Archive for the ‘Pre-school’ Category

Oh, So Many Kisses!

By Maura Finn

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9781775434924

A sweet picture book for preschoolers all about the wonderful warm kisses babies and children receive from everyone who loves them. So many different kisses. Fast, slow and tickly kisses are just a few. Kisses from mums, dads, grandads, and kisses for teddy bears, cats and dogs. My favourite are the slimy frog kisses. The illustration of the frogs is just gorgeous, as is the one of the pigs and the cat and her kitten. Jenny Cooper’s illustrations beautifully capture the humour and fun of Maura Finn’s story. The book provides a lovely rhythm and rhyme with a simplicity making it easily remembered by young children as it gets read again and again.  A lovely picture book to share and snuggle up close with a wee one.

 

Kiwi One and Kiwi Two

By Stephanie Thatcher

ISBN 9781775434962

 

 

Stephanie Thatcher does cute and does it very well.  There is definitely lovely cuteness in her illustrations of New Zealand wildlife in this delightful picture book about two cheeky kiwi who decide to wake up all the animals in the bush one night. Pukeko, fantails, kereru, gecko, and others are all woken from their sleep by Kiwi One and Kiwi Two. As we all know, kiwi are up during the night and here they are keen to play with their friends who really should be sleeping. However, now that the animlas and birds have been woken up, they start playing games, with Kiwi One and Kiwi Two. They venture all over the forest but it isn’t long though before the animals become sleepy again and return to bed.   The two young kiwi are still wide awake so keep going until dawn.  A lovely book to send to family overseas reminding them of our wonderful wildlife. Look out for the illustration of the exhausted pukeko as it is just delightful.

The book allows for discussions on what it is for animals or birds to be nocturnal and perhaps even why children need to go to bed when they are told to and why sleep is so important.

 

 

The Stolen Stars of Matariki

By Miriama Kamo

Illustrated by Zak Waipara

ISBN 9781775435402

 

 

There are usually nine stars in the Matariki star cluster but when Grandma, Poua and the children look up one night, there are only seven. Te Mata Hāpuku, which is also known as Birdling’s Flat is where Sam and Te Rerehua love to visit their Grandma and Pōua and it was there that they realised the stars were missing. The beach is wild and windy and the ground is covered in stones, millions of grey stones but hidden among them, are agates, coloured gemstones. They love searching for the agates by day and going eeling at night. It is a wonderful family tradition and one that inspired  Miriama Kamo to write this book.
The mystery of the missing stars takes the children on a night time adventure as they go searching for the stars.

Matariki is such a special time in the New Zealand calendar that it is always a pleasure to find a new picture book with a focus on different aspects. A family tradition of telling tales and spending time together makes this extra special.

 

 

 

Nee Naw and the Cowtastrophe

By Deano Yipadee

Illustrated by Paul Beavis

ISBN 9781775435174

This is another book in the adventures of Nee Naw the little fire engine who despite his little size, ends up in situations where he must overcome challenges. This time, Nee Naw has to rescue Ploppy the cow  who happens to become stuck up a very, very tall tree. An accompanying CD is great for young ones to listen to as they look through the pictures.

Paul Beavis illustrations, as always, are bright and quirky and bring Nee Naw and his friends to life. The characters are  easily recognisable from book to book and no doubt familiar to fans of Nee Naw books.

 

 

 

 

 

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Lessons of a LAC

By Lynn Jenkins

Illustrated by Kirrili Lonergan

ISBN 9781925335828

EKBooks

 

Loppy is a little anxious creature who is always looking out for danger. The trouble is he is so busy and so good at looking for danger, that he is missing out on all the fun things in life. His anxiety is all-consuming and gets in the way of things, so much so, that he finds problems even when there are none. Along comes Curly Calmster who shows him that not all things in life lead to danger, not everything is bad. Loppy  begins to learn ways to stay calm and therefore soon becomes less anxious and worried about things.

“Just because dangerous things MIGHT happen, doesn’t mean they WILL happen.”

