One of the many joys of children’s books is the messages that sit behind what appears a simple story. Which book did you read as a child that carried an important message?
While the school holidays are almost over here in Victoria we know they are just beginning in other parts of the world. One of our favourite Winter school holiday activities was finding (or making) a spot to curl up in and read all day long. We’ve currently having a cold snap here in Melbourne so it’s the perfect reading weather. We’ve also found 6 super fun picture books that we know your little ones are going to love spending the day reading in a fort made of all of the couch cushions and blankets.
A Sprinkle of Sadie by Lana Spasevski
Say hello to Sadie … a superstar baker with a big heart! In this book, Sadie needs to throw a surprise birthday for her mum, help out at the Cookgrove fundraising day, and welcome someone new to her class. But Sadie’s sweet intentions do not always go to plan! Her vanilla ice-cream cake for Mum is as flat as a pancake. Her cupcake stall has tough competition. And her welcome treat is not welcomed! Can Sadie find a way to save the day? In these three sprinkle-filled stories (complete with recipes!) the unstoppable Sadie shows that any problem can be solved with generosity, kindness and, of course, a delicious baked treat.
Water: Protect Freshwater to Save Life on Earth by Catherine Barr
Water is a ground-breaking global introduction to water that includes sharing and protecting freshwater worldwide. Water is life! Freshwater bubbles, flows and floods with the most wonderful life on Earth – and all of us rely on it to stay alive. BUT today, because of pollution and climate change, it is becoming more and more difficult for people and animals to find the clean freshwater they need to survive. It’s time to act! Water tells the story of freshwater around the world. Discover the history of water, how the water cycle works, learn about the different kinds of water and about the amazing variety of wildlife that freshwater is home to. Then find out what happens to water because of climate change and global heating; the importance of clean water for health; the worldwide problem of water pollution and the devastating impact of water shortage on children’s lives and education. Catherine Barr challenges us to take action, to use water wisely and protect freshwater to save our planet.
Building a Home by Polly Faber
Building a Home is a beautifully illustrated picture book guide to exactly how an old building can become a brand-new home. With action-packed artwork from Klas Fahlen and a gentle narrative text by Polly Faber, find out all about the people, machines, processes and tools involved in breathing new life into an old building. Packed with builders, cranes, diggers, cement mixers and a host of other exciting tools and machinery, follow a crumbling old factory on the edge of town as it goes from being an empty shell to something entirely new… a home.
The Book Family Robinson by Jonathan Emmett
A bookish family shipwrecked on a treasure island faces off against a fearsome pirate crew. The keen-reading Robinsons set out to sea, their boat barely afloat with all their books, until a storm strikes down their holiday plans. Shipwrecked on a mysterious island, they gather their soggy books up and research how to survive – completely missing the treasure littered all around them! But the Bloodbucket pirates remember it all too well, and when they find the Robinsons have taken their turf, it’s time to walk the plank. With only Silly Monkey Goes to the Toilet left to hand, can the Robinsons read themselves free from a watery doom?
Maybe… by Chris Haughton
From Chris Haughton comes a funny, suspenseful and keenly observed cautionary tale about pushing boundaries and indulging your more mischievous, cheeky side (when nobody is looking). Three little monkeys, and their big monkey, are sat high up on their branch in the forest canopy. “Ok, monkeys! I’m off,” says the big monkey. “Now remember. Whatever you do, do NOT go down to the mango tree. There are tigers down there.” Mmm . mangos! think the little monkeys. They LOVE mangos. Hmm … maybe . maybe they could just look at the mangos? That’d be ok, right?
