Animalphabet Children's book roundup November 2018 Blog

November 2018 Children’s Book Roundup

We are steamrolling towards the end of the year now! November might be done and dusted, but it’s well worth looking back at some of the brilliant children’s books that were released during the month. With Christmas shopping under way, perhaps one or two of these might find their way under your Christmas Tree. Take a look at the November 2108 Children’s Book Roundup.

The Tales of Mr Walker – Jess Black and Sara Acton

The Tales of Mr Walker

The Tales of Mr Walker is a book with pictures, but it is not a picture book as such. It is Hannah’s very first chapter book. Hannah loves stories and she is now able to follow plots, as well as recount and predict what may happen next, so I’m excited to introduce her to a short chapter book.

The Tales of Mr Walker contains four short chapter stories centring around Mr Walker, an adventurous Guide Dog Ambassador. We meet Mr Walker on his way to the park. Except he isn’t going to the park at all. Much to his surprise, he is going to The Park Hyatt Melbourne. A few misunderstandings and a few mishaps ensue and by the end of the first story Mr Walker will have surely found a place in your heart. Luckily this book has another three Mr Walker stories, so you and your little one can continue to follow Mr Walker’s adventures with a mystery guest, a garden surprise and finding a home.

Inspired by the real life Mr Walker, a Guide Dog Ambassador who now calls Park Hyatt Melbourne home, this book is sure to delight your little one (and you will have plenty of fun reading it to them too).

You can find The Tales of Mr Walker on the Penguin website.


ABC What Can She Be? – Sugar Snap Studio

ABC What Can She Be

ABC What Can She Be? is filled with just some of the amazing things that girls can be when they grow up. As we work our way through the alphabet we come across gymnast and hairstylist as well as neurosurgeon and quantum physicist. The colourful pages of this book show bright, bold and highly engaging illustrations of women doing a great range of interesting vocations. ABC What Can She Be? is bound to open young minds to at least a few more of the endless possibilities of what she can be.

You can find ABC What Can She Be? on the Murdoch Books website.


Dragon Post – Emma Yarlett

One day Alex finds a dragon in his basement. He hopes it will stay, and it does. But he does worry that it may set fire to the house, so he writes to the fire brigade. He gets a very helpful response, included as an letter in an envelope inside the book (such fun!). As we go through the book Alex receives a few more letters. He receives a response with advice about what to feed his dragon (though perhaps the advisor has an alternative motive), and when he receives a letter of complaint from his neighbour about the noise, he seeks advice on what to do.

Dragon Post is a great story about a boy and his dragon.

You can find Dragon Post on the Walker Books website.


Giraffe Problems – Jory John and Lane Smith

Giraffe Problems is an absolute delight. Edward the giraffe feels bad about his neck. He does, he can’t help it. It is too long, too bendy, too narrow, too dopey. Everyone is looking at it. He can feel everyone staring at it, judging him. But are they really? When he meets Cyril the turtle, they get to talking. Cyril has been admiring Edwards neck from afar. Cyril feels bad about his own neck! It’s so short he is basically neckless. He’s been admiring a ripening banana in a tree for a week, standing beneath it, waiting for it to drop. And so it comes that with a little conversation, a few kind words and some friendly actions, happiness, satisfaction with one’s own neck and a beautiful friendship blossom.

You can find Giraffe Problems on the Walker Books website.


The Puffin Book of Summer Stories – Various

Puffin Book of Summer Stories

The Puffin Book of Summer Stories is a collection of eight charming and well loved Australian picture books. It includes classics:

Summer by June Factor and Alison Lester

Grandpa and Thomas by Pamela Allen

My Hippopotamus is on Our Caravan Roof Getting Sunburnt by Hazel Edwards and Deborah Niland

Eve and Elly by Mike Dumbleton and Laura Wood

Castles by Allan Baillie and Caroline Maegerl

Seadog by Claire Saxby and Tom Jellett

There’s a Sea in My Bedroom by Margaret Wild and Jane Turner

Max by Marc Martin

With themes that speak to the Australian summer experience – from trips to the beach to Christmas and family holidays – this outstanding collection will fill you with nostalgia for summer and will be a joy to return home to after your own family summer day adventures.