Good for those anxious children who need reassurance that the world really is a wonderful place.

The illustrations, mostly black, red and yellow are reminiscent of Dr Seuss’  so sure to please younger readers.

Teacher notes can be found here.

Gecko Press continue to bring us quality books for young readers. Their books are always beautifully produced and leave you with that feel-good feeling.

Valdemar’s Peas

By Maria Jonsson

ISBN 9781776571963

Published May 2018

 

“Peas? No way! Valdemar may be a little wolf, but he knows what he wants. ”

I’m pretty sure food battles happen in almost every family at some time or another. Valdemar is a little wolf with a persistent attitude. He doesn’t want to eat peas and argues the point whenever his parents tell him the benefits. They tell him he will have longer ears if he eats peas but he lets them know he already has long ears. Valdemar’s sister eats her peas and is rewarded with ice-cream. Not wanting to miss out on such a treat, Valdemar comes up with a clever plan. 

Funny and real, and very familiar to parents who struggle with picky eaters.

Simple bold illustrations with lots of white space so the focus remains on Valdemar and his family. 

A fun book to share with the whole family.

 

I’m the biggest

By Stephanie Blake

ISBN 9781776572021

Published June 2018

 

Simon is back and as naughty and nice as ever.

In his latest book Simon is upset that his younger brother Casper has grown a whole three centimetres since the last time they were measured, yet he has only grown one centimetre. Out comes Simon’s infamous temper tantrums. Simon is just as feisty as ever but his reactions are understandably realistic, warts and all.

However, in the end we see the side of Simon that makes him a character we know and continue to love.

As someone who only ever made it to 1.50 metres tall I know exactly how Simon feels about being small. I recall being very upset back when I was young and the old measurement scales, when a teacher measured the class on the blackboard but started the measurement at five foot. I didn’t even make it to the starting point and never did. So Simon, I know just how you feel although there is plenty of time on your side to grow.

See Hear

By Tania McCartney

Illustrated by Jess Racklyeft

ISBN 9781925335675

EKbooks

 

This is a sweet picture book about the senses of sight and hearing. Its novelty flip-the-book format and simple but effective language, makes this ideal for pre-schoolers.

We meet a cat, a rabbit and a piglet who happily go about their daily lives. They are super cute animals but also very observant. See begins as the front with colourful illustrations of many things we can see. Squiggly rain, crawling spots on a ladybird, lacy flutters of snow and many more. It is a lovely introduction to the senses with a simple message to take time to look around and really look at  everything there is to see.  Once you get half way through, you can flip the book and have another lovely story to read. Hear is the story from the back with a focus on the things we can hear. We can hear songs and laughter, food sizzling and cats purring. Everyday things are there if only we take time to listen.  All we have to do is stop a moment and look around.

 

 

 

 

Visiting you: A journey of Love

By Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg

Illustrated by Andrea Edmonds

ISBN 9781925335668

EK Books

A young child sets out on a trip with mum intending to visit a special but unnamed loved one. Along the way, they meet many different people and the child, all friendly and innocent, begins chatting with these people. What becomes apparent is that the child exposes the fact that in life, we all have worries and concerns. We all have people we care about that we miss and can’t wait to see. People in hospital, and people in aged-care who no longer remember their families. Somewhere out there, there are people who have lost loved ones and sit among us on buses, or boat rides. Everywhere we are, no matter what we do, we need to remember that people may be sad and we need to show compassion and have empathy because one day it could be us, sad and feeling a little lost. What makes this special, is that the child, just by talking with strangers, is making a difference. We are reminded that we are all connected.

A sweet story with a message we all know but sometimes it doesn’t hurt to be reminded. The illustrations have lots of yellows and oranges creating a lovely sunny day feeling.

 

Teacher notes to further extend the experience of this book can be found here.

