Picture books that are bound to charm.

Learning your ABCs and 123s is easy and lots of fun with these hilarious and entertaining books.

Syndetics book coverAnimal 1 2 3 / Britta Teckentrup.
“Learn to count and make friends along the way with wriggly snales, marching elephants, creeping bears and dancing dragonsflies. Britta Teckentrup’s gorgeous illustrations are brought to life in this colourful book, which has a surprise around every corner.” (Art Gallery of NSW)

Syndetics book coverGuinea pig party / Holly Surplice.
“Based on traditional counting rhymes, this lively story from Scottish author/ illustrator Surplice features 10 guinea pigs going wild at a birthday party. “Ten little guinea pigs, dancing in a line./ Bump! go the guinea pigs, and then there are… [page turn] 9.” Like an Agatha Christie for toddlers, Surplice uses ingenuity and variety to get rid of her characters (gently) one by one. The first guinea pig departs after getting stuck with a “pin the tail on the donkey” pin, another leaves after bumping his nose during a “jump and dive” session on a pile of pillows, and another floats “up and up and up” holding onto a balloon. At the end of the party, the birthday boy, all alone, “makes a wish… And once more there are… ten!” Surplice differentiates the guinea pigs with capes, tutus, and other accessories (all wear brightly colored party hats) to aid children with counting; the pigs and their brightly colored toys, gift bags, and other party fare pop against the white backdrops. As energetic and entertaining as a party full of higgledy-piggledy toddlers.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverCount the sheep to sleep / Philippa Rae ; illustrated by Stéphanie Röhr.
“Philippa Rae’s sing-songy verse and Stephanie Rohr’s bright, whimsical illustrations provide a visual counting aid, as well as complete entertainment in the monments before bedtime. Count the sheep the sleep is sure to help children to fall asleep to their own leaping sheep, transforming bedtime from a struggle into a fluffy white parade!” (book cover)

Syndetics book cover1-2-3 peas / Keith Baker.
“A welcome companion to Baker’s alphabet book, LMNO Peas (2010), this counting book features a large cast of the same odd but charming little characters: green peas with skinny arms and legs, occasional footwear or headgear, and abundant energy……. Children will enjoy finding the right number of characters in each scene in this inviting introduction to counting.” (adapted from Booklist)

Syndetics book coverApple / Nikki McClure.“Follow the life stages of an apple from the time it falls from the tree, ripe and red, to its return to the soil. Written in single words, the story is told primarily through the images that are done in exquisite cut paper. In each image, red is used solely to illuminate the apple with the rest of the image in black and white. This serves to not only highlight the apple as the focus, but also makes for a dynamic minimalist style.
The simplicity and minimalism really work here. It is a stunning book both in the strength of the illustrations and the focus on life stages. This is a book I would suggest for parents reading to infants, because it has that strong contrast of black, white and red that infants’ brains respond to. Even better, it’s a book that adults will enjoy reading again and again.” (wakingbraincells.com)

Syndetics book coverAnteaters to zebras / Alan Fletcher.“From anteaters to zebras, from bears to x-ray fish and yetis, this witty and playful introduction to the alphabet will captivate children and adults alike. Created by legendary British designer Alan Fletcher, its bold colours and quirky characters are set to make it an instant and much-loved classic.” (book cover)

Captivating picture books with magic, danger and fun!

With  a magic hedgehog, little elephants, hounds and hares there is lots of fun to be had with this great collection of picture books.

Syndetics book coverHedgehog’s magic tricks / Ruth Paul.
“Hedgehog is performing magic tricks for his friends. But will they work? Hedgehog does magic tricks. He asks his friends Mouse, Rabbit, Duckling and Bushbaby to help, but the tricks just don’t seem to work!” (wheelers.co.nz)

