Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Fun Picture Books for Pre-schoolers

Fun Picture Books for Pre-schoolers
by Susan Stephenson,

Celebrating Picture Books in Picture Book Month!

Continuing with our celebration of all things picture book in November, here are five recently published picture books that might make great gifts for the pre-school kids in your life.

My Dinosaur Dad: Created by Ruth Paul, My Dinosaur Dad was published by Scholastic NZ (2013.)  It's a large book, allowing Paul to show off the size of many of the dinosaurs. The illustrations are colourful, detailed and fun. Text is minimal, with Paul introducing young dinosaur lovers to various dino-dads and their attributes: spiky, prickly, knobbly, tickly etc.

Bad Dog Flash: Again created by Ruth Paul,  Bad Dog Flash was published by Scholastic NZ (2013.)  The art work is just as attractive as in My Dinosaur Dad but softer and furrier, in keeping with the main character, an adorable puppy called Flash. Anyone who has ever owned a dog will relate to Flash's antics and kids will enjoy reading along with the minimal text.

To Get to Me: Written by Eleanor Kerr, illustrated by Judith Rossell, and published by Random House Australia (2013.) "A picture book for kids about transport around the world. From planes, trains and automobiles to all things that GO. It's like Dora the Explorer meets Thomas the Tank Engine. Peter is going to the zoo and he wants his friend Ahmed to come, too. To get to Peter, Ahmed just has to ride his camel through the desert, catch a bus to the airport, hop on a jumbo jet...A picture book about all the different types of transport we can use to get around our big wide world, and the many places, people and customs you can see along the way." Little kids LOVE things that go. That's a fact. Kerr has cleverly capitalised on this fact to expand their horizons. We see the possible journey of Peter's friend Ahmed - by camel, bus, jet, ferry etc. There's lots for kids to discuss in the illustrations, including a map, and they will love looking at all the realistic and colourful details. I loved this entertaining yet educational picture book for pre-schoolers!

Troggle the Troll: Written by Nick Falk, illustrated by Tony Lowe, this children's picture book was published by Random House Australia (2012.) "Troggle the Troll lives with Mummy Troll, Daddy Troll and Baby Troll under a bridge. He is a happy troll . . . except at dinner time. Who wants to eat people every night? But one day Daddy Troll has a sniffle and Troggle is send to hunt down food. Can Troggle change the family's diet once and for all?" It's no doubt tough being a troll, but Falk makes us laugh throughout this zany story. Kids will enjoy the irony of a troll who just wants to eat "vegebubbles", despite his family's desire for "Something tender, something sweet, something with arms and legs and feet!" Lowe's big-eyed trolls are cute rather than scary, but Troggle the Troll will appeal to little monsters everywhere!

Saving Muddled-Up Farm: Written by Mike Dumbleton, illustrated by Jobi Murphy, this children's picture book was published by Random House Australia (2013.) "Muddled-up farm is a very special place where all of the animals happily make muddled-up noises. But one day everything changes. How can the animals save their beloved farm? Come on . . . open the gate and see what's happening." Children will love the zany animals and delight in pointing out the inaccuracies of donkeys who chirp in the tops of the trees. Murphy's illustrations are vibrant and contribute to the giggles and guffaws. Top that off with rhyme and rhythm and you have a fun romp for under fives. Pair it with the original Muddled-Up Farm, and you have a gift with double whammy!

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