Jackie’s Quick Picture Book Overview

If you would like a recent complimentary copy of PASS IT ON – a try before you buy – please contact me jackiehosking@bigpond.com
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 667 Monday 9th April 2018
TITLE:   My Australia
AUTHOR:  Julie Murphy
ILLUSTRATOR:  Garry Fleming
PUBLISHER:  National Library of Australia
ISBN:  9780642279163
THEMES:   Australia
AGE GROUP:   3+ years
RHYME:   Yes & No
Jackie’s rating:   8.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts: This is a beautifully illustrated poem that describes Australia in all her glory. Each page depicts varied landscapes on bright glossy pages with the last 6 pages being filled with facts and details about this magnificent land. A great addition to the classroom.
TITLE:   My sister
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR:   Joanna Young
PUBLISHER:  New Frontier
ISBN:  9781925594041
THEMES:   Sisters, love, caring, togetherness
AGE GROUP:   4 – 8 years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   8/10
Jackie’s thoughts: Written as a series of questions, this sweet account of two sisters’ love for one another is illustrated in soft pastels with lots of white space and minimal text.
TITLE:   Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes
ILLUSTRATOR:   Matt Shanks
PUBLISHER:  Scholastic
ISBN:  9781760276942
THEMES:   Human and animal body parts
AGE GROUP:   3 – 6 years
RHYME:   Song
Jackie’s rating:   8/10
Jackie’s thoughts: A twist on an old favourite (play school comes to mind) to be sung and danced to with the added fun of claws, paws, tails and the like.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 666 Tuesday 3rd April 2018
TITLE:   Missing Marvin
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR:  Sue deGennaro
PUBLISHER:  Scholastic
ISBN:  9781742769509
THEMES:   Bullying, courage, friends, forgiveness
AGE GROUP:   3+ years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   9/10
Jackie’s thoughts: An adorable book about an adorable character, Marvin the baggage handler. Playing jokes can be fun but only when everyone is laughing. Poor Marvin is the butt of every joke and one day he just has enough. Children will certainly be able to relate to this real life problem and will hopefully be able to put themselves into the situation whether they be the victim or the instigator.
TITLE:   My Mum is a Magician
AUTHOR:   Damon Young
ILLUSTRATOR:   Peter Carnavas
PUBLISHER:  University of Queensland Press
ISBN:  9780702259944
THEMES:   Family, fun, mums, magic
AGE GROUP:   4 – 8 years
RHYME:   Yes
Jackie’s rating:   7.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts: A fun comparison of what mums get up to, lots of alliteration and unusual scenarios but nothing compares to a mum who is a magician!
TITLE:   Pugs don’t wear pyjamas
AUTHOR:   Michelle Worthington
ILLUSTRATOR:   Cecilia Johansson
PUBLISHER:  New Frontier Publishing
ISBN:  9781925594034
THEMES:   Pugs, pets, jealousy, acceptance
AGE GROUP:   3 – 6 years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   8/10
Jackie’s thoughts: When Aunt Roz gets a new (extraordinary) pug, Tom is a bit miffed but it’s not until he accidentally lets Ellie out of the gate that he realises just how special she is. Children might liken this scenario is getting a younger sibling or accepting any change really.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 664 Monday 12th March 2018
TITLE:   Is it warm enough for ice cream?
AUTHOR:   Violet Peto
ILLUSTRATOR:   Victoria Palastanga
PUBLISHER:  Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
ISBN:  9780241313053 (Board Book)
THEMES:   Seasons; Nature; Ice cream
AGE GROUP:   2+ years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   8/10
Jackie’s thoughts: Beginning with Autumn, the question is asked, Is it warm enough for ice cream? Children may disagree with the answer but other fun things are suggested like flying a kite or sailing a boat. Each time the season changes the question is asked again until hooray, Summer arrives and then yes, it is warm enough to eat ice cream. A fun way for little ones to discover how the seasons change.
TITLE:   Colours with Ladybird
AUTHOR:   Dawn Sirett
ILLUSTRATOR:   Rachael Parfitt Hunt
PUBLISHER:  Dorling Kindersley Ltd.
ISBN:  9780241317143 (Board Book)
THEMES:   Colours; animals;
AGE GROUP:   2+ years
RHYME:   Yes
Jackie’s rating:   8.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts: This is a very tactile book, perfect for exploring hands. Little fingers can follow the cut out paths to find gifts of glittery boots for the caterpillar, each a different colour. Bright and beautifully done, each page invites you to caress it.
TITLE:   What the fluffy bunny said to the growly bear
AUTHOR:   P. Crumble
ILLUSTRATOR:   Chris Saunders
PUBLISHER:  Koala Books (Scholastic)
ISBN:  9781742761084
THEMES:   Funny; misunderstandings; whispers;
AGE GROUP:   3+ years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   8.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts: Remember that game where you whispered a secret to the person next to you and they passed it on until the secret morphed into something completely different? Well that’s what this book is all about. What begins as a simple enough message ends up as something quite ridiculous with hilarious results.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 660 Monday 12th February 2018
TITLE:   Skip to the Loo! A Potty Book
AUTHOR:   Sally Lloyd-Jones
ILLUSTRATOR:   Anita Jeram
PUBLISHER:  Walker Books UK
ISBN:  9781406377347 (Board Book)
THEMES:   Toilet training
AGE GROUP:   2+ years
RHYME:   Yes
Jackie’s rating:   7.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts: While you would categorise this as a rhyming book, the fact that everything rhymes with “loo” means that many of the rhymes sounds forced and the meter isn’t really consistent either. The message is fun and the mirror at the end is a great idea so I’m sure little tots on their pots will love it.
TITLE:   Ash Dresses her Friends
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR:   Fu Wenzheng
PUBLISHER: New Frontier
ISBN:  9781925594027
THEMES:   Friendship, loneliness, sharing, animals
AGE GROUP:   3+ years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   8.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts: I’ve always been drawn to picture books that use limited colour and this one is done beautifully. Ash uses her seamstress skills to make beautiful garments and other accessories to cheer up her friends which in turn creates an atmosphere of love and togetherness. The message being that helping others will bring its own rewards.
TITLE:   Time for School Daddy
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR: Dave Hackett
PUBLISHER: UQP
ISBN:  9780702260049
THEMES:   School morning dramas, daddies, daughters, funny
AGE GROUP:   4+ years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   8.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts: Kids love when the shoe is on the other foot. Child behaves as parent and parent as child. Time for School Daddy takes us through the morning of a little girl getting her Daddy ready for school with Daddy first wanting to sleep in, then having a temperature, then a rumbly tummy. The illustrations are great fun with Daddy looking much like an overgrown (hairy) baby. I thought that perhaps Daddy was a teacher but I’m not sure if that was the case as in the end he hopped on the school bus and the child was left at home.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 659 Monday 5th February 2018
TITLE:   Yoga Babies
AUTHOR:   Fearne Cotton
ILLUSTRATOR:   Sheena Dempsey
PUBLISHER:  New Frontier
ISBN:  9781925594072
THEMES:   Yoga; relaxing; babies; family
AGE GROUP:   2+ years
RHYME:   Yes
Jackie’s rating:   8/10
Jackie’s thoughts: This is a super sweet book with very cute babies doing real yoga poses to help them relax. I can imagine both parent and child giving these poses a go as they read the book. The illustrations are soft yet vibrant highlighting the messiness of life, showing too that yoga can be done just about anywhere.
TITLE:   Macca the Alpaca
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR:   Matt Cosgrove
PUBLISHER: Koala Books
ISBN:  9781925594072
THEMES:   Alpacas; Llamas; bullying; funny; resourcefulness; karma; forgiveness
AGE GROUP:   3+ years
RHYME:   Yes
Jackie’s rating:   9/10
Jackie’s thoughts: So funny, and the illustrations are perfect, just look at that face! Dear Macca, the Alpaca’s day are carefree until………DRAMA! A LLAMA! Llama is a bully but Macca has a brain and intelligence wins out in the end.
TITLE:   Room on our Rock
AUTHORS: Kate & Jol Temple
ILLUSTRATOR: Terri Rose Baynton
PUBLISHER: Scholastic
ISBN:  9781742764108
THEMES:   Acceptance; sharing; empathy; inclusion; point of view
AGE GROUP:   3+ years
RHYME:   Yes
Jackie’s rating:   9.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts: This is a very clever book with a simple yet strong message. Each double page spread contains one line that if read front to back gives one message but when read back to front gives another. Very impressed.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 657 Monday 22nd January 2018
TITLE:   Me too
AUTHOR:   Erika Geraerts & Charl Laubscher
ILLUSTRATOR:   Gatsby (Andy Murray)
PUBLISHER:   Walker Books
ISBN:  9781925381900
THEMES:   Friendship, love, gratitude
AGE GROUP:   2+ years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   8/10
Jackie’s thoughts: A lovely way to illustrate how important friendship is through a simple conversation between friends. Both children express how they hope to find ‘a someone’ who will like the same things they do – the reader can see that they’ve already found them. Minimal illustrations, lots of white space, pastel colours compliment the idea that love does not have to be complicated.
TITLE:   Perfect Petunias
AUTHOR:   Lynn Jenkins
ILLUSTRATOR:   Kirrili Lonergan
PUBLISHER:  EK Books
ISBN:  9781925335583
THEMES:   Perfectionism, trying, acceptance, letting go of control, enjoying the journey
AGE GROUP:   5 – 8 years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   8.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts: As Einstein once said, ‘Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new.’ Perfect Petunias sets out to help children let go of perfectionism. As you cannot control how petunias will grow so you shouldn’t expect new learning experiences to run smoothly. The message: don’t give up, don’t worry and go with the flow. A positive message for little stress heads.
TITLE:   Everything you
AUTHOR:   Elizabeth McPike
ILLUSTRATOR:   Jay Fleck
PUBLISHER:  UQP
ISBN:  9780702260032
THEMES:   Love, baby, animals
AGE GROUP:   2+ years
RHYME:   Yes
Jackie’s rating:   8/10
Jackie’s thoughts: A sweet poem about welcoming baby into the family. Each page a different animal is simply illustrated with bold yet muted colour. Focusing on how baby is everything to the parent the illustrations imply that the parents are also everything to the baby as they never stray too far away.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 655 Monday 8th January 2018
TITLE:   Little Dog and the Summer Holiday
AUTHOR:   Corinne Fenton
ILLUSTRATOR:   Robin Cowcher
PUBLISHER:   Walker Books
ISBN:  9781925381160
THEMES:   Holidays, Caravans, Sydney, 1950’s, Family
AGE GROUP:   5+ years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   9/10
Jackie’s thoughts: A beautiful accompaniment to Little Dog and the Christmas Wish, this book takes us on a caravan summer holiday from Melbourne to Sydney. Cowcher’s stunning watercolour illustrations set the mood of fond memories told with historical softness. Fenton’s poetic text includes delightful metaphors and smilies some favourites being….