You can find The Puffin Book of Summer Stories on the Penguin website.


Tricky’s Bad Day – Alison Lester


This book is so good that Hannah insisted we read it twice!

Tricky is having a bad day. When he wakes early and his bottle is empty, he goes to the fridge to refill it, and spills the milk and wakes mum and dad. Everyone is cross, tired and cranky. And so the day continues. Nothing is right. His toast was in triangles – he wanted squares. His special jumper felt itchy and tight. Dad said “No way!” to the lolly he wanted. Tricky grizzled and cried. He felt overwhelmed, anxious and frustrated (and at times, he is not the only one feeling that way!) It’s when Dad decided that an outdoor adventure is in order that Tricky finally turns his day around.

Oh so relatable. To be honest, I think that’s what Hannah loves about it too.

You can find Tricky’s Bad Day on the Affirm Press website.


Another Book About Bears. – Laura and Philip Bunting

Another Book About Bears

Have you ever noticed how many books there are about bears? Well there are lots – too many, some might say (especially if they are a bear). The problem with this is that every time you open a book about bears, the bear has to perform the story for you. It’s very tiring.

In the hilarious Another book about bears, The wonderful Laura and Philip Bunting get into a full-blown argument with a bear who is fed up with being the star of the show. After some rather embarrassing situations are created for the bear by the authors (such as wearing a pink tu-tu and riding a tiny bike), the bear decides to negotiate. He tries to introduce a whole range of other animals to use instead of a bear, but each one has its faults. The fact is, no animal is better than a bear!

Just when it all begins to look hopeless, a clever compromise is reached.

You can find Another Book About Bears in the Scholastic Store.


Rainbow Bear – Stephen Michael King

Rainbow Bear

My favourite part of this story is when Stephen Michael King informs us all that the words “but only once” have as little meaning in the animal kingdom as they do in the human world. When Bear returns home from the city, he brings gifts for everyone to share. After a play with the kids, he has well-and-truly earned a rest, so off to sleep he goes. When Bear wakes up, he is astonished to find that he looks a little… different.

You can find Rainbow Bear here.


We are All Equal – P. Crumble and Jonathan Bentley

We Are All Equal

We are All Equal is a pure and proud celebration of diversity. The message is clear – we are all different and that is a good thing! Frankly, the earlier toddlers begin to interact with this concept, the better.

You can find We are All Equal in the Scholastic Store.



Butt Out! – Heath McKenzie

Butt Out

The content of this picture books should be pretty evident from the front cover, but just to clear up any confusion, Butt Out! is all about bottoms. Or, one bottom, to be more specific. You see, much like a toddler, the hero of this story doesn’t much like wearing pants. Talk about relatable!

Butt Out! is a great laugh, especially for those young minds that find bum-humour so funny (yes, young minds includes dads in their mid 30s).

You can find Butt Out! in the Scholastic Store.



It’s a Long Way to the Shop – Heidi McKinnon

It's A Long Way To The Shop

It’s a Long Way to the Shop is a whimsical story about the adventures of two rocks as they journey to the shops. It sure is a long way to the shop, especially when you are an inanimate object. However, as we all know, fortune favours the brave. Somehow the two intrepid adventurers find their way.

Why would two rocks want to go such a long way to the shop? For a sausage roll, of course! If you get that joke, pay careful attention – there may be one or two more ACDC references along the way.

You can find It’s a Long Way to the Shop in the Scholastic Store.



Snow Penguin – Tony Mitton and Alison Brown

Snow Pengiun

Snow Penguin is an adorable rhyming story about a little penguin who finds himself floating out to sea on some ice. While the journey begins full of fun and amazing sights, Penguin eventually begins to notice that he is all alone on the ice. Unsure of where he is, and with the sea now looking blacker than blue, Penguin now misses his friends and family greatly. What he needs, is a little luck!