Syndetics book coverLittle elephants / Graeme Base.
“… Jim, an earnest boy in blue overalls, lives with his anxious mother “on a wheat farm, and the risk of plague was never far away.” Fearing that pests will spoil the crop, Jim sadly frees his pet mouse. Later, though, a top-hatted traveler promises Jim “good fortune” and leaves behind a red megaphone; when Jim blows into this horn, he hears “a faraway trumpeting sound…. A shimmering cloud of gray dust wafted away on the breeze.” That night, Jim’s mouse returns, along with happy herd of rabbit-size elephants. Together, the animals bravely battle locusts to save the harvest. … Base’s portraits of human beings can be awkward, but his tiny elephants-who run amok like the bullfrogs in David Wiesner’s Tuesday-are captivating. ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverA hare, a hound and shy Mousey Brown / Julia Hubery & [illustrated by] Jonathan Bentley.
“There’s a hare in the air, there’s a hound on the ground, and watching them both is shy Mousey Brown … And so begins an enchanting adventure, complete with danger, silliness, bravery and romance. Mouse is tiny but bold, Hound is vast and menacing, Hare doesn’t have a clue and, between them, someone has to come out on top.” (hardiegrant.com.au)


Syndetics book coverThe Frank show / David Mackintosh.
“As in Marshall Armstrong Is New to Our School, British author/illustrator Mackintosh presents a story of an ordinary boy being won over, reluctantly, by someone outside the mainstream. In this case, it’s the narrator’s grandfather, Frank, a quintessentially cantankerous specimen of a man who believes things were better in the good ol’ days. “These days there are too many gadgets and gizmos,” Frank types out on a green “Prehistoric” brand typewriter. “I prefer doing things the old-fashioned way.” When the boy has to talk for “one full minute” about a family member for show-and-tell, Frank is his only option (“Mom was very busy and Dad had had a very long day”). The boy approaches show-and-tell like a prisoner headed for the gallows (Mackintosh draws him all alone in gray, while his classmates laugh and shout in color on the opposing page), but there’s more to Frank than his grandson realizes. Mackintosh’s busy, helter-skelter images contribute mightily to the story’s humor and emotional honesty, but it’s the willful personalities of both of these protagonists that make it stand out. ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverHerman and Rosie / Gus Gordon.
“Set in New York, this gorgeous picture book by Gus Gordon is a story about friendship, life in the big city, and following your dreams
This is a tale about a big city.
It’s a tale of hotdogs and music and the summertime subway breeze.
It’s a tale of singing on rooftops and toffees that stick to your teeth.
But most of all, it’s the tale of Herman and Rosie. ” (penguin.com.au)

Delightfully silly books to read to everyone in the family

For the family that loves to laugh and dress up, these funny and entertaining books will provide plenty of enjoyment for everyone!

Syndetics book coverThree ladies beside the sea / Rhoda Levine ; drawings by Edward Gorey.
“Wickedly funny and delightfully sad, “Three Ladies Beside the Sea” is a tale of love found, love lost, and love never-ending. Gorey’s off-kilter Edwardian maidens are the perfect accompaniment to opera librettist Levine’s lilting text. .” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKeith the cat with the magic hat / by Sue Hendra.
“Keith is a cat with a magic hat, or at least that’s what the other cats think. But when Keith’s hat falls off one day, it seems that magic is still possible after all!” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverZelda the varigoose / Sebastian Loth ; [translated by David Henry Wilson].
“When is a goose not just a goose? When she’s crossed with another, unlikely animal. Or maybe Zelda’s just pretending. A clear overlay produces a fantastic new creature on each right-hand page, and a two-line verse on each left-hand page describes it: “GOOSEPHANT. If I caught a cold, then I suppose / I’d need an hour to blow my nose.” Opposite, the yellow goose’s body and wing are clearly visible, with elephant legs, ears, tail and trunk overlaid. Readers then get the extra fun of pulling back the clear layer to reveal Zelda the goose beneath…….Loth’s minimal illustrations are, as always, perfection, though invented animals (and their names) are hit-and-miss. Backgrounds nicely complement both verses and their matching creatures.” – (adapted from Kirkus summary)

Syndetics book coverAnimal masquerade / Marianne Dubuc.
“…When a lion sees an invitation for a masquerade nailed to a tree, he wonders what animal he should dress up as: “As a cat? As a chicken? As a toad?” When the page turns, readers see him in a homemade elephant costume. An actual elephant on the opposite page gives him a sharp look before deciding to go as a parrot, and on it goes (“The parrot went disguised as…”), with each new disguise revealed by a page turn. Dubuc’s inventiveness grows ever wackier: “The cow, the hare and the chipmunk went disguised as… A scary three-headed monster. The scary three-headed monster went disguised as… A tiny marmoset.” An unassuming gem. ” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly summary)

