Autumn is in full swing and over the past few days it has felt like winter is definitely on its way. What better time to grab some excellent children’s books and cuddle up on the couch? Check out the April 2021 Children’s Book Roundup!
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.
Leo and the Octopus – Isabelle Marinov and Chris Nixon
Leo feels like an alien. He doesn’t understand the people of planet Earth and they don’t understand him. Because of this, life is stressful, tiring and lonely. Then he meets Maya. Maya is an octopus.
Maya looks like an alien, and Leo feels like an alien. Perhaps he has finally found someone he understands, and who understands him.
Leo and the Octopus is a lovely story about a child with Asperger’s Syndrome and his special bond with an amazing octopus.
Off We Go Around Australia – Roland Harvey
If you are not familiar with Roland Harvey’s epic Australian adventure books, do yourself a favour and get your hands on this four-in-one holiday adventure masterpiece. No one quite captures the little details of the classic Australian childhood better than Roland Harvey. His writing is packed full of humour (much of which will go over the heads of your little co-reader) and the intricate illustrations are a delight to pore over for hours.
The Rock From The Sky – Jon Klassen
Jon Klassen’s childrens books are quirky, in the best possible way! The text and illustrations in The Rock From The Sky appear simple and sparse at first glance, yet the story conveyed is packed full of humour, engaging, and definitely unique! I laughed out loud several times when reading this one for the first time, and it has been a popular choice of bedtime book for several nights in a row.
The Gentle Genius of Trees – Philip Bunting
Philip Bunting is a favourite in this house, and rightfully so! He is a talented illustrator and incredible, hilarious storyteller. That being said, some of Philip Bunting’s best work is found in his educational series.
The Gentle Genius of Trees is the latest in this series and it’s packed full of interesting facts about trees! Of course, it is also full of great humour and quirky pictures, which is incredibly engaging for adults and children alike.
My favourite thing about this book is that it taught me a lot about trees that I didn’t know, especially about how interconnected they are. Bunting has an impressive knowledge of, and passion for the natural world and he conveys it in such an accessible way.
You can find The Gentle Genius of Trees here.
Gerald Needs a Friend – Robin Boyden
Gerald likes his little world. He has a wonderful garden that he likes to work in, and a routine that gets him to bed by 7 o’clock. On the dot. Every night.
But one day, two little mice appear at the local market. They claim to have just the right thing for everyone in their magic little stall. Gerald feels like he doesn’t need anything – he is happy with his routine. But maybe these two curious new visitors can convince him that life can be a little bit sweeter…
You can find Gerald Needs a Friend here.
Let’s Build a House – Mike Lucas and Daron Parton
Let’s Build a House is a fun picture book for the little construction-curious readers in your house. It uses fun rhyming pages and cute, cartoonish illustrations to take little people through the ins and outs of building a house. As a nice touch, this book is authored by a real-life engineer! I really appreciate it when people are passionate enough about their work to share it with curious young minds.
The Smidgens – David O’Connell
Smidgens look like humans, sound like humans and love eating chips like humans! The slight difference, however, is that they are only 10cm tall.
Gafferty Sprout and her family are the last remaining Smidgens in the world… or so they think. When a dark, mysterious force chases Gafferty down into the forbidden tunnels, she discovers some clues that suggest there may be more Smidgen tribes alive after all…
Michaela Mason’s Big List of 23 Worries – Alexa Moses
Michaela has been making lists ever since she could write. By writing her worries down, she feels as if she is removing them from her mind and leaving them on the paper. Her biggest worries are on a secret worry list. Right now there are 23 worries on it. Michaela is in a new school, in a new town. Can she handle it?
Michaela is a strong female role model for living with worry, adjusting to change and finding your feet.
You can find Michaela Mason’s Big List of 23 Worries here.
Invented by Animals – Christiane Dorion and Gosia Herba
In this book we meet some superstar animal inventors that are inspiring humans to develop amazing inventions and solve tricky problems.
We have the swimming costumes inspired by shark skin. Although shark skin looks completely smooth they are, in fact, covered in tiny scale with little grooves and channels that help water flow along its body and reduce drag. Swimming costumes that mimic these features were used at the 2000 Olympics but have since been banned because so many world records were being broken by swimmers using them.
We also learn about the Namib beetle that can capture water to drink from even the slightest fog in its desert home by using the a series of water attracting and repelling bumps on its back and simply lifting its bottom into the air to have its fresh drink run straight into its mouth! There is also the waterproof coat of the penguin, the low energy swimming of jellyfish inspiring robot design and the self-repairing teeth of the Jumbo squid inspiring the development of a material that can mend itself with water. How amazing!
Each brightly illustrated double page spread is filled with wonderous information.
You can find Invented by Animals here.
The Grinny Granny Donkey – Craig Smith and Katz Cowley
The rhyme-inspiring donkey fam is back and this time the focus is on Granny – and just in time for Mother’s Day! It is every bit as much fun rhyming and funny illustrations as the other instalments. In fact, in the spirit of family, son Wonky and granddaughter Dinky even make an appearance! The Grinny Granny Donkey is certainly being enjoyed at our place.
You can find The Grinny Granny Donkey here.
Mix It Up – Henre Tullet
We gave two-year-old Monty this book for his second birthday and he absolutely loves it. Interactive, fun and engaging – this is Monty’s kind of book. Gently rub some of the blue paint onto the yellow paint. Turn the page to see what happens? With a yellow square of ‘wet paint’ side-by-side with a square of blue ‘wet paint’, what will happen when you shake the book side to side. Turn the page to see.
Monty can often be found on his bedroom floor, interacting with the book. Lots of fun!
You can find Mix It Up here.
Do Something for Someone Else – Loll Kirby and Yas Imamura
Kids are brilliant and all are special in their own way, but occasionally there are those who go above and beyond what could possibly be expected. Those kids see the big problems in the world and, through small acts of kindness and compassion, make it a better place. Often, their “small” deeds turn into something much bigger that positively impacts many people.
Do Something for Someone Else celebrates these kids from all over the world. It is remarkable what fresh, motivated young mind can achieve!