The adorable illustrations of Alison Brown in Snow Penguin are perfect for toddlers to enjoy!

You can find Snow Penguin on the Bloomsbury website.



The First Adventures of Princess Peony – Nette Hilton

The First Adventures of Princess Peony

Peony is a princess. A real princess. Well, maybe not really a real princess… but she does have a dragon. A real dragon. Or, at least a dog… but she can pretend he is a dragon.

And, she does have a troll for a nemesis. He is definitely a real troll. Even if he is her brother.

The First Adventures of Princess Peony is a whole lot of fun, and a great book for bridging the gap between picture books and text-based stories. It is focussed on exploring and encouraging the world of imagination, and in that, Princess Peony does as great job!

You can find The First Adventures of Princess Peony on the Walker Books website.



Animalphabet – Julia Donaldson and Sharon King-Chai

Animalphabet Children's book roundup November 2018

One day I would love to meet Julia Donaldson, shake her hand and say “thank you”. So many of her wonderful works sit on Hannah’s bookshelf, the pages slightly crumpled and dog-eared from regular reading. Donaldson’s work is part of the fabric of Hannah’s childhood and I have no doubt that she will grow up to cherish those wonderful stories.

Animalphabet is different to the other Julia Donaldson books that Hannah has, in that it is an alphabet book. One thing I really love about this alphabet book is that Donaldson has made connections from one animal to the next. The result is a fun guessing game about what animal comes next. In presenting the alphabet in this way, Animalphabet helps young children to start really thinking about what letter comes next as they try to predict the next animal. Sharon King-Chai’s wonderfully colourful and engaging illustrations, along with enticingly intricate flaps to lift, entice toddlers further. I can’t think of a better way for Hannah to learn about the alphabet (not to mention about animals)!

You can find Animalphabet on the Pan Macmillan website.


Disclosure – these books were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge for the December 2018 Children’s Book Roundup. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.


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Maccas Christmas Crackers Christmas Picture Book Roundup Blog

Christmas Picture Book Roundup

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas! But even better than “toys in every store”, is books in every store! If you are looking for some quality picture books about the festive season to get the Christmas spirit started in your house, look no further. I present to you (see what I did there?), the Christmas Picture Book Roundup!

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When You're Going to the Moon - October 2018 picture book roundup Blog

October 2018 Picture Book Roundup

Can you smell it? The end of the year is almost here – Christmas is just around the corner! The days are getting longer, the weather hotter and the evenings light enough to sit for hours and enjoy great books together. Lucky for you a whole range of great picture books were released in October. We have informative texts about animals (alive and extinct) and brilliant people, and stories about wonderful things. Settle in to the comfy chair and enjoy the October 2018 Picture Book Roundup!

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Backyard August 2018 Picture Book Roundup Blog

August 2018 Picture Book Roundup

Winter finally arrived in August. What better way to escape the cold than with a great book?… How about with 14 of them! Here it is, the August 2018 Picture Book Roundup!


Tom’s Magnificent Machines – Linda Sarah and Ben Mantle


Tom and his dad love making things together, especially things that move. It started with simple go-karts but soon their inventions got bigger faster and crazier. Their home filled and became a wonderland. Then things changed in an instant. Tom’s dad lost his job. They needed to move out, they could no longer afford their home. Tom’s filled with sadness and anger. A while later, he had an idea… They would pay to live in their house by turning it in to a museum. At first Tom’s dad was too down and distracted to consider it, but soon enough they did it and people came from near and far. When the whirlwind came and destroyed the house, Tom was distraught and felt defeated but this time dad led the way.

Tom’s Magnificent Machines is about family. It is about joy and sadness, resilience and being there for one another. After all, isn’t that what family is all about? Let Tom’s Magnificent Machines take you on a wonderful journey, with magical highs and crushing lows that are worked though with a little help from loved ones.

