Welcome to the March 2020 Children’s Book Roundup! There has never been a greater need to have a home library full of great children’s books. There are titles in this roundup to suit the tastes of a wide range of readers.
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.
Goodnight Glow Worms – Aura Parker
I’m a sucker for a book with a map in the front cover, and it turns out Hannah is too. We spent a good few minutes exploring the map of the Glow Worm’s underground house, which meant Hannah was hooked even before we began reading the story.
From there it only got better. Glow Worms who are unable to wind down at bedtime definitely holds some appeal for a preschool reader. The bright pictures are fun and engaging, and Hannah refused to turn to the next page on several occasions, until she had had a chance to soak it all in. Thankfully, by the end of the book all of the little Glow Worms find their way back to sleep.
There’s a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake – Hazel Edwards and Deborah Niland
An oldies, but a goodie; this book speaks to Hannah. An imaginary hippopotamus that can do whatever he wants? Hannah is all in! The imaginary, the adversities; they all speak Miss 4’s language.
The roof is leaking. I know why there is a hole in our roof. There’s a hippopotamus on our roof eating cake.
The hippopotamus doesn’t like baths. He’s having a shower. The hippopotamus eats cake all the time. Special cake. And watches television. And no one growls at him when he’s naughty.
When the men come to fix the roof, they don’t see the hippopotamus. He climbed down the ladder while the men were having lunch. But he’ll be back tonight.
Bunnies on the Bus – Philip Ardagh and Ben Mantle
“I want a funny, silly book, Dad!”, has been a frequent request at our place, lately. Bunnies on the Bus fits the bill! The bunnies have taken control of the bus and it’s mayhem. This bus doesn’t seem to be stopping for anyone. Turtle is left at the bus stop, waiting with her shopping. The bus zooms past pandas waiting at the crossing, causing their shopping to jump in the air, spinning and a’ tossing.
“Bunnies on the bus! Bunnies on the bus! No wonder there’s a fuss about the bunnies on the bus!”
Big Hug Little Mouse – Lisa Kerr
Millie mouse loves lots of things. Most of all she loves her friends, and she loves hugs. One day she wakes feeling sad. She’s lost her hug. Her friends help her search everywhere. As they each give her their own special hug, Millie begins to smile…and then laugh…and then REALLY laugh. Millie is back.
The Bad Bassinis – Clair Hume and Tom Jellett
The Bassinis are big. The Bassinis are burly. The Bassinis are bad. When these baddest, meanest, roughest dogs in town come across little pup, Pipsqueak, they admire his pep and take him under their wings as an apprentice. But strange things start to happen with Pipsqueak around. First, a poodle stopped to ruffle the pup’s soft little ears. Then a show dog played peak-a-boo. She didn’t seem to notice the Bassini’s growl. The Bassinis had forgotten how nice a friendly face could be.
You can find The Bad Bassinis here.
I Don’t Want To Be Quiet – Laura Ellen Anderson
Being noisy is so much fun! Food is for crunching! Feet are for splashing! Balloons are for popping! But when your noisy game wakes the baby and your chatting and laughing disturbs the class, well, people start to get upset. At the library, the whole room takes offence. “Shhh! No talking please!” Embarrassed, she picks up a book and gives it a look. Soon she is spellbound. Hours have passed and she’s not made a sound. Though inside her head there is lots of noise: magical quests, pirate girls and lost boys.
So what happens when you really take the time to listen to the world around you? She hears birds singing and tweeting and learns so much at school, about numbers and poems and the reign of great kings. She likes being quiet it means she hears more, and there are still lots of places and times to be loud.
Bright and colourful with fun illustrations, I Don’t Want To Be Quiet is fabulous story about taking notice of the quieter things in life.
We Catch The Bus – Katie Abey
There is so much to look at!! In this transport themed book there are all sorts of animals riding all sorts of vehicles in all sorts of weird and wonderful ways. A lion in a ball pit truck? Yes, sir! A horn length competition on the swimming pool carriage of a train? It’s in there! You’ll need at least ten minutes per page to take it all in. It’s lots of fun. Make sure you check out the other books in this series, We Wear Pants and We Eat Bananas, too. Hours of entertainment!
Meet the Planets – Caryl Hart and Bethan Woollvin
Meet the Planets is an energetic, rhyming journey to each of the planets. So blast of in your rocket and go! Meet zippy Mercury, volcanic Venus, the Earth and our moon, then onward. With distinctive lively illustrations, Meet the Planets will appeal to a the little astronauts.
Fantastically Great Women Who Saved The Planet – Kate Pankhurst
This is a brightly illustrated collection of stories about women who have made their mark studying, conserving and protecting the planet. Read about Jane Goodall’s work that changed the way we think about chimpanzees and ourselves. As well as the fascinating study by Inge Borgbeling about how bees can tell the time. It also explains Maria Telkes’s Dover Sunhouse which used phase change materials to store the sun’s energy and release it when we need it for heating. (Don’t worry, unlike my own attempts, it is successfully addressed in the book without using the words “phase change material”). Reading about the female team that made it happen, from architecture to funding to the technology itself, is marvellous.
Each double page spread is dedicated to a different women and her contribution. It is bright, colourful and engaging, including illustrations of the women in action. Emma’s particular favourite is the speech bubble emanating from the picture of geologist Ursula Marvin: “At university my professor told me I should learn how to cook instead.” Let’s hope our attitudes have evolved since then!
This is a great new addition to the Fantastically Great Women Who Changed The World series.
Bluey: Bob Bilby
Based on the tv episode by the same name, but the book is told by Bob Bilby himself.