The long, lazy days of summer holidays waited like parcels in a lucky dip.

As the sun dipped behind the sandpaper hills…

Each night everyone sat outside their tents and caravans playing board games as an eggshell moon glimmered high above.

An absolutely beautiful production to be enjoyed by young and old alike.

TITLE:   A Lion is a Lion
AUTHOR/ILLUSTRATOR:   Polly Dunbar
PUBLISHER:   Walker Books
ISBN:  9781406371536
THEMES:   Courage, deception, saying ‘No!’
AGE GROUP:   3+ years
RHYME:   Yes and no
Jackie’s rating:   9/10
Jackie’s thoughts: Very cleverly done. Encourages children to recognise when they need to say no. A play on the idea of a wolf in sheep’s clothing or the scorpion and frog story. Some animals (or people) are dangerous because it’s just in their nature. I was very impressed with this book, I think because the message is so subtle and yet so important. And it’s also hilariously written and illustrated.
TITLE:   The ABC Book of Feelings
AUTHOR:   Helen Martin & Judith Simpson
ILLUSTRATOR:   Cheryl Orsini
PUBLISHER:  abcbooks
ISBN:  9780733338298
THEMES:   Feelings
AGE GROUP:   3+ years
RHYME:   Yes & No
Jackie’s rating:   8/10
Jackie’s thoughts: A comprehensive book of feelings to help young ones understand that we all have them, that they change constantly and that different experiences result in many different feelings. The book also gives suggestions for how to deal with unpleasant feelings. Being a rhymer I would have preferred it if the whole book rhymed as I found the switches a bit jarring.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 652 Monday 27th November 2017
TITLE:   Once upon a Small Rhinoceros
AUTHOR:   Meg McKinlay
ILLUSTRATOR:   Leila Rudge
PUBLISHER:   Walker Books
ISBN:  9781925126709
THEMES:   Travelling; Comfort zones; Self belief; Dreaming; Courage
AGE GROUP:   5+ years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   8.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts:   This is lovely. Despite being advised that sailing away is a silly idea, Small Rhinoceros goes anyway. I teared up at the end when even smaller rhinoceros asks:

“Did you get lost?”
“Many times.”
“And was it…wonderful?”
“Oh yes,” said the small rhinoceros. “It was.”

It highlighted, for me, how fearless children can be and how, as adults, we need to be more like them.

TITLE:   La La La
AUTHOR:   Kate DiCamillo
ILLUSTRATOR:   Jaime Kim
PUBLISHER:  Walker Books UK
ISBN:   9781406378009
THEMES:   Longing; connection; courage; determination; hope
AGE GROUP:   5+ years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   9.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts:   Wow! This is an incredibly powerful picture book. Told with only 3 enormous words, this is a true picture book and the illustrations are stunning.
TITLE:   No Room for a Wombat
AUTHOR:   Lynn Ward
ILLUSTRATOR:   Lorell Lehman
PUBLISHER:   Scholastic
ISBN:  9781742991269
THEMES:   Aussie animals; standing your ground; opinions; friends
AGE GROUP:   4 – 7 years
RHYME:   Yes
Jackie’s rating:   8/10
Jackie’s thoughts:   This is gorgeous. Great meter! And a terrific line that repeats – “But you know what it needs?” Everyone has an idea on how to improve Wombat’s burrow until, in the end, Wombat has to insist that only he knows how he wants his home to be.

‘I like my house cool
and a little bit dim.
I like it plant-free
not full-to-the-brim.I thought is was perfect
without a pink wall.
This house doesn’t feel
like my house…
AT ALL!’
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 651 Monday 20th November 2017
TITLE:   Wilbur Grace and Joe
AUTHOR:   Phil Cummings
ILLUSTRATOR:   Amanda Graham
PUBLISHER:   little BOOK PRESS
ISBN:  9780994385284
THEMES:   Babies, twins, pets, family
AGE GROUP:   1-5 years
RHYME:   Yes
Jackie’s rating:   8.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts:   A gentle book highlighting baby’s milestones seen through the eyes of Wilbur, the pet dog. There’s a lovely refrain throughout the book that describes the growing children.
TITLE:   Missing Pinky
AUTHOR:   Juliet Williams
ILLUSTRATOR:   Luisa Gioffre-Suzuki
PUBLISHER:   ip kidz
ISBN:  9781925231427
THEMES:   Security blankets, grandmas, family
AGE GROUP:   5 – 7 years
RHYME:   No
Jackie’s rating:   8/10
Jackie’s thoughts:   When Lucy’s security blanket goes missing everybody tries to help. Love that Lucy looks everywhere, even the moon.
TITLE:   Stanley’s Playing the Trumpet
AUTHOR:   John Field
ILLUSTRATOR:   Tull Suwannakit
PUBLISHER:   Scholastic
ISBN:  9781743815892
THEMES:   Music, perseverance, acceptance
AGE GROUP:   4 – 7 years
RHYME:   Song
BONUS:   CD
Jackie’s rating:   7.5/10
Jackie’s thoughts:   Stanley wants to play in the band but no matter how hard he tries he cannot master the trumpet. Thank goodness there are other instruments for him to try. Love Stanley’s enthusiasm.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 649 Monday 30th October 2017
TITLE Excuse me!
AUTHOR Dave Hughes & Holly Ife
ILLUSTRATOR Philip Bunting
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781742765914
THEMES Manners; Self-consciousness; Bodily functions; Funny
AGE GROUP 4-7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Martha May with beautiful manners learns that it’s ok to release one’s gases if one is far enough away from others’ noses. I had to laugh as I have certainly been in this position, as we all have where we’d rather be in pain than let unwanted gases escape. Nicely done.
TITLE Stink-o-saurus
AUTHOR Deano Yipadee
ILLUSTRATOR Paul Beavis
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781775434733
THEMES Dinosaurs; Bodily functions; Bullying; Unlikely hero
AGE GROUP 4+ years
RHYME Yes – Song with CD
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Goodness so many ‘fart’ books lately! To be honest not my favourite topic but I know kids love them and they’ll love this one too. My favourite verse –

That shaken T-Rex was so big
but is arms were very small
In fact, he couldn’t reach his nose
to block the smell at all!
TITLE Don’t spew in your spacesuit
AUTHOR T Miller
ILLUSTRATOR Matt Stanton
PUBLISHER ABC Kids
ISBN 9780733334672
THEMES Space; Bodily functions
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Good advice, don’t spew in your spacesuit. Again, not really my thing but kids will love it. The meter could be tighter, but I’m a stickler for that. Favourite verse –

