Looking for fun new books to share with your child? Look no further!
Cover of a book showing a green cicada in a grey suit surrounded by papers
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7.1/10
Cicada
Ages 6 to 8 / June 26, 2018

Cicada By Shaun Tan, Hachette Australia, 2018. ‘Cicada tell story. Story good. Story simple. Story even human can understand. Tok Tok Tok!’ Cicada is written very differently to other children’s books I’ve read. Its staccato text is reminiscent of people who have English as a second language.¬†Tok Tok Tok! We feel sorry for Cicada as he works hard all day for very little pay and poor conditions. He is bullied by his coworkers. Tok Tok Tok! The repetition of Tok Tok Tok! works well. During the pages where Cicada is tormented by his life and his workplace, the illustrations only appear on the righthand page with the simple text on a white lefthand page. Until Cicada retires from his office job…then we see full-colour double-page spreads with no text, where we watch cicada transform! This is also an unusual approach to a kids picture book. The illustrations by Shaun Tan, as always, are artistic masterpieces. Cicada Book Trailer 0

Cover of a book with a painted and stylised magpie surrounded by indigenous dot paintings
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6.8/10
Mad Magpie

Mad Magpie By Gregg Dreise, Magabala Books, 2016. ‘Stay calm like the surface of the water, yet strong like its current.’ This beautiful masterpiece is both written and illustrated by a descendant of the Kamilaroi and Yuwalayaay people of the north-west New South Wales and the south-west Queensland areas, and published by Magabala, the oldest independent Indigenous publishing house in Australia. Mad Magpie is a richly illustrated artistic masterpiece that integrates the author’s indigenous Gamilaraay language in the names of the animals that we meet throughout the book! Guluu is an angry magpie who has been teased by a group of butcher birds. In turn, Guluu has been swooping down and attacking other animals. We learn about why Guluu is so angry and what has been happening to him. The Elders teach Guluu how to deal with the mean butcher birds and not become angry when they tease him. Mad Magpie is a story about overcoming adversity and standing strong in the face of difficulty. I hope that if you are from a country other than Australia, that you would still consider buying this book. You and your child will learn a little about Australia’s ancient past, as well as…

Cover of a book showing illustrations of a red dinosaur surrounded by loads of colourful fruit and veggies
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7.2/10
T-Veg
Ages 3 to 5 , Ages 6 to 8 , Ages 9 to 12 , Featured / September 3, 2015

T-Veg The story of a carrot-crunching dinosaur By Smriti Prasadam-Halls and Katherina Manolessou, Frances Lincoln Children’s Books, 2015. A laugh-out-loud tale of a dinosaur who dares to be different. When I first picked this book up off the shelf I wasn’t too sure what I was going to find in the pages; however, I was very smartly entertained by what I found! I absolutely LOVE this book! The rhyme is effortless, the illustrations are childlike and fun, and the story is action-packed and entertaining. T-Veg takes you on a journey through the life of Reginald, a young Tyrannosaurus Rex, who unlike the rest of his T-Rex dinosaur family and friends who are known carnivores, is vegetarian. Reginald ate BROCCOLI, Reginald at BEANS. Reginald ate bowls and bowls of GARLIC, GRAPES and GREENS. Reg grows tired of the other T-Rexes making fun of him, so he packs his dino-sack and leaves home in search of some herbivorous dinosaurs who he believes will make better friends. However, when he finds the ‘herbies’ he runs excitedly towards them, which scares them all off and they run away from him. His family and friends were missing him, so they went in search of Reg….

Cover of a book showing a drawing of a magpie in a tree looking up with his beak open and blue sky in the background
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6/10
Magpie Learns a Lesson
Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / February 1, 2015

Magpie Learns a Lesson By Sally Morgan and Ezekiel Kwaymullina, and illustrated by Tania Erzinger, Omnibus Books, Scholastic, 2015. ‘Two friends, Magpie and Brown Falcon, have different talents. But magpie is cross that she can’t fly like Brown Falcon and plays tricks on her friend.’ What a naughty little magpie this one is! Magpie Learns a Lesson, a very big lesson indeed! Two birds; two sides of a story. Magpie and Brown Falcon share the same forest, and one might call them friends; however, magpie has a different view. If you’re familiar with the story of the boy who cried wolf, then you’ll understand this story. It has a hint of tall poppy syndrome too, because magpie tries to bring Brown Falcon down. Brown Falcon looks up to Magpie. He loves the warble of this songbird and enjoys listening to it through the forest. Brown Falcon admires Magpie and rejoices in his songs, while Magpie if filled with envy of the great heights Brown Falcon can soar to, and the distances he can see from up there.¬†Magpie is so jealous of his friend the Brown Falcon, that he tricks him repeatedly to make him feel bad. He puts out traps…