Archive for the ‘Pre-school’ Category

Tulip and Doug: Friends for (almost) ever

By Emma Wood

Illustrated by Carla Martell

ISBN 9781775435693

Friends come in all shapes and sizes but not too many come in the form of a potato. Tulip’s best friend is just that, a potato named Doug. They do everything together. Doug even has his own stroller and his own bed right next to Tulip’s bed.

Gorgeously illustrated, this sweet story about a one-of-a-kind friendship is just delightful.

I love the range of emotions we see with Tulip and even after a catastrophe we see hope and that is always a good outcome in children’s picture books.

 

 

The Kauri Family

By Suzy Cato and Arthur Baysting

Illustrated by Craig Fletcher

ISBN 9781775436119

 

What’s that there, can you see?

I wonder what that thing can be,

in the hole beneath the tree.

It’s part of the Kauri family.

The giant Kauri stands in the forest and we are introduced to all the wonderful New Zealand wildlife who depend on the tree. The animals might climb the tree, live inside or beside it, or they might shelter in its highest branches. The one thing they have in common is that the mighty Kauri protects them all.

And at night time, beneath the stars of Matariki the Kauri and its family unite.

Beautifully illustrated, this picture book gives readers a chance to search and find lots of wildlife on different pages throughout this very Kiwi book. This is just gorgeous and perfect for Matariki and for sending to family and friends overseas.

You can also download or stream the Kauri Family song in both English and Māori.

 

Friday the Rebel Dog

By Susan Brocker

Illustrated by Raymond McGrath

ISBN 9781775436102

 

As a child, I remember being told stories about the infamous sheep-stealer Mackenzie and his dog, so it is lovely to see a picture book about him for a new generation.

Based on truth this is a longer story than most picture books but it works well. Even though Mackenzie is a thief we can’t help but admire this man and his beloved dog Friday, who dutifully obeys his every word.

The illustrations have a very retro feel to them which suits the timeline of this historic story over 160 years ago.

If you are travelling through Mackenzie country in the South Island there is a statue of Mackenzie and his dog in the main street of Fairlie, which just goes to show how much impact this duo had on everyone, and still does to this very day.

A good old story of legendary merit to enjoy.

 

 

 

Mammoth Stew

By Bob Darroch

ISBN 9781988538198

Bateman Books

 

 

Award winning author and illustrator Bob Darroch has a new picture book out. Mammoth Stew is bright and bold. The front cover stands out with its yellow, orange, and green background and then  hiding in the centre is a big, hairy, brown mammoth. The back cover is an eye-catching red.

Cave-boy Inga is hungry. So hungry in fact, he could eat a mammoth. The trouble is, Inga has to find one first, catch it and then cook it but there just doesn’t seem to be any around. The reader however, can see what Inga cannot and there is a mammoth lurking on every page. The mammoth does more than avoid being caught, he actually helps rescue Inga over and over again, even though Inga has no idea. Inga is oblivious to everything around him except his plans to capture a mammoth for his dinner. He tries all sorts of ways to trick and trap a mammoth but he doesn’t have the best of luck.

What Inga does have is oodles of confidence, intent and enthusiasm. His enthusiasm is delightful even though it does land him in heaps of trouble. His attempt to lasso a mammoth leaves him tied up in knots and requiring rescuing. Being rescued is a recurring theme which children will love.

This book is bright and cherry, fresh and funny and sure to be a hit.

 

 

Animalphabet

By Julia Donaldson

Illustrated by Sharon King-Chai

ISBN 9781509801633

Two Hoots Books

This animal alphabet picture book is an absolute treasure.

Julia Donaldson presents a succession of questions for the reader where the answer creates yet another question and so on and so on. Each answer reveals an animal or creature beginning with a particular letter of the alphabet.  We begin of course with the letter A and end with the letter Z.

For example.

Who has more wrinkles than a hedgehog?

An iguana!

Who is more wobbly than an iguana?

A jellyfish!

So you get the idea and keep on reading your way through the alphabet and the introduction to different animals.

The magic however, comes from the overall design and artwork.

Pages unfold like treasure maps, die-cut peek holes provide clues to animals which are revealed on the pages that follow each question. The illustrations are delightful with a simplicity that is totally engaging. Reading the book is a very tactile experience and a mystery game all in one. This beautifully presented, hardback picture book will make a special gift and a treasure to read over and over again. Love it so much!

See for yourself when you check out the trailer below.

What’s in the box?

By David Minty

ISBN 9780473494261

Minty Books

 

 

whats box

 

What’s in the box? Well, that is the big question. Two friends out walking find a box all alone. They begin guessing what might be inside, coming up with all sorts of ideas. They consider the possibilities of treasure, or crabs, and numerous other options. If you look closely, hidden on every page is a wee clue as to what is hiding in the box. Children will love searching for the clue. One friend is dressed in a pirate hat and the other has a trapper hat on and they are both ready for the adventure of the mysterious box.

