Looking for fun new books to share with your child? Look no further!
Ages 6 to 8 / February 27, 2017

Florette By Anna Walker, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company, 2018. Nature loving Mae moves with her family from her beloved home and garden to a big crowded city. This story gives us a reflective look at the difference between city and country living. Mae is nostalgic about her former home and sad about moving to the city because of all the buildings and concrete and lack of nature, until one day she finds Florette, a forest (garden store) in the heart of the city. Mae plucks a tiny shoot from the sidewalk outside Florette, takes it home and plants it…and this is the beginning of her very own garden. Mae continues to make her part of the grey city green and beautiful, just like her old garden. Her life becomes brighter, and the new plants allow her to accept the changes that she has had to endure by moving house. This book may show your child how they too can find a creative solution to improve their own environment. Anne Walker’s illustrations are stylised and soft, drawing the reader into the intricacies of Mae’s life and her perspective on it. There are loads of items of interest on every page…

Cover of a book showing a young girl wearing a party hat carrying her younger sibling through a house littered with cleaning items
Hattie Helps Out
Ages 3 to 5 , Ages 6 to 8 / February 24, 2016

Hattie Helps Out By Jane Godwin, Davina Bell and Freya Blackwood, Allen and Unwin, 2016. ‘It’s a busy day at Hattie’s house. There’s a lot to do before Dad’s birthday party. Hattie is being very helpful, until it’s time for her afternoon nap. Hattie’s not even sleepy! But Mama looks tired. Very tired…’ Hattie has some very big ideas about helping Mama out with the party preparations. One day Hattie Helps Out at home. She is a great helper around the house until it is time for a nap. Hattie says she is too old to sleep in the daytime, but Mama insists. Who falls asleep, do you think? Mama falls asleep, and Hattie watches her for a while before deciding that she will help out greatly by ticking off the list of things Mama had said she needed to do before the party. Meanwhile, baby Lottie, Hattie’s younger sibling, has been sleeping in the washing basket while Hattie and Mama were having their rest in bed. Hattie slips seamlessly into the roleplay of mother of the house as she tidies and arranges, and even complains of not having ‘time for a crying baby today’. The authors have perfectly captured…

Marlo Can Fly
Ages 3 to 5 , Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / June 1, 2013

Marlo Can Fly By Robert Vescio and Sandra Temple, Wombat Books, 2013. Everyone expects Marlo to fly, but she would rather slither like a snake, hop like a kangaroo and swim like a crocodile. But when someone needs her help, can she still rise to the challenge? I don’t know about you, but I love a magpie…and what a delightful little magpie story this is. Marlo Can Fly is about Marlo Magpie, a little bird who just wanted to be different. Marlo thinks she doesn’t need to fly like the other birds, so instead she sings through the forest. Marlo really wants to be different. Kandy the kookaburra tries to explain that Marlo is a bird, and birds fly…it’s just what they do. Marlo meets several Australian animals and reptiles in the bush and tries to mimic their movements, but fails each time. Then she meets Kev the baby koala who has lost his mother and really needs Marlo’s help. How does Marlo help little Kev? Read Marlo Can Fly and find out! This story encourages kids to explore and discover themselves to find out who they really are and where they fit in this world.

Cover of a book showing a blonde kid in a store with a glue pot and brush and a cat on a ladder with the same
Mum and Dad Glue
Ages 3 to 5 , Ages 6 to 8 , Award Winners / October 1, 2009

Mum and Dad Glue By Kes Gray and Lee Wildish, Hodder Children’s Books, 2000. ‘A little boy searches for a pot of parent glue to stick his mum and dad’s marriage back together. But he soon realises that even though his parents may be broken, their love for him is not.’ Mum and Dad Glue is a clever rhyming story of the little boy’s journey to the realisation that, while he can’t put his parents back together, he can still be happy. In the early pages, the illustrations show cracks through everything; the car, the soccer ball, the skateboard, the house, and the brick wall. The words read, ‘Mum and dad are broken…’ The little boy engages on a mission to find a glue that he can use to fix his parents. You can feel the desperation of the child who is frantically trying to think of ways to mend his parent’s marriage. The gentle rhyme helps in softening an often difficult and painful subject for your child. A common thing that we see with children of broken marriages is that the child often blames themselves. This little boy is no different. He battles with wondering if he is the…

Cover of a book with a photograph of a magpie on a branch
Magpie’s Gift
Ages 3 to 5 , Ages 6 to 8 , Australiana / October 1, 2005

Magpie’s Gift By Rebecca Johnson and Steve Parish, Pascal Press, 2006. Mr Magpie searches high and low for items that he can give to Mrs Magpie to help build a nest. Magpie’s Gift brings us a lovely magpie story. I really quite enjoyed this story, even though it is a bit twee, but it also quite sweet. Mr Magpie finds a piece of blue wool that he wants to give to Mrs Magpie as a gift for her nest, but a bowerbird gets to it first. A friendly numbat advises Mr Magpie that he should try asking the bowerbird for the wool, but says he should take something blue to exchange for the wool. Mr Magpie takes a blue clothes peg and manages to succeed in obtaining the blue wool for his wife. I think there is some gender confusion as sometimes on pages talking about Mrs Magpie, a male magpie is photographed. Overall a sweet story with great pictures of magpies.  

Cover of a book showing a sad girl in a paper boat looking at a single red floating leaf
The Red Tree
Ages 6 to 8 / October 1, 2001

The Red Tree By Shaun Tan, Hachette Australia, 2001. ‘sometimes the day begins with nothing to look forward to’ The Red Tree is a beautifully illustrated story about depression. The story opens with a little girl sitting up in bed. She is sad and brown leaves fall in her room, and then so many dead leaves fill her room so that you can’t see her bed anymore. There is one bright red leaf in each picture though. A leaf of hope. She just can’t see the red, living leaf, but this leaf offers a good look-and-find element to the book. She is overwhelmed by her feelings of sadness and depression. She walks the streets with her head hung low and the weight of the world on her shoulders. The world appears to reflect her sadness and hopelessness. She is engulfed in turmoil, and she watches all the wonderful things passing her by. She feels so lost until suddenly she sees the red leaf, that glimmer of hope, and it grows and grows and grows. Download the Teacher Resource.

Cover of a book with an illustration of a magpie in a tree
Waddle Giggle Gargle!
Ages 3 to 5 , Australiana / November 1, 1996

Waddle Giggle Gargle! By Pamela Allen, Puffin Books, 1996. ‘Waddle giggle gargle paddle poodle’ shouts the magpie. Waddle Giggle Gargle! tells the story of how Grandma, Grandpa, and Jonathon struggle to get past the dive-bombing magpie to get to where they’re going until they have an idea! They live in a little blue house at the end of the street and have to pass a magpie on their way to work, the library and school. The magpie is protecting its next from any danger, and Grandma, Grandpa, and Jonathon seem to get into all sorts of swooping trouble. There is some rhythm to the text, and a little repetition. The words the magpie repeats, ‘waddle giggle gargle paddle poodle’ is quite cute. Grandma, Grandpa, and Jonathon come up with a wonderful solution to keep the swooping magpie away. An endearing Australian story.