Sunday Rain

Sunday Rain
Rosie J. Pova and Amariah Rauscher
Lantana Publishing

Recently moved, little Elliott is in his bedroom reading as the story opens. Hearing noises outside he gets up looks through the window at the coming storm, returns to the bed and continues reading about a little princess and her adventure, ‘ … the sea kept swallowing the royal boat as the night pushed the day down the horizon.’

Once the rain has stopped he returns to his window and sees other children outside enjoying playing in the puddles. Encouraged by his Mama – “Sunday rain is the most fun” – to venture out and make some new friends, Elliott takes his toy boat and sallies forth.

Then, drawing on the story in his book, he play-acts a scenario involving a little boat, a dragon and a princess that sail on the high seas and land on a desert island, an adventure the other children are only too happy to participate in.

Beautifully written and illustrated in watercolour and charcoal, this sweet story immediately draws readers in, immersing them in the sights, sounds and smells of the events – imagined and real: ‘Outside smelled like wet grass and flowers and the pages of a new book.’

With its themes of stepping out of your comfort zone, overcoming shyness and making new friends, it’s perfect for sharing in a family setting or foundation stage story time. Equally important is its celebration of books, reading and the power of the imagination.

Friendship, Fun and Feelings

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Blue & Bertie
Kristyna Litten
Simon & Schuster
Bertie is a conventional creature spending his time along with the other giraffes crunchity- crunching the sweet leaves from the treetops, sip, slurping cooling water from the watering hole and then curling his long neck and snore, snore snoozing.

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That’s the way things were and that’s the way they liked them.
But then one day having overslept Bertie finds himself alone and unsure which way to go. Before long our long-necked friend is thoroughly lost and he’s not at all happy about it.

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Enter another creature looking very like himself except in one respect; and not only is this creature reassuring but he’s offering to show Bertie the way home.
A way that takes the two of them trit trotting beside some interesting spots and amazing sights

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and even among …

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Finally Bertie’s herd is in sight. Surely though he can’t be thinking of going back to his mundane existence and letting Blue, despite his difference, walk away all by himself, can he?
Thankfully not – after all everyone’s (or giraffe’s) daily life needs a bit of variety, not to mention a special friend to share it with.
Kristina Litten’s first solo picture book is enchanting: I particularly love the way she uses pattern and perspective in her illustrations. Blue and Bertie delightfully demonstrate what  all young children know: that being different is no barrier to friendship.

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Astro the Robot Dog
Claire Freedman and Russell Julian
Scholastic Children’s Books
Built from metal parts and programmed to obey at all times, robot dog Astro lives with alien boy, Zak on Planet Xog and their life is decidedly lacking in fun. Then one day a message flashes up on Zak’s computer screen …

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Off he goes to Planet Earth with a mission to visit Humankind and make a report. Shortly after landing he finds himself being ‘looked after’ by a small boy and daily life becomes filled with fun activities. As Astro makes his nightly reports back to Planet Xog he begins to wonder whether Zak too would enjoy these earthly activities: He’s now a robot dog with feelings. Feelings that, despite his new found friendship, make him miss his erstwhile friend very much. So when another summons comes – one calling him back home, it’s with mixed feelings that he thanks Boy and bids him farewell and off he goes.

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Thanks to Boy’s kindness however life back on Planet Xog is about to become a whole lot more fun and full of feelings, for Zak and Astro anyway.

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Told in jaunty rhyme, this is a heart-warming story of friendship, fun and a spot of football.

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