Friday, October 21, 2016

Reviews, Children’s Picture Books about Animals 2016 (3)

Reviewed by Susan Stephenson,

On Wednesday, I brought you some reviews of excellent recently published children’s picture books about animals. Here is the second post, with even more wonderful books. Is your chid’s new favourite picture book here?

The Cat Wants Custard by P.Crumble and Lucinda Gifford was published by Scholastic Australia, 2016.

From the publisher:

Meet Kevin, the opinionated feline who is full of cat-titude.

Kevin has a craving. He wants custard, and he wants it NOW! Follow the hilarious antics of a cat trying to get its human companion to give him what he wants, including using his own body to spell the word CUSTARD! Will he succeed? A brilliantly funny picture book treat.

Anyone who knows cats, and that includes kids, will chortle from the beginning to the end. Kevin is so utterly disdainful and sarcastic as he tries to get through to his hopeless human. Gifford’s illustrations ooze with character …and custard.

My Perfect Pup by Sue Walker and Anil Tortop was published by New Frontier Publishing, 2016.

From the publisher:

One puppy sits excitedly in a pet shop waiting for the perfect home. Will it be the twins, Milly and Max, or Joe who takes him home?

Walker shows some of the dilemmas of pet ownership very well - the first “owners” just aren’t the right ones for Tiny, who is much happier as Horse with his next human. I liked the story very much. It’s pitched perfectly at the under 6 readership, and there’s an underlying gentle message about being who you are and allowing others to be that too. Tortop’s exuberant illustrations add lots of movement to My Perfect Pup.

Me and Moo and Roar Too by P.Crumble and Nathaniel Eckstrom was published by Scholastic Australia, 2016. RRP: $24.99.

From the publisher:

This is me, and this is Moo.
And THIS is Roar.

Meet Me and Moo’s new friend, Roar. He likes dressing up, using Mum’s hairbrush and sneaking snacks from the kitchen. But that’s not all—Roar SNORES! What will Mum and Dad have to say when they find out Roar has come to stay too?

If you’re looking for books with a friendship theme that have super-cute illustrations to lure young readers, check out this fun children’s picture book. It also has a gentle message about needing to let some “pets” return to the wild, and does this in a way that kids and adults will both appreciate. I have reviewed and shared several Eckstrom-illustrated books - the kids and I love his art work.

The Whole Caboodle by Lisa Shanahan and Leila Rudge was published by Scholastic Australia, 2016. RRP: $24.99

From the publisher:

Wakey-wakey peachy pear,
my fuzzy-wuzzy grizzly bear,
my tootsy-wootsy fizzyjig,
my hurdie-gurdie whirligig!

It’s walk time! Who shall we see at the park today?

A playful pup takes the lead on a stroll to the park, where many new friends will be found!

I love books that encourage children to delight in the craziness and fun of our language! Shanahan combines this with a simple narrative that invites kids to count and explore all sorts of dogs. The Whole Caboodle makes the 6th Rudge-illustrated book I’ve reviewed - I hope there are many more! She brings a lovely playfulness to a story that is brimming with word fun and humour. Book Chook Feather of Approval!

Here Comes Mister Postmouse
was created by Marianne Dubuc, translated by Greet Pauwelijn, published by Book Island, 2016.

From the publisher:

Have you ever taken a peek inside a rabbit’s toilet or entered the house of a crocodile? Join Mr Postmouse on his daily rounds and visit the extraordinary homes of Mr Bear, Señor Snake, Madam Dung Fly, the Penguins and many other animals.

You'll find something new amongst the fun and colourful illustrations each time you help our mouse-hero make his deliveries.

Dubuc presents a simple journey narrative as our mouse hero goes about his deliveries. What will capture children’s imaginations is the detailed and whimsical depictions of his deliveries! Adults and kids will have such fun marvelling over homes like the hen house, where Mister Postmouse seems to be delivering a not-too-well wrapped parcel of a fox. Inside the cutaway of the home, we see chickens in hammocks, hens laying into a clever incubator, chicks learning maths….there’s lots of humour and heaps to discuss, making this a valuable acquisition for any young reader or library.

Take Ted Instead was written by Cassandra Webb, illustrated by Amanda Francey and published by New Frontier Publishing, 2016. RRP: $24.99.

From the publisher:

It’s bedtime for one tired little boy. Why should he go to bed when everyone else in the house is still awake? He has a plan to keep himself wide awake ...

Our young hero’s attempts to divert his Mum including hiding in places kids will love to “spy” him, and using rhyming names as an alternative off-to-bed candidate. Take Ted Instead would make a simple model for children to innovate on with their own stories. Another fun follow-up activity would be to create a lift-the-flap book for a story re-telling.

Blue and Bertie was created by Kristyna Litten and published by Koala Books, an imprint of Scholastic, 2016. RRP: $14.99

From the publisher:

Bertie the giraffe’s life runs on very straight lines. He always has the same breakfast. He always takes the same stroll. He always takes his nap under the same tree.

But then, one day, Bertie oversleeps and is left behind by the rest of his herd, and his life begins to take some very unexpected turns...

A warm, emotional story, which celebrates difference.
Blue and Bertie is a very satisfying children’s picture book to share with kids. It’s not hilarious, but nor does it aim to be. It gently explores differences and changes, and does so in a way that will support kids who find such differences or changes difficult to cope with. Litten’s detailed illustrations will ensure kids pore over each page when time comes to read the book independently. The only thing I didn’t like was the change of font size and style throughout which perhaps was meant to underscore the theme but I found distracting.

Noisy Nights by Fleur McDonald and Annie White, published by New Frontier Publishing, 2016. RRP:$24.99

From the publisher:

From bestselling author Fleur McDonald comes her first delightful picture book. A farmer struggles to get to sleep with all the noise from his farm animals. He finally finds the solution to a good night’s sleep.

The premise is simple: a farmer can’t sleep because of all the night noise, mostly from his farm animals. His final solution is one kids will have heard of (counting sheep). But Noisy Nights, although a fairly simple narrative, has opportunities for appreciating beautiful words - the horses nickered to their foals - and many, many invitations to join in with animal noises. Kids will laugh over the farmer’s desperation, and enjoy acting out the story or re-telling it.

Why is that Emu Wearing One Red Shoe? by John Field and David Legge, published by Scholastic (2016) is accompanied by a CD of Field performing the song. RRP: $19.99.

From the publisher:

Once there was an emu wearing one red shoe, Who set out on a walk just like emus do,
Leaving from the town they call Tullabaloo...
Why was that emu wearing one red shoe?
Follow all the animals in this fun singalong mystery from favourite Aussie singer-songwriter John Field and award-winning illustrator David Legge.

Teachers and parents appreciate CDs that scaffold young readers by providing an audio version of text they are “reading”. Lots of Scholastic picture books have this feature. This fun children’s picture book also has bright, colourful, even zany illustrations that will appeal to kids as they enjoy the story/song.

Find more children’s picture books and articles about animals by browsing here: Reviews: Recent Picture Books about Animals 2015,  Reviews: Recent Picture Books about Animals 2015 (2), Reviews: Recent Picture Books about Animals 2015 (3), Reviews: Recent Picture Books about Animals  2015 (4). Find some of my articles about using animal resources with kids here.

Find more Children's Book Reviews on The Book Chook by clicking Reviews in the right sidebar.

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