Animals galore in these great picture books

Enjoy these fascinating  books with your children, everyone will learn amazing facts about wild animals and enjoy the beautiful illustrations too.

Syndetics book coverStripes of all types / written and illustrated by Susan Stockdale.
“Stockdale pairs precise acrylic illustrations with equally tidy verse to depict 19 striped animals. “Stripes found in water,/ sliding through weeds./ Drinking from rivers,/ and darting through reeds,” she writes, as the accompanying images show purple-striped jellyfish, an eastern garter snake, ring-tailed lemurs, and an American bittern. Elsewhere, a horizontally striped surgeonfish is seen “scouting a reef” amid speckled coral, and a poison frog in shocking orange, yellow, and red stripes is “propped on a log.” Closer to home, two children cuddle with striped cats. Appended pages discuss the ways stripes benefit each creature and also provide a guessing game for readers to match stripes with their respective animals.” (Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverI wish I had– / written by Giovanna Zoboli ; illustrated by Simona Mulazzani ; [translation services provided by Translations Unlimited].
“Books inviting children to imagine themselves as animals are ubiquitous and a playful way to encourage imagination, but most don’t have the scope of this beautiful Italian import. There is a dignified eloquence at work here, and the narrator’s wishes are not merely the desire of a child to be like an animal, but a longing for a tangible connection to an often intangible universe. Zoboli offers some rather everyday wishes, such as to become the wings of a wild goose or the tail of a lemur who hasn’t wished to fly through the air or swing through trees? But longing for the happy hunger of a bear in the orchard or the contentment of a dog in winter when the snow falls outside transcends daydreaming to feel quite spiritual. The painterly illustrations in this oversize picture book (the works of Henri Rousseau come to mind) have a grandeur about them that matches the majestic ideas expressed throughout. Repeated motifs within the pictures some of the animals are clutching a flower in their mouths, and the larger animals appear to be tattooed with images of other animals, plants, and flowers create a sense of universality. This is a book of big ideas, sparingly told, and full of wonder.” (Booklist)

Syndetics book coverOcean counting / by Janet Lawler ; photography by Brian Skerry.
“Presents young readers with a foundation for learning basic counting skills while discovering some magnificent ocean animals. Fact boxes in the back of the book include information about the animals’ homes, sizes, diets, predators, and babies”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWildlife / Paul Thurlby.
“On the heels of Paul Thurlby’s Alphabet (2011) comes this bright, bold compendium of personality-filled animals. On each page, a large print of each creature, rendered in an illustrative style that echoes the uncluttered, bright posters of the mid-twentieth century, pairs with memorable facts presented in spare, simple text. From the flamingo’s ability to drink while upside down to the effect that chewing has on the crocodile’s tear ducts, these zoology nuggets are unusual, specific, and accessible to young audiences, all while offering surprises to those reading aloud to them. Many of the pages also include a slogan or other very brief phrase within the illustration itself, such as the kangaroo in a judo pose juxtaposed beside the printed call to Kick up your heels. The spare, high-contrast graphic style of this picture book makes it an excellent candidate for small-group sharing, and the curious bits of information will bring many young naturalists and budding artists back to the pages again and again.” (Booklist)

Get aquainted with these picture books

Start the new term with these great books about making friends and treasuring friendship.

Syndetics book coverPerky the Pukeko goes to school / written by Michelle Osment ; illustrated by Sunset.
“Percy and his friends find lots of things to eat after a busload of school children stop to eat their lunch. But when the bus pulls away Percy notices that one of his chicks is missing”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTom and Tilly / written and illustrated by Jedda Robaard.
A very sweet little tale of a boy and his bear, travelling on their paper boat past a city guarded by frogs, encountering storms, whales and whirpools before being rescued and put to bed. Lovely illustrations and simple text with great instructions on how to make your own paper boat for your bath. (Staff Member)

