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

Sunday 31 March 2013

KBR Recommends: New Picture Books, March 2013

Somewhere in Australia by Marcello Pennacchio (Scholastic, $24.99, 9781741695229)

Somewhere in Australia, in a land of scorching sun, lived a mother kangaroo and her little joey one. 'Hop,' said the mother. 'I hop,' said the one, as they hopped over land scorched by the hot sun.

Join the little joey and many more familiar animals in this glorious Australian counting book based on the classic rhyme Over in the Meadow.

Meet . . . Ned Kelly by Janeen Brian (Random House, $19.95, 9781742757186)

The perfect book for kids learning about Ned Kelly and his gang.

Ned Kelly was a notorious bushranger.
He lived in Australia's earliest days.
He was daring and clever and bold.
In a suit made of iron he battled police.
And his story is still being told.

This is the first book in a picture book series about the extraordinary men and women who shaped Australia's history.

Big Red Tractor Saves the Day by Melissa Firth (Scholastic, $14.99, 9781742831251)

Big red tractor with yellow wheels, ploughing up the great big fields. But something's in the tractor's way! Can Big Red Tractor save the day?

With simple, appealing illustrations by Cheryl Ostini, Big Red Tractor Saves the Day tells the story of Tractor's role in preparing the earth for planting and maintaining the crops. When a baby bird in a fallen nest is on the field, Tractor manages to protect the bird at the last minute.

I love the final illustration showing that the whole story has been part of an imaginative game in a sandpit.

Let's Go to Sleep by Margaret Wild (Working Title Press, $24.95, 9781921504440)

Hush! All over the world, little ones everywhere are going to sleep. Sweet dreams!

In different environments all over the world, mother animals are putting their babies to bed. Lions, meerkats, swans, wallabies, dolphins and other animals are settling for the night, with mothers checking that their babies are safe and comfortable as they drift off to sleep.

Beautiful illustrations by Michelle Dawson and a lovely rhythm to the text make this a perfect bedtime story for toddlers and young children.

Dog on Log by Tania Ingram (Scholastic, $24.99, 9781862919648)

Meet Dog, Frog, Hog and friends. Throw in a bog and a log, and you have a real mix-up! Watch out, Dog!

With text filled with rhymes and a rhythm that is at times reminiscent of Seuss' classic Fox in Socks, Dog on Log is a great story to read aloud with preschool-aged children. Fun and a little bit silly at times, the repeating sounds would work well for children learning to read.