Amazing Activists Who Are Changing Our World by Rebecca Schiller
Discover the stories of 20 amazing activists who are caring for our planet and its people. Fascinating facts about each activist’s life and times are accompanied by bright and accessible illustrations, making this book ideal for young children wanting to learn about incredible people who through their brave actions have changed the world for the better. Positive, uplifting and packed full of information, this book will show children that no one is too small to make a difference. Activists featured: Sonita Alizdeh; Rachel Carson; Favio Chavez; Mahatma Gandhi; Jane Goodall; Helen Keller; Martin Luther King Jr; Nelson Mandela; Wangari Maathai; Aditya Mukarji; Emmeline Pankhurst; Autumn Peltier; Boyan Slat; Gareth Thomas; Greta Thunberg; Harriet Tubman; William Wilberforce; Ai Weiwei Emmanuel Ofosu Yeboah; Malala Yousafzai.
Children’s books are a delightful genre of books. The topics they cover are fun, silly, heart warming, insightful, cheeky and full of adventure. There is something rather special about hearing a child giggle aloud, or even chat to the characters of a book they are enjoying. With so many children heading back to school this month we wanted to share a handful of new books that we know will find a spot on the bookshelves both at homes and classrooms across Australia.
We love hearing which books your children enjoy, and which ones you enjoyed as a child, please feel free to share in the comments below or over on any of our social media channels; instagram, twitter and facebook.
The Museum of Marvellous Things by Kristina Stephenson
Sensible, serious Norbert Norris knows all the important things: dinosaurs, planets, shapes and sums. But when the Museum of Marvellous Things is in trouble, Norbert doesn’t know what to do. Only magic can save it – and he knows nothing about magic! Norbert must learn to believe, because when you imagine incredible things, almost anything can happen. This story is a joyful celebration of imagination and creativity, from the author of the bestselling Sir Charlie Stinky Socks books, Kristina Stephenson.
Scaredy Bath by Zoë Foster Blake
Bath-time is fun! There’s the bubbles, the bath toys and lots of splashing of course. But have you ever wondered what it’s like for the bath? Scaredy Bath does not like bath time . . . the piping hot water, the gooey muck and especially not the small boisterous grubby ones that shout and splash and make Scaredy all mucky! What’s a bath to do? Will Scaredy Bath ever enjoy bath time? Scaredy Bath is a delightful new addition to Zoë’s much-loved brand of picture books (you can find the other books here) that celebrate the ups and downs of family life.
Did you take the B from my _ook? by Matt Stanton
OK. Two things you need to know before you read this book. Firstly, your favourite thing in the whole world is the letter B. And secondly, you’re about to sneeze and all the Bs are going to be blown out of the book. So until you can get your favourite letter back, you’re about to sound really, really silly … And the kids will love it!
Abigail Fig: The Secret Agent Pig by Megan Hess
If you are a fan of the Claris books you are going to love this new character Megan Hess has dreamed up. It’s actually not in stores yet, but you can pre-order it. Clever and curious Abigail Fig has a real nose for details, tiny and big. But when a strange disappearance catches her eye she’ll need to think fast and act like a spy! Abigail Fig is a very curious pig. She’s full of questions, which can sometimes be a little annoying. But one day, her observation skills come in handy when she witnesses a pignapping – can she follow the clues to find her friends? This is destined to delight fashion-obsessed readers of all ages!
Thunderstorm Dancing by Katrina Germein
Thunderstorm is a rollicking rhyming story about a family who dance up a storm while the wind and rain swirl outside. Rhythm, rhyme and family mayhem. Perfect for reading aloud, this playful, energetic story will have young children leaping into action. When a sunny day at the beach turns stormy, a little girl runs for cover. Her daddy and brothers are wild in the wind and lightning, and her poppy is as loud as thunder. They fill the house with stamping and crashing while Granny plays piano to their riotous thunderstorm dancing. until the storm passes and they all fall down. Then, in the stillness, the girl is ready to play. What will she be, now that the rain has stopped and there’s a glimmer of sunlight?
Bella The Brave by Rebel Wilson
Bella has so much to say, but she’s just too shy. If only she could be more like her confident sister, Stella. Then one day Bella’s mum brings her to the local choir. Could it finally be Bella’s time to shine? An empowering book about finding your voice from one of Australia’s best-loved stars, Rebel Wilson.
