Jack doesn’t like trying new things or too loud noises. What he really likes is anything that zooms, digs, or races, and of course, his favourite food, peanut butter sandwiches. His best friend likes peanut butter sandwiches too and they eat them together every lunchtime. She even lets Jack ride on the back of her wheelchair sometimes. Jack’s mother works at the zoo and took Jack, his sisters, and his best friend to visit all the animals at feeding time. The noise of the animals munching on their favourite foods was hard to ignore but, at each enclosure, Jack bravely squeezed his eyes shut and tried the yummy fruits and vegetables for himself. When they came to the lions, Jack began flapping his hands up and down really quickly which is something he does when he’s really excited. The other zookeepers were a bit worried that the lions were getting ready to pounce but, after all the new things he’d tried that day, Jack was fearless. He picked up the lions' food and threw it towards them and as far away from everyone as he could. The next day he stood up in front of the whole class and told everyone about their exciting day, and his best friend and sisters were right there with him.
This is an engaging and inspiring story about two best friends who like each other just the way they are. It celebrates their differences, applauds their similarities, and highlights how we each have something special and unique to offer as a friend. Told with empathy and understanding, JACK’S BEST DAY EVER will hopefully spark conversations about the misconceptions and stereotyping of those who are neurodivergent and encourage more open mindedness and acceptance of who we are as individuals. The warm and colourful illustrations expertly showcase the emotion of the characters and the powerful message at the heart of this story – that not everyone is the same, and that is a wonderful thing.
Find out more about Gabrielle Bassett
Find out more about Annabelle Hale
Published by Woodslane Press
Release date: 01 May 2023
For ages 4 +
Thanks to Romi Sharp and Books on Tour PR & Marketing for the review copy of the book and promotional images
From the opening lines of ‘School’s done. Ride, roll, run!’ to the final ‘Ride, roll, run. Friends and fun!’, this simple but action-packed rhyming story, takes the reader on a joyful afternoon of possibilities after school has finished for the day. Skateboarding, bike riding, playing basketball and sidewalk games are just a few of the many fun activities these friends get up to. Although not specified in the text, the illustrations highlight the diversity and inclusion of those three words ‘ride, roll, run’ and showcase activities all children love to participate in, no matter their background or ability.
Ride Roll Run is Valerie Bolling’s third picture book, written in her distinctive style of sparse, engaging, rhyming text, and readers will connect from the very first page. The playful nature of the story, and clever use of slant rhyme, encourages readers to listen closely, and perhaps even pre-empt the words associated with the actions described in the story. Sabrena Khadija’s bold, uncomplicated and colourful illustrations are the perfect complement to the text. Her use of simple shapes and lines add an exuberant strength to each of the characters, enticing the reader to join in the fun.
Ride Roll Run is a celebration of community, friendship and neighbourhoods, and is a wonderful addition to any library collection.
Supporting teaching themes could include friendship, community, sports, neighbourhoods, children with disabilities and rhyme.
Find out more about Valerie Bolling
Find out more about Sabrena Khadija
Published by Abrams Books Appleseed Imprint
Release date October 4, 2022.
ISBN: 9781419756290 (HB)
Recommended for ages 3 – 5.
The Curiosities centers around a young boy named Miro, who begins to see the world in a way that is different to others. When the Curiosities first appear they seem to blend in, but gradually they show Miro the 'oddments and snippets', 'wonders and possibles' in the places where no-one else looks. Sometimes the curiosities would show Miro how to tickle songs from the earth, whisper up waves and dance with him deep into the night. The pull of the curiosities gradually became stronger and stronger and soon others in his village begin to notice them too. They became so loud that people began to stare, and no matter what he did, Miro could not tame them. They were almost unbearable, and he felt as though he was vanishing deep inside the earth. Then he heard the whisper of a village elder who helped Miro brush away the darkness of the curiosities. They were still there, but he found the more he connected with people, the easier it was to control them. And he noticed that many others had their own the curiosities too which helped him feel not so alone.
There are many who deal with neurodiversities and disabilities, and this book is a wonderful celebration of who we are and how we see ourselves, and encourages us to not to worry too much how others choose to see us. Zana Fraillon is one of my favourite YA authors and she has managed the cross over to picture books flawlessly. Her text is poignant and uplifting, but also challenging, asking us to know ourselves first before we look at how we perceive others. Phil's whimsical and playful images draw us into Miro's world to see what life looks like through his eyes. His clever depictions of the curiosities as recognisable but wisp-like creatures, make us aware but not afraid of them, and inspires us to embrace the curiosities in all of us.
Diversity, autism, neurodiversity, acceptance, empathy, perspective, community, culture and mental health are all topics that can be introduced and discussed when using this beautiful and highly recommended book in the classroom.
Find out more about Zana Fraillon
Find out more about Phil Lesnie
Published in 2021 by Hachette Australia
ISBN 9780734417848 (HB)
Recommended for ages 4 - 8