Little E engrossed in Teddy’s bedtime tale
In this board book we have some sixty words and seven spreads through which toddlers can enjoy sharing in the bedtime rituals of a trio of teddies plus other toys. Said teds play together then go upstairs for some fun in the bath.
After that , it’s pyjamas on, teeth brushed, storytime and lights out.
A jolly rhymimg text and cute pictures with lots of patterns and items of interest for the very youngest; for bedtimes and other times too.
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The Short Giraffe
Neil Flory and Mark Cleary
Allen & Unwin (Murdoch Books) pbk
When photographer Boba the baboon arrives to take a photo of the tallest animals in the world, he is confronted with a poser of a problem. The desired perfect photograph can easily fit in five giraffe faces but what about Geri? The shortest ever giraffe offers to step aside but the others are having none of it; all credit to them. Various ideas are proffered – stilts, stacking,
inverting, inflating and winging him; but none is successful and eventually the giraffes’ ideas are exhausted. Along comes a caterpillar with a seemingly simple solution (children of course, will already have got there).
Then it’s just a case of a bit of repositioning and neck arching and with Geri in the centre front … click! Perfection at last.
There are laughs aplenty in this neatly simple story of inclusion, embracing differences and exploring things from different perspectives.
With touches of slapstick, Cleary’s digitally manipulated images set for the most part, against manila coloured paper which has the effect of making the candy-coloured animals stand out, (and up) are bound to make you smile.
Share with individuals and small groups.
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The Mouse Who Ate the Moon
Little Mouse adores the moon, so much so that she longs to have a piece of her very own. One morning when she wakes up, there, just outside her hole is a slice of her heart’s desire – so she thinks. It smells so wonderful that she takes a tiny nibble, and another and …
Oh no! No round moon now. But when she tells Rabbit and Mole her sad news, they say that nobody can eat the moon. A distraught Little Mouse returns to her hole until dark begins to fall when she hears a noise outside. It’s her friends Mole and Rabbit and they have something to show her, something large and shiny and ROUND in the starry sky. Time for a celebratory sharing of the rest of Little Mouse’s portion of moon, they decide. Mmm – delicious!
This cleverly designed book, with its peepholes and cutaway pages build up the scenes and extend the action as the story progresses. Horacek’s striking illustrations are created with a variety of media including wax resist and strong watercolours; the various techniques serve to add depth and texture.
After sharing the story adults may well take the opportunity to examine more closely with their young audiences, how the scenes have been created and this could well inspire children to try out the techniques for their own artistic creations. Not only a charming and amusing story, but a great art lesson in looking.
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Nina orchestrating the story for her sister
The Farmer’s Away! BAA! NEIGH!
Anne Vittur Kennedy
When the farmer’s away, the animals play. What a din they make too as they tell the story in their very own words: a story of their day of boating,
picnicking, switch-back riding, waterskiing, taking a trip in an air balloon and dancing. All that, until ‘ARF, arf, ARF’… dog gives the warning of the farmer’s return.Then it’s a mad dash, a CHARGE and a leap over the fence
and shh shh shhhhhhhh. Phew!
With its only words being those neighs, baas, quacks, arfs, oinks, rees, clucks cheeps, ribbets, quacks, moos and more uttered by the farm animals as they enjoy their anarchic day while the farmer – with the odd hmm hmm or oh dee doh – toils away on his tractor in the fields –, this delightfully silly story will appeal to children’s sense of the ridiculous. They will love joining in to create that animal cacophony (what better way to sharpen up those sound/symbol associations than this?) as well as relishing the shared joke between them and the author.
The watercolour illustrations of the rural scenes are an absolute hoot too.
Leave this one around in your infant classroom and you’ll hear those sounds echoing all over as children have a go at reading the story themselves.
(You might even create and laminate those animal sounds and leave them for the children to orchestrate their own versions of the book. Then what about some masks? small world play maybe … endless possibilities here.)
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