Children all over the country are preparing to begin the new school year next week and we are all hoping that it will be a year that has far fewer interruptions than the last two years.
Starting school is such an exciting time and while it’s fun to shop for new shoes, pencil cases and lunch boxes, there is always a little trepidation at the thought of a new routine, new friends to make and new teachers to meet.
We have found six wonderful books that all aim to help the smallest students have a smooth start to their schooling.
The Wild Guide to Starting School by Laura and Philip Bunting
The familiar and much loved animals from previous Bunting tales—Mopoke, Kookaburra, Liarbird, Koala, Quokka, and a few new friends—guide you from starting the day just right (mmm, GumFlakes) to first day jitters, meeting teachers, making friends, lunch time, home time and all the things in between. It is time to get set for your wildest adventure yet. Follow this simple guide and you’ll learn everything you need to know.
All The Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell
This book has been out for a few years, and it remains a firm favourite in bookshelves all around the country.
Smart is not just ticks and crosses, smart is building boats from boxes. Painting patterns, wheeling wagons, being mermaids, riding dragons. From the award-winning creators of The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade and Under the Love Umbrella comes this joyful ode to all the unique and wonderful qualities that make children who they are.
Ally-saurus and the first day of school by Richard Torrey
When Ally roars off to her first day at school, she hopes she’ll meet lots of other dinosaur-mad kids in class. Instead, she’s the only one chomping her food with fierce dino teeth and drawing dinosaurs on her nameplate. Even worse, a group of would-be “princesses” snubs her! Will Ally ever make new friends? With its humorous art, appealing heroine and surprise ending, this fun board book celebrates children’s boundless imagination.
You can read more of Ally’s adventures here.
Let’s Get Ready for School by Jane Porter
Starting school can be a great adventure, but it can make you feel a bit nervous too. Let’s Get Ready for School is a perfect book to reassure any new school-starter. Jane Porter answers all of these questions and more in this warm, witty and reassuring book for young children that explores everything they’ll need to know before starting school. Marley, Maya, Theo, Akiko, Ella and Zakir are all getting ready to start school. Why not come along with them and see what it’s like? Illustrated with charming characters by Carolina Rabei, this is the perfect introduction to joining a new class.
Old Friends, New Friends by Andrew Daddo
What do you do when none of your old friends are in your new class? From the team who brought you First Day and When I Grow Up comes an empowering and relatable picture book about making friends and being yourself.
Hello World by Kelly Corrigan
From New York Times bestselling author Kelly Corrigan comes a book that celebrates the people in our lives and the meaningful connections we make that come from asking each other questions. Hello World! is the perfect reminder that the journeys we take through life are all about the people we will meet along the way, people who will make us smarter, stronger, and more amazing than we ever thought possible. With her trademark inspirational wisdom, Kelly Corrigan writes the perfect book for anyone about to embark on a new adventure.
With less than 50 sleeps to go it is time to start crossing off the shopping list this Christmas. If you are shopping for a child this year you cannot go wrong with a newly released book by a favourite author. We have rustled up six amazing stories that will delight, question, and inspire the little people on your Christmas list.
Be sure to follow the Booko Best of Children’s Books this Christmas recommended list on our website. You can find it here.
The Christmas Pig by JK Rowling
One boy and his toy are about to change everything. Jack loves his childhood toy, Dur Pig. DP has always been there for him, through good and bad. Until one Christmas Eve, something terrible happens – DP is lost. But Christmas Eve is a night for miracles and lost causes, a night when all things can come to life…even toys. And Jack’s newest toy, the Christmas Pig (DP’s annoying replacement), has a daring plan: Together they’ll embark on a magical journey to seek something lost, and to save the best friend Jack has ever known. This is a heartwarming page-turning adventure about one child’s love for his most treasured thing, and how far he will go to find it. A tale for the whole family to fall in love with, from one of the world’s greatest storytellers.
Fancy reading a little more JK Rowling? You can see her collection of books here.