Syndetics book coverChloe / Peter McCarty.
“Chloe is the middle child in her large rabbit family. Of the Bunnies’ many shared activities, her favorite is after-dinner family fun time; however, when Dad brings home a television, she is sure that the fun has gone out of their shared time together. Her disappointment is short-lived. She and Baby Bridget soon find their own entertainment-the TV box and bubble wrap. Before long, the box becomes the best show with all the Bunny kids clamoring to get inside. After the youngsters are herded up to bed, even Dad can’t resist popping a few bubbles. Soft, natural colors highlight the family resemblance while bright pastels accent each rabbit’s individuality. Bunnies fill the pages, but an absence of background clutter keeps the illustrations simple and engaging. The gentle, child-friendly artwork complements the story told with minimal text. The result is a calming bedtime story for family sharing.” – (adapted from School Library Journal summary)

Picture books that roar, slither and smoke!

Children love monsters, dragons and snakes. What could be better than some funny picture books with great illustrations that will amuse everyone?

Syndetics book coverThe baby that roared / Simon Puttock ; illustrated by Nadia Shireen.
“Mr and Mrs Deer would love to have a baby, and one day their wish comes true: they find a little antlered bundle on their doorstep. But the baby keeps roaring, so they ask for advice from family and friends, who sent them off to fetch what they think the baby needs. But it’s very peculiar, because each time Mr and Mrs Deer come back from their errands, someone has gone missing. It takes a wise Grandmother Bear to burp the baby and spot the problem: the baby’s not a baby: it’s a little monster who burps up everyone who’s disappeared.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Somethingosaur / Tony Mitton ; illustrated by Russell Ayto.
“A unique take on the ′Where′s My Mummy′ scenario in which an egg crackles open and out steps a little creature – the Somethingosaur. He searches for his mum among the dinosaurs but she′s nowhere to be found. But is the Somethingosaur really a dinosaur… or something even more exciting? And will he ever find his family and home? A warm, funny and jaunty rhyming text, full of adventure, that′s great to read aloud.” – (adapted from HarperCollins.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverThe worst princess / Anna Kemp ; Sara Ogilvie.
“‘Some day,’ she sighed, ‘my prince will come. But I wish he’d move his royal bum.’ Princess Sue is no ordinary princess. She gets bored hanging around in her tower, waiting for her handsome prince to arrive – and is overjoyed when he at last turns up to rescue her. But having freed Sue from her tower, the prince isn’t too pleased when he discovers that she would rather ride horses and battle dragons than stay indoors wearing a pretty dress. With a rhyming text by Anna Kemp and delightfully humorous illustrations by 2011 Booktrust Best New Illustrator Sara Ogilvie, this entertaining picture book offers a refreshingly tongue-in-cheek spin on the conventional fairy tale princess” – (adapted from Booktrust.org.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverMy snake Blake / Randy Siegel ; Serge Bloch.
“In a loving salute to the unconventional pet heroes of an earlier era… Siegel (Grandma’s Smile) and Bloch (The Enemy and You are what you eat) tell the story of a “super-long, bright green snake” who wows the young narrator by helping him with his homework, eating rejected Brussels sprouts, and fighting bullies. “He’s a perfectly polite, delightful snake,” the boy says…Bloch’s cartoons, with their loopy lines, sparing use of green and red, and exaggerated facial expressions, show Blake engaged in a series of charmingly un-snakelike activities: he cooks, finds lost keys, and enjoys cuddling on park benches. The narrator’s saucy voice and a couple of adult-aimed jokes make re-readings a treat; parents may find themselves arguing about a trip to the pet store.” – (adapted from Publisher’s Weekly summary)

Beautifully illustrated picture books to enjoy

Have a read of these fantastic new picture books by some well known illustrators and get to know some new ones too.

