Disclosure – these books were provided to Blog of Dad free of charge for the September 2021 Children’s Book Roundup. For further information, please visit my disclosure statement.
Listified: Britannica’s 300 lists that will blow your mind – Andrew Pettie and Andres Lozano
Facts, facts and more facts! There are robot facts and rainbow facts, star facts and dinosaur facts, bicycle facts and snowflake facts. Does your kid love facts? Then this book is for them.
Hannah is a little information sponge. Do you know how many questions get asked in our household? (And most of those asked aren’t rhetorical like that one!) Do you know how many times I find myself having to look up facts and information? Enter this book! It has lists of information on all sorts of topics that we work our way through and have some darn good chats along the way.
You can find Listified: Britannica’s 300 lists that will blow your mind here.
Nelson 3: Eggplants and Dinosaurs – Andrew Levin’s and Kate Kear
Nelson hates vegetables. It also happens to be that it is vegetables that give Nelson superpowers. In book one, pumpkin made him powerful. In book two, broccoli made him invisible. What on earth will eggplants do to him?
A villain is on the loose and hates everything dinosaur. Nelson and his best friend Olive must find a way to save all things dinosaur-related from disappearing forever at the hands of this nemesis. But trialling the effects of eating eggplant wreaks havoc…
I Am The Subway – Kim Hyo-eun
Traveling a well-worn route on the Seoul subway day in and day out, the train bares witness to peoples’ lives as it welcomes and farewells people through its doors and is privy to their stories; their joys, anxieties, reservations, sorrows. The familiar and rhythmic ‘ba-dum ba-dum’ of the subway is like a heartbeat; a constant, comforting presence.
Translated from Korean, the style is less different from that typical in most of the English language children’s books we read in our house most often and it is quite bewitching.
Let’s Eat Weeds! A kids’ guide to foraging – Annie Raser-Rowland, Andam Grubb and Evie Barrow
We have had loads of fun reading this book and our walks around the neighbourhood have not been the same since. It turns out weeds can be food! And so it turns our there is food everywhere!
Ok, so I’ll admit that the (very sensible) foreword cautioning that consideration to whether the area may have been treated by pesticides and to check there is no dog poo nearby did take a little of the wind out of our sails, but we will not be deterred (just more cautious and therefore safer).
The illustrations with ‘real-size bee’ to help with determining sizing, along side the useful descriptions are great for helping to make sure you’ve got the right plant. The recipes ensure that we have ideas of what to make with our weed harvest. The book is helpfully arranged with eight plants that are pretty easy to get to know at the front of the book. Once you’ve learnt to identify at least three of them, you’ll have earn your ‘Advanced Forager’s Licence’. Then you can learn about seven other plants that are a little bit trickier.
Ada and the Galaxies – Alan Lightman, Olga Pastuchiv and Susanna Chapman
It’s not every day that a theoretical physicist writes a children’s book! After reading Ada and the Galaxies, I wish more did. Like Ada, our five year old daughter loves all things space, so she was enthralled by the child-friendly explanations of stars and galaxies.
Ada lives in New York City. She loves the stars, but they are hard to see from her apartment because the city lights are so bright. That’s why she can’t wait to visit her grandparents. They live on an island in Maine, where the night sky is very dark. Ada waits all day to see the stars, but when night time comes there is too much fog. Thankfully, Poobah knows how to pass the time – by learning about galaxies! Just as Ada is about to go to bed, the night time sky has one last surprise ready for her.
Maxine – Bob Graham
When your parents are superheroes, and your brother is a superhero, and your grandparents are superheroes… and your dog is a superhero… your path in life seems pretty straightforward. Maxine was born with a mask on. She was strong, clever and could fly – just as expected. Her grandmother hand-made her a cape and her grandfather hand-made her superhero boots.
But when Maxine got to school (four years ahead), she felt like she didn’t fit in. She wasn’t sure that she wanted to wear a superhero outfit – perhaps jeans were better…
Maxine can be anything she dreams of, but who in her heart will that be?
Pearl and Friends Treasury – Sally Odgers and Adele K Thomas
Pearl and her friends are back for a new adventure! Actually, to be more accurate, they are back for four new adventures all contained within the one book! The latest adventures of Pearl the unicorn and her best friends, Olive the Ogre and Tweet the Bird, involve shrinking, treasure hunts, cave monsters and fire! It’s a wild ride!
You can find Pearl and Friends Treasury here.
Coco and the Bee – Laura Bunting
Coco is fast becoming a favourite in this house. She is an adorable kitty that is so easily relatable to for young children. Besides the entertaining storyline, Coco books have underlying messages of positivity, acceptance, learning and making sense of the world. In Coco and the Bee, those themes include sustainability (the importance of bees), diversity and getting to know people for who they are rather than judging based on gender or looks. It is a wonderful book!
You can find Coco and the Bee here.
The Australian Climate Change Book: Be Informed and Make a Difference – Polly Marsden an Chris Nixon
Climate change is such a huge concept. How do you explain it to a child? Our Hannah is naturally curious about the world and she is constantly listening, so she is going to be exposed to such concepts one way of another. Rather than being terrified by random bits and pieces that she hears and puts together herself, The Australian Climate Change Book presents an accessible and reassuring introduction to the challenges of climate change for Australia. The underlying message is that small steps can make a difference, and that we all (yes, even five year olds) have the power to help!
You can find The Australian Climate Change Book: Be Informed and Make a Difference on the Hachette website.