppy, crawly, wriggly, buzzy,[and] fluttery ” that little ones are likely to see will be a welcome addition to help answer their questions.  

Beginning with the front endpage offering a contents list that relies on the reader recognising the shape of the creature they want to investigate (encouraging visual acuity), each has its own double-page spread that has lots of pictures including visual cues about when to see it and whether it is safe to touch or not as well as an easily readable description.

Butterflies are like moths – just fancier.

They fly around during the daytime to show off their pretty, colourful wings. This is probably why moths prefer to only come out at night.

As well as offering our youngest readers an understanding that books can be about real things so their questions can be answered, thus introducing the concept of non fiction, like its predecessor Backyard Birdies , it could even inspire the young backyard naturalist to be more aware of their surroundings, perhaps starting a chart to record their observations and  beginning to develop their skills in data gathering, mapping and interpretation! To help parents and teachers encourage this exploration of the immediate environment, there are teachers’ notes that suggest activities that go beyond the pages to investigating life cycles, adaptation and even how humans interact with the creatures.  Even though they might have the ‘don’t touch” symbol, does that make them an enemy to be killed? Or does everything have a place? Scope for a range of ages… 

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur Hide and Seek

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur Hide and Seek

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur Hide and Seek

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m a Dirty Dinosaur Hide and Seek

Janeen Brian

Ann James

Puffin, 2022 

10pp., board book, RRP $A16.99

9780143777427

The dirty dinosaur is back and this time he’s looking for his friends – Bird, feathery and flittery, tweety and twittery; Bee, busy and buzzy, stripy and fuzzy – and all the others.  But it seems like they’re hiding from him and the young reader is going to have to think about where they might be in the landscape and lift the flaps to discover them!

Rhyme, rhythm, repetition, dinosaurs and interactivity – the perfect combination to engage young readers in endless hours of fun as they tell themselves the story over and over again, and delight in their success as they uncover the hiding places!!!  Who can be hoppy, water ploppy like Frog? Or slippery, silver tail flippery like Fish?

Once again, links to research and memes about the importance of reading with the very young are doing the social media rounds, and it’s books like this one that are going to be the hook,  And, to me, even more powerful than reading a story (1825 if one a day in the first five years; 5475 if you share a familiar, a first-read and a favourite) is offering one that they can then read themselves! 

This one is a winner!!!