Errol! By Zanni Louise and Philip Bunting, Scholastic Press, 2018. ‘Errol refuses to follow his mum. Even when she counts to three.’ Firstly, what a great name for a penguin! Errol! is a very stubborn little Antarctic penguin, and his disobedience frustrates his mother no end. Errol refuses to follow his mum when she calls him, even when she counts to three! One…Two…Three! And still, Errol does not follow his mother. I think every mother and every child can relate to this story, no matter how old they are. Even as adults we would all remember our own mother counting to three and then either walking away without us, or losing it in some other way that isn’t PC to mention these days! Why is Errol not following his mum? Because he has some adventurous ideas of his own! When Errol’s mother thinks she’s lost him under the snow, she cries, but we soon discover that Errol has embarked on his own adventures beneath the surface. Errol soon pops his head back up out of the snow and calls to his mother, then calls again. When she doesn’t respond he tells her he’s going to count to three. Well, this…
I Just Ate My Friend By Heidi McKinnon, Allen & Unwin, 2017. ‘I just ate my friend. He was a good friend. But now he is gone. Would you be my friend?’ I think your child will love I Just Ate My Friend! This hilarious and quirky little book will delight readers of all ages. Even the grown-ups will have a giggle! The main character ate his friend and is searching for a new friend, but what will happen when he does find a new friend? I have it on good authority that the author has never actually eaten any of her friends, nor does she recommend it. Awards Shortlisted for The Crichton Award, 2018. Longlisted for Children’s Picture Book of the Year 2018. Longlisted for Australian Book Industry Awards, 2018. Longlisted for Indie Book Awards – Children’s Fiction, 2018.
Mopoke. By Philip Bunting, Scholastic, 2017. ‘This is a Mopoke. Mopoke loves peace and quiet. He is about to find out that you can’t always get what you want.’ Mopokes love the peace and quiet, but this little mopoke doesn’t really get much of that! Mopoke. is such a funny little story that even adults will enjoy it. Philip Bunting tells a tale with pictures and minimal text, but this book is definitely visually quirky with a hysterical tale to tell. Using as few words as possible, this author-illustrator has enjoyed a play on the word mopoke, and poked all manner of things! This book should become a classic. NB: A mopoke is a southern Australian boobook owl. It is Australia’s smallest and most common owl species. Awards Honours for The Picture Book of the Year 2018 by Children’s Book Council of Australia. Shortlisted for: Crichton Award for New Illustrators 2018 by Children’s Book Council of Australia. Longlisted for: Kate Greenaway Medal 2018. Indie Book Awards. Best Designed Children’s Illustrated Book 2018 by Australian Book Design Awards. Picture Book of the Year 2018 by Australian Book Industry Awards. Finalist for: Best Children’s Books 2017 by The Guardian.
Rodney Loses It! By Michael Gerard Bauer and Chrissie Krebs, Scholastic Australia, 2017. ‘Rodney was a rabbit who loved nothing more than drawing. He never found it tiresome, tedious or boring. But then one day, disaster struck! The one thing Rodney feared, while working at his drawing desk his pen just… DISAPPEARED! ‘ Rodney Loses It! is by far and away one of my favourite reads in a long time. I LOVE THIS BOOK! Rodney loves to draw. He draws all day and all night. However, Rodney finds himself in all sorts of trouble when his favorite pen, Penny, goes missing. Follow Rodney’s journey as he searches high and low for Penny. I also love it when the illustrations show the reader something that the character in the story doesn’t know. Your child will know more than Rodney during this story, which is something that will delight children. A very clever read with a funny surprise ending! Download some teacher’s notes. View some literacy activities. Awards The Book of the Year: Early Childhood 2018 by Children’s Book Council of Australia.
There’s a Magpie in my Soup By Sean Farrar and Pat Kan, Big Spy Publishing, 2016. There’s a Magpie in my Soup takes a very different look at Australian animals. Some little creatures great and small, all over your house they will crawl! Into your soup, into your cake, even into your loo! There are animals everywhere, what do we do? I loved the cover and title of this book, but I felt that the text and subsequent illustrations left me wanting. My 12-year-old niece really enjoyed this book and gave it 10/10 for text, later changing her opinion to 7.5/10. She thinks it is a very smart story, but said, ‘it is smart while not very smart’. Some parts are good but some are boring. She didn’t like it as much as Rodney Loses It! But then again, I think she changed her mind after I shared what I thought of the book. Her first impression was that she loved it. So, there you go…maybe this is a book only the young mind appreciates! Download colouring in sheets for this title. Other titles by this author: There’s a Koala in my Kitchen
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….
Hairy Maclary’s Showbusiness By Lynley Dodd, Mallinson Rendel Publishers, 1991. ‘In Riverside Hall on Cabbage Tree Row, the Cat Club were having their Annual Show.’ Hairy Maclary wreaks havoc when he gatecrashes the local cat show, but who wins first prize? What are the categories for the prize-winning cats? Biggest family, worst temper, longest whiskers, snootiest, fattest and…SCRUFFIEST! Hairy Maclary has survived many adventures and is a really fun little character to follow around. He is still probably one of the most loved dogs in kids picture books today, along with Spot of course. This book is a board book for our youngest readers, but it is also available as a soft cover book. To find more crazy capers of Hairy Maclary, click here!
Possum in the House By Kiersten Jensen and Tony Oliver, Childerset, 1986. ‘There’s a possum in the house and he’s hiding in the pantry.’ Possum finds himself inside the house! Possum is making a terrible mess. No-one can catch possum! We follow Mum and Dad who are chasing a Possum in the House. The house is turned upside down as the possum wreaks havoc through every room of the house, and even finds himself inside the toilet bowl! While the house is destroyed, the possum, leaving behind a trail of destruction, finally comes to rest on the child’s bed. The whole family see him and think he’s cute and cuddly, and they leave him there to rest. This book has lyrical repetition with Mum’s ‘Shriek ‘Shriek’ and Dad’s ‘Oh Drat’. This is a Page-turner book right to the very end when we come to rest on the child’s bed.