Australian Picture Books: Part 3

January 19, 2016

Books / Picture Books

Australian Picture Books We’re onto the home stretch of #26daysofaussiepicturebooks.
During this week’s celebrations, we saw books about the power of friendship, dogs losing legs, existential life questions and stopping to smell the roses.
What a week!

Day 13 Can a Skeleton have an Xray Can a Skeleton Have an X-Ray? By Kyle Hughes-Odgers
The work of Kyle Hughes-Odgers is like nothing else.
His latest book taps into the inquisitive way children look at the world.
There is no traditional narrative arc to this book with each page containing a question….
What makes the rainbows after rain?
Who operates and steers my brain?
Who controls a traffic light?
Each question is accompanied by one of Kyle’s iconic and intricate illustrations, interpreting the question in his uniquely signature way.
I can only imagine the creative discussions this book will spark between children and adults.
I love a picture book that promotes imaginative thinking and deep conversations.
If you visit the
Fremantle Press website, you can download some of the illustrations to colour-in.

Day 14

Australian Picture Books Dog and the Lost Leg by Carlee Yardley
When Dog is happy, he does a jiggle.
On this morning, he’s not jiggly at all. Fox spots the problem straightaway.
Dog has lost a leg.
He can’t for the life of him remember where it has gone.
So the two pals set off to try and find Dog’s lost leg.
Along the way, they are offered many replacement legs by well-meaning friends.
It all becomes a bit much for Dog and he dissolves into tears.
Fox takes charge of the situation (again!) and takes Dog to Pip’s fabric shop where he gets a new, custom-designed leg.
And the jiggle returns.

We all need a friend like Fox. Optimistic, proactive and there for you in your time of need.
A sweet and charming tale about friendship and having reasons to do a happy dance on a daily basis.
The illustrations are made from felt and are loaded with personality.

Day 15

Australian Picture Books Alfie’s Big Wish by David Hardy
Mr Day got his hands on this book first and proclaimed the illustrations to be “Disney-esque.”
He has a good eye that fella.
Turns out the author/illustrator David Hardy used to work as an animator with Disney.
“Alfie’s Big Wish” tells the tale of a little boy who is bereft after his friends move away.
He is achingly lonely and simply wants a mate.

When Alfie sees a shooting star in the night sky, he knows what to do.
He wishes for a friend. Will his wish come true?
The rhyming text is lovely to read aloud.
Whilst the text discusses a universal theme the illustrations provide an engaging twist- indigenous characters in an outback setting with many indigenous symbols and artefacts.
This book comes from Australia’s oldest Indigenous publishing house
Magabala Books, who are committed to promoting and developing Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures.

Day 16

Australian Picture Books Tottie and Dot by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling
Tottie and Dot is a heart-warming and humourous keeping- up-with-the-Joneses tale.
Tottie and Dot are best friends who live next door to each other and do everything, side by side.
They enjoy sharing marshmallow tea and apricot sandwiches, side by side.
Things turn sour when they begin competing with each other to create the best house.
On the left side of each spread we see Tottie’s efforts to out-do Dot (Tottie bringing in a roller coaster and scattering strawberries from a hot-air balloon are just 2 examples.)
On the right side of the spread, we see Dot’s response (she fills her yard with balloons and plants a lemon drop tree.)
Things spiral out of control as they become more and more jealous of each other.
A gorgeous story about friendship and the importance of doing things side by side (in a non-competitive sense!)
The illustrations are just soaked in vibrancy and sweetness.

Day 17

Australian Picture Books Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas by Aaron Blabey
Brian is committed to eating a balanced diet.
Problematic when he is a piranha.
He tries to convince his piranha mates that peas and beans are just as delicious as human flesh.
Brian won’t stop until the others agree to sample a fruit platter.
They begrudgingly try the fruit and admit to enjoying it.
Will Brian change their dietary habits?
“Piranhas Don’t Eat Bananas” by Aaron Blabey contains the word ‘bum’ which pretty much ensures that it will be on the high request list for most kids aged between 3-10.
The rhyming couplets, in true Blabey style, are hilariously witty and entertaining.
As always, his clever illustrations also make this book a fun read.

Day 18

Australian Picture Books My Friend Ernest by Emma Allen and Hannah Sommerville
This book perfectly captures the feeling many little Aussie kids will be having over the next few weeks as they put on a brave face and start at Big School.
Oscar tries to maintain his brave face on his first day, which is tricky when you’ve had run-in at the dressing-up box with a freckly kid dressed as a dragon.
Dressed as a knight, Oscar the Brave is terrorised by this dragon on the playground and in the classroom.
Can a knight and a dragon be friends?

I’ve loved using “The Terrible Suitcase” by Emma Allen for a classroom unit of work on creative thinking.
Similarly, this book also encourages children to use their imagination and play out their feelings.
The illustrations are infused with warmth and capture the development of this friendship in a joyful and playful way.
This book is perfect for any little person feeling a bit anxious about the transition to school.

Day 19

Australian Picture Books Bogtrotter by Margaret Wild and Judith Rossell
Bogtrotter runs all around the bog. All day, every day.
Sometimes he feels lonely and as if his life is lacking in something.
A chance encounter with a frog makes Bogtrotter question his everyday reality.
For the first time, he stops to pick a flower.
This is a wonderful story about taking the time to stop and smell the roses.
To take notice of the small things that make up your everyday.
To challenge yourself to try new things.
A beautifully simple book that leads to some big questions.

If you like the look of the button flowers poking out from the top of Bogtrotter, pop by on Friday for a post showing you how to make your own.

For more fabulous Aussie books, you can check out Week 1’s and Week 2’s offerings of #26daysofaussiepicturebooks.

When I purchase my books, I use Booktopia. Their prices are competitive and their delivery is prompt. The titles and images of each book will take you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. As a Booktopia Affiliate, purchases clicked through from my blog result in a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books! Commission is used to maintain Oh Creative Day and a portion of commissions made is donated to the Touched By Olivia Foundation. Happy Reading!