When I became an astronaut
I thought it would be easy
I never realised blast off
would make my tummy queasy.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 648 Monday 23rd October 2017
TITLE Tilly’s Reef Adventure
AUTHOR Rhonda N. Garward
ILLUSTRATOR Rhonda N. Garward
PUBLISHER NLA Publishing
ISBN 9780642279088
THEMES Great Barrier Reef; Reef animals; Threats to the Reef; Taking care of the Reef.
AGE GROUP 4-7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Wonderful illustrations highlight the beauty of one of the world’s treasures. Lots of info in the back. A great educational resource.
TITLE Hugo Makes a Change
AUTHOR Scott Emmons
ILLUSTRATOR Mauro Gatti
PUBLISHER Flying Eye Books
ISBN 9781911171218
THEMES Vampires; Food variety
AGE GROUP 4+ years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Funny. Cleverly shows that variety is the spice of life. Loved this couplet….”He loved the tomatoes, the cucumbers too…(…though he passed up the garlic, as all vampires do.)
TITLE Santa’s Gone Surfing
AUTHOR P Crumble
ILLUSTRATOR Thomas Fitzpatrick
PUBLISHER Koala Books an imprint of Scholastic
ISBN 9781743815663
THEMES Christmas down under
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS The meter could be tighter but the story is funny and engaging taking us around Australia with the emergency Santa in a flying ute pulled by emus when the real Santa decides to go surfing.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 647 Monday 16th October 2017
,TITLE A Very Quacky Christmas
AUTHOR Frances Watts
ILLUSTRATOR Ann James
PUBLISHER ABC Kids
ISBN 9780733329623
THEMES Christmas; perseverance; giving & sharing
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS An endearing story about a very determined duck, who with her friends’ help, proves that Christmas is most definitely for animals.
TITLE Marvin and Marigold – A Christmas Surprise
AUTHOR Mark Carthew
ILLUSTRATOR Simon Prescott
PUBLISHER New Frontier
ISBN 9781925059991
THEMES Christmas; tradition; sharing; decorating the tree
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS A lovely story about the magic that happens when you decorate your Christmas tree.
TITLE The Poesy Ring
AUTHOR Bob Graham
ILLUSTRATOR Bob Graham
PUBLISHER Walker Books UK
ISBN 9781406378276
THEMES Love; treasure; time
AGE GROUP 5+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS A softly told story about a lost ring that over many years finds itself where it belongs.
TITLE There’s a Big Green Frog in the Toilet
AUTHOR Anh Do
ILLUSTRATOR Heath McKenzie
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743812495
THEMES Funny; frogs; toilet humour
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME Yes – to be sung
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Lyrics to a song with cd included. The antics a family gets up to trying to remove a frog from the toilet when someone is busting for a pee.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 646 Monday 9th October 2017
TITLE When I Grow Up
AUTHOR Tim Minchin
ILLUSTRATOR Steve Antony
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781742764955
THEMES Growing up
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME Lyrical
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS This one needs to be sung. You can download the song which is about children still wanting to do childish things even when they’re grown up.
TITLE Koalas eat gum leaves
AUTHOR Laura Bunting
ILLUSTRATOR Philip Bunting
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781742991832
THEMES Koalas; gum leaves; ice creams
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Simple, cute, funny. Koalas eat gum leaves and most don’t seem to mind. But one does.
TITLE The Ugly Five
AUTHOR Julia Donaldson
ILLUSTRATOR Alex Scheffler
PUBLISHER Scholastic UK
ISBN 9781407174198
THEMES African animals; beauty; ugliness
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 9.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Brilliant. Loved it. A telling tale about beauty being in the eye of the beholder, in this case the children.
TITLE The Bum Book
AUTHOR Kate Mayes
ILLUSTRATOR Andrew Joyner
PUBLISHER ABC Books
ISBN 9780733332197
THEMES Bums
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Gotta love a bum book and this is a tastefully done bum book. Cute. Everybody has a bum. Bum, bum, bum, bum 🙂
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 645 Monday 2nd October 2017
TITLE Koala Bare
AUTHOR Jackie French
ILLUSTRATOR Matt Shanks
PUBLISHER Angus & Robertson an imprint of HarperCollins Children’s Books
ISBN 9781460751619
THEMES Animals; Aussie Animals; Bears; Funny
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS An amusing look at the misconception that the Aussie Koala is a bear. My favourite couplet reads…