 

My new red car

By David Minty

ISBN 9780473471583

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This is the first picture book by David Minty, both as writer and illustrator. We meet our two friends who  are on an adventurous search for a missing red car. They search everywhere but just can’t seem to find it. There are lots of other red cars, just not the right one. Funny and brightly coloured, the reader soon sees what the friends can’t see and this will have readers laughing out loud.

Do they find the red car? Yes, they do but just where they find it might surprise you and leave you giggling.

 

It’s been awhile since I last posted. So much has been happening.

Firstly, I was caught up in the excitement and chaos of selling my home and buying another. After 32 years in my home there was lots of packing and giving away things I’d gathered over the years. It was also an emotional time remembering all the things that had happened there, especially watching my son grow up and all the friends who stayed in our house. Lots of good memories, but it was time to move. It just took up most of my time.

Secondly, we have of course been in lockdown with lots of limitations but it has given me a chance to catch up on some reading. So here is a selection of new picture books just out from Scholastic NZ.

I do hope you are all safe and happy in your bubbles and finding quiet times to read a book or two.

As our prime minister says. Stay home. Be kind.

Happy reading.

 

Dozer the Fire Cat. Inspired by true events

By Robyn Prokop

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9781775436171

In 2019 New Zealand had its largest wildfire since 1955 and in the back of this picture book you can learn more about what happened during this time.

Dozer is based on a real cat that went missing during these fires. Dozer is gorgeously illustrated by Jenny Cooper who brings his personality out in the open. He is very cute, indeed.

Author Robyn Prokop shares his escape from the fires and how his family worry so much when he goes missing. There is no sign of him for several days and the fires are so bad, they fear the worst.  I do love a happy ending and for Dozer and his family, there is one but it is what happens in between that becomes the story of Dozer. Sweet story with sweet illustrations.

 

 

Moas’s ark

By Peter Millet

Illustrated by Shaun Yeo

ISBN 9781775435846

Author Peter Millett brings us a reimagining of the classic story of Noah’s Ark. It is very much a funny kiwi tale with good rhymes, and rhythm. After forty days Noah delivers the animals safely on land except the Moa, tuatara and the kiwi who he takes all the way to Aotearoa. They go through choppy seas and long days to finally reach their destination. I think poor old Noah is glad to see them depart his ark.

Artist Shaun Yeo brings even more humour to the story with his delightful illustrations.

If you want to know more about how the author came up with the idea  you can read an interview with him here.

If you want to read the book then click here. Check out page 6-7 and watch as the ark sits precariously on the top of a huge wave in the middle of stormy seas.

Huge thanks to the good people at Scholastic NZ for sharing a free digital copy of this book. So sit back and enjoy for yourselves.

 

 

Nee Naw goes bananas

By Deano Yipadee

Illustrated by Paul Beavis

ISBN 9781775436195

Nee Naw is back with his friends in a new adventure. He may be a little fire engine but he always manages to find himself in the middle of a big adventure. This time he is caught up with helping at a monkey sanctuary where the monkeys cause mischief and mayhem. Check out what happens when the cheeky monkeys fill Nee Naw’s tank with bananas.

Paul Beavis adds plenty of humour with his bright and quirky illustrations.

You can listen to the CD as well.

 

 

Kia kaha! Together standing strong

By June Pitman-Hayes

Illustrated by Minky Stapleton

Maori lyrics by Ngaere Roberts

ISBN 9781775436225

 

A timely picture book about learning to accept each other and our differences.

Kia kaha! kia kaha!

Together, standing strong.

We join our hands in friendship, 

that’s how we get along.

Aimed at younger children, the book goes through different scenarios showing ways we can help each other.  It includes cultural acceptance, disabilities as well as basic kindness, well reflected in the illustrations. There is also a CD to sing along to in both English and Te Reo Māori.

Ideal for pre-schools and kindergartens.

The someone new

By Jill Twiss

ISBN 9780062933744

HarperCollins

 

Making new friends can be difficult, but in this delightful picture book, the efforts to overcome fear are well worth it as new friends find each other.

This is a gentle story of acceptance; of new things, new people, new friends.

Jitterbug the chipmunk wakes up and can feel something in the air, something new. She goes investigating and along the way she learns new information, new words and eventually finds herself a new friend.

The illustrations are beautiful, all warm and cosy with a softness that will appeal to everyone. The story is set in the most natural setting with flowers, bush, rivers and many different animals and creatures. Personalities shine through the pages as much as the message of kindness itself. Love it.

Best quote “Because even though New can be scary, kindness is stronger than fear.” 

