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Book reviews: new picture books for Littlies

There are lots of great rhyming books for the under 8 years. This selection of new books will make great bed-time reads. 

A Pair of Pears and an Orange

written and illus. by Anna McGregor, pub. Scribble, a Scribe Publications imprint. h/b RRP$24.99 Ages 3+

This delightful book is the perfect gift for a child, especially those who are grappling with friendships at school. Big Pear and Little Pear love playing together but when they have Orange join their games Big Pear feels left out. Big Pear goes to join another group of Peas jumping rope, but Big Pear finds that although she enjoyed playing with the Peas and she learned some new games, she missed her friends Little Pear and Orange. Happily, they resumed their friendships and Big Pear taught them all the new games she had learnt–that were perfect for three.

Watch the trailer here

Rosie the Rhinoceros

by Jimmy Barnes illus. by Matt Shanks, pub. HarperCollinsChildren’sBooks h/b RRP$19.99 Ages 3+

From the award-winning author and rock legend Jimmy Barnes, this is his second children’s book. The back story to this little book is very sweet as he talks about his granddaughter Rosie (a big girl for her 2 ½ years) playing with her cousin. Could she be Rosie the rhinoceros? NO! Rosie wanted to be a Unicorn. Then as Jimmy puts in a note ‘Rosie, who plays like a rhinoceros in a China shop, obviously thought she was more like a Unicorn and didn’t ever want to be called a rhinoceros.’

‘When Elly told me this story, I could see a whole book laid out in front of me.’

His book is set with African animals with Rosie up at dawn welcoming them to the wonderful day. She can’t understand why they all call her little rhinoceros when she is a unicorn – can’t they see she’s a Unicorn?

Matt Shanks drawings of the animals are simple and Rosie leaps around from page to page letting everyone know how light-footed she is. She’s a Unicorn!

There’s a Ghost in this House

by Oliver Jeffers, pub. HarperCollins h/b RRP$29.99 Ages 3+

Born in Northern Ireland the author Oliver Jeffers lives and works in New York. He’s a visual artist working in painting, bookmaking, and other forms, with many of his books being translated into over 50 languages. As the illustrator of this book, Jeffer’s uses his original artwork in exhibition at many large institutions.

There’s a Ghost in this House is unusual, as no expense has been spared to produce a book about ghosts in a house where interleaved tracing paper pages hide the ghosts. A little girl welcomes you to her home and asked you to help her find the ghost in her house. She’s not even sure what it looks like and to make the story so interesting, the interleaving, see through pages have cleverly hidden ghosts that appear as you turn each page.

In this unique picture book, a little girl asks you about ghosts: Are they white with holes for eyes? Are they hard to see?

Watch the trailer here

Horrible Harriet and the Terrible Tantrum

written & illus.by Leigh Hobbs, pub. Allen & Unwin h/b RRP$24.99 Ages 5-8

This new picture book celebrates Horrible Harriet’s 20th birthday.

What’s green, has three eyes, and lives in a cage by Horrible Harriet’s bed?
And what happens when it goes missing…?

This time she decides to be a good girl, but she’s overtaken by events, when a terrible tantrum breaks loose. All readers will love this, with its laugh-out-loud situations and its crazy illustrations. Another great book from a former Australian Children’s Laureate (2016-17).

Dally & Dash Go to the Bush

By Lisa Holt illus. Nandina Vines, pub. Little Steps p/b, RRP$19.95 Ages 3-8

“What shall we do today?

Let’s go to the bush, says Dally.

We’ll have lots of fun along the way.”

Beautifully illustrated, this rhyming tale tells of two dogs, a Dalmatian and Dachshund, who spend their day in the bush exploring and greeting the Aussie animals and insects as they adventure ‘along their way’.

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editor@childmags.com.au