You can find Tom’s Magnificent Machines on the Simon & Schuster website.


You Can’t let an Elephant drive a Digger – Patricia Cleveland-Peck and David Tazzyman

Let me start with complete disclosure that Hannah loves diggers. And elephants. (But if she had to choose she would probably choose the digger.) She also loves books. So this this book was a winner before we even got past the title.

This sequel to You Can’t take an Elephant on the Bus is an absurdly funny read. An array of improbable creatures try to be helpful. But would you let a polar bear cut your hair? Or let a shark take a bath with you? How about letting a seal prepare you a meal? Careful, it may all go horribly wrong!

You can find You Can’t let an Elephant drive a Digger on the Bloomsbury website.


Backyard – Ananda Braxton-Smith & Lizzy Newcomb


Backyard is a nod to the great suburban backyard. Not the postage-stamp-sized ones that can be found out the back of today’s McMansions, but the old-school, quarter-acre blocks of my childhood.

In those backyards, “sleep-moony” children and “star-eyed” dogs sit and watch the world. And there is a world – an entire ecosystem of flora and fauna interacting as the night takes hold.

I may just be a nostalgic old fool, but I found the imagery of Backyard deeply evocative. I very much hope that someday Hannah will know how it feels to be that star-eyed child on the back step, watching the world.

You can find Backyard on the Walker Books website.


Welcome to our World: A Celebration of Children Everywhere – Moira Butterfield and Harriet Lynas

Welcome to our World A Celebration of Children Everywhere

Did you know that there are nearly 200 countries on Earth and over 7000 different languages? Welcome to our World is a celebration of the diversity and similarity of people across the globe. There are 64 pages of interesting facts about children all over the world, including snippets of language.

Welcome to our World: A celebration of children everywhere is a great book for curious toddlers who are beginning to notice that the world is much bigger than they are!

You can find Welcome to our World: A Celebration of Children Everywhere on the Murdoch Books (Allen & Unwin) website.


Norman the Knight Get a Fright – Mark Sperring and Ed Eaves

Norman the Night gets a Fright

Wouldn’t it be amazing to work for a brave knight? Wouldn’t it be brilliant to spend your days in the presence of greatness? Sure, you might have to do a few dirty jobs… and you might have to pander to his shallow ego… and you might have to rescue him when it turn out that he’s not so brave…

Perhaps the job of knave is not so great after all. I wonder what other jobs are around…

You can find Norman the Knight Gets a Fright on the Bloomsbury website.


You Can Never Run Out of Love – Helen Docherty and Ali Pye


This is an adorable book for helping your toddler learn about love. Packed full of rhyme and engaging pictures, You Can Never Run Out of Love conveys a simple message about the limitless nature of love.

In our house, love is a concept that Hannah is just beginning to explore, so this book it a handy one to have around.

You can find You Can Never Run Out of Love on the Simon & Schuster website.


How Did I Get Here? – Philip Bunting

How Did I Get Here

Philip Bunting is an author/illustrator who has recently burst onto the picture book scene. He has quickly become one of my favourites. Mopoke, Kookaburras Love to Laugh and Errol! have been some of the most enjoyable picture books of this year.

How Did I Get Here? is a delightfully simple explanation of the extremely complex mechanisms at work in our very existence. While Hannah is not yet at the “Where did I come from?” stage, the fun illustrations in this book are highly engaging for her. She also loves space (even if she doesn’t comprehend it… Jupiter is her favourite planet), so the planets page grabs her attention. When she does begin asking those deep questions, this book will be where we begin to answer them.

Philip Bunting’s books tend to be packed with great humour to engage adult readers, while simultaneously holding the attention of the young reader. This makes them highly enjoyable to read together. How Did I Get Here is no exception – I enjoy several chuckles each time I read it through.

You can find How Did I Get Here? on the Scholastic Store website.


Bonkers About Beetles – Owen Davey

Bonkers About Beetles

Narratives are great for toddlers, but never lose sight of the deep curiosity that they have about the real world. Hannah seems to absorb information in ways I never imagined a toddler would. For example, she can differentiate between all of the common types of birds in our local area.