Syndetics book coverThe Hueys in the new jumper / Oliver Jeffers.
“I love Oliver Jeffers’ books so am excited by this new offering – the first in a series starring the Hueys. The Hueys are mischievous, quirky little creatures, but the most unique thing about them is that they are ALL the same. Exactly the same. So what happens then, when Rupert Huey decides one day to knit himself a jumper …” – (Staff Member)

Syndetics book coverThe singing mermaid / written by Julia Donaldson ; illustrated by Lydia Monks.
This is a very glittery addition to the Library from the team behind the favourite What the Ladybird Heard. In this story “a singing mermaid is tempted away from her home at Silversands to join the circus. The audiences love her but the poor mermaid, kept in a tank by the wicked circus owner Sam Sly, soon longs to return to the freedom of the sea. Will she ever escape?” – (Staff Member)

Syndetics book coverWolf won’t bite! / [by] Emily Gravett.
“PreS-K-Wolf is the underdog in Gravett’s story about three bigwig circus pigs. The tuxedoed ringmaster, muscle-shirted strongman, and tutu-clad acrobat have gone hunting with a huge butterfly net and caught a large, unkempt gray wolf. With hoopla and dramatic typeface, the pigs put him through his paces: “I can make him jump through hoops!” “I can shoot him through the air!” “I can lift him off the ground!” “I can make him dance a jig.” but (to quote the confident refrain) “WOLF WON’T BITE!” Truly, the creature looks more perplexed and put-upon than fierce through most of these trials. . . .Readers, though, can’t help wondering whether it’s time to start worrying. Wolf Won’t Bite! is an entertaining and original spin on the old wolf-and-pigs theme. It will delight children.” – (adapted from School Library Journal summary)

Syndetics book coverPerfect square / Michael Hall.
“The brilliant Hall creates an entire world out of one simple square. This ingenious picture book celebrates how creativity can change the way one looks at a basic shape . . . or the world itself.” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe pros and cons of being a frog / Sue deGennaro.
“Finding the right animal wasn’t easy. It was Camille who finally gave me the idea of being a frog! Frog boy and Camille are best friends but they are very different. Camille speaks in numbers and Frog boy likes to dress up. With Camille’s help he finds that dressing up as a frog is perfect for him, but when he tries to convince his friend to be a frog too, his plan goes terribly wrong.” – (adapted from Global Books summary)

Syndetics book coverPom Pom : where are you? / Natalie Jane Prior ; [illustrated by] Cheryl Orsini.
“Pom Pom lives with his family in a tall building in Paris. He longs to see more of the world, and one day his wish comes true . . .An energetic and joyous story about a little dog with a big sense of adventure.” – (adapted from Global Books summary)

Picture Books that everyone will love to read

These books are lovely to read and relish, with delightful illustrations that will charm and amuse the whole family. Have a browse!

Syndetics book coverGem / Holly Hobbie.
“Two letters-from grandmother to granddaughter and vice versa frame this otherwise wordless story of a toad named Gem. Over a spread of a New England cottage in the midst of a snowstorm, a letter from “Gram” to her granddaughter Hope explains the book’s genesis: the girl’s discovery of a toad the previous spring (“I wanted to tell the story of Gem’s spring journey – all the way to my garden”). At the end, a thank-you note from Hope reveals her as a thoughtful, strong-spirited child (“Toads are not pets,” she writes, explaining why she let Gem go. “They want to be free, like everything does”).” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverLaundry day / by Maurie J. Manning.
“A shoeshine boy is surprised when a piece of red silk falls from the sky. Trying to find its owner, he ventures up and down fire escapes, back and forth across clotheslines, and into the company of the colorfully diverse people who live in the tenement.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBoy + Bot / by Ame Dyckman ; illustrated by Dan Yaccarino.
“Imaginative and sweet-natured, Dyckman’s picture-book debut centers on the relationship between a boy and a robot, whose mutual generosity embodies the very best that friendship has to offer. Scruffy haired Boy and red, bullet-shaped Bot hit it off immediately after they meet in the forest. But when a rock accidentally turns off Bot’s power switch, Boy jumps into caregiver mode, taking Bot home, feeding him applesauce, reading him a story, and tucking him in for the night. And when Bot is inadvertently reactivated and finds Boy asleep, he reciprocates the only way he knows how, giving Boy oil, reading him an instruction manual, and bringing him a spare battery. Yaccarino’s (All the Way to America) brightly colored gouache illustrations and chunky characterizations are filled with affection and create a warm and cheery environment from first page to last.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverThe red poppy / written by David Hill ; illustrated by Fifi Colston
“Jim, a soldier on the Western Front in World War 1, is wounded while charging through No Man’s Land. He stumbles into a shell crater for shelter and finds a badly wounded German soldier. The two men try to help each other, but it’s Nipper, the messenger dog, whose gallantry gives them a chance for survival. A sophisticated picture book. Suggested level: primary, intermediate.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA hen for Izzy Pippik / written by Aubrey Davis ; illustrated by Marie Lafrance.
“When Shaina finds a magnificent hen, she knows that Izzy Pippik, the hen’s owner, is sure to return for her. In the meantime, Shaina decides she will care for the animal. But when dozens of eggs hatch and rowdy chickens scatter throughout the village, Shaina must fight the entire town if she has any hope of protecting the birds. Inspired by Jewish and Islamic traditional texts, this is a beautiful tale about doing the right thing, even in the face of adversity.” (Syndetics summary)