I don’t need to hibernate!
Come on, now –
WAKE UP, MATE!
TITLE Father Christmas Heard a Fart
AUTHOR Olaf Falafel
ILLUSTRATOR Olaf Falafel
PUBLISHER HarperCollins UK
ISBN 9780008244316
THEMES Christmas; Farting; Funny
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Sung to the tune of ‘Old MacDonald Had a Farm’. Funny if you like bottom jokes.
TITLE Lullaby and Goodnight An Australian Lullaby
AUTHOR P Crumble
ILLUSTRATOR Kim Dale
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781760276331
THEMES Aussie Animals; Lullaby
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS With bonus CD – the book can be also be sung. Ten verses illustrate ten Australian animals delivering loving sentiments to their young ones.
TITLE Aussie Legends Alphabet
AUTHOR Beck Feiner
ILLUSTRATOR Beck Feiner
PUBLISHER ABC Books
ISBN 9780733338946
THEMES Aussie Legends; Alphabet;
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS A wonderful collection of Aussie icons from Adam Goodes to Yothu Yindi with more detailed facts in the back.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 643 Monday 4th September 2017
TITLE Ruben
AUTHOR Bruce Whatley
ILLUSTRATOR Bruce Whatley
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743810354
THEMES Survival; hope; friendship;
AGE GROUP 8-12 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Stunningly illustrated Ruben shows us an uncomfortable world where industry has taken over with little regard for humanity. What is left is depicted by two characters, Ruben and Koji – children who desperately want to escape.
TITLE Even Fairies Fart
AUTHOR Jennifer Stinson
ILLUSTRATOR Rebecca Ashdown
PUBLISHER HarperCollins
ISBN 9780062436238
THEMES Perfection; imperfection; being loveable acceptance; fairy tales vs reality
AGE GROUP 4 – 7 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Being loveable is not about being perfect.
TITLE The Great Rabbit Chase
AUTHOR Freya Blackwood
ILLUSTRATOR Freya Blackwood
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743811641
THEMES Rabbits; community; family
AGE GROUP 4 – 8 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS A tale of soft innocence is how I’d describe this book. Follow Gumboots the rabbit on one of his many escapes along with half the town. And afterwards turn to the end pages to play a board game that follows Gumboots’ tracks.
TITLE The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse
AUTHOR Mac Barnett
ILLUSTRATOR Jon Klassen
PUBLISHER Walker Books
ISBN 9781406377798
THEMES Fear; Attitude; making the most of sticky situations; optimism; cooperation; compromise; howling wolves
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 9
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Love it! Favourite quote – “I may have been swallowed but I have no intention of being eaten.” The lesson I took away – What terrifies you most? Go and live there!
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 642 Monday 28th August 2017
TITLE Rodney Loses It!
AUTHOR Michael Gerard Bauer
ILLUSTRATOR Chrissie Krebs
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781742991900
THEMES Drawing; favourite things; loss; tantrums; funny
AGE GROUP 4 – 8 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Poor Rodney cannot cope when his favourite pen (Penny) goes missing. A wonderfully funny story about the resulting temper tantrum.
TITLE Pig the Star
AUTHOR Aaron Blabey
ILLUSTRATOR Aaron Blabey
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743812754
THEMES Showing off; tantrums; justice
AGE GROUP 3 – 7 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Another hilarious addition to the Pig the Pug books.
TITLE Bertha and Bear
AUTHOR Christine Sharp
ILLUSTRATOR Christine Sharp
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9780702254062
THEMES Bees; bears; facing your fears; harmony
AGE GROUP 4 – 8 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS When a storm ruins the bee hive Bertha is sent out to find a new home. Bees are a hot topic at the moment so this is a timely story.
TITLE Stubborn Stanley
AUTHOR Nathaniel Eckstrom
ILLUSTRATOR Nathaniel Eckstrom
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781760155025
THEMES Inventions; stubbornness; sharing
AGE GROUP 4 – 7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Stanley discovers that sharing ideas can be more rewarding than being stubborn alone.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 641 Monday 21st August 2017
TITLE Merry Christmas Mary Christmas
AUTHOR Laurie Friedman
ILLUSTRATOR Kathryn Durst
PUBLISHER Carolrhoda Books
ISBN 9781467792615
THEMES Christmas; Family; Embarrassment; Not fitting in; Problem solving
AGE GROUP 4 – 8 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Mary Christmas finds a way to help her too over the top family share their exuberance with everyone.
TITLE I Wish I could be a Superhero
AUTHOR Susan Hall
ILLUSTRATOR Cheryl Westenberg
PUBLISHER NLA Publishing
ISBN 9780642278890
THEMES Superheroes; Aussie animals; Lift the flap; Animal facts; Comparison
AGE GROUP 3 – 7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Laced with animal facts – Wesley Wombat learns that he possesses super powers of his own. I was reminded of the quote by Theodore Roosevelt – Comparison is the thief of joy.
TITLE Feathers
AUTHOR Phil Cummings
ILLUSTRATOR Phil Lesnie
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781760157357
THEMES Migration; Disasters; Hope
AGE GROUP 5 – 8 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Following the migration of a Sandpiper we are witness to the suffering caused by natural and human disasters. Dropped feathers bring small relief to those in pain and symbolise hope.
TITLE Funniest Dad in the World
AUTHOR Ed Allen
ILLUSTRATOR Louis Shea
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743817506
THEMES Dads; Exaggeration; Boasting; Funny
AGE GROUP 4 – 7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Remember the song – My Dad’s Better than your Dad? Same theme here. Kids trying to outdo one another.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 640 Monday 14th August 2017
TITLE The Perfect Thing
AUTHOR Sally Morgan
ILLUSTRATOR Ambelin Kwaymullina
PUBLISHER Omnibus an imprint of Scholastic
ISBN 9781742991122
THEMES Grandparents; imagination; perseverance; no excuses
AGE GROUP 4 – 8 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Grandpa won’t take no for an answer or any excuse at all. Sometimes what you are avoiding turns out to be the perfect thing.
TITLE Echidna Jim went for a Swim
AUTHOR Phil Cummings
ILLUSTRATOR Laura Wood
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781760152994
THEMES Aussie Animals; patience; inclusion
AGE GROUP 4 – 7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Making the most of a tricky (prickly) situation.
TITLE A Thousand Hugs from Daddy
AUTHOR Anna Pignataro
ILLUSTRATOR Anna Pignataro