Bonkers About Beetles is the ideal early reference book for insect-interested children. It has bright, detailed pictures and plenty of information to satisfy curious young minds. The information ranges from simple facts to complex descriptions, so it should remain an engaging resource for Hannah for many years to come.

You can find Bonkers About Beetles on the Walker Books website.


Maya & Cat – Caroline Magerl

Maya and Cat

Maya notices a cat on a rooftop in the rain. Coaxing the cat down is one thing, but finding her owner is quite another. Fortunately, Maya is a tenacious young girl. Eventually she follows Cat’s nose to find her owner on a boat at the end of a rickety pier. Maya is pleased to have helped Cat return home, but she feels sad because she will miss her fury friend. Cat, however, has seen the goodness in Maya and she knows that she is the perfect person to look after a very special little bundle.

Maya & Cat is a lovely story with engaging illustrations for little people.

You can find Maya and Cat on the Walker Books website.


The Cat Wants Kittens – P.Crumble & Lucinda Gifford


Kevin the cat is bored. Like any good cat, Kevin makes his boredom known to all around him by destroying things and generally being a nuisance. Naturally, Kevin’s owners get the message and act to cure his boredom… by acquiring two new kittens. The new kittens may cure Kevin’s boredom, but they don’t appear to be exactly what he had in mind. Can he reclaim his domain?

Kevin the cat may be grumpy, but his adventures (misfortunes) a good fun for toddlers.

You can find The Cat Wants Kittens here.


Play this Book and Pet this Book – Jessica Young and Daniel Wiseman

Play this Book

These wonderfully captivating books encourage interactivity. With thick pages, big bold illustrations and a simple engaging premise, they are perfect for toddlers. The rhythmic rhyming words carry you along. In one book we play our way through a band’s worth of instruments. In the other, we care for a menagerie of pets. These books are bound to be on frequent repeat in toddler households.

You can find Play this Book and Pet this Book on the Bloomsbury website.


The Heart of a Whale – Anna Pignataro

The heart of a Whale

The Heart of a Whale is a beautiful imagining of a story behind a whale’s song. The stunning images and equally evocative words create a heart-warming story about a whale and his song, and the impact that song has on the entire ocean.

Even though the whale’s song brings great joy and comfort to the other ocean creatures, he begins to feel a great loneliness. He heaves a great sigh, that drifts away into the ocean like a wish. Will his wish be heard?

You can find The Heart of a Whale on the Scholastic Store website.


Cinderfella – Malachy Doyle and Matt Hunt


As you might expect, Cinderfella is a reimagining of the classic fairy tale, with gender roles switched. It’s also been given a modern-day make-over.

When karate-champ Kayleigh decides to throw a big party, Cinderfella’s brothers tell him he’s not invited. At the last minute he finds the invitation and realises that he had been invited after all. Has Cinderfella got what it takes to impress Kayleigh on the dance floor?

You can find Cinderfella on the Walker Books website.


Want to Play Trucks? – Ann Scott and Bob Graham

Want to play trucks

Jack likes trucks. Alex likes dolls. The two young boys meet in the park almost every morning. Can they possibly be friends, with such different tastes?

Want to Play Trucks is a great reminder of the simplicity of childhood. Differences of opinion matter little to these great friends, and even when it looks like an argument is about to break out, things aren’t as bad as they seem.

You can find Want to Play Trucks on the Walker Books website.


Disclosure – these books were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge for the July 2018 Picture Book Roundup. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.








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Girl on Wire July 2018 Picture Book Roundup Blog

July 2018 Picture Book Roundup

How do they do it? Month after month we are blown away by the quality of the picture books that arrive on our doorstep. July has been jam-packed full of brilliant writing and amazing illustrations. Rather than bang on about it in this introduction, let’s just get stuck right in – I present to you the July 2018 Picture Book Roundup!

