Welcome to the March 2019 Children’s Book Roundup! This month we have some brilliant books from some of our all-time favourite authors and illustrators, including: Jane Goodwin, Meg McKinlay, Nick Bland and Julia Donaldson. It’s fair to say we’ve been spoilt for choice!
Disclosure – these books were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge for the March 2019 Children’s Book Roundup. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.
Ivanhoe Swift Left Home at Six – Jane Godwin and A. Yi
Six year old Ivanhoe Swift yearned to see the world and so with the map from his wall and his kite in the sky so his parents could see where he was, off he went, his mother’s song at his back as he left: “Go well as you travel my little love, over the world as you roam…but if you grow weary and tire of your journey then let the sea bring you home”
Along his journey Ivanhoe saw a great many things and met people. Some were lovely, like Maisie Jane who joined him on part of his adventure in rivers and fields, and others were not so nice or friendly. As he reaches the sea Ivanhoe is cold and wet. His kite is swept away. There is nothing left in his bag and his map is soggy. Feeling lonely, Ivanhoe wondered about Maisie Jane and worried about his parents now that they couldn’t see his kite. As he whispers his mum’s song, soon he is home again.
Circle – Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen
Circle, Triangle and Square are playing hide and seek, with a rule: no hiding behind the waterfall – it is dark back there. But Triangle does hide behind the waterfall and Circle goes to find Triangle. Who else does Circle find in the dark?
Circle is the third and final chapter of this quirky and clever shapes trilogy.
Cocoon – Aura Parker
Dawn and her friends have a plan. Eat as many leaves as you can and then weave a cocoon. Two weeks later…TA DA, you’re a moth with wings to fly! Easy peasy! But is it?
Well, the cocoon making is a bit tricky- all that looping, threading and spinning is fiddly with sticky threads, but Dawn perseveres and her cocoon is made. Once inside the cocoon, things seem to be taking a long time. Still no wings and not much to do. There are no friends in the cocoon and no leaves to munch on a Dawn gets bored. Negative thoughts start to overcome her. What if her wings grow wonky, or flippety or not at all? What if she never gets to chase the lights with her friends that she misses so? Then Dawn notices some light and thinks that maybe, just maybe, everything will be all right. Soon she has sprouted some tiny wings in her cocoon and is making her own fun- making up really great songs, dancing, practicing wing strengthening exercises, styling her new fluffy feelers and, best of all, imagining soaring in to the lights. With her wings growing so fast Dawn has a realisation. The plan never mentioned how to get out of the cocoon. Soon Dawn has this sorted too and joins her friends to fly.
Cocoon is a brightly colourful and beautifully illustrated children’s book that takes you on a journey and is a joy to read. The story of everyday adversity and the value of perseverance, problem solving for overcoming challenges is a valuable message. It is a beautiful reflection of the resilience that I hope to be instilling in Hannah. What’s more it is a lot of fun. Don’t forget to spot all things hidden in the inside cover illustrations.
Let Me Sleep, Sheep – Meg McKinlay and Leila Rudge
Amos was settling down for the night, counting sleep to help himself fall asleep. Then suddenly, there was a loud thud. And then another. “Not again!” said the first sheep. The sheep were in his room. They were not happy at being constantly disrupted to feature in people’s sheep counting habits. Now they’ve decided they’re not leaving until they have been provided with an officially approved fence to jump over. Amos sets to work. The first is too low, then too high. Too wobbly, too hard, too thirsty (they’ll need a drink at the finish line), too boring. Finally built to the sheep’s satisfaction, the sheep insists that Amos test it first. Amos jumps, and jumps, and jumps, until he was so tired he could no longer keep his eyes open. “No stamina!” comments a sheep!.
Let me Sleep, Sheep is a clever and fun take on counting sheep from one of our favourite authors.
Along Came A Different – Tom McLaughlin
This is a story about Reds. They love being red. They wear red hats, sing red songs and eat red apples. It is also about Yellows that love being yellow and Blues that love being blue. The Reds, Yellows and Blues are so different that they just can’t get along. They set some ground rules so they can co-exist and that works for a while, each happy in their own space. Then, quite unexpectedly some other differents came along. “I like your blue bow tie” and “I wish I had a red hat like yours”, they say. Suddenly, the rules didn’t seem to matter anymore. The differents all start to feel a lot happier and discovered they do agree on something after all: being different is the best thing ever!
Using simple, vibrant illustrations, this thought-provoking story of diversity, inclusion and friendship shows just how much better things can be when we all come together to find common ground as friends.
The Three Billy Goats Gruff – Nick Bland
From the author and illustrator of the Very Cranky Bear series, Nick Bland, The Three Billy Goats Gruff is a lovely introduction to classic fairy tales.
Three billy goats named Gruff need to cross a bridge to get to where the sweetest grass grows. But under the bridge lives a great ugly troll. Will he gobble them up?
Amazing Transport – Journey through the history of transport – Tom Jackson and Chris Mould
From ships to spacecraft, bikes to balloons, Amazing Transport has it all. Illustrated with intricate line drawings, learn about all sorts of transport of historic significance. There is the “unsinkable” Titanic, the Montgolfier’s first hot air balloon, and the touch down of Russian probe, Luna 9 on the moon.
The Go-Away Bird – Julia Donaldson and Catherine Rayner
We have many well-loved Julia Donaldson books in our house, and The Go-Away Bird has immediately joined their ranks.
The Go-Away bird has set up her nest. One-by-one birds fly into her tree, wanting to chat, share a meal and play, but the Go-Away bird sends them away. “Go away! Go away! Go away!” But when the Get-You bird comes along, Go-Away bird realises she may need some friends after all.
Hannah loves this book. From the beautiful illustrations that draw you in, to the wonderful story line, to the catchy, rhyming text (and especially the “Go away! Go away! Go away!”) this is a children’s picture book of the highest quality, bringing great enjoyment with every reading. An instant favourite.
The Book Chook – Amelia McInerney and Connah Brecon
When Ray discovers he is a drawing of chicken and not a real chicken, he panics! He tries all sorts of ways to get out of the book with your help. Can you flap him out of the book, shout him out of the book, pull him out of he book. But soon Ray realises his life as book chook is actually pretty great and settles down to love his lot in life.
The Book Chook is a funny and silly tale – fun to read aloud.
What the Fluffy Bunny said to the Hungry Hippo – P. Crumble and Chris Saunders
It’s time for an egg hunt and the Fluffy Bunny is leading the way. “Follow me!”
Fluffy Bunny accumulates a menagerie of animals as he quests just that little bit farther to find the magnificent eggs. Just how many adjectives and verbs will be used (to describe the eggs and the process of finding them) before the eggs are found?! It is bound to expand your little one’s vocabulary!
I Love My Mum Because – Petra James and Alissa Dinallo
I Love My Mum Because is an interactive picture book, perfect with sharing with mum on Mothers’ Day, any special occasion or just because. Draw, decorate, colour in and count your way through the book and let your mum know just how much you love her.