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781760276973
THEMES Dads; hugs; feeling safe
AGE GROUP 3 – 6 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS A gentle story about the bond between a father and child.
TITLE Can you Find me?
AUTHOR Gordon Winch
ILLUSTRATOR Patrick Shirvington
PUBLISHER New Frontier Publishing
ISBN 9781925059793
THEMES Aussie Animals; camouflage;
AGE GROUP 4 – 7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Children will enjoy finding the camouflaged animals that blend so perfectly with their surroundings.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 639 Monday 7th August 2017
TITLE Blue and Bertie
AUTHOR Kristyna Litten
ILLUSTRATOR Kristyna Litten
PUBLISHER Koala Books and imprint of Scholastic
ISBN 9781742761800
THEMES Friendship; bravery; stepping out of your comfort zone; discovery; change
AGE GROUP 4 – 8 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Every day is the same until Bertie oversleeps – nothing changes if nothing changes.
TITLE The 12th Dog
AUTHOR Charlotte Calder
ILLUSTRATOR Tom Jellett
PUBLISHER Lothian Children’s Books
ISBN 9780734416926
THEMES Cricket; dogs; inclusion
AGE GROUP 3-6 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Sometimes not following the rules is a good thing.
TITLE Eric the Postie
AUTHOR Matt Shanks
ILLUSTRATOR Matt Shanks
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743811931
THEMES Chasing dreams; posties; echidnas
AGE GROUP 3 – 6 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Perseverance is magical
TITLE Family Hugs
AUTHOR Michael Wagner
ILLUSTRATOR Adam Carruthers
PUBLISHER Billy Goat Books
ISBN 9780994251749
THEMES Family; Being there
AGE GROUP 4 – 7 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS 3 short verse stories that highlight the importance of family – I especially enjoyed ‘One Big Family Hug’.
TITLE The World’s Pirate
AUTHOR Michelle Worthington
ILLUSTRATOR Katrin Dreiling
PUBLISHER Little Pink Dog Books
ISBN 9780994626912
THEMES Pirates; cooking; following your dreams
AGE GROUP 3 – 6 years
RHYME N0
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Do what you love and the rewards will soon follow.
TITLE Reena’s Rainbow
AUTHOR Dee White
ILLUSTRATOR Tracie Grimwood
PUBLISHER EK Books
ISBN 9781925335491
THEMES Friends; being different; hearing impaired
AGE GROUP 6 – 8 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Although hearing impaired, Reena’s keen eyesight proves extremely helpful.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 637 Monday 24th July 2017
TITLE Pickle & Bree
AUTHOR Alison Reynolds
ILLUSTRATOR Mikki Butterley
PUBLISHER Five Mile
ISBN 9781760400651 & 9781760400644
THEMES Respecting rules; Being Kind; Empathy
AGE GROUP 4+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Not typical picture books – more like chapter books in picture book format. Great for teaching how to behave in social settings.
TITLE Snail and Turtle Rainy Days
AUTHOR Stephen Michael King
ILLUSTRATOR Stephen Michael King
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781760159061
THEMES Patience; friends; feeling blue; empathy
AGE GROUP  3 – 6 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Not sure if snail staying in his shell is a metaphor for depression but if it is it works well. Turtle is a particularly endearing character.
TITLE Baby Band
AUTHOR Diane Jackson Hill
ILLUSTRATOR Giuseppe Poli
PUBLISHER New Frontier Publishing
ISBN 9781925059779
THEMES Isolation; babies; neighbours; music; noise
AGE GROUP 3 – 6 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS When crying baby discovers the pots and pans, strangers very quickly become friends.
TITLE Baby Dance
AUTHOR Katrina Germein
ILLUSTRATOR Doris Chang
PUBLISHER The Little Book Club
ISBN  9780994385321
THEMES Babies; dancing; Aussie animals
AGE GROUP 0 – 2 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Lovely simple crisp rhyme accompanied by lovely simple crisp illustrations. Perfect for baby.
TITLE Stepping Stones A Refugee Family’s Journey
AUTHOR Margriet Ruurs
ILLUSTRATOR Nizar Ali Badr
PUBLISHER University of Queensland Press
ISBN 9780702259739
THEMES Refugees; Syria; War; Hope
AGE GROUP Children
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 9/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Heartbreakingly beautiful. A story of hope with each illustration created from stones collected by Nizar in Syria. And like the stones, the refugees survive and shine not in spite of but because of the onslaught that they’ve had to endure. Click the title for more information.
TITLE Fabish the horse that braved a bushfire
AUTHOR Neridah McMullin
ILLUSTRATOR Andrew McLean
PUBLISHER Allen and Unwin
ISBN 9781925266863
THEMES Horses; racehorses; bushfire; miracles
AGE GROUP 6 – 9 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Wow! A devastating yet remarkable story told with real passion.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 636 Monday 17th July 2017
TITLE Busting
AUTHOR Aaron Blabey
ILLUSTRATOR Aaron Blabey
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743812389
THEMES Needing the toilet. Funny.
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 9/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Hilarious. Brilliant. Love it I do.
TITLE The Fabulous Friend Machine
AUTHOR Nick Bland
ILLUSTRATOR Nick Bland
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781760277659
THEMES Friendship; technology; loyalty; deception
AGE GROUP  4 – 7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Perfect for helping our youngsters to start to understand the traps associated with all our technological devices.
TITLE I Love you
AUTHOR Xiao Mao
ILLUSTRATOR Tang Yun
PUBLISHER New Frontier Publishing
ISBN 9781925059762
THEMES Love; multiculturalism; How to say ‘I love you’ in different languages.
AGE GROUP 2+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Sweet little badger, no matter what the language, loves everything and tells it so.
TITLE Eric Finds a Way
AUTHOR Robert Vescio
ILLUSTRATOR Ann-Marie Finn
PUBLISHER Wombat Books
ISBN  9781925563030
THEMES Books; stories; adventures; drawing; trying; self doubt; perseverance; imagination
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Eric loves books and where they can take him. He tries to write and draw but finds his real passion out in his own back yard.
TITLE I Want to be in a Book
AUTHOR Narelle Oliver
ILLUSTRATOR Narelle Oliver
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743811634
THEMES Books; hope; illustration; imagination
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS How a character might feel before they’ve been written into a story book. Told through the eyes of Cecil.
TITLE I Just Ate my Friend
AUTHOR Heidi McKinnon
ILLUSTRATOR Heidi McKinnon
PUBLISHER Allen and Unwin
ISBN 9781760294342
THEMES Friendship; loneliness; instinct
