Welcome to the April 2020 Children’s Book Roundup! We still have at least a few more weeks stuck inside, so why not check out some of these brilliant children’s books released in April to keep your little ones entertained! They might even learn a thing or two…
Disclosure – these books were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge for the Children’s Book Roundup. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.
How to be a Pirate – Isaac Fitzgerald and Brigette Barrager
“You can’t be a pirate!” the boys shout down to CeCe. CeCe was mad. Who were those boys to say she couldn’t be a pirate? They had probably never even been on a boat. But CeCe knew somebody who had. “Grandpa, what’s it like to be a pirate?” asks CeCe. And so Grandpa tells here. Pirates are brave. They seek out adventure and aren’t afraid of obstacles. Pirates are quick. They are ready to react to danger at any moment. Pirates have fun and they are independent. And the most important thing a person can have, pirate or not, is love. With that CeCe ran, her feet swift and her heart strong, back to the boys with the pirate game.
Peppa Pig: Peppa’s Play Date
Peppa is having a play date at her house. Mandy Mouse and Pandora and Peggi the Panda twins are coming. Daddy Pig lays out all of the craft things on the table. Mummy Pig sets up all of the games in the living room. When Peggi, Pandora and Mandy arrive, the want to play in the garden. They play princesses, pirates and giants, and have snacks in the garden. They stay in the garden all day. When it’s time to go home, Peppa says “But we didn’t do your crafts, Daddy, or play Mummy’s games.” “Can I have my friends over for a play date tomorrow Mummy?”, she asks. “Err, how about next week?”, says Mummy Pig, looking at the mess. “Or you could go to Mandy’s house for a play date?” suggests Daddy Pig. Well, isn’t that a wonderful idea!!
To the Bridge: The Journey of Lennie and Ginger Mick – Corinne Fenton and Andrew McLean
When Lennie’s dad breaks his leg, he is away in a Melbourne hospital for months. Lennie steps in to take care of the farm, rising early each morning to feed the chickens, chop firewood and milk cows. Then he would plough the fields, all day long. Finally Lennie’s dad returns home. He is so impressed and thinks Lennie deserves a reward. Lennie had been watching the progress building Australia’s biggest bridge. He checked the newspaper each day. Could he ride his pony, Ginger Mick, to Sydney to see the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, he asked.
On 3rd February 1932, Lennie and Ginger Mick, both nine years old, set off from Leongatha to ride six hundred miles to Sydney. Along the way, bushfires raged and some days were long and hard, but thirty-three days after leaving Leongatha, Lennie rode Ginger Mick down George Street in Sydney.
The illustrations in To The Bridge capture the essence of the Australian bush countryside and 1930s Sydney wonderfully.
Slow Down: Bring Calm to a Busy World With 50 Nature Stories – Rachel Williams and Freya Hartas
“All around us, nature is working wonders. Every day, hour by hour, magical transformations happen right in front of you. But it’s not always easy to see them…”
Slow down consists of 50 nature stories, paused just long enough for you to watch them unfold. Each story is a beautifully illustrated, informative double page spread. We see how a bee pollinates a flower, learn about the phases of the moon and the names of clouds. We see poppies bloom in a field and watch a ladybird take to the air. There is so much to ponder and learn. It is sure to make you want to slow down and get outside into nature.
Super Sporty Girls: Be Inspired and Celebrate Australia’s Amazing Sportswomen
Super Sporty Girls follows a young Aussie girl as she explores what her sporting passion may be. Along the way she considers a full range of sports and learns about the Aussie sportswomen at the top of these fields: Caroline Buchanan (BMX and mountain bike rider), Ashleigh Barry (tennis) and Moana Hope (AFL).
Dugong Magic – Deborah Kelly and Lisa Stewart
Ahh sea cows…aren’t they great, implausible, wonderful things! Dugong Magic follows the life of a dugong born in the warm waters of a shallow bay. Alas, though a serene, magical start to life, there are dangers to be faced. Not just sharks, but humans. Their rubbish flows in to the sea, making the water cloudy, there is not enough sunlight for the seagrass to grow. The calf grows hungry. Boats rush and roar around the bay. Mum become trapped in the fishermans’ net. The calf is alone.
What if humans freed the sea from nets? What if we cleared it of rubbish so that seagrass could flourish again? What if we learned to move our boats slowly and carefully through warm shallow waters?
Dugong Magic shines a light on humans’ impact on these magical creatures and calls us all to action. The water colour illustrations are mesmerising.
The Little Engine That Could – Watty Piper, reimagined by Dan Santat
When a little engine breaks down on the tracks, she is unable to carry her load of food and toys over the mountain to the children waiting in the town on the other side. One by one, other engines come along but none will help to complete the task. The Shiny New Engine is above such a lowly task, the Passenger Engine is too important too, the Rusty Old Engine is too weary. What about the Little Blue Engine? Well she is small and has never been over the mountain, but she will try. “I think I can, I think I can…” And she chugs right over that hill.
A classic tale showing the power of determination and kindless. This reimagined version has lovely illustrations to boot.
Rocky and Louie – Phil Walleystack, Raewyn Caisley and Dub Leffler
Brotherly love is a special thing, and for Louie there is nothing better than spending time with his big brother, Rocky. Rocky teaches Louey about football, land and culture. They do everything together and that is just the way Louie wants it to be for ever. But Rocky has big dreams. And Rocky needs to follow his dreams. This is difficult for Louie to understand and accept, but finally he comes to accept that his brother is going. Louie pours his love into making the most special of gifts for his brother.
Rocky and Louie is a beautiful story, with artwork equal to the text.
Computer Coding for Kids – Carol Vorderman
Has there ever been a better time for a book like this? With kids all over Australia housebound, now is the perfect time to learn some new skills. With coding now part of school curriculums, the skills taught through this book are not just a whole load of fun, they are also important!
Computer Coding for Kids is a great introduction to the sometimes daunting world of coding. It explains the basics of block-based and text-based coding in an easy to follow and engaging way. Once the basics are mastered, young computer coders can move on to some simple game and animation projects. What could be better than building your own computer game?
Parents who read inspire children to read. Reading regularly in front of your children and to your children is powerful, really powerful. In our house, Kobo eReaders have been the device of choice for a long time. Unlike a tablet or phone, Hannah knows that when we are holding the Kobo, we are reading from a book. And as a platform for reading, the Kobo is brilliant! Look out for our review of the Kobo Forma, coming soon!