September has been a big month for great books. So much so that we are splitting the roundup into two: picture books and children’s books (that aren’t picture books). Pull up a chair and see what takes your fancy in the September 2020 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 Puffin Book of Big Dreams: Stories to spark your imagination
Puffin has turned 80 years old! Eighty years of dreaming big. Eighty years of quality children’s books expanding and enriching imaginations (although the first ever Puffin books didn’t tell stories, but were instead factual books, I am informed in the introduction).To celebrate, Puffin have compiled a collection of shorts. It includes stories by big names like Julia Donaldson, Beatrix Potter and Eric Carle, extracts from famous stories like Charlotte’s Web, The BFG by Roald Dahl and The Sheep-Pig (on which movie, Babe, is based), and stories of dreams from real life primary school children. This is an magical collection that will absorb and entertain your mid-late primary schooler for many hours.
You can find The Puffin Book of Big Dreams: Stories to spark your imagination on the Penguin website.
Aussie Kids: Meet Dooley on the Farm – Sally Odgers and Christina Booth
Aussie Kids: Meet Matilda at the Festival – Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern and Tania McCartney
In Meet Dooley on the Farm, Dooley’s cousin Sienna is visiting their farm. They’ll swim in the river, feed the calves an collect berries. They are even going to sleep out in the barn! What a fabulous time! (Even if Sienna does say that everything pongs a bit!)
Matilda lives in Canberra, the capital city of Australia. In Meet Matilda at the Festival, there is a festival at the Japanese Embassy. That’s where Matilda’s friend Hansuke lives. They have so much fun together but soon Hansuke will be going back to Japan. How will Matilda say goodbye?
Fly on the Wall – Remi Lai
Henry Khoo is determined to assert his independence from his over protective family. He is twelve but his family still treats him like a baby. He is not allowed to go anywhere without his big sister. When his family’s annual trip to visit his father in Singapore is cancelled, Henry takes matter into his own hands. He will go himself. He won’t tell anyone, not even his dad, before he gets there. Never mind that he has never even picked out his own clothes himself before.
Fly on the Wall is a funny, diary-style illustrated novel. It’s an entertaining read that addresses overparenting from a child’s perspective in a really moving way. One for the mid-late primary schoolers.
Dare to be You – Matthew Syed
What an amazing book! Full of stories, anecdotes and facts that explain why we need everyone to be themselves, need everyone to be different. It touches upon the importance of this for innovation, changing the world and making the world a better place. It shows and explains the importance of curiosity and hopefully encourages us to foster and extend this awesome trait. Hopefully it will extend peak question asking age from age four (at which point kid doubt kicks into force) to one, one hundred and every age in between. It addresses doubt extensively throughout the book.
This book is amazing. (Did I say that already?) Get one for your kid, the neighbours’ kid, your kid’s penpal and also don’t forget to read it yourself. (The messages are equally applicable to all age groups. You can go and read a similar book made for adults, but trust me, this has the same valid and important messages and equally applicable.) Do it.
Puffin Little: The Ocean
Puffin Little: Robotics
Puffin Little: The ANZACs
Following on from the initial three books in the series, Puffin Little is back!
Puffin Little Explorer: The Ocean looks at what lies beneath the waves. In chapters on the ocean, coastal waters, open ocean, deep ocean and polar waters we learn how beaches are formed, about all kinds of sea-life as well as about hydrothermal vents and marine reserves.
Puffin Little Explorer: Robotics explores what robotics is, how robots work as well as everyday robots and specialty robots. There is even a look in to our robotic future and a guide about how to design a robot.
Puffin Little Explorer: The ANZACs takes us back in time to the 1910s with a look at Australia’s war history.
The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals – Sami Bayly
What a spectacular reference book! This book contains a marvellous double page coloured spread for each dangerous creature, some hideous, some innocuous in appearance, and some just a little other worldly (I’m looking at you, Greater Slow Loris, with your eyes like dinner plates!) Each creature is presented as a large coloured illustration accompanied by it’s Latin name on one page. On the second page is a description, colour coded danger factor rating as well as information about conservation status, diet and location/habitat.
You can find The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Dangerous Animals on the Hachette website.
Unicorns Activity Chest
This activity chest is sheer delight. With fancy paper and envelops, unicorn-themed stickers, two little unicorn stamps, a rubber and some coloured pencils it is fun, quiet activity in a handy box. It comes with an activity book – colouring, word scrambles and tracing. It is perfect for a quiet school holiday activity and we all know how handy it is to have one or two of those up your sleeve!
You can find the Unicorns Activity Chest here.
The Time-Travelling Caveman – Terry Pratchett
I am a massive Terry Pratchett fan. I have read the entire Discworld series (several times) and most of his other adult works. Terry Pratchett also wrote some brilliant novels for young readers, The Carpet People is probably the most well-known example. I was lucky enough to listen to Terry Pratchett speak live at the Opera House.
So naturally I was excited when The Time Travelling Caveman arrived on my doorstep. It is a wonderful collection of short stories that were written by Terry Pratchett when he was “a young lad”, supposedly for local newspapers. In his typical style, they are absurd, engaging, and an all-round blast to share with my little ones. Terry Pratchett was a huge part of my literary life and I’m thrilled that he is now a small part of my children’s experience. With any luck they will eventually discover the rest of his amazing worlds!