Archive for the ‘Picture book’ Category

The Untold Story of Father Christmas by Alison Battle & Mike Battle.

November 10, 2017 Comments off

untold christmasThe Untold Story of Father Christmas by Alison Battle & Mike Battle. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

To wish is to believe in magic, in hopes and dreams that know no boundaries.

Father Christmas is one of those things but what if he was a toy maker with a wife who supported him and both had a dream to have children but it never happened.

What if he and his wife made toys for the children of the village whose parents were hard working but poor, and what if this task became so big that elves from the north pole had to help them out. And what if this became popular and spread throughout the World.

Sounds like a good story to me with ideals and values that all should behold.

Get a hold of this story and fill in the parts that I have missed out. Beautifully told and illustrated by I assume a husband and wife. I hope they have children.

Moo and Moo and Can you guess Who? by Jane Milton, illus. Deborah Hinde.

October 19, 2017 Comments off

Moo & MooMoo and Moo and Can you guess Who? by Jane Milton, illus. Deborah Hinde. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2017

Of all the animals in the World the two with the most appealing and expressive eyes are the giraffe and the cow. In this truly New Zealand picture book about cows, Deborah Hinde has got them just right.

The story is set 9 months after the earthquake that left Moo And Moo and the calf too, stranded on  a hill created by the earthquake that required them to be helicoptered off. Now both Moo and Moo are expecting calves and have remained friends.

I wonder how many Moos there will be at the end of the book? Read it and find out.

The text is rhyming and sometimes is a little forced but it doesn’t matter. We all wanted to know what happened to those cows. A strong New Zealand flavour and a worthwhile purchase for the home and the school library.

First Day at Skeleton School by Sam Lloyd.

October 10, 2017 Comments off

skeleton schoolFirst Day at Skeleton School by Sam Lloyd. Pub. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2017.

Deep in the dark forest, lurking amongst the trees there is a creepy night-time school for  spooky girls and boys. Are you one of them?

It is a school like the one you go to, except it is for ghouls, monsters, skeletons, werewolves and other spooky creatures. There is a sign in the boys toilet saying No Wee Wees out the Window, and you are not allowed to do daredevil stunts in the library.

If this is the type of school you would like to go to then read this book or contact the headmaster Mr Bones and you might just get in.

A fun picture book with big colourful illustrations of monstrous things going on and rhyming text. There is even a pair of frilly knickers and a plan of the school for first day pupils.

Check it out.

What Makes me a Me? by Ben Faulks & David Tazzyman.

October 4, 2017 Comments off

what makes me meWhat Makes me a Me? by Ben Faulks & David Tazzyman. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

This is a picture book about identity. We all wonder who we are and our place in the World but for the little boy in this book,its a puzzle.

Is he slow like a snail, or like Alfie Wilkes next door who roars like a dinosaur and draws on the wall. Is he like a fast car, a tree or a computer you can turn off and on? Perhaps he is like his dad and mum–son I think your on to something.

Ben Faulks rhyming text tells a good easy to read story and shows the boys willingness  to question everything and David Tazzyman’s illustrations compliment the text perfectly and show the boy’s identity. His woolly hat and John Lennon glasses. Eventually he comes  to the conclusion that what makes me is ME.

Good stuff.

Categories: Junior Fiction, Picture book Tags:

Watch Out for the Weka by Ned Barraud.

September 14, 2017 Comments off

watch wekaWatch Out for the Weka by Ned Barraud. Pub. Potton & Burton, 2017.

A delightful picture book about one of New Zealand’s other native birds that have personality and brighten up our lives. The weka which is very much like a brown bush chicken.

My family and I used to camp at Totaranui in the Able Tasman National Park in the 80’s and 90’s. At first we saw many of them then less and less until hardly ever. It was a shame. they were a cheeky bird that would go into your tent an forage.

The weka in this book has a scurrilous look and likes shiny things. The hut ranger gets embarrassed in his altogether when chasing a weka that has nicked his watch. But the weka hasn’t finished yet. read it and see what happens.

Superb digital illustrations of the Able Tasman particularly Awaroa Inlet and the beach bought by ordinary New Zealanders. The weka is classic.

Some Eels by Amelia Harris.

September 5, 2017 Comments off

some eelsSome Eels by Amelia Harris. Pub. Index press, 2017.

If ever a picture book deserved a better cover it is this one.

It is a simple tale that has much to say about friendship and how we cope when things get a bit murky.

Three eels start on a journey, they are not racing but you don’t want to get left behind. They enter deeper, darker waters and confide in each other until there is nothing more to say, so they start to hum. When they emerge from the murk they keep humming.

Beautifully simplistic hand written text with illustrations that are simple yet powerful. Three wriggly lines for the eels and shades of blue for the water.

I loved it and you will too.

Those interested contact

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

The Longest Breakfast by Jenny Bornholdt, Illus. Sarah Wilkins.

August 28, 2017 Comments off

long breakfastThe Longest Breakfast by Jenny Bornholdt, Illus. Sarah Wilkins. Pub. gecko press, 2017.

More often than not the written text plays second fiddle to the illustrations but not in this picture book where they are of equal importance. Try to understand this book while blocking out the written text. No way. This is a test I do with all picture books.

It is a busy and confusing morning in Malcolm’s household. He is the father and responsible for breakfast. But baby says ‘toot”. It could mean anything, baby knows and you the reader can work it out with the visual clues in the illustrations.

All the other children plus the mother and a couple of friends from next door want something different for breakfast, father is in controlled turmoil. Then baby says “toot and buzzzzzz” It’s a clue, see if you can work it out.

The illustrations are big bright water colours,  and there is much in them that reflects family life in the household plus holding visual clues. I love the father, he is cool.

Illustrations and written text working in harmony like a family.