Baby wants to grow up as cute as a kitten like his Aunt Daisy said, and as strong as lion just like his Uncle Dan. But as much as he loves his family, there are some attributes from the others he’d rather not inherit – like Uncle Max’s bushy eyebrows, Uncle Ted’s hairy legs and Aunty Fern’s wild hair! Will he grow up just right, just as he should be?
In this hilarious new picture book from author Frances Mackay, we watch as Baby’s relatives welcome him to the family, commenting on how they hope he will inherit a little something from each of them as he grows up to be his own person. Everyone has a personal attribute they hope to see reflected in him, but Baby is not so sure and reacts in a way that baby’s tend to when things get overwhelming – with a huge wail! Both young and older readers will relate to comparisons being made within families and the very funny situations this can lead to. This is a brilliantly simple but engaging story with lots of laugh out loud moments. Dotti Colvin’s wonderful, cartoon like illustrations with outlined, colourful characters who possess those all-important accentuated attributes, are the perfect complement to the text. A great addition to any school or home library.
Teaching themes could include families, physical characteristics, babies, humour in stories, relatives, growing up, emotions & feelings.
Find out more about Frances Mackay
Find out more about Dotti Colvin
Published by Frances Mackay.
Release date 2 November, 2022.
Recommended for ages 3 to 8.
Summer has finally arrived in Hibiscus Gardens, which means it's wedding time! Willa is super excited about her Aunty Jane's upcoming wedding but not so excited about her dress, which she tells her best old-age friend Frank, makes her look like a meringue. Still, it will be loads of fun and her dog, Woof, has the very special job of being the ring bearer. But summer also means bushfire season, and Willa is worried by the smoke rising from the mountains behind the town. Dad tells her not to worry as they head to the beach with her best same-age friend Tae. The wind seems to be changing though, and by the time they are back home, the smoke is bigger and closer. It starts raining - not water - but fire sparks - and they all spring into action packing backpacks, food for Woof and checking to make sure neighbours are safe. Suddenly there's a loud rumbling and raindrops, not fire sparks, fall from the sky. Everyone gathers in the middle of the road clapping and cheering and thankful they are safe. But not everything in the town was saved. Brookside Barn where the wedding was to take place, and where all the wedding dresses were being kept, has burned down, so the wedding is called off. Willa is worried about the koalas near the showground too. With the help of Tae and Frank, Willa hatches a plan to save the koalas, and orchestrate the biggest surprise wedding Hibiscus Gardens has ever seen!
Jacqueline Harvey tackles some important concepts for younger readers in this fourth installment of Willa and Woof including bushfires, bullying and wildlife rescue, which she approaches in a way that is meaningful but not confronting. The metaphor of the fire as a dragon is a masterful use of language to impress upon the reader the danger of the bushfire situation. The gravity of rescuing and looking after injured wildlife is portrayed with tension and understanding, with the reader given the opportunity to see the other side of a bully. Seriousness is balanced with humour, and descriptions like 'Ginger Biscuit, the serial killer (cat)', '. . . a giant carrot that looked like it had legs' and 'Her caterpillar eyebrows, Bert and Hilda, . . .' will have readers laughing out loud. Another highly entertaining adventure filled with heart, friendship, compassion and fun, from one of Australia's best known authors.
Supporting teaching themes could include bushfires, seasons, friendship, bullies, wildlife rescue, koalas, intergenerational friendships and dogs.
Find out more about Jacqueline Harvey
Published by Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia
Released 4 April, 2023.
Highly recommended for ages 6 - 9.
Mole. Max Mole. Secret agent. Well, not quite a fully-fledged secret agent - yet.
Max is on a mission to save the world from the bad guys – specifically Dr Nude and the extremely evil Eric Goldfish-Finger – so he can become the 007 of the animal world. But first, the secret agent judges have to agree that he has passed their tests. This is not as easy as it sounds for someone who thinks he has a foolproof, masterful plan to thwart the evil villains. If you ask his partners, Helena Hippo (the muscle) and June Bug (the brains), that’s not always – if ever - the case. He’ll have three chances to prove himself and, if he gets it wrong, they all fail.
In this hilarious new graphic novel from the very talented James Foley, we’ll see Max, Helena and June, try their best to defeat a despicable, robot suited mole rat and a maniacal, tank driving, bank robbing fish with a poisonous side kick. There are lots of explosions, tricky situations, toilets and laugh out loud moments that will engage and entertain readers. Two of my favourites are Mr W’s new acronym for the agency – The Official International League Exterminating Terrorism (T.O.I.L.E.T.), and the very clever play on words and images when the team figures out Goldfishfinger’s next move will be to try and steal the priceless, sold gold fishfinger, the new art work by Andy Warthog.
This is sure to be a much sort after graphic novel series for tweens and spy fans. So as Max says, 'Let's Rock and Mole!'
Supporting teaching themes could include friendships, spies, secret agents, animals, perseverance.
Watch the trailer for Book 1 below.
Find out more about James Foley
Published by Scholastic Australia.
Release date 1 March, 2023.
ISBN: 9781761200151 (PB)
Highly recommended ages 9 - 12.
This hilarious story by well known Australian author Mem Fox and illustrator Jan Thomas takes us on a counting journey like no other. From the very first page of one goat and a bird (with the goat casually chewing on the beach umbrella) this story is full of fun and laughter. Goats are famous for eating anything and everything and that's exactly what they do as we count with them along the way. Goats with maps, goats, with suitcases, goats flying airplanes, with soccer balls, goats with snow balls, goats playing trumpets and a goat with a VERY full belly are just some of the scenes that will have your students roaring with laughter and learning at the same time. The illustrations are wonderful and my students had a lovely time finding the goat in each spread who didn't quite get the idea of what they were supposed to be doing!
Published in 2010 by Beach Lane Books
Recommended for ages 3 - 7