Duck! – Meg McKinlay and Nathaniel Eckstrom

A duck is trying to warn his fellow farm animals of something falling from the sky. “Duck!”, he tells them, but they don’t comprehend. One by one, each of the farm animals chastise poor old duck and duck-splain (yes, I just made that word up) why they are not a duck.

As the farm animals become ever more rude and belligerent, duck becomes aware that his message is not being understood. As the urgency increases, duck finally changes his wording. But is it too late?

With funny and charming illustrations, Duck! is a fun book, perfect for reading aloud together.

I also love author Meg McKinlay’s dedication: “For all the little folk who have important things to say.”

You can find Duck! on the Walker Books website.


Girl on Wire – Lucy Estela and Elise Hurst

Girl on Wire July 2018 Picture Book Roundup

Girl On Wire is stunning story about facing up to challenges, perseverance, self-belief and finding inner strength.

As the girl stands for hours at the edge of the wire, strung high above the city between two tall buildings. The stormy thunder clouds roll in and she knows she must begin. Courageously, cautiously she steps out on to the wire. Storm clouds billow around her, her scarlet dress swishing around her legs.

As she inches forward and eyes peer up at her from below, the wind howls and her confidence wavers. ‘Help!’ she cries. A mother figure out in the storm provides strength in the form of words of support, words of comfort. Ultimately, however, the girl on the wire must conquer this challenge herself. Empowered and emboldened with courage and strength, she moves forward. Will she come through the storm?

Girl On Wire is a beautiful picture book. Each illustration is a work of art worthy of a place in a gallery. The canvas cover if this book compliments this quality of the cover illustration beautifully. The colours in the illustrations are sensational. In particular, the dramatic, billowing red dress in sharp contrast against the dark, stormy sky builds atmosphere wonderfully.

You can find Girl On Wire on the Penguin website.


Are You My Bottom? – Kate Temple and Jol Temple and Ronjoy Ghosh

Are You My Bottom

Are You my Bottom covers (uncovers?) a favourite toddler topic: bottoms. In a hilarious twist on ‘are you my mother’-style books, panda wakes one morning to find his bottom missing. As he searches for his bottom, each time he thinks he has finally found it, it turns out to be the rear of a completely different animal. How will panda ever find his missing bottom?

Full of bottom synonyms, this book will dramatically increase your toddler’s vocabulary in the most useful of ways. Bottom, bot, rear, butt, behind, bum, caboose, botty and bummox; this book has them all!

Are You My Bottom is filled with comical illustrations. My favourite is the one of a bawling bottomless panda being cuddled and comforted by the other animals as he despairs that his rear is lost forever. Or perhaps my favourite is the picture of the lemur sitting on the bum of a collapsed panda as he gives the double thumbs up signalling to panda that his bottom has been found. I don’t know, too many hilarious pictures to pick a favourite! Are You My Bottom is barrels of fun.

You can find Are You My Bottom? on the Allen & Unwin website.


Barney – Catherine Jinks and Stephen Michael King


“Barney loves cat food. Barney loves greens. Barney loves bacon and biscuits and beans.” Barney goes on all sorts of intrepid adventures in pursuit of all his loves. Yes, he loves bibs and squashed bananas, ketchup and bits of tinfoil, doughnuts and such, but most of all Barney loves the little girl he shares his life with.

The delightful illustrations and repetitive rhyming narrative make Barney a lovable, charming and funny story about an adorable family dog that will eat anything.

You can find Barney on the Scholastic Store website.


Tropical Terry – Jarvis

Tropical Terry

In Coral Reef City live all the most dazzling fish, dashing and swirling in flurries of colour. Oh, and also Terry. Terry lives there too. Plain little Terry spends his days playing hide-a-fish and other games with his great mates Cilla the crab and Steve the sea snail. He is the best at hide-a-fish, he blends right in to the ocean floor.