Great new books to enjoy together with your kids

Enjoy reading these colourful and entertaining books! Some great illustrations and entertaining stories for sharing — have a browse!

Syndetics book coverWho ate Auntie Iris? Sean Taylor
From the team who created The Grizzly Bear with the Frizzly Hair and Crocodiles are the Best Animals of All, comes a sweet story with echoes of little red riding hood. From Bookseller: “When a young chinchilla goes to stay with her Auntie Iris, she is nervous of her auntie’s neighbours; bears on the first floor, crocodiles on the second floor and wolves on the third floor. Then one day when her auntie takes out the rubbish, she doesn’t come back, and the little chinchilla bravely ventures out to try to find out who ate her” (Staff Member)

Syndetics book coverHans and Matilda / Yokococo.
“Hans and Matilda tells the story of Hans, who is a naughty cat that makes too much noise, and Matilda, who sits quietly and cleans up. The artwork is delightfully quirky; Hans’ exploits are drawn on to a black background, while Matilda’s are presented in full colour. Children will love working out who the real mischief-maker is, especially when Hans is forced to remove his hat, mask and whiskers at the end” (Bookseller)

Syndetics book coverOh no, George! / Chris Haughton.
This is an amusing new title from the author of A Bit Lost . From Bookseller: “George, an endearing dog, struggles to behave when left on his own. Children are invited to get involved by trying to guess what George would do, but it is the quirky, psychedelic pages that make the book so distinctive. George’s owner Harris is rather charming too.”

Syndetics book coverThe little old man who looked up at the moon / Pamela Allen.
In this touching story, one of Australia’s most celebrated author-illustrators takes young readers on a journey that asks some of life’s big questions. Playful and thought-provoking by turns, The Little Old ManWho Looked Up at the Moon touches on universal themes and will spark many a conversation between young and old. (Staff Member)

Syndetics book coverFreight train / Donald Crews.
“Presented in blocks of brilliant colors, the multihued train in this Caldecott Honor book undertakes a dazzling journey before disappearing from the final page. ” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverWhere is Fred? / Edward Hardy ; illustrated by Ali Pye.
“Fred loves to hide, but finds himself having to be increasingly inventive as Gerald the Crow is intent on having him for his lunch. Children will take great delight discovering where he hides, while adults will love the increasingly frustrated Gerald, who unknowingly ends up wearing Fred as a fluffy white scarf. This is great fun, and Ali Pye’s illustrations offer plenty to look at while enhancing the humour.” (Bookseller)

Syndetics book coverThe duckling gets a cookie!? / words and pictures by Mo Willems.
The Pigeon is back! – This time with an adorable duckling pal:
“Everyone’s favourite grouch of a fowl returns, though the spotlight is firmly fixed elsewhere. Never content to be merely a supporting character, The Pigeon nonetheless takes a backseat in a story in which The Duckling asks for and receives a cookie with nuts. Incensed, The Pigeon proceeds to rant about the various items and impossibilities he has asked for over the years, ignoring point blank the fact that The Duckling got her cookie by asking politely. At the end of the meltdown, the smaller bird reveals that she only got the cookie in the first place so that she could give it to The Pigeon.” (Kirkus)

Some lovely new picture books

Help your child become a rock star with a fantastic new book, adjust to a new baby in the family or just enjoy some great stories. We have got lots of lovely books for you and your kids.