 

Numenia and the Hurricane:Inspired by a True Migration Story

By Fiona Halliday

Page Street Kids

Trailer by Mark Abery

While on holiday these last few weeks I spent a bit too much time on the internet but it wasn’t wasted. I discovered a wonderful new illustrator. Fiona Halliday has what looks like to be a beautiful new picture book for young readers. I’ve checked out her website too and her artwork really is gorgeous. There is a softness, a gentleness  in her illustrations that draws you in and wants you to connect.  The art work is stunning and beautifully captured in this wonderful trailer.  From quotes from some early reviews I can see how beautiful and poetic the language is and I can’t wait to read it all.  I am certainly going to order this debut book when I return to work in the library.

When the autumnal equinox arrives, Numenia takes off with her two sisters and thousands of other birds to begin their long migration from the Arctic to the islands of the Caribbean. But there is a dangerous storm brewing on the horizon. When the hurricane hits, fierce winds rip Numenia away from her family.

This small, scrappy whimbrel must make her way through unfamiliar terrain and rough conditions to reunite with her sisters. Battling hunger, loneliness, and raging winds, Numenia finds the strength to endure the elements on her miraculous journey.

 

Wheels

by Sally Sutton

Illustrated by Brian Lovelock

ISBN 9781760651589

Walker Books

Writer Sally Sutton and illustrator Brian Lovelock have teamed up again to create yet another fun picture book for younger children. In the same format as previous collaborations such as Roadworks, Demolition and Construction, this new book Wheels is another winner.

Bright and colourful illustrations accompany delightfully fun language as we explore all things wheels. Big ones, little ones, rumbly, snazzy and even zoomy wheels. Lots of different wheels and lots of cars, trucks and even scooters. There is a page at the back of the book detailing the parts of a wheel, which with the end papers of tyre treads, adds to the overall impact

Rhyme, repetition and a good solid rhythm will make this a favourite and guaranteed to be read over and over again. This is a great book for parents and grandparents to share with young ones. It is also a good choice to have in preschools and kindergartens, not just because it is informative, but because it’s a great interactive read aloud as the reader is encouraged to join in and “shout what’s coming”. 

Look out for this one publishing 1st February 2020.

Just Because

By Mac Barnett

Illustrated by Isabelle Arsenault

ISBN 9781406388763

Walker Books

Just Because is one of those special books for curious minds. Children love a good story at bedtime and even more than that, they love prolonging the final lights-out before sleep. The young girl in this book keeps asking her father questions and he gives her the most wonderful answers.  Are they the right answers? You will have to find out for yourself, but they will make you think, and smile. 

She asks “Why is the ocean blue?” 

He answers “Every night, when you go to sleep, the fish take out guitars. They sing sad songs and cry blue tears.”

Great imagination and a beautiful moment for dad and daughter to share.

The illustrations reflect the night until the last double page spread where her dreams and imagination take over while she sleeps and they become alive with colour.

What I think makes this book extra special, is that while it is a lovely picture book to snuggle up and share with a young child at bedtime, it is also a good book to use in class and get students writing. I can see them asking all sorts of questions and coming up with unusual and imaginative answers. They could create their own drawings to accompany their questions too. I have this book in my school library and I will be sharing it with every teacher.

I love this book, just because!

Where’s Kiwi Celebrating?

Written by Lynette Evans

Illustrated by Miles Lawford

ISBN 9781775436157

Scholastic NZ

Our loveable Kiwi is back for another adventure. This time he is wandering in and out of different celebrations. Full-page colour illustrations with quirky cartoon-like characters focus on the many different, yet wonderful celebrations in New Zealand. This is an ideal book to share in classes and libraries in schools, and of course, in home collections. It celebrates different cultures and different occasions that make us special. There is Chinese New Year, Matariki, Waitangi Day, to name just a few.

Kiwi is hiding somewhere on each page and it is up to us, the reader, to find him and his many friends; like Tricky Tuatara, or Mystery Moa and more importantly, Kiwi’s Girlfriend.

There is a double page spread at the back of the book with lists of lots of other things to find. In fact there are over 800 things to spot.

Lots of bright, colourful and busy pictures to keep readers searching for hours.

 

Stink-o-saurus saves Christmas

By Deano Yipadee

Illustrated by Paul Beavis

ISBN 9781775435907

Scholastic NZ

 

 

 

The dinosaurs are back for another funny adventure and this time it is Christmas.

Bright and cheerful with lots of opportunities to use a big loud voice when you come to words like “Toot, Toot, Toot” or “chomp, Chomp, Chomp”. A good story to read aloud.

This picture book comes with a bonus CD so little ones can sing-along and enjoy the fun. Great for car rides or just listening to in the comfort of your own home.