Terry and his friends have loads of fun together. Still, Terry would dearly love to join the colourful tropical fish crowd. They refuse. “Terry, the dull fish!”, they tease. Desperate, Terry puts together a most bright and extravagant outfit and joins the vivid and dazzling fish. But when Eddie the eel comes looking for dinner, perhaps it would be better to blend into the surrounds after all.

Filled with bright and colourful illustrations of the ocean and its’ inhabitants, Tropical Terry weaves a nice story with age old themes of longing to fit in with the cool kids (fish), the value of trusted and true friendship, and being happy with who you are and what you have.

You can find Tropical Terry on the Walker Books website.


Cyril and Pat – Emily Gravett

Cyril and Pat

Lonely Cyril is the only squirrel in the park. Until the morning he met Pat, His new best friend, a big grey… “Squirrel! Just like me.”, shouts Cyril with excitement. In his excitement for making a friend, Cyril fails to recognise that Pat is in fact a rat. Notwithstanding, together the two best friends play all sorts of wonderful games, go on many adventures and outwit Slim the dog when he tries to catch them.

The other animals try to tell Cyril that Pat is a rat, but Cyril is too excited to have his friend and doesn’t clue on. When finally Pat’s true rat identity is revealed to Cyril, they heed advice and part ways. Without Pat, Cyril finds their games are just no fun on his own and when Slim the dog returns, things aren’t looking too great for Cyril. As Slim gives chase, Cyril flees to the city. Luckily, there he finds Pat and his rat friends, ready to step in, just in the nick of time.

The rich illustrations in Cyril and Pat are a perfect accompaniment to this story of true friendship in the face of naysayers. Sometimes it just doesn’t matter what others say. Some things are more important that being the same. Sometimes having a friend is enough.

You can find Cyril and Pat on the Pan Macmillan website.


Charlie – Ronojoy Ghosh


Charlie the lion liked art and fancy restaurants and the beach. The problem was, it was hard to enjoy all there was to enjoy when everywhere he went people made a terrible fuss – they were afraid he might eat them. But Charlie wouldn’t eat people, they were much too bony. He preferred cake. What Charlie needed was a clever disguise.

Oh, the adventures Charlie has before heading back home to the zoo!

You can find Charlie on the Penguin website.


Moth – Isabel Thomas and Daniel Egnéus


Moth is a unique and powerful picture book telling the story of the evolution of the peppered moth. The colour of peppered moths can vary from black to light and many combination thereof. On lichen-covered tree branches, the black peppered moths were easily spotted by birds and eaten. Safely disguised, it was the speckled, freckled pepper moths that survived to pass on their favourable markings to their young and over time most peppered moths has this speckled colouring.

But then the world changed. People built factories and burnt coal to power magnificent machines. Smoke and soot filled the air and blackened tree branches. now the darkest moths were the masters of disguise, surviving long enough to pass on their wing colour to their young. Now, with new ways to power machines and the air becoming cleaner, trees have shed their sooty bark, both types of moth find places to hide.

Stunningly illustrated and well told for a child audience, Moth a wonderful introduction to Darwin’s theory of Natural Selection. Moth is a story of change and adaptation, of survival and hope, demonstrating the extraordinary way in which animals have evolved, intertwined with the complication of human intervention. A truly special, insightful and uplifting picture book.

You can find Moth on the Bloomsbury website.


Old Hat – Emily Gravett

Old Hat

Harbet has a comfy hat. His Nana knitted it for him when he was little. Trouble is, others keep jeering at him – “OLD HAT! OLD HAT!”. So Harbet tries to fit in. He buys the latest hat styles – the towering fruit platter hat, the lit traffic cone hat – but try as he may he just can’t keep up with the latest fashions. Each time he gets a brand new hat it is already…OLD HAT! So Harbet dares to be different and forego a hat altogether. With that he reveals his wonderous uniqueness that no one can match no matter how they try.

Old Hat is a funny and charming story about the futility of fads and the fun to be had when you stop following others and think for yourself.

You can find Old Hat on the Pan Macmillan website.