Syndetics book coverThe smallest bilby and the Easter tale / written by Nette Hilton ; illustrated by Bruce Whatley.
It’s the night before Easter and for the first time billy and his band of little bilbies must deliver the eggs. “This is fun,” they sing as they hide eggs here and there and up and down. But when one of the bilbies gets into trouble, only Billy knows what to do.

Syndetics book coverSo you want to be a rock star / Audrey Vernick ; illustrated by Kirstie Edmunds.
“If the electric guitar lamp in his bedroom is any indication, the boy in this book is a serious music fan. But does he have what it takes to be a rock star? The text, which speaks to the boy, his sister, and the listening audience, asks: Do you have an awesome sound system with cordless microphone? Well, of course not. But that’s okay you can make your hand into a fist and sing into it LOUD. Other low-tech, low-budget suggestions include mastering the air guitar, practicing your sneer in the mirror, and acquiring some crazy-awesome hair (or use a mop as a wig)… ” – (adapted from Booklist summary)

Syndetics book coverZ is for Moose / by Kelly Bingham ; pictures by Paul O. Zelinsky.
“…. In Bingham (Shark Girl) and Zelinsky’s droll alphabet book, Moose expects to own the letter M, and he cannot contain his enthusiasm and impatience. As a polite Apple, Ball, Cat and others take their turns, the clownish Moose barges in. He pushes Duck out of the way, annoys Elephant, and pops out of Kangaroo’s pouch (a startled joey asks, “Mommy, who is that?”). Readers accustomed to the usual list of letters will be giggling with suspense by the time “L is for Lollipop” rolls around. “Here it comes!” chortles Moose, anticipating his M. Unfortunately, a serious-minded Zebra, who directs the alphabet and wears a referee shirt over his own stripes, has other ideas. Mayhem ensues as Moose throws a tantrum, stomping and scribbling on Pie, Queen, and Ring, and then sniffling as Zebra tries to protect Umbrella, Whale, and Xylophone.” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly summary)

Syndetics book coverGoldilocks and the three bears / Gerda Muller.
“This delicately illustrated version of this tale, first published in France, removes some of the familiar oppositions (too hard, too soft, just right) found in earlier versions and gives the heroine a contemporary backstory (she lives in a traveling circus caravan). The charm of the book lies primarily in Muller’s detailed illustrations, which are set against tan backgrounds and include an inviting fairy tale woods dotted with wildflowers and a rustic abode for the bears (beehives outside are echoed by bee-themed bed linens within, and the family’s three chairs have bear-shaped headrests). The story’s size motif is emphasized both textually and in the art, with big, medium, and small objects appearing throughout-mice, piggy banks, umbrellas, and more (they are even color-coordinated to a degree: green for Daddy Bear, blue for Mummy Bear, and yellow for Baby Bear). Although upset, the honey-loving bears are quite polite in the face of home intrusion (“They weren’t mean bears, they were just unhappy”), taking the time to educate a fleeing Goldilocks on the importance of knocking first-a lesson she takes to heart.” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly summary)

Syndetics book coverLulu reads to Zeki / Anna McQuinn ; illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw.
“When Lulu’s new baby brother cries and is upset, she reads him one of her favourite stories. Fortunately Zeki, her borther, sleeps a lot which gives her time for herself and her own reading.” A great book for new big brothers and sisters.

Great new picture books that will entertain and amuse.

Imagine you’re in the outback or in the clouds or just amuse youself with the antics of monkeys, diggers, bears and more.