It is Bingo’s turn to take the puppet, Bob Bilby, home from Kindy to take photos of the fun things they get up to and paste them in his book. It doesn’t take long before Bingo and Bob Bilby (and sister, Bluey) are watching cartoons, before arriving at the shops…where they watch more cartoons. As mum is pasting the photos of Bob’s time with them on the book, the girls realise they didn’t really do much else. They didn’t do anything fun. Luckily there is still time to fix that.
Peppa Pig: Peppa Loves Our Planet
It’s Love Our Planet Week at playgroup. Peppa and her friends are making a scrapbook about all the things we can do to look after our planet. Peppa and George collect the vegie peels from dinner for Grandpa to use on his compost. Delighted, Grandpa gives them a flower box for the window, and the bees and butterflies visit to help plants make seeds. Off to the shops they take their reusable shopping bags and George’s job is to remind them to turn off the lights in their home. Peppa has lots of ways to look after the planet in her Love Our Planet scrapbook.
Peppa Pig: Super Peppa!
It’s All About Me week at playgroup and the children are to dress up as what they want to be when the grow up. But poor Peppa, she simply does not know. As she returns home, she watches Mummy Pig write a story. She finds that, with a little self belief, she can write great stories too. Next, with a bit of practice, she is a great muddy-puddle-jumper like Daddy Pig. With some hard work, she a super at a great many things, just like Mrs Rabbit. So what will she dress up as now that she knows that if you believe in yourself, practice and work hard you can be super at anything? Super Peppa!
Scribble Witch: Notes in Class: Book 1 – Inky Willis
Molly is in class with her best friend Chloe. They are supposed to be writing a plan for their pirate stories. Instead, Molly and Chloe are writing notes back and forth, trying to work out how to spell ‘treasure’. Then Chloe drops a bombshell. She’s leaving school. Molly is shocked and sad. Shocked-sad. As she picks up a dictionary she had dropped on the floor, a page floats out. It was a scrap of notepaper with something drawn on it. A scribble, doodly little witch. She looked friendly and smiley. As Molly cut her out and put her into her pencil pot, still reeling from Chloe’s news, Molly thought “You can be my friend.”, And then she forgot about her because, let’s face it, she wasn’t real. She wasn’t. And then, somehow, she was…
A lively and engaging new book. Fun from start to finish.
Aussie Kids: Meet Eve in the Outback – Raewyn Caisley and Karen Blair
Aussie Kids: Meet Katie at the Beach – Rebecca Johnson and Lucia Masciullo
This month we have the next pair of books in the Aussie Kids series.
In Meet Eve in the Outback, cousin Will is coming to visit with Nan. Eve lives at Nowhere Roadhouse, Nullarbor Plain, Western Australia. Eve loves Nowhere and she is excited for Will to visit but she is worried he will be…underwhelmed. He lives beside a river with dolphins, after all. While they are driving to her neighbour’s place (forty minutes away), a camel goes galumphing past and Eve realises she needn’t have worried.
In Meet Katie at the Beach, Kate lives in a high rise tower opposite a beach in Queensland. He family is getting together a picnic to take across the road to the beach to have a play and a swim. Katie has a wobbly tooth and it is sore – it is ready to come out. She is not so sure she is keen on the beach, while she is feeling this way, but her family’s beach day soon cheers her up…until her wobbly tooth comes out and goes missing at the beach!
Hannah has taken a liking to these early readers. They have been a great introduction to chapter books. (They do still have a few pictures here and there.) The stories offer an insight into different kids’ lives and are very relatable. The kids in this series just a little older than Hannah, which makes their lives just that much more exciting, grown up and intriguing for her. She has certainly had a lot of questions for us about the process of loosing teeth, since reading Meet Katie at the Beach!
Pests – Emer Stamp
Stix is a mouse. He probably lives behind your washing machine, but you’d never know it because his grandma taught him to always stay out of trouble and NEVER let the humans know he’s there. But Stix has just stumbled upon some new friends (with the handy acronym of PESTS), and like many kids, Stix is more interested in fitting in than following his grandma’s old-fashioned rules. He’s about to make a real pest out of himself…
If the glow-in-the-dark cover and pest test at the front of the book aren’t enough to immediately grab the attention of the young reader in your house, the entertaining storyline should be.
Squidge Dibley Destroys Everything – Mick Elliott
For some reason, Mick Elliott seems to think that the way to engage kids is to think up the most disgusting and outrageous scenarios possible. He may just be on to something!
Squidge Dibley is a celebration of child humour. The warning on the front cover – “too gross for grown-ups!” should provide some kind of a clue as to the no holds barred approach to child entertainment. The main character, Squidge Dibley, is certainly unique. He is blessed with powers unlike any other human, but to call them super would be a bit of a stretch. Still, the ability to fart one’s way through the roof of the school hall could come in handy… possibly…
Squidge Dibley Destroys Everything is an absolute blast. I thoroughly enjoyed hanging up my adult hat for a little while and enjoying the story through my 10-year-old lens. Primary school me would have loved it!
Wayside School: Beneath the Cloud of Doom – Louis Sachar and Tim Heitz
Schools can be tricky places, but Wayside School seems to have more than it’s fair share of problems. You might think that The Ultimate Test is more than enough for any kid to have to deal with (fiendishly difficult Spelling Bee, upside-down singing and blindfolded smelling…), but then there is the threat of rainbow stew for lunch. Oh, and a CLOUD OF DOOM is gathering above the school… Perhaps all of this is to be expected when your classroom is on the thirtieth floor of the school.
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!