Spirit – Cherri Ryan and Christina Booth


Spirit is a powerful story about courage, persistence and resilience.

A girl builds a small toy boat, Spirit, and glides her across a small pond. She floats! Sweet success! Buoyed by the victory the girls sets her sights higher – to sail Spirit across the creek. Again Spirit rises to the challenge and returns to the girl. The next challenge: the river. spirit wobbles and weaves but her bow stays true. But as the girl races beside Spirit to the bridge…crash, rip, crack. The girl tends and mends Spirit all through the night. By morning she knows, Spirit is not broken. Her Spirit is stronger than ever before.

You can find Spirit on the Walker Books website.


Puddle Hunters – Kristy Murray and Karen Blair

Puddle Hunters

A heart-warming story about the quintessential childhood adventure: puddle hunting.

When the rain stops, Ruby and Banjo pull on their boots and head of in search for puddles to jump in. None in the garden, the street or the park, but then – jackpot! On the river flats, puddles galore! They splosh to make rainbows, get stuck in the mud, and Ruby spin, spin, spins until she falls over. Back at home, cosy in their pyjamas after their bath, Ruby and Banjo watch from their window as fat clouds gather and rain begins to fall, forming fresh puddles for their next adventure.

You can find Puddle Hunters on the Allen & Unwin website.


Alpacas with Maracas – Matt Cosgrove

Alpacas with Maracas

Macca the alpaca and his best pal Al are barrels of fun. They get up to all sorts of outrageous escapades together and when they spot a flyer advertising a talent show, they are all in! All they need now is an act…

Hilarity ensues as they try their hand at all they can think of. However, their magic was tragic, their choir was dire and their tumbling was bubbling. Just as they are about to concede defeat, an idea… alpacas with maracas!

Cheerfully illustrated, fun, rhyming story, Alpacas with Maracas is bound to brighten your day.

You can find Alpacas with Maracas on the Scholastic Shop website.


Puffin the Architect – Kimberly Andrews

Puffin the Architect

Puffin is an accomplished architect, but now she has her toughest clients ever, her pufflings. Drawing on her experiences and clever design, she suggests a stack of different features for their home to her young ones. A floating home like Otter’s fishing boat with furniture that folds away. A secret study like Detective Hound’s with a tunnel system under ground that leads to secret places. But the pufflings don’t want folding furniture like Otter’s or secret tunnels like Hound, they want a puffin cottage. So Puffin creates her best design yet – a house packed full of features especially for pufflings.

You can find Puffin the Architect on the Penguin website.


Baby’s First Bank Heist – Jim Whalley and Stephen Collins

Baby's First Bank Heist

I’m a little reluctant to read this picture book to Hannah, as the story line cuts a bit close to the bone. You see, Baby’s First Bank Heist is a tale about a baby who is infatuated by animals, but who just can’t make his parents understand. The tiny tot in this story goes to extreme lengths to realise his dream of having a pet… or two… or more…

I really don’t want to go and give Hannah ideas about robbing a bank, but at the same time the story is a load of fun! It’s packed full of rhyme, humour and great artwork. Maybe I will read it to her after all.

You can find Baby’s First Bank Heist on the Bloomsbury website.



The Cook and the King – Julia Donaldson and David Roberts

The Cook and the King

Julia Donaldson is one of the absolute heavyweights of children’s literature. Hannah has several of her wonderful books on her shelves, including the must-have title, The Gruffalo.

Julia Donaldson has a wonderful way with words. The Cook and the King is full of clever rhyming verse, with the kind of repetition that toddlers like Hannah love. When the King is hungry, he searches for the best cook in the land to make him some food. One by one the cooks try their best, but none can satisfy the King’s very demanding palate.

When it all seems hopeless, the King spots another cook – Wobbly Bob. Can Wobbly Bob do the seemingly impossible and satisfy the King?

Perhaps… with a little help…

You can find The Cook and The King on the Pan Macmillan website.


Disclosure – these books were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge for the July 2018 Picture Book Roundup. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.

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