Syndetics book coverIt’s a miroocool! / Christine Harris & Ann James.
“How does the tooth fairy find your house if you live in the outback of Australia? Audrey is determined that he will and leaves directions and maps outside for the tooth fairy to follow but when a dust storm and various animals scatter them she worries that he will never find her tooth.  A nice tale of outback life with colours that evoke the desert and heat.” – (Staff Member) 

Syndetics book coverDemolition / Sally Sutton ; illustrator, Brian Lovelock.
“….Sutton’s rhyming text has an imperative, chanting quality that’s a perfect fit with the subject matter: “Swing the ball. Swing the ball./ Thump and smash and whack./ Bring the top floors tumbling down./ Bang! CLANG! CRACK!” Lovelock sticks to largely schematic characterizations of his human crew so that he can focus on the machines themselves; an excavator chomps into a building (“Dinosaurs had teeth like this!”) while a crusher makes “new concrete from the old.” The bright red and yellow vehicles (which are also recapped in a glossary) pop out from the dappled and speckled blue-hued settings, and Lovelock’s crisp ink line delineates rivets, hydraulics, and heft. It’s clear that for all the pointing and switching and even driving that humans do, the real magic is in the ruthless efficiency with which these engineering marvels collide and gnaw into a hapless structure.” – (adapted from Publisher Weekly summary)

Syndetics book coverGoran’s great escape / Astrid Lindgren ; Marit Törnqvist ; [translated by Polly Lawson].
“First published in Sweden in 1991, this tale is an unusual hybrid about a Swedish family, a prize bull, and Easter. Goran is a huge, good-natured bull that lives in a barn with rows of cows. For some unknown reason, on Easter Sunday he is in such a bad mood that he decides to escape. The whole family of eight chases him, and people come from miles around to watch the drama. Karl, a young farm boy, placates Goran by scratching him between his horns and leads him back to the barn, becoming a local hero…” – (adapted from Booklist summary)

Syndetics book coverAll monkeys love bananas / Sean E Avery.
“All monkeys love bananas right? Not Lou who has decided he can’t eat another so he runs away to find something better to eat but will it be tasty? A funny book with great rhyming text and superb illustrations complete with furry monkeys on the cover.” – (Staff Member)

Syndetics book coverMr Bear Branches and the cloud conundrum / [written and illustrated by] Terri-Rose Baynton.
“Lintfrey Longfellow would love nothing more than to sit among the clouds… But sadly, clouds just aren’t made for sitting on. Can Mr Bear Branches find a solution to Lintfrey’s cloud conundrum?” – (adapted from Book cover)

New picture books to tickle your fancy

Books to laugh out loud with including some gorgeous finalists in the NZ Post Children’s Book Award.

 Syndetics book coverChopsticks / written by Amy Krouse Rosenthal ; illustrated by Scott Magoon.
“Chopsticks, the “cool and exotic” duo first introduced in Spoon (Albert Whitman, 2010), have always done everything together, from playing hide-and-seek behind the broccoli to twirling spaghetti. However, when they experiment with karate chopping the asparagus, disaster strikes. While the broken one rests, allowing the glue to set, his partner never leaves his side. After a week passes, however, the injured chopstick insists that his friend venture out on his own. Reluctant at first, protesting that he can’t possibly do anything by himself, the chopstick eventually discovers that he can indeed function independently, and when his friend has recuperated, they discover new things together.” – (adapted from School Library Journal summary)

Syndetics book coverStomp! : a dinosaur follow-the-leader story / Ruth Paul. 
The dinosaurs play follow the leader as they stomp through the swamp. Baby dinosaur tries desperately to mimic his elders with not much success. However, when it’s his turn the older dinosaurs have difficulty following him when he floats on water, goes under creepers, and crawls. A finalist in this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards.

Syndetics book coverThe cat’s pyjamas / Catherine Foreman.
Another finalist in the NZ Post Children’s Book Awards. This is a story of a  cat has a different pair of colourful pyjamas for every night of the week, and every night they lead to the most delightful dreams. Well, nearly every night!

Syndetics book coverWaiting for later / Tina Matthews.
Later never seems to come soon enough! But sometimes waiting for later can be full of surprises. Yet another finalist in this year’s New Zealand Post Children’s Book Awards this tale of waiting and imagining is beautifully illustrated.

Syndetics book coverI broke my trunk! / by Mo Willems.
“In “I Broke My Trunk!” Gerald tells Piggie the long, crazy story about breaking his trunk. Will Piggie end up with a long, crazy story of her own?” – (adapted from Syndetics summary)