Reviewer Grace Nolan shares her picks for 2017…
The Australian Animal Atlas – Leonard Cronin (text) Marion Westmacott (illus.)
The Australian Animal Atlas is full of easily accessible, fascinating facts and superb illustrations. It is divided into sections highlighting the main environmental areas of Australia, including deserts, rainforests and tropical wetlands and provides details about the creatures that inhabit these areas. Children between the ages of 7 to 12 will find this book useful and visually attractive and will enjoy learning the interesting information and browsing through this beautifully presented book.
The Very Sleepy Bear – Nick Bland
Bear must find a new cave to live in. Sneaky fox has convinced him that he needs one. After a series of misadventures Bear returns home to find that fox and his friends have moved in. Luckily, he is too sleepy to care and asks them to wake him up in the Spring after hibernation. Written in rhyme, children aged 3 plus will enjoy reading or listening to this funny and beautifully illustrated story with a clever twist.
The Playground Meanies – All About Being Kind with Pickle and Bree – Alison Reynolds (text) Mikki Butterley (illus.)
The Big Snow Adventure – All About Respecting Rules with Pickle and Bree – Alison Reynolds (text) Mikki Butterley (illus.)
The Playground Meanies deals with bullying and learning to treat others with kindness while The Big Snow Adventure is about following rules and respecting others. Alison Reynold’s interesting and entertaining stories with their combination of animals and humans reinforce positive behaviour in a way that children of lower and middle primary school age can easily relate to. The cartoon-like illustrations by Mikki Butterley are colourful and expressive and perfectly complement the text. These books are engaging stories while teaching children about social skills, relationships and successful ways to solve problems.
The Perfect Thing – Sally Morgan (text) Ambelin Kwaymullina (illus.)
The Perfect Thing is an uplifting and engaging story by Sally Morgan which centres on the relationship between Lily and her Grandfather. Grandpa shows Lily how to use her imagination and creativity to make the simplest and most common things, such as going to the park, unbelievably fun and exciting. The illustrations by Ambelin Kwaymullina are colourful, vibrant and effective. Children from 4 to 8 years old and their grandparents will find this attractive book easy to relate to with the dialogue between the little girl and old man amusing and convincing.