 

The Art Garden: sewing the seeds of creativity

By Penny Harrison

Illustrated by Penelope Pratley

ISBN 9781925335590

EK Books


 

When Sadie’s best friend Tom paints, Sadie’s heart smiles. She longs to paint as well as Tom does but her attempts end up as messy splodges. Sadie also loves her garden and being surrounded by nature. Somewhere in between, Sadie learns to accept herself and find something that she can do that makes her heart smile for herself. A sweet and positive picture book about learning to accept ourselves and finding the things that make us special. Art and creativity is everywhere and we express it differently and that makes us unique individuals. For Sadie, finding her own creativity, is part of finding herself. 

Poor Little Rabbit

By Jorg Muhle

ISBN 9781776571772

Gecko Press

Oh no, Little Rabbit has hurt his arm. And there’s blood! Can you help him? 

I first met Little Rabbit a few years ago in the board book Tickle my ears. He was adorable then and adorable now.

In Tickle my ears little rabbit needed help getting ready for bed but this time he appeals to the reader to help him after he falls over. He stares out from bright, colourful pages, pleading with young readers to blow on his ouch, help put on a band-aid and make him feel all better. Sweet and interactive which is perfect for babies and toddlers. Little rabbit’s facial expressions are totally believable, from his tears at the beginning to his big smile at the end.

Baby board books have a special place when introducing books and reading to babies. Babies and toddlers will often have their favourites which they will listen to over and over. Little rabbit is a wee series with a delightful character who will become a firm favourite with oung readers as they explore little adventures in each of his books. A gorgeous book to add to a baby’s first collection.

Tickle my ears

Bathtime for Little Rabbit

Poor Little Rabbit

 

Baby Monkey, Private Eye

By David Serlin and Brian Selznick

Illustrated by Brian Selznick

ISBN 9781338180619

Scholastic

I love Brian Selznick’s books and have a number of them in my own collection. His illustrations are stunning and his books win so many awards. This time he is collaborating with debut author David Serlin.  Baby Monkey, Private Eye offers humour wonderful illustrations; which you can peek at if you click on the Scholastic link above, and text suitable for younger readers.

Mystery, part graphic novel, humour, and an adorable character all coming soon.

Not out until February but this will definitely be on my list to purchase for my school library. The book trailer is so cute too. How can your resist such a cute creature? Looks like this could be a winner.

Who is Baby Monkey?

He is a baby.
He is a monkey.
He has a job.
He is Baby Monkey, Private Eye!
Lost jewels?
Missing pizza?
Stolen spaceship?
Baby Monkey can help…

if he can put on his pants!

Baby Monkey’s adventures come to life in an exciting blend of picture book, beginning reader, and graphic novel.

 

Don’t blink

Written and illustrated by Tom Booth

ISBN 9781250117366

Feiwel & Friends

Some books you just fall in love with. This is one those books. Beautifully illustrated with a delightful young girl centre stage surrounded by a menagerie of equally delightful animal friends. They join together to play a blinking game almost all of us have played at some stage in our lives. Not only do they challenge each other to stare as long as possible without blinking, but they challenge the reader to join in. It is a lovely picture book with a wonderful feel-good quality that makes me smile every time I read it. While it may be aimed at younger readers, adults reading this to children will also be drawn to its sweetness and challenges.

Think you can win a staring contest against an elephant? What about a gorilla, a cheetah, a fox, or an alligator? What about all them―AND a bunch of their other animal friends―at the same time? You’re about to find out!

Whatever you do DON’T BLINK!

There are some fun activities to download on the author/illustrator’s website too, including masks, and spot the difference pages. Love, love, love this book.

 

 

The Kiwi go marching one by one

By Peter Millet

Illustrated by Deborah Hinde

Sung by Jay Laga’Aia

ISBN 9781775435129

Scholastic NZ 

A popular trend in picture books is to add a bonus CD. They offer more than just a picture book to read. Pre-schools and primary schools love them. They are great for listening along in the classroom or in the car on the way to the grocery store. Children with English as a second language use them to read and listen to the rhythm of English language. They are certainly popular in my school library. Peter Millet’s latest book is no exception. 

