Posts Tagged ‘Jenny Cooper’

My Grandfather’s War

By Glyn Harper

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9781775592990

EKBooks

 

Over the last few years there have many books published about World War One; picture books, novels for children and young adults, and rightly so. As the 100th Anniversary came around we remembered all that happened. We thought about war heroes, soldiers who gave so much, families destroyed, countries torn apart and the endless pain and suffering of so many people. We remembered them.

However, there is another war that needs recognition too. The Vietnam War is the topic of this thoughtful new picture book My Grandfather’s War  by Glyn Harper and illustrated by Jenny Cooper. The author and illustrator have worked on a number of books together before and continue to bring us quality stories and thoughtful illustrations.

Sarah loves the time she spends with her grandfather. They play games together and he takes her to and from school each day. He walks with a limp from an injury he got a long time ago but Sarah has always been warned not to ask Grandpa about this. All she knows is that he fought in the Vietnam War and that this sometimes makes him very sad.

Like many inquisitive children Sarah wanted to know about the Vietnam War and why it made her Grandpa sad. Sarah tried to find out from books at school but she had no luck. Her best option was to ask Grandpa himself. So she did.

Sarah’s grandfather took his time but he told her about the war in Vietnam. He told her how awful it was fighting in the jungle in a war where chemicals were used, as well as guns. The chemicals did so much damage to soldiers that many of the next few generations were affected.

The soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War were not welcomed back like heroes of World War One. Many became sick over the years and for many the sickness spread to the next generation.

This is a thoughtful book where the author has obviously carefully considered how much information to share with young readers and how much to hold back. The illustrations are warm and expressive with Sarah and her grandfather, The illustrations of the jungle and the war itself are reflective of her grandfathers memories but still are not too confronting for young readers.

This book is well worth further exploration and you can find some teacher notes to assist with any discussions you might have, by clicking here and scrolling to the book on the publisher’s website.

 

 

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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.

 

 

I have always loved books and reading. Always!  I do also love special gift packages of books. So today I am highlighting a few special ones which will make ideal gifts for Christmas.

 

The Topp Twins Treasury of Sing-along stories

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9781775434306

Scholastic

topp

 

Do your ears hang low?

There’s a whole in my bucket  (My favourite)

The Farmer in the Dell

She’ll be coming round the mountain

Dingle-dangle scarecrow

 

I remember singing these songs as a young child and they had been around for donkeys years before me so it is wonderful to see them beautifully illustrated in picture book format. You can read the stories, laugh out loud at the flying pigs or the goat and chicken as they lament over a hole in their bucket. Or you can just sing along with or without the book in front of you. Available previously as single titles, it is nice to see this compilation. This would make a lovely gift for someone special.

Jenny Cooper’s illustrations seem to be everywhere or perhaps it is because I love her work so much that I search for it them in every bookshop. Just another reason to love this compilation.

Listen along to the CD with brilliant singing from the Topp Twins. Great for a car ride or to sing along with on the drive to school or just sitting in a corner, listening and reading along to the CD on a lazy Sunday.

 

 

The little yellow digger (Book and jigsaw puzzle box set)

Betty and Alan Gilderdale

ISBN 9781775434313

Scholastic

5

When digging out a drain, the little yellow digger gets stuck in the mud. So they bring in a bigger digger …

and guess what happens to the bigger digger?

This classic story about a little yellow digger getting stuck in the mud is back in a gorgeous sturdy box set with a 48 piece jigsaw. The pieces are large and perfect for young hands. Great for extending the value of this classic rhyming book and the whole reading experience.  Perfect present for pre-schoolers.

 

Kiwi Corkers

Great New Zealand yarns : small gift bag

ISBN 9781775434269

Scholastic

6

A small gift tote filled with five Kiwi Corker tales.

