January 2021 Children’s Book Roundup

I’m assuming you are all back from holidays and into the swing of things by now. With little ones heading back to school, or even off to school for the first time, it is a great time to get your hands on some excellent new books. Nothing helps with reestablishing bedtimes routines more than looking forward to a new story! Check out the January 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.

The Incredible Pop-Up Maze – Andy Mansfield

The Incredible Pop Up Maze January 2021 Children's Book Roundup

This book is really something else. Part maze activity book, part work of art, part feat of engineering and a whole lot of fun. The 3D mazes are, as the title suggests, incredible. There are six of these three-dimensional labyrinths to find your way through, from suspended spiralling pathways and routes under and over flaps. Honestly, I’m a little envious that there was not something quite like this when I was a kid, but I am making up for lost time now!

You can find The Incredible Pop-Up Maze on the Allen & Unwin website.



Zoo School – Health McKenzie

January 2021 Children's Book Roundup

When Oscar and Ava arrive at school, something is amiss. The teacher has grown a long trunk, a pair of huge tusks, two big flappy ears and lets not even mention the sizable rear. And that is just the start of it. There is a large silverback in Sophie’s seat and out in a hall a zebra stampede. Oddly, when they go to the staffroom in search of the teachers, there seems to be no-one there.

Zoo School is wild fun.

You can find Zoo School here.



Bluey: The Pool

January 2021 Children's Book Roundup

“Let’s go for a swim in Uncle Stripe’s pool!” says Dad. “Don’t forget the swim stuff”, calls mum. But Bluey, Bingo and Dad are already rushing out the door and into the car. Mum always makes us do boring things. But it turns out that boring things are important too.

Classic Bluey.

You can find Bluey: The Pool on the Penguin website.



Smiling Mind 2: Super Me – Jane Martino and Annie White

Super Me is the second book in the 5 book series by the leading Australian mindfulness organisation – Smiling Mind. In Super Me, Sonny is starting school for the first time. He has butterflies in his stomach, so he does what he usually does when he wants to feel super – puts on his tutu. However, things don’t quite go the way Sonny expects. It turns out some kids think tutus are just for girls…

You can find Smiling Mind 2: Super Me on the Penguin website.



The Secret Explorers Series – SJ King

January 2021 Children's Book Roundup

  • The Secret Explorers and the Lost Whales
  • The Secret Explorers and the Comet Collision
  • The Secret Explorers and the Tomb Robbers
  • The Secret Explorers and the Jurassic Rescue


We received the first four books in the Secret Explorers Series and have had a lovely time reading them. In the Secret Explorers Series a group of brilliant kids from all over the globe to fix problems, solve mysteries and gather knowledge from all over the world and beyond.

In The Secret Explorers and the Lost Whales, a pod of humpback whales has lost their way. It is the perfect expedition for marine enthusiast, Connor. But when Conor and Roshini’s submarine malfunctions and the sun goes down, it looks as though they could be in real trouble.

In The Secret Explorers and the Comet Collision, a space probe experiences problems near Jupiter. The Secret Explorers must fix it but the clock is ticking. Roshini and Ollie attempt a daring spacewalk, but something is hurtling through space towards them…

In The Secret Explorers and the Tomb Robbers, someone is trying to steal the pharaoh’s treasure. The Secret Explorers must stop them. Gustavo and Kiki are undercover in Egypt and on the case.

In The Secret Explorers and the Jurassic Explorers, the Secret Explorers travel back millions of years in the past to rescue a precious dinosaur egg, but what will they do when the egg starts to hatch?

You can find The Secret Explorers and the Lost Whales, The Secret Explorers and the Comet Collision, The Secret Explorers and the Tomb Robbers, The Secret Explorers and the Jurassic Rescue on the Penguin website.



The Hatmakers – Tamzin Merchant, illustrated by Paola Escobar

Very few people have the skill and knowledge to craft items from magical ingredients, but in Cordelia Hatmaker’s family, the knowledge rounds deep. Her father is Hatmaker to the king and was tasked with crafting a hat embedded with concentration, which required the rarest of feathers from the Athenian Owl of the Platonic Forests for the magic to work. While returning from his voyage, his ship was wrecked and he was lost at sea.

Cordelia was filled with grief and rage, until after a troubled sleep when she realised – what is lost can be found…

Ancient rivalries and Maker magic wars follow as Cordelia attempts to find her father in an exciting story that is sure to engage growing readers.

You can find The Hatmakers on the Penguin website.



Let’s Go, Little Roo – Renée Treml

Little Roo wants to play, but everything is a little scary and new. Mummy encourages her to explore her new surroundings, but Little Roo is reluctant. Maybe there is a way to help Little Roo overcome her trepidation, perhaps there are others who are feeling the same way.

Let’s Go, Little Roo might be just what a brave little person who is just starting preschool or school needs.

You can findLet’s Go, Little Roo on the Penguin website.



A Dragon in a Wagon – Lynley Dodd

January 2021 Children's Book Roundup

Lynley Dodd is a favourite in our house. Both kids have read Hairy Maclary over and over and over again – in fact, sometimes they cuddle up and read it together.

A Dragon in a Wagon follows the familiar Lynley Dodd style that is so attractive to young kids, with simple rhyming phrases on each page and delightful illustrations. The premise is easy for little people to follow – Susie Fogg wonders what her dog might be like if it wasn’t… a dog.

You can find A Dragon in a Wagon on the Penguin website.



One Keen Koala – Margaret Wild and Bruce Whatley

January 2021 Children's Book Roundup

Australian author-illustrator combinations don’t come much more iconic than Wild and Whatley, and it is delightful to see these masters supporting young people who may have some trepidation with starting school or preschool.

One Keen Koala follows a simple counting pattern and is full of alliteration, rhyme, fun school activities and adorable pictures.

You can fin One Keen Koala here.



Kindergarten Jumbo Workbook – Scholastic

January 2021 Children's Book Roundup

Starting school can be exciting, but it can also be daunting. A resource like Kindergarten Jumbo Workbook is a brilliant introduction to the kinds of things that little learners can expect to come across in their first year of school, with bright, colourful pages inviting curious minds to explore every detail. There are literacy and numeracy basics, science introductions and hand-eye coordination development activities such as tracing and (my favourite) mazes! Oh, and there are stickers. Pages and pages of stickers.

A letter to parents at the start of the book is very helpful as it explains how to positively  support your young learner and help them get the most enjoyment and reward out of the resource.

You can find Kindergarten Jumbo Workbook on the Scholastic Shop website.

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