The Little Yellow Digger A B C

A lift-the-flap book

By Peter and Alan Gilderdale

Based on the stores by Betty Gilderdale

ISBN 9781775436133

The Little Yellow Digger has been a household name for many years now. There have been a number of books in the series where our loveable little digger has exciting adventures, like starting school and even meeting a whale.

The latest is an alphabet picture book based on the stories about him. Each letter of the alphabet is hidden under a flap encouraging little hands to open them and discover the different letters. Lots of nice alliteration with words that begin with the featured letter from under each flap. A fun rhyming text helps the story flow. I love peeking under flaps in books.

This is a great introduction to the alphabet with fun, characters that children will recognise from the many stories about the loveable little yellow digger.

 

Mini Whinny: Goody four-shoes

By Stacy Gregg

Illustrated by Ruth Paul

ISBN 9781775435389

 

 

Mini Whinny is back. This time, she is upset at the arrival of a new pony who just happens to be very good at everything. Mini Whinny is jealous of Goody Four-Shoes, right from the start, even before she gets to know the other pony.

Mini Whinny’s friend, the grey and black tabby cat Berenice is back too, and she is the voice of wisdom as she makes helpful and kind suggestions for Mini Whinny to learn to accept change, and new friends.

There is definitely a lesson in there about not judging others, especially before we get to know someone but sometimes children (and adults, too) need a reminder to take time to get to know one another and be less judgemental. 

Ruth Paul’s illustrations are just as cute and adorable as ever.

 

 

The Crayons’ Christmas

By Drew Daywalt

Illustrated by Oliver Jeffers

ISBN 9780008180362

 

 

 

I cannot resist books with envelopes and hidden letters. There is something very tactile and sort of secretive about slowly pulling a letter out from an envelope, even more so when the letter isn’t really for you. The Crayons are back for another adventure and this time Duncan and the Crayons share their Christmas celebrations in this delightful new picture book. Inside there are letters, a race game, Christmas decorations, even a pop-up Christmas tree and so much more. I love everything about this book.

Daywalt and Jeffers are a wonderful team and their Crayon stories are incredibly popular. The Crayons’ Christmas is a funny, interactive picture book reuniting characters we have grown to love. An ideal Christmas present.

 

The Dinky Donkey

By Craig Smith

Illustrated by Katz Cowley

ISBN 9781775436065

A fine sequel to the infamous Wonky Donkey picture book. Wonky Donkey now has a child and she is cute and small. She is in fact a little dinky donkey. In the same format as Wonky Donkey, this story brings humour and familiarity which young children love.

Illustrator Katz Cowley brings her to life with her cute illustrations. There is certainly a family resemblance and it is clear to see that dad donkey and Dinky Donkey love each other very much. Look out for Dinky Donkey’s very cute little humming bird friend.

You can go online to Craig’s website and purchase the song to add to your own collection.

 

 

The Wonky Donkey and other stories

By Craig Smith

Illustrated by Katz Cowley with Scott Tulloch

ISBN 9781775436096

To help celebrate ten years since the first publication of The Wonky Donkey, Scholastic have produced a collection of five of Craig Smith’s picture books in a quality hardback format. There is a CD included to help you enjoy the stories even more. Good for travelling in the car. A nice collection for fans of The Wonky Donkey.

Eekily, sneakily

By Anne Hunter

Illustrated by Dave Gunson

ISBN 9781869665036

New Holland Publishers

Simple poems introduce young children to some of New Zealand’s smaller wildlife.

We meet frogs, snails, stick insects, worms, spiders, butterflies and others and even a lizard. Lots of alliteration and made up words make this a fun learning read. Dave Gunson’s illustrations are bright and cherry yet well detailed.

There is a section at the back with facts for each creature to add to their poems.

Eeekily, sneakily is a simple non-fiction book in picture book format. Many of the insects are found in our own backyards so this is good to help children identify them when they see them flying around.

Made by Maxine

By Ruth Spiro

Illustrated by Holly Hatam

ISBN 9780399186295

Penguin Young Readers Group

Maxine is a thinker, she’s intelligent, imaginative and creative, but most importantly she’s a maker. Maxine tinkers for fun but also when faced with problems, she thinks things over and rethinks again and again, until she finds a solution.

Maxine loves making new things out of old, even making music out of vegetables. Her dilemma is to try and find a way to take her pet fish, Milton, to the school pet parade. I love how persistent Maxine is and even though there are times when she wants to give up, she doesn’t. Instead, Maxine keeps trying different ideas to see what will work best. With the right attitude, a difficult situation can be seen positively.

She had already discovered a million ways that would not work. Which meant she was getting closer to finding a way that would.

This is an ideal picture book to use when thinking about STEM (Science, technology, science and mathematics) lessons.

The illustrations are sweet, and busy with lots of things happening, just like Maxine. A good pairing of illustrator and author. A great trailer for this book too.