Peter has taken the classic The ants go marching one by one and given it a whole new meaning. A very Kiwi meaning. He introduces different NZ wildlife and our love of the outdoors. He takes us up to  the snow to meet kea, out on choppy seas to catch kahawai.  He takes us on a real Kiwi adventure

A familiar tune, well supported by the wonderful illustrations by Deborah Hinde. Her illustrations are bright and colourful but have a softness to them which just makes the kiwis so cute and very appealing. Their eyes, in particular are so warm and friendly, appealing to the reader to join them on their journey. Check out their attempts at bungee jumping! Adventurous yet gentle but lots of fun. Love the little fantail flitting between the pages.

Great gift for Christmas or for end of year teacher present. It is also great to have the song in Te Reo as well with easy to follow lyrics.

The following picture books are new from Scholastic New Zealand and just out in time for Christmas.

Old MacDonald had a farm

Song by The Topp Twins

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9781775434986

 

 

The song Old MacDonald had a farm is a classic that people all over the globe have been singing for years.   This new picture book version is illustrated by the very talented Jenny Cooper. Her illustrations as always,  are delightful. Her animals are cute, funny, and just so lovable. I love Jenny’s very kiwi farmer wearing his iconic red checkered flannel shirt.

The bonus CD is sung by the Topp Twins.  They sing with heaps of energy and I bet you won’t be able to resist turning the  CD player up loud and singing along.  A delightful picture book for younger readers that will have you smiling and singing all the way through. As we come to the end of the year, this book and CD along with the others listed below, would make good gifts for Christmas.

 

 

Row, Kiwi, Row your boat

Illustrated by Stevie Mahardhika

Sung by Pio Terei

Maori lyrics by Ngaere Roberts

ISBN 9781775434931

 

 

We can sing or read along with this playful picture book as three young kiwi spend the day hunting for a taniwha.

They are so busy looking for a taniwha that they don’t notice something lurking in the waters behind them. Along the way they make friends with a diving duck, a slippery eel, a leaping lizard and many more birds and animals.  The big question though, is just who is following them?

The very familiar tune, the bright and sweet but very Kiwi pictures  makes this book lots of fun and a special one to send to family overseas.

 

The scariest thing in the garden

By Craig Smith

Illustrated by Scott Tulloch

ISBN 97817745435051

 


Whose eyes are those in the garden? Look, it’s a scaredy-sprout! What do you think scared that sprout so much? A-A-A-A-R-R-R-R! Laugh out loud to this super-silly song and discover what truly IS the SCARIEST thing in the garden!

There is quite possibly hardly any family homes in New Zealand that don’t have a copy of Craig Smith’s Wonky Donkey. The success of Wonky Donkey led to more of his songs being made in to books with The scariest thing in the garden being his latest. Like his other books humour is key. Bright bold illustrations ensure readers keep turning the page until the last surprise. The bonus CD ensure readers also keep singing along.

 

Stink-o-saurus

By Deano Yipadee

Illustrated by Paul Beavis

ISBN 9781775434733

Stan was a rare dinosaur, a one of a kind. Most from their front, HIS roar came from his BEHIND! Youll split your pants laughing at Stan, the worlds only STINK-O-SAURUS. But can his stinky antics save the day and keep Tommy T-Rex far away?

Author Deano Yipadee and illustrator Paul Beavis have worked together on picture books before and their collaboration continues to be one of success.

They obviously share a wicked, boyish sense of humour which comes out both in the story and illustrations. This is another book which is sure to please young readers. Bright, cheeky illustrations of a stomping dinosaur with a roaring behind and lyrics to sing along to make this another one that will make children laugh out loud.

 

 

1-2-3 Bird!

By Dave Gunson

ISBN 9781775433941

Scholastic NZ

There is so much to love about Dave Gunson’s new counting picture book. The illustrations are bright, cheeky and offer much more than a quick read. There is the obvious counting of different birds on the pages but also hidden among the picture are numerous insects, spiders and even a couple of geckos. Each page also has an extra number to seek out. I am sure children will love reading this over and over as they discover new things with each re-reading.