Syndetics book coverTen things I love about you / Daniel Kirk.
“Kirk borrows from the comic rhythms of Abbott and Costello (or is it Burns and Allen?) in his funny tribute to friendship. Pig is sitting thoughtfully at his desk when Rabbit stops by to announce that he’s making a list of “ten things I love about you.” This is all well and good (“Wow, ten!” says Pig), except that Rabbit is a wee bit obsessive about it. Everything Pig says or does becomes fodder for the list, including his growing frustration with Rabbit’s relentlessness. “I’m starting to lose my patience!” immediately inspires entry “Number 6-I love Pig because he’s not afraid to show his feelings…….” (adapted from Publisher Weekly)

Syndetics book coverMoomin and the new friend / based on the original stories by Tove Jansson.
“When Moomintroll and Sniff find a message in a bottle down on the shore, it leads to an expedition to Lonely Island on a little raft. High winds and a storm at sea nearly lead to disaster but they are rescued by a new friend, the ever-resourceful Too-Ticky. Moomintroll’s close friend, Snorkmaiden, is jealous but she soon learns that finding a new friend doesn’t mean losing an old one”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMax & Ruby’s treasure hunt / by Rosemary Wells.
When their tea party is rained out, Max and Ruby and their friends Louise and Lily go indoors, where Grandma has arranged a treasure hunt. another gem of a book from the marvellous Rosemary Wells with lift the flap clues which need solving before you go to the next page. (Staff Member)

Syndetics book coverOh! What a surprise! / Suzanne Bloom.
“Goose and Bear return in this wintry tale of friendship. As the pair prepares handmade gifts, a spunky fox kit asks dozens of questions, most importantly, “Is it for me?… I love surprises!” When the answer is negative each time, cheerful Fox creates a gift by wrapping itself in hearts cut from paper. “Ta da! It’s me. For you!” Goose and Bear reciprocate with a bright green, buttoned vest. Short sentences and pastel spreads create what’s sure to become storytime favorite. The rich indigo skies brilliantly balance the white textures of Bear’s fur and Goose’s feathers, as well as Fox’s russet coat. The kit’s bouncy poses and confetti-colored gifts and wrappings add to this festive read.” (School Library Journal)

Great picture books that will charm the socks off you.

Share these new books with a friend, there is something to delight and entertain everyone .

Syndetics book coverA year with Marmalade / [written by] Alison Reynolds ; [illustrated by] Heath McKenzie.
This is a story about friendship, it’s about losing friends and making new ones. It’s a story about change which isn’t always a bad thing.

Syndetics book coverMister Whistler / Margaret Mahy ; [illustrated by] Gavin Bishop.
“Absentminded Mister Whistler always has a song in his head and a dance in his feet. In a rush to catch the train, he is so distracted he loses his ticket. Is it in the bottom pockets of his big coat or the top pockets of his jacket? Perhaps he slipped it into his waistcoat. Where is Mister Whistler’s ticket?”–Publisher information. Suggested level: junior, primary.

Syndetics book coverArchie / Domenica More Gordon.
Archie, a fashion-loving dog with a faithful pet of his own, leads a quiet life until he gets a sewing machine and begins creating canine couture that captures attention all over town, even from a queen and her two royal corgis.

Syndetics book coverA flower in the snow / Tracey Corderoy ; [illustrated by] Sophie Allsopp.
Luna and Bear are best friends. They belong together like bread and jam! Everything they do, they do together.
When a beautiful flower pops up in the snow, Luna is delighted! But soon the flower fades away, and with it, Luna’s smile. Will Bear ever be able to bring it back… (

Syndetics book coverThe fantastic jungles of Henri Rousseau / written by Michelle Markel ; illustrated by Amanda Hall.
A child’s biography of French artist Henri Rousseau, who spent his life as a toll collector, but created unheralded masterpieces in his spare time. A sophisticated picture book.

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!” (

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.” (


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. ” (