The Magic of Magnolia Moon by Edwina Wyatt
For Magnolia Moon, magic is a way to solve problems. And when you’re starting a new class at school and your best friend doesn’t live across the road anymore, problems seem to come easily. In her latest adventure, Magnolia Moon invents everyday magic to help her navigate the pitfalls of friendship, school, family, and being ten. A lyrical and imaginative tale which highlights everyday wonders through Magnolia’s curious and observant nature.
You can read about Magnolia Moon’s other adventures and Edwina Wyatt’s books here.
Pages & Co. – The Book Smugglers by Anna James
Milo lives on board the Sesquipedalian, or “Quip”, a magical train that uses the power of imagination to travel through both story and the real world. The train is owned by Milo’s uncle, Horatio, and Milo has witnessed many of his uncle’s dodgy dealings as a book smuggler trading in rare books. When Horatio takes on a dangerous new job, he needs the help of Tilly Pages. And Tilly owes Horatio a favour. But when poisoned copies of The Wizard of Oz are sent to Horatio and Tilly’s grandfather, sending them both into deep sleeps, Milo and Tilly find themselves racing against time to save them and to figure out what is going on. Their journey takes them to the Emerald City with Dorothy, rocketing on the unruly Quip, and eventually to Venice in Italy, in pursuit of the mysterious Alchemist. The very essence of imagination, story itself, may be in danger.
You can read the other three stores of Pages & Co here.
A Clock of Stars Beyond the Mountains by Francesca Gibbons
Imogen and Marie return through the hole in the tree to a whole new Yaroslav. Miro is king, but hates it. Anneshka is no longer Queen…and hates it. When Anneshka hears a prophecy that she will be Queen of the Greatest Kingdom, she seizes Marie, believing her to be key to the fulfilling of it, and heads over the mountains. Imogen and Miro chase after them, in hot pursuit. But what they find in the valley beyond will change everything again, and see them facing dangers they could never have imagined, both human and otherwise. This story is beautifully illustrated throughout by Chris Riddell, and it is exciting and funny, The Clock of Stars trilogy is a timeless fantasy from the most astonishing new voice in middle grade.
You can read the others in the series here.
Questions for Rebel Girls by Rebel Girls
Children love to explore their feelings, uncover their personality, and decode the world around them. One way to do that is to explore their answers to provocative questions about anything and everything. Questions for Rebel Girls introduces readers to extraordinary women throughout history and asks them to imagine themselves in similar scenarios. Designed to ignite exciting discussions between little rebels and their siblings, friends, and grown-ups, Questions for Rebel Girls is packed with more than 300 entertaining and thought-provoking questions-including some questions submitted by young fans of Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls.
You can see the collection of titles from Rebel Girls here.
Green is For Christmas by Drew Daywalt
In this Christmas story starring the crayons from The Day The Crayons Quit, Green Crayon is certain that he is the only Christmas colour in the box. Of course, Red, White, Silver and even Brown have something to say about that. When Green Crayon claims that green is the only colour for Christmas, other crayons let him know that there would be no Christmas without them either. No candy canes or Santa without Red, no snow without White, no bells or stars without Silver and no cookies or reindeer without Brown! The crayons agree that they all need to come together to make Christmas special!
Big ideas are broken into bitesize chunks with clever illustration in If The World Were 100 People. Focussing on 100 makes it easier to see the things we have in common.
Everyone knows the crayons love to colour, but did you know that crayons have feelings too? Sometimes they are happy and sometimes they feel downright blue in The Crayons’ Book of Feelings.
He’s back! The Very Super Bear and his sidekick Bruce the Goose are saving the jungle from the cranky, yellow monster. Click the link to add this to your bookshelf today.
How Did I Get Here? takes us on a journey back to the start of time and is a hilarious, and beautifully illustrated book, designed to raise more questions than it answers.
The Imagineer is a beautiful story about an inquisitive little girl whose imagination is sparked by things around her and spending time with her grandparents.