What We Are Reading Right Now… The Picture Book Edition…

This past week was International Children’s Book Day, so I thought I would bring you a pile of the latest and greatest picture books that have been on our reading pile for the last little while. Some of these books are destined to be classics, some have become family favourites and all of them have something that inspires us…


A Collection of the Latest and Greatest Picture Books

A First Book of Animals by Nicola Davies, illustrated by Petr Horáček: This book is right up there with our favourite picture books and is a beautiful collection of poems, all about animals both great and small, wild and free… colourful and camouflaged. Just incredible, the illustrations will leave you gasping. This book received the high accolade of going straight onto the coffee table forever, along with it’s sister book, A First Book of Nature. Have to say that Nicola Davies is a firm favourite in our house and her ability to share her love of nature and all things scientific with small children is outstanding. This is a book that you have to dip into again and again and you will end up visiting in it for quite a while because the illustrations draw you on, from one poem to the next, you can find yourself trailing through this delightful book… hour after hour after hour. This book is a gem, an absolute winner… and the perfect gift for a very little person to grow into.

The Darkest Dark by Astronaut Chris Hadfield and Kate Fillion, illustrated by the Fan Brothers: Well some books are just magical… and this is truly magical. This is the story of Chris Hadfield as a small boy. He was a small boy, who was passionate about space and everything to do with it. He spent hours launching himself into the great beyond in his cardboard box rocket… but he was afraid of the dark. He would not sleep alone, because he was convinced that he would be attacked by aliens. One night, way back in 1969, he gets to go over to the neighbours house to watch the APOLLO 11 landing on the moon on TV. And he is transformed… he realises that in outer space it is the darkest dark and he learns to love the dark and grows up to be one of the most well known and well loved astronauts of all time. This is a great book for kids with big dreams… anything is possible. We love that at the back of the book there is a short biography of Chris Hadfield, and you can see photographs of his childhood, including himself in his cardboard rocket space ship. You just have to love this book.

Vanilla Ice-Cream by Bob Graham: Another grand picture book that starts small, with a teeny tiny sparrow, and suddenly you find yourself on a transworld adventure… it all begins in a roadside cafe in India and ends at the Cafe Botanic in a big city on the far side of the world. It is a sweet poignant story, with very few words, you see the journey unfold through the eyes of a sparrow. The little sparrow, has quite an adventure as he travels the world, across vast expanses of ocean. This book has a dreamy feel to it, and leaves the reader wondering and noticing that even the little things are part of a far bigger picture!!!

Isaac and His Amazing Asperger Superpowers! by Melanie Walsh: Where oh where has this book been, it is a wonderful first book look at the world, seen through the eyes of a little boy, Isaac who has Asperger’s. His normal is not our normal and his relationship with the world is not the same as ours. While much our worlds do overlap, there are subtle differences everywhere. And we all know that subtle differences can turn out to be huge differences under certain circumstances. This book is thoughtfully written and created for people of all ages, to just sit down and take a moment and realise just how the world looks to so many Superpowers. I love this book, families everywhere should be reading this one… this is the kind of book that will help us all better understand folk that are slightly different to us. It will certainly help my children better understand their friends, this is after all a book about understanding. This book has only recently launched but I am guessing it is going to be one of those books that finds its way into every home and every school. Watch out for it and read it with your kids, whenever you get the chance.

Ten Terrible Dinosaurs by Paul Stickland: Meet a spinoff from the most brilliant dinosaur book of all time, the classic Dinosaur Roar by Paul Stickland. If you live with a dinosaur fan, they are going to love the rhyme and rhythm of this gorgeous book… these colourful dinosaurs just have so much delightful playful character… and if you are looking for some dinosaur fun and activities then head straight to their website: www.dinosaurroar.com.

The Everywhere Bear by Julia Donaldson and Rebecca Cobb: This story will delight children who have a classroom friend that they take home on weekends. Mrs Mcallister’s class has a bear, called the everywhere bear. He goes home each Friday with a chid from Class One and then the children, who are a mixed and varied collection, all have a variety of adventures with the bear and return hime to school on Monday, with a polaroid of the event. One Monday morning on his return to school, a little boy drops the bear by mistake and then the Elsewhere Bear goes on his own incredible adventure. Gotta say, I love Rebecca Cobb’s illustrations they are sweet and details are wonderful and secondly it is a Julia Donaldson story, an entire story filled with a beat and a rhythm… and of course a happily ever after ending.

Penguin Problems by Jory John and illustrated by Lane Smith: Oh Lane Smith we love and Penguin Problems is one of those unique books that you know is a favourite even before you open the cover. This book is just perfect in every way. We all have those days, it doesn’t really matter which day it is, it is just that absolutely nothing is going right. The book begins with an adorable penguin, “It’s way to early. My beak is cold. What’s with all the squeaking…” I feel your pain little penguin, we all do. And so his day goes, until he meets up with a walrus… and everything changes!!! This book is just brilliant and you may be expected to read it again and again and again… and you won’t even mind!!!

Construction by Sally Sutton and illustrated by Brian Lovelock:This series of construction books for little people is just pure fun… it’s light reading, it rhymes, and there are a heaps of gorgeous sound effects… And the construction team are building a library… there is everything to love. Colourful illustrations, masses to look at and for the junior construction buff a page full of facts at the back of the book. Just the rhyming fun of this books makes it an “again and again” kind of a book.

A Perfect Day by Lane Smith: Another totally brilliant beautiful Lane Smith… just gotta love. This is the story of the perfect day… for a cat who wants to laze in the sun, for a dog that wants a paddle in the pool for the bird in the garden and the squirrel, but don’t get too comfortable because then a big bet arrives… and (spoiler alert) it becomes the most perfect day for a bear as well. This is delightful, the illustrations feel literally like a summer day – step into it and enjoy your read!!!

Thank you so much to PanMacmillan South Africa for copies of these books for review purposes. This is not a sponsored post, we were not paid to create it and the opinions expressed are as usual, our own.

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