AGE GROUP 2 – 5 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Simple and very funny with a cute twist.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 635 Monday 10th July 2017
TITLE This is Banjo Paterson
AUTHOR Tania McCartney
ILLUSTRATOR Christina Booth
PUBLISHER NLA Publishing
ISBN 9780642278982
THEMES Banjo Paterson; poetry; rhyme; doing what you love; Australian history
AGE GROUP 4+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Tania and Christina have done a wonderful job capturing the life of Banjo Paterson in a really accessible way for children. Includes snippets from The Snowy River Times, along with photographs and poetry excerpts.
TITLE The Very Sleepy Bear
AUTHOR Nick Bland
ILLUSTRATOR Nick Bland
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743812549
THEMES Deception; hibernation; flattery
AGE GROUP  3+ years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 9.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Brilliant meter! Hilarious. What more can I say.
TITLE Penelope the Mountain Pygmy Possum
AUTHOR Gordon Winch
ILLUSTRATOR Stephen Pym
PUBLISHER New Frontier Publishing
ISBN 9781925059595
THEMES Australian Animals; Snowy Mountains; extinction; preservation
AGE GROUP 4 – 8 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Did you know that at ‘tunnel of love’ was built under the road to help the male possums return to their mates? Neither did I! What a wonderful idea.
TITLE Little Wing
AUTHOR Katherine Battersby
ILLUSTRATOR Katherine Battersby
PUBLISHER University of Queensland Press
ISBN  9780702254000
THEMES Reading; learning; learning the difference between theory and practise and individual thought; loneliness
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS It’s no good being smart if you’ve no one to share your life with.
TITLE Gus Dog goes to Work
AUTHOR Rachel Flynn
ILLUSTRATOR Craig Smith
PUBLISHER Working Title Press
ISBN 9781921504884
THEMES Dogs; dog habits;
AGE GROUP 3+ years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Dog lovers will love this. Gus is adorable, so curious and so helpful and he even understands English.
TITLE Zelda’s Big Adventure
AUTHOR Marie Alafaci
ILLUSTRATOR Shane McG
PUBLISHER Allen and Unwin
ISBN 9781925266382
THEMES The Little Red Hen parody; perseverance; space travel
AGE GROUP 2 – 5 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8/10
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Follows a similar story line to the Little Red Hen with a subtle twist – her friends wanting to take credit for her space adventure even though they didn’t help one bit.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 634 Monday 3rd July 2017
TITLE The Pocket Dogs and the Lost Kitten
AUTHOR Margaret Wild
ILLUSTRATOR Stephen Michael King
PUBLISHER Omnibus and imprint of Scholastic
ISBN 9781742991054
THEMES Animals; envy; insecurity; sharing; love
AGE GROUP 3-7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Helping children understand that love is not a finite commodity.
TITLE Out
AUTHOR Angela May George
ILLUSTRATOR Owen Swan
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743629000
THEMES Asylum seekers; courage; hardship; belonging
AGE GROUP 4-7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Told through the eyes of a little girl – we get a glimpse into the life of an asylum seeker.
TITLE My Perfect Pup
AUTHOR Sue Walker
ILLUSTRATOR Anil Tortop
PUBLISHER New Frontier Publishing
ISBN 9781925059601
THEMES Puppies; perfect fit; expectations
AGE GROUP 3 – 6 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Sometimes perfection is not what it seems.
TITLE Little Bear’s First Sleep
AUTHOR Lesley Gibbes
ILLUSTRATOR Lisa Stewart
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN  9781743624012
THEMES Bears; hibernation; getting to sleep;
AGE GROUP 3-7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS A poetic book about a young cub trying to put himself to sleep.
TITLE There’s a Koala in my Kitchen
AUTHOR Sean Farrar
ILLUSTRATOR Pat Kan
PUBLISHER Big Sky Publishing
ISBN 9781925520262
THEMES Aussie animals; nonsense; fun
AGE GROUP 4-7 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS The meter’s not brilliant but I am super fussy about that – however it’s a fun read with all sorts of Aussie animals ending up in all sorts of unusual places.
TITLE The Sloth Who Came to Stay
AUTHOR Margaret Wild
ILLUSTRATOR Vivienne To
PUBLISHER Allen and Unwin
ISBN 9781760290221
THEMES Taking time; slowing down; family; sharing
AGE GROUP 3-6 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS How do you get your family to slow down? Bring a sloth home – that’s how.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 633 Monday 26th June 2017
TITLE Little Koala Lost
AUTHOR Blaze Kwaymullina
ILLUSTRATOR Jess Racklyeft
PUBLISHER Omnibus and imprint of Scholastic
ISBN 9781742991283
THEMES Australian animals; Counting book
AGE GROUP 4 + years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS An Australian counting book where we follow lost Koala as he tries to find where he belongs.
TITLE How Many Dinosaurs Deep?
AUTHOR Kylie Dunstan
ILLUSTRATOR Kylie Dunstan
PUBLISHER Working Title Press
ISBN 9781921504839
THEMES Nannies; farms; family; love
AGE GROUP 3 – 6 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Lovely lilting repetition about what Nanny loves especially when her family visits her on her farm.
TITLE Noisy Nights
AUTHOR Fleur McDonald
ILLUSTRATOR Annie White
PUBLISHER New Frontier Publishing
ISBN 9781925059663
THEMES Animals; farms; noise; sleep
AGE GROUP 3 – 6 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS What do you do if all the animals won’t be quiet? Count the sheep that’s what!
TITLE ida, always
AUTHOR Caron Levis
ILLUSTRATOR Charles Santoso
PUBLISHER Koala Books, an imprint of Scholastic
ISBN 9781742761909
THEMES Zoo; city; friendship; sickness; death; goodbyes; comfort
AGE GROUP 3 + years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 9
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Tears. A beautiful story about dealing with an accepting the death of a loved one. Very touching.
TITLE Cyclone
AUTHOR Jackie French
ILLUSTRATOR Bruce Whatley
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781743623596
THEMES Cyclone Tracy; Darwin; Christmas; Rebuilding
AGE GROUP 4-7 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Love this – A crack, a lurch, our house is torn Ripped to paper by the storm. A stunning tribute to the devastation caused by Cyclone Tracy.
TITLE Digby and the Yodelayhee…Who?
AUTHOR Renee Price
ILLUSTRATOR Anil Tortop
PUBLISHER Create it kids
ISBN 9780992345754
THEMES Imagination; friendship; curiosity; music; performance; telling time
AGE GROUP 2 – 7 years
RHYME Yes and No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Ha – good fun – especially the song at the end that you can listen to via a QR reader (an app)