I did laugh at the 4 pukeko racing and the underlying question as to who will be the winner. Perhaps a little political nod for the adults reading, with the grand pukeko wearing a “let’s do it!” slogan on her chest as she tries to win her race. That aside, children will love searching for creatures, counting out loud and I bet, enjoying discussions about the different native wildlife.

A good New Zealand book to send overseas and ideal for kindergartens, pre-schools and lower primary schools as well.

The curious Ar-chew

By Sarah Grundy

Illustrated by Ali Teo & John O’Reilly

ISBN 9781775434375

Scholastic NZ

 

“This is the tale, I swear it is true,

of a very strange creature called the Ar-chew.

The tale begins at the foot of a tree

with a hollow so narrow it was tricky to see…”

A hedgehog discovers something strange lurking in the hollow of a tree one day. Not knowing what the mysterious creature could be, hedgehog wanders off seeking help from his woodland friends.

This delightful picture book is the well-deserved winner of the Joy Cowley Award. It offers good rhyme and rhythm and is supported by delightful illustrations in natural settings. The forest floor and its autumnal scenery provide a perfect backdrop to the story. The animals work well together trying to discover what the creature could be. A good choice to read in class when discussing teamwork and friendships.  For observant readers there are clues in the illustrations as to what the creature may be, adding yet another level to this gorgeous picture book for young readers.

Definitely one to share again and again.

 

Putangitangi walks

By Stephanie Thatcher

ISBN 9781775434221

Scholastic NZ

 

Cheeky Putangitangi (little duck) is looking for her friend. What will she do when she finds him? A fun rhyming story about two playful little ducks.

Mischievous, funny and gorgeously illustrated picture book about a paradise shelduck  going out for a walk and the antics she gets up to on the way.  Lovely whimsical language, rhyme and rhythm but the heart of this story has to be the illustrations. The wonderful cheeky facial expressions clearly show the mischief and personalities of the ducks and other birds. A lovely touch which I adore is the little frog on every page and his comical smiles.

This is a sweet, funny picture book with lots of appeal which will become a firm favourite. This book is also very much a New Zealand landscape which will make it an ideal gift to send or take overseas for family and friends.

 

The big block of chocolate

By Janet Slater

Illustrated by Christine Dale

ISBN 9781775434900

Scholastic NZ

With more than 250,000 copies sold The big block of chocolate is both a best seller and a classic. It is great to see this favourite picture book republished with the original illustrations for a whole new generation of readers to enjoy.

Miss Jenny bought some chocolate, a great big block of chocolate. She said, ‘This block of chocolate is mine and ALL for me.’ Did someone say CHOCOLATE?

Simple but well-worked language and great use of repetition creates  a musical flow and rhythm that readers will enjoy over and over. 

We move through the pages and illustrations with ease as we first meet Miss Jenny and then various animals who all find the block of chocolate and wanting it just for themselves, take it and hide it to eat later when no one is around. And just who gets to eat the chocolate? You will have to read it for yourself.  It has humour and yes even a message about sharing. A fun read to share together.

How does it feel to be a boat

By James Kwan

ISBN 9780544715332

HMH Kids

Through smooth and stormy seas

Sometimes being a boat is full of adventures and it’s nothing but smooth sailing on the high seas, but sometimes arguing passengers can take you off course. When you run aground, will their teamwork give you the strength to make it through? 

My school library has Dear Yeti  which is a delightful picture book from James Kwan so I just know this new one will be well worth adding to our collection. The trailer is kind of cool with James Kwan becoming part of the story and weaving his way through the pages of the book.  Aimed at younger readers but I suspect parents and grandparents will love this too.

I love this quote from the Kirkus review which certainly piques my interest as a message we want to encourage with our readers.

This poignant yet lighthearted affirmation asserts the uniqueness of each individual and reassures readers that while life is complex, sometimes messy, and even occasionally catastrophic, it is all part of the journey.