Winter is here! What better way to spend an afternoon indoors then under a blanket, reading fantastic new picture books to dolls (and Hannah). Welcome to the June 2019 Children’s Book Roundup. There is plenty here to enjoy…
Disclosure – these books were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge for the June 2019 Children’s Book Roundup. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.
Horatio Squeak – Karen Fixlee and Evie Barrow
“He wore tiny glasses and a teeny blue tie
He spoke in a whisper and was ever so shy
The youngest of twelve he was timid and slight
But he was always, ALWAYS, very polite.
So you might not believe
That a mouseling so weak
Could perform an incredible feat.”
When Horatio is invited to a party in the attic he is apprehensive. When he arrives to find he was invited by cats he is very unsure indeed. However, ever polite, Horatio stays and finds he has a great time. But when he sees something he knows to be wrong, will he find his voice? Will he be strong?
Beautifully illustrated, Horatio Squeak is a wonderful rhyming tale that shows just how important one small voice can be.
Julian is a Mermaid – Jessica Love
Julian is on the train with his Nana when three mesmerising women dressed up as mermaids board, on their way to a festival. Julian is mesmerised. All he can think of is becoming a mermaid himself. What will his Nana think?
Julian is Mermaid is a sheer unadulterated joy to read. The captivating illustrations and understated text are perfection.
I Don’t Want To Be Small – Laura Ellen Anderson
This little boy wants to be tall like his friends and big brother. Fed up and mad with being small, he tosses his teddy into a tree and, of course, he can’t get it down. Not even his tall new friend can reach teddy…until they work together.
This is a fun story about the frustrations of being little, friendship and learning to love who you are.
A Mouse Called Julian – Joe Todd-Stanton
Julian the mouse likes to keep to himself. He has become quite adept at dodging the animals above ground (who try to eat him) and avoiding the animals below ground (who get in his way). One day, though, it is different and Julian has an unexpected dinner guest – a fox – and Julian is to be dinner. The pair form an unlikely friendship, but will Julian become a meal after all?
A Mouse Called Julian, is written in the style of a classic tale and is beautifully illustrated.
Maple the Brave – Chloe Jasmine Harris
Maple lives in a small house in the trees, high above the forest. She is terrified of almost everything, particularly the fierce creature lurking below on the forest floor. When her food and water source dries up, she must venture to the forest below. In the endless maze of soaring trees she feels overwhelmed. Soon the animals arrive… but they are not the scary beasts she had imagined. Through her adventures and experiences she learns and grows and returns home, more than she was before.
Research conducted by Victoria University reveals that only 17 per cent of kids’ books on the Dymocks bestseller lists have female protagonists, as mentioned in the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, 6 June 2019. Indeed, in the top 100 Australian picture books published in 2017, only 23% had a female lead character. It was more common for books to have no lead character than a female lead character! We need more books like Maple the Brave!
On My Way – Sophie Masson and Simon Howe
A pig chasing a wig and a goat rowing a boat; Mumma sees nothing unusual about that. But a girl on a bike and a boy on a trike has Mumma dashing her daughter inside to safety! So what is it about this mother daughter duo that makes this so?
On My Way is a sweetly illustrated, simple rhyming story that captures the imagination.
You can find On My Way here.
Now That’s a Hat! – Heath McKenzie
Fun and funny, Now That’s a Hat is illustrated in Heath McKenzie’s distinctive style. With its bouncing, rhyming text, it is simply a lot of fun to read. You won’t begrudge your little one for pulling this one down off the shelf to read again and again.
You can find Now That’s a Hat! here.
My Book (Not Yours): Lento and Fox – Ben Sanders
Lento has a big story to tell…right after he has a nap. But if you snooze, you lose. In comes Fox and steals the show. So ensues banter as Lento and Fox tussle for story telling space. A fun story about a bewildered sloth and a sly fox that keeps stealing the limelight.
Goat on a Boat – Nick Dent and Suzanne Houghton
Food is scarce on the sheep’s’ island so when the speck on the horizon turns in to a boat carrying a smallish brown goat and that boat comes aground, Bighorn Bill has something to say. “We must stop the goats! For if we let one on the island of Joxx, then others will follow – they travel in flocks.” (Channelling a certain Australian politician, perhaps?) So what happens when one bold voice from the flock does welcome the goat ashore?
You can find Goat on a Boat here.
Miss Franklin: How Miles Franklin’s Brilliant Career Began – Libby Hathorn and Phil Lesnie
This beautiful picture book tells the story of iconic Australian writer Stella Miles Franklin during the period that she wrote her first book. As a teenager, with her family experiencing money problems, she takes a post as a governess on a property near Yass. She is unhappy, longing to become a famous writer. During her time teaching her charges on the Yass property she meets Imp, a feisty orphan girl. Each has an impact on the other, with Stella teaching Imp to write and, ultimately, Imp spurring Stella on to follow her dreams and write her first novel.
The emotive illustrations aptly capture both the story between these two girls and the essence of this part of the Australian countryside.
You can find Miss Franklin: How Miles Franklin’s Brilliant Career Began on the Hachette website.
The Second Adventures of Princess Peony – Natte Hilton and Lucinda Gifford
In this second instalment of Princess Peony, Peony’s brother wants her to prove she is a real princess by kissing a frog to turn it in to a prince. There is a kiss and a frog, but perhaps not the way you expect!
This witty series will capture the heart of young readers. Princess Peony shows us just how much fun, and how useful, a strong imagination can be!
Everest – Alexandra Stewart and Joe Todd-Stanton
Everest tells of Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay’s quest to scale mount Everest over fifty years ago. It is a story of grit and determination, and encompasses the context of world events in which these two men, a small-town beekeeper and a former yak herder, set about scaling the mountain to ‘the roof of the world’. Beautifully illustrated and set out, with sections detailing the men’s’ humble background, the landscape of the race for Everest during that era, as well as the treacherous conditions, Everest is captivating. It is also bound to be a wonderful resource for school-aged children.
Science You Can Eat – Stefan Gates
Science You Can Eat is full of fun little food-related activities, experiments and facts. You can find out how smell works and test out your senses on a range of foods to see if you can identify different types of smells. You can make a bottle vortex – a whirlpool in a soft drink bottle. You can also find about foods darker side – poisons, intolerances and allergies. There is much more in there too, of course. Science You Can Eat will keep your primary schoolers engaged, learning and having fun independently, and there is plenty there to do with the toddlers too.