 

Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 632 Monday 19th June 2017
TITLE Stripes in the Forest
AUTHOR Aleesah Darlison
ILLUSTRATOR Shane McGrath
PUBLISHER Big Sky Publishing
ISBN 9781925275711
THEMES Wildlife; Extinction; Hunting;
AGE GROUP 4 + years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Poetically written about the delicate balance that exists when “man” hunts with abandon. Includes a page of Thylacine Facts at the back.
TITLE How Many Dinosaurs Deep?
AUTHOR Ben Kitchin
ILLUSTRATOR Vicky Fieldhouse
PUBLISHER New Frontier
ISBN 9781925059731
THEMES Swimming; Dinosaurs; Overcoming fear;
AGE GROUP 3 – 6 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS A lovely way to explain depth with a beaut glossary of the dinosaurs mentioned at the back.
TITLE My Brother is a Beast
AUTHOR Damon Young
ILLUSTRATOR Peter Carnavas
PUBLISHER University of Queensland Press
ISBN 9780702259579
THEMES Brothers
AGE GROUP 3-7 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Lots of action showing what different brothers get up to.
TITLE Stanley
AUTHOR Colin Thompson
ILLUSTRATOR Colin Thompson
PUBLISHER abc books
ISBN 9780733332852
THEMES Loneliness; single parenting; blended families; love; compromise; dogs; pets
AGE GROUP 3 + years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 9
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Divine. Funny. Gentle. A very subtle way to introduce the now very common animal known as the blended family.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 631 Monday 12th June 2017
TITLE The Chalk Rainbow
AUTHOR Deborah Kelly
ILLUSTRATOR Gwynneth Jones
PUBLISHER E K Books
ISBN 978-1-925335-45-3
THEMES Autism Spectrum Disorder; love; trust; empathy; family
AGE GROUP 4 – 8 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS If you hate the colour black then paint the world with rainbows – what a lovely thought and a clever solution to Zane’s situation.
ITITLE I Spy Dad
AUTHOR Janeen Brian
ILLUSTRATOR Chantal Stewart
PUBLISHER New Frontier
ISBN 9781921042171
THEMES Dads; What dads do; I spy;
AGE GROUP 3 – 6 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS A really fun read. Lots of lovely action words. I can see a splashing dad. A crashing dad. A dashing dad.
TITLE Eddie Frogbert
AUTHOR Sue deGennaro
ILLUSTRATOR Sue deGennaro
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 978-1-76027-678-2
THEMES Family; home; animals; being different; overcoming fears; baby steps
AGE GROUP 3-7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Love the colour scheme and the way that by taking baby steps Eddie overcame his fear.
TITLE I’m Australian Too
AUTHOR Mem Fox
ILLUSTRATOR Ronojoy Ghosh
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 9781760276218
THEMES Family; home; people; places; Australia and what it means to be Australian; multiculturalism; cultural diversity; migration; history; refugees
AGE GROUP 4 – 8  years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS So many beginnings and experiences that have led to settlement in Australia. I could very much relate being a Nigerian born, Cornish Australian.

