It’s a busy time of year in bookshops, with shelves just groaning with brand new titles published ahead of the Christmas and summer reading seasons.
This month (November) there are several beautiful, brand new picture books on offer, which would make lovely additions to a home library or great presents (especially as the recipient is unlikely to already own them).
Here are a few which we’re looking forward to sharing and giving. (Click on the titles or cover images below for more information about each book.)
My Dog Bigsy – Alison Lester is one of the most popular picture book creators in Australia. We particularly love the way she portrays horses and dogs, so we can’t wait to meet Bigsy, her new canine creation – the boss of the farm! This should be a delight to read aloud with the preschoolers we know.
Scarlett Startlet –We’ve fallen in love with Emma Quay’s whimsical, dynamic illustrations of big-eyed Scarlett who loves to dance (and her paw-tapping pup, Jazzy Jo-Jo). This feel-good story will be lovely to share with all those kids we know who also love to dance, whether in formal classes or just at home in the lounge room…
Princess Daisy and the Dragon and the Nincompoop Knights – We can’t resist a feisty, clever princess. Princess Daisy wears a girly dress and curtseys and dances, but she’s also much more clever than Sir Musclebound, Sir Daring-do and Sir Brainbox. The paperback edition, out this month, comes with a free audio reading which you can stream on a smartphone or tablet: a nice add-on to keep the kids entertained in the back of the car these holidays!
At the Beach book with jigsaw – At the Beach is a classic Australian holiday story for slightly older kids (7 or 8 and up). We’re keen to get our hands on this new edition because it comes with a jigsaw, which promises even more holiday fun! Roland Harvey’s illustrations are full of hilarious detail.
Numerical Street – Antonia Pesenti and Hilary Bell’s Alphabetical Sydney was a favourite with several kids we know, AND with their Gen-X parents, who enjoyed the vivid illustrations of nostalgic icons such as old-fashioned milkbars and merry go-round swing rides. This new title is a sophisticated counting book in which the numbers are hidden within quirky, detailed images of old-style shops (laundries, cake shops, panel beaters, hair salons). This time we can share the book with friends in other cities, too!
A Library Book for Bear and Please, Open this Book! – we find it hard to resist stories that celebrate the joy of books and reading, and we’re keen to share these two new ones with our families. We think little ones will get a giggle out of Bear, who is sure that visiting the library is a bad idea and the assortment of seven books he already has is quite enough. Please, Open this Book! is a clever and sharply humorous riff on the question of what happens to the characters when you close a book – it’ll delight our less fainthearted kids.
The Skunk – this one is as much for our stylish adult friends as for their kids. It’s a sophisticated story with a slightly Hitchock-ian air, beautifully illustrated in a limited palette. A man notices a skunk. And then notices it again. Could it be following him? Recently selected as one of the New York Times best illustrated children’s books 2015.
Jungle Book Panorama Pops, Building Machines and Fashion Studio – Finally, a mention of three brand-new novelty books. Jungle Book Panorama Pops unfolds to reveal 3-D cut paper representations of twelve of the key scenes from the classic book – a special one for some of the kids in our lives to explore. Building Machines contains parts to build 9 working models, which should keep us all busy in the holidays! And there will be hours of fun with Fashion Studio, which comes with press-out patterns, papers and tissues to make 50 paper outfits and then hang them in a ‘studio’ display.
For more, view our selections of some of the best October picture books and some of the best October children’s novels. To keep in touch with all our lists, reviews and articles, follow us on facebook.