The frog footy player by Chris Gurney

The tuatara and the skink by Yvonne Morrison

The ugly hatching by Yvonne Morrison

The little blue duck by Chris Gurney

The three cattle dogs gruff by Chris Gurney

 

The Kiwi Corker series is very popular in schools and particularly with teachers who use them when looking at traditional stories and  fractured fairy tales. Working in school I know how important it is that children get to know fairy tales. They offer so much and even when reading Young Adult books, there are often references to fairy tales that will be missed if children do not know the basic tales.

Reading these retellings is a fun way to enjoy the stories and reflect on the differences, mostly with the addition of heaps of humour. A very kiwi feel to each story with tuataras, kiwis, and pukeko too. A nice gift to send to family and friends overseas.

I am reminded of  Albert Einstein’s quote about fairy tales.

“If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.”

Traditional fairy tales or retellings, either way, reading these will be pure fun.

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If you are in or near Christchurch on 27th September do come and listen to these award winning authors and illustrators talk about their children’s war books. Wonderfully told and researched, beautifully illustrated this is a night not to miss.

what-lies-beneath-author-christchurch-tour1

 

ANZAC Day is such a special event in both New Zealand and Australian history that 100 years later we are still respecting our ancestors and all they did to serve our countries.

Here is a selection of some of my favourite World War One picture books to share with children. While not all focus on the Gallipoli Campaign, they do talk of the impact of war and are all very worthy to share with children when they ask why do we still have ANZAC parades. Simply put, it is to remember them. All of them. Those who went to war, those who fought and never made it home and yes, even those who stayed at home and helped kept families strong.

 

Gladys goes to war

By Glyn Harper

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9780143507208

Puffin Booksgldays

 

Gladys Sandford was a very special and determined woman. Told that war was no place for women, Gladys fought convention and went to war, driving ambulances and even fixing them. Gladys was also the first woman in New Zealand to gain a pilot’s license. Based on the real life Gladys this is a very special book. Often illustrators are great at either drawing animals or people. It is not every illustrator who can do both well but Jenny Cooper does this and does it beautifully.

 

The ANZAC puppy

By Peter Millet

Illustrated by Trish Bowles

ISBN 9781775430971

Scholastic

puppy

“In the middle of the night, in the middle of the winter, in the middle of a war, a puppy was born.’ This fictional story was inspired by the story of Freda, a Harlequin Great Dane and mascot of the NZ Rifle Brigade during World War 1. The ANZAC Puppy is a simple story about the reality of war, hardship, friendship and love.”

This is a great story for younger readers especially for its happy ending, despite the harsh realities of war and the pain of being involved in such awful times.

 

 

The red poppy

By David Hill

Illustrated by Fifi Colston

ISBN 9781775430704

Scholastic

poppy

“Young soldier Jim McLeod waits in the trenches of World War I for the order to attack the enemy. With him are his friends, and Nipper, the messenger dog. When they charge across no-man’s-land, Jim is shot …and finds himself face to face with an enemy soldier.”

 A poignantly illustrated picture book with lots to say. There is more focus on the trenches in David Hill’s story than some of the others chosen here today and this certainly adds impact. I love the colours used for this book. The sepia tones and the blood red of the poppies are ideal for this story and perfect for older children. There is much to read and look at in this book and would be ideal in a classroom of year 5 and six students. There is also the wonderful addition of a CD to listen to.

 

Jim’s letters

By Glyn Harper

Illustrated by Jenny Cooper

ISBN 9780143505907

 

jim

“Dear Jim, Your postcard arrived today. I showed it to the family. Mum misses you…” Between December 1914 and August 1915 Tom and Jim write to each other whenever they get a chance. Tom talks about life at home on the farm while Jim writes from Egypt and then from the trenches of the Gallipoli peninsula”

The power of this book is highlighting the lives of those at war and family at home. It was hard for family waiting at home knowing any day they might receive the dreadful news that their beloved son, brother or father was either wounded or killed. Nothing was certain and I think this book depicts this very well.

 

There are so many more books I could share. Below are two of my favourites already reviewed on this blog.

One minute’s silence

By David Metzenthen

 

ANZAC Heroes

By Maria Gill  (non-fiction but a perfect book to support these picture books)