'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 11 October 2011

KBR Recommends: Picture Books, October 2011

In the lead-up to Christmas, now is the time to set your sights on a Santa’s stocking of bookish goodness. Here are our picks for some gorgeous picture books for everyone - from toddlers to picture-book-obsessed adults.

Busy Day by Sally Grindley (Bloomsbury, $14.99, Sept 2011, ages 2 - 4)

A group of friends is heading off on the bus to have a day together at the seaside.  On the way, they encounter lots of vehicles and other animals all busily going about their day.   Perfect for little ones, the book features bright illustrations and plenty of things to identify as the story travels along.

Toy Boat by Randall de Sève (Puffin, $14.95, ages 2 5)

A little boy had a toy boat. He made it form a can, a cork, a yellow pencil and some white cloth. This is that toy boat's story.  Accidentally launched to freedom on a massive lake (be careful what you wish for!), the little boat becomes lost in a sea of massive water-going vessels with little interest in a piddly little makeshift craft.
When a kindly fishing boat finally helps him fill his sails and drift back to short, the boat realises just where he's meant to be. Simple story but simply stunning illustrations.

When No-One’s Looking: At the Zoo by Zana Fraillon (Hardie Grant, $24.99, ages 2 6)

The animals on the farm Can swim, stomp and run. But when no-one is looking, They have all kinds of fun! The animals on the farm Can swim, stomp and run. But when no-one is looking, They have all kinds of fun!

With striking, busy illustrations and lift-up pages revealing exactly what the animals really do get up to when no one's around, kids will delight in this romping make believe tale.

Also this series: When No-One's Looking: On the Farm

If Kisses Were Colours by Alison Jay (Templar, $14.95, ages 0 5)

The affection between a parent and a child is immeasurable, as this entrancing love song tenderly expresses. 

Lyrical and descriptive, it's Jay's incredible charming illustrations that take the text to a whole new level, with her consummate and sweetly whimsical style.

This book is in sold board book form - perfect for toddlers.

All Set For the Big Wet illustrated by Mandy Foot (Lothian, $24.99, ages 2 5)

Vibrant retelling of one of the best-loved stories of all time with a uniquely Australian cast of animal characters.

The ants come scurrying one by one, hurrah, hurrah!

Quickly they’re followed by swooping barn owls, trundling wombats, jumping kangaroos, striding brolgas and other favourite Australian animals (koalas, crocs, echidnas and dingoes) – all in their race to get to the ark before the flood.

Monkey and Robot: In the Garden (Bloomsbury, $14.99, ages 2 5) 

In this third book in the Monkey and Robot series, the two friends receive a box of seeds in the post. Very excitedly, they go outside and plant their seeds, then wait impatiently for the result. 

Monkey's seeds start growing quickly, which he is very happy about! Robot's are rather slower, which makes him a little sad. But perhaps Robot's seeds will be a pleasingly edible surprise if he is patient enough?

Includes a set of gorgeous cut-outs for play.

No, Baby, No! by Grace Nichols (Bloomsbury, $15.99, ages 0 – 4, with audio CD)

Baby is busy doing all the things that babies love to do, like exploring the kitchen, chewing up newspapers and climbing up too high.

But members of his family aren't quite as positive about his antics as he is and there are lots of cries of 'No, Baby, No!'

However, one day Baby does something really special and everyone celebrates with quite a different refrain. Beautifully illustrated.