 

Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 630 Monday 5th June 2017
TITLE The Great Zoo Hullabaloo
AUTHOR Mark Carthew
ILLUSTRATOR Anil Tortop
PUBLISHER New Frontier
ISBN 978-1-925059-78-6
THEMES Adventure; Zoo; Siblings; Animals; Instruments
AGE GROUP 3-6 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Love a hullabaloo. Lots of colourful action pictures as Jess and Jack search for the missing animals.
TITLE The Brown Dog
AUTHOR Gina Inverarity
ILLUSTRATOR Greg Holfeld
PUBLISHER working title press
ISBN 978-1-921504-74-7
THEMES Emotion; metaphor; change; empathy
AGE GROUP 7+ years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 9
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Oh my goodness – tears are falling. A beautifully written and illustrated book about feeling low.
TITLE The Cat Wants Cuddles
AUTHOR P Crumble
ILLUSTRATOR Lucinda Gifford
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 978-1-74381-141-2
THEMES cats, wants, humour, secret thoughts of animals, pets, food, obsession
AGE GROUP 4-7 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Author and illustrator have captured a cat’s personality to a T. Very funny.
TITLE The Leaky Story
AUTHOR Devon Sillett
ILLUSTRATOR Anil Tortop
PUBLISHER EK Books
ISBN 978-1-925335-39-2
THEMES Adventure; books; imagination; family
AGE GROUP 4 – 8  years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Beware! Never leave books unread on your shelves or the story may just leak itself out into your living room.
Reviews first appeared in PASS IT ON – issue 629 Monday 29th May 2017
TITLE Rose’s Red Boots
AUTHOR Maura Finn
ILLUSTRATOR Karen Erasmus
PUBLISHER New Frontier
ISBN 978-0-957988-44-6
THEMES Autumn; Outdoor play; Pet care
AGE GROUP 3-6 years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS A joyful book with a charming rhythm – makes you want get outside and skip about.
TITLE Ava’s Spectacular Spectacles
AUTHOR Alice Rex
ILLUSTRATOR Angela Perrini
PUBLISHER New Frontier
ISBN 978-1-925059-98-4
THEMES Fairy Tales; Vision impairment; Adventure
AGE GROUP 3-6 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Clever retelling of a number of fairy tales to highlight what may have happened if only the characters had worn their glasses.
TITLE Boy
AUTHOR Phil Cummings
ILLUSTRATOR Shane Devries
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 978-1-76027-705-5
THEMES Inclusion; Misunderstanding; Peace; Being hearing impaired
AGE GROUP 4-8 years
RHYME No
JACKIE’S RATING /10 8.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Why are you fighting? Now THAT is the question and thanks to BOY for asking it.
A REVIEW Sarah Steed – Kids Book Review
TITLE My Meerkat Mum
AUTHOR Ruth Paul
ILLUSTRATOR Ruth Paul
PUBLISHER Scholastic
ISBN 978-1-77543-489-4
THEMES Busy mums; animals; direction
AGE GROUP 3-7  years
RHYME Yes
JACKIE’S RATING /10 7.5
JACKIE’S THOUGHTS Staccato rhythm marches the reader along through a family of meerkats’ day. A terrific way for youngsters to learn directional words – with lots of visual cues.