Guff – Aaron Blabey – Penguin Australia – Published 2017
A delightful book for anyone who’s ever had a little fabric friend.
Aaron Blabey is the author of many delightful, hilarious children’s picture books, and Guff is no exception. Guff is sure to delight children and parents alike, with its whimsical take on the special bond between child and stuffed toy.
Meet Guff. He is the special friend of one little girl who has known and loved him since she was little. She recalls the adventures they have had together – and sometimes apart.
Twig – Aura Parker – Scholastic – Published November 2016
Finding friends isn’t easy when no one can find you!
One, two, three. One, two three.
Why won’t someone play with me?
Heidi is a stick insect, long and thin like the twig of a tree. It’s her first day at Bug School, where she hopes to learn lots and make new friends. But no one will talk to her . . . and no one will play with her at lunch. No one notices her at all – not even her teacher Miss Orb. Perhaps she’s blending in with the branches a little too well! Finally, Heidi speaks up for herself and Miss Orb comes up with a plan to help Heidi stand out.
Aura Parker’s winsome illustrations are a pure delight. Kids of all ages will pore over the adorable details and enjoy the numbers and counting elements throughout the story. The endpapers are a delight and each includes a search-and-find activity.
I fell in love with this picture book when I first saw the end pages. I didn’t even need to read the story or flick through further to know it was going to be a gorgeous book.
Are you a bit different from those around you? Do you stand out? Or maybe you are so different no one even sees you? That’s the problem Heidi has. No one sees her. Heidi is tall and thin, just like the twig of a tree. It is her first day of school, but it is hard to make friends when no one notices you in the playground and you can’t join in the classroom activities if no one knows you’re there.
Lucy’s Book – Natalie Jane Prior, Cheryl Orsini (ill.) – Lothian – Published 28 February 2017
LUCY’S BOOK captures that special connection between a child and their favourite book, as well as celebrating the way sharing stories can bring people together.
Lucy’s mum takes her to the library every Saturday. Lucy loves to read, but there is one special book that she borrows over and over again. The book is shared between friends, dropped in the ocean, flown to China and even made into a banana sandwich. But what will happen when everyone’s favourite book goes missing?
Lucy’s Book is a charming and delightful story that perfectly captures that magic moment when a book and a person first meet and change each other forever.
When the librarian hands Lucy a book and says “I think you’ll enjoy this one,” she couldn’t predict what would happen next. It becomes Lucy’s book. Her favourite. The book she wants to reread a hundred times. Lucy borrows it many times, shares it with her friends, takes it on holidays, and then discovers it has been removed from the library shelves. Desperate, Lucy begins a search to find her book.
Welcome To Country – Joy Murphy and Lisa Kennedy (ill.) – Black Dog Books
Welcome to the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People. We are part of this land and the land is part of us. This is where we come from. Wominjeka Wurundjeri balluk yearmenn koondee bik. Welcome to Country.
Welcome To Country shares the wonderful traditional words of welcome from the Wurundjeri People of Melbourne. It is beautifully written and the words flow gently over the pages, set against gorgeous illustrations.
In a day when showing respect to the traditional owners of the land is so key (though it has never not been important, I might add), it is wonderful to share the words traditionally used to welcome visitors.
Dot Day Display
Have you read The Dot by Pete H. Reynolds? It is one of my favourite picture books. I love its message of creativity and having a go.
International Dot Day is celebrated on the 15th (ish) of September. This year we celebrated International Dot Day by creating a special Dot display.
I printed off a load of blank dots – easily made with Word and the circle shape. Inspired by the story, the students created their own dot. Emoji and Pokemon symbols were popular choices for the students, while others created beautiful patterns. I also printed off some celebri-dots from the celebri-dots website, to provide some inspiration.
I then made a giant dot out of all our little dots and added the quote “Just make a mark and see where it takes you” to the bottom of the display. It was a great way to incorporate student artwork into a display.
Find more information about International Dot Day from the Dot Club website and my International Dot Day post.
Suri’s Wall – Lucy Estela, illustrated by Matt Ottley – Penguin Books Australia – Published 26 August 2015
Eva squeezed Suri’s hand. “What’s there? What can you see?”
“What can I see?” Suri looked out over the wall. “Oh, it’s beautiful, let me tell you all about it.”
A moving tale of the power of the human spirit.
This is an incredibly powerful book.
I went into the book knowing very little about it. I had not even read the blurb. And I think that was the best way to read it. So, if you want to go and find a copy, snuggle down, enjoy the story and then come back and read my review, go ahead. I’ll wait….
Suri’s Wall has been nominated for CBCA’s Book of the Year in 2016, and for very good reason. It is a particularly powerful and moving story. It speaks volumes and yet is gentle and quiet in conveying a message of hope and beauty in times of pain and loss.