The Boy Who Cried Ninja at the Book Lounge
It is a great story about a little boy whose parents never believe him when he says “It wasn’t me!” Tim then decides to just take the blame even if it wasn’t his fault, but soon realises that this is not the answer either… and comes up with a brilliant plan to set the record straight.
Alex Latimer and his brother Patrick, use to draw the great Western Nostril cartoon in the paper and we are proud to have a local guy publishing children’s picture books of this magnitude. His next one is out beginning 2012 and we are delighted to hear there is a fox in it!
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs
Frog in Love by Max Velthujs
Dandylion by Lizzie Finlay
The other way to listen by Byrd Baylor and Peter Parnall
A narrative poem, The Other Way to Listen tells the story of a young girl and her relationship with an old man. He teaches her how to be still in nature, listen and be present. The illustrations too, are poetic with multiple layers that flow into one another and half the beauty is in finding the different shapes and forms hidden in each picture.
Something Else by Kathryn Cave and Chris Riddell
Prize UNESCO 1997
This is the sweet tale of a little creature called ‘Something Else’ that tries everything to fit in with the other animals, but he isn’t like them and he doesn’t belong. He tries to behave, eat and play like them, but he simply does not fit in. Something Else is lonely until one night when there is a knock on the door… something else has an unexpected visitor. The visitor is to teach Something Else about accepting your own difference and sameness in the face of other difference. The illustration is rich and detailed and will warm your heart with the characterization.
Petunia by Roger Duvoisin
Petunia is a fable about a proud duck, and the discovery of a book. By carrying the book around she believes that she is wise and offers advice to her other animal friends with some interesting results. The morale of the fable that happiness and true wisdom is gained through hard work and helping your friends is complemented by colourful yet simple illustrations.
Unfortunately by Alan Durant & Simon Rickerty
Written by Alan Durant and illustrated by Simon Rickerty, ‘Unfortunately’ tells the tale of a boy and girl’s struggle to escape the never-ending dangers all around them as they constantly fall in and out of trouble. Whether it is a giant snake, lion or spider, the boy manages to escape by the skin of his teeth each time, meeting the sympathetic girl along the way as she offers to help him. Ensuring that the adventure is regularly punctuated by danger which quickly subsides, the author manages to create an almost constant climactic atmosphere, using contrast as a tool to grab and hold the reader’s attention throughout. Essentially this story emulates our own lives to some degree and reminds children and adults alike that fortune fades and that happiness and sadness are best understood when placed alongside one another. Illustrated brilliantly, many of the images spill onto the next one not allowing the reader to catch their breath or reflect on what has happened several pages before. All in all, ‘Unfortunately’ is a fast paced and hilariously written story packed with twists from start to finish.
A Place to Call Home by Alexis Deacon & Viviane Schwartz
The concept of a home and the comfort and security it provides can be said to be a commonality between all ages, creeds and cultures and is precisely the reason why Alexis Deacon’s ‘A Place to Call Home’ provides such a universal appeal. The story begins with a family of rodents who have grown too big for their small hole in the ground which they call home and are prompted to leave and search elsewhere for a secure place in which they can all live in peace. As they begin their search they are very quickly dwarfed by the treacherous obstacles and sheer size of the outside world which they had done such a good job of avoiding up until now. Finding small objects to shelter themselves such as tea cups, gloves and even a boot, the family of rodents fearfully continues their quest, relying on one another for support and motivation. A story such as this plays on ones sense of family as being integral to the concept of a home, not to mention the factor of the size and scale of the characters and their huge world which we know is only really a person’s backyard. Accompanied by wonderfully playful illustrations, one cannot help but sympathize for these overwhelmed little creatures and how even the tiniest obstacles to us appear colossal and impossible to navigate to them. Nevertheless their support for one another and their drive to find a home becomes the tool with which they manage to overcome all the dangers thrown at them until they eventually find a peaceful and accommodating space to call home.
The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers
Oliver Jeffer’s The Incredible Book Eating Boy is a delightful story about a small boy, Henry, who has a voracious and insatiable appetite for books: Henri quite literally devours books. At first, eating books makes him smarter, but as Henry gets cleverer and greedier, things begin to go horribly wrong. Henri has to give up eating books, but in so doing he discovers the wonders and pleasures of reading. This is a beautifully illustrated book minus a bite, and a fable, perhaps, about the dangers of indiscriminate reading.
Score One for the Sloths by Helen Lester
At Sleepy Valley School for Sloths sloth-students lie and hang about lazily, sleep a lot, and do very little. One day a new and very energetic sloth, Sparky comes to school and trys, in vain, to encourage activity and learning. Although she fails miserably, when an official arrives to close the school because of their very low levels of productivity, she is the only one who is awake and alert enough to save the school. The sloths are left alone to continue the unproductive but very gentle, peaceful and contented ‘way of the sloth.’
The Tiger-Skin Rug by Gerald Rose
a Kate Greenaway Medal Winner, is about an emaciated, sad, and lonely tiger who manages to leave a life a life of hardship in the jungle for the comforts of a grand palace by pretending to be a rug. He begins to worry that he’ll be discovered but then, when robbers break into the palace and attack the Rajah, the tiger jumps to the rescue. He is invited to stay in the palace forever where he is the best and most-loved tiger-skin rug in the world.
Not So Fast Songololo written and illustrated by Niki Daly
Not So Fast Songololo is another classic and beautifully illustrated story by Niki Daly. When Gogo needs help going to the city to do some shopping, she asks her grandson, Shepherd, to accompany her. Shepherd and Gogo take the crowded bus into the city and once there, Shepherd patiently helps his old slow Gogo navigate the busy and noisy streets of the city to get everything she needs. After they have finished all of Gogo’s errands, Shepherd gets a wonderful surprise when Gogo buys him a pair of new bright red takkies to replace his old tattered ones!
Clown illustrated by Quentin Blake
Clown is Quentin Blake’s “endearing masterpiece.” It was awarded the International Bologna Award in 1996. It is a story told through pictures in the illustrator’s well-loved and inimitable style. A discarded old toy clown escapes the rubbish bin and wanders off into the city where he has many adventures and eventually finds himself a new home. This wordless and expressive illustrated story will make for interactive and fun ‘reading’ (or narrating) and is definitely a classic for the collection!
Extra Yarn written by Mac Barnett and illustrated by Jon Klaasen
On a wintry day, Annabelle finds a box of yarn and decides to knit herself a sweater. She doesn’t stop there, however, and keeps knitting until everyone and everything in the cold and dreary town is covered with Annabelle’s bright and colorful knitting. Strangely, the yarn in Annabelle’s box never seems to run out. When word of Annabelle’s extraordinary box of yarn spread, a greedy Archduke hires robbers to steal it. However, he doesn’t get what he expected and in the end the box of yarn finds its way back to Annabelle. Who keeps on knitting.
Joyce and Polly Dunbar