We love books – and finding new Aussie reads is one of our favourite things. We have already written about our favourite Australian books for pre-schoolers and books to get your kids excited for an Australian holiday, so when we were offered to review three new titles by Walker Books we jumped at the chance.
Our boys are now three and four so fast approaching school age, and reading a book is the only time I get them to stay still for 5 minutes and get a cuddle! These titles are perfect for their ages – and I can see us enjoying them for a while to come yet. Here’s why….
Beware the Deep Dark Forest – Sue Whiting
This arrived at the perfect time as we are in South Australia and surrounded by lush pine forests and bush walks. The setting is a deep dark forest and Tinky the dog has got himself lost – brave Rosie has to head in and find him – taking on carnivorous plants and venomous snakes.
Now snakes are a very real danger when we’re bush walking so it’s nice to have another reminder for the kids to take care! Since we’ve been reading this book every nature walk we’ve taken has been spent searching for Tinky – tiptoeing past imaginary wolves and an even scarier surprise at the end of the book! Rosie is brave and daring and the boys both love the adventure she takes in search of her beloved puppy. We love the story, the excitement and the brilliant illustrations through the book which really fuelled their imaginations.
Under the Southern Cross – Frane Lessac
We included this book in our list of books to get your kids excited for a trip around Australia – it’s a family favourite. It’s well suited to our kids’ ages due to the exciting pictures, bright colours and wildlife illustrated through the pages, but is also suited to older kids and even adults with the facts and info in smaller print. The book takes you around Australia highlighting amazing places to visit as well as interesting facts along the way. When I’m reading it to Arthur who is 3 we stick to the large print and looking at the detailed pictures. With Renner who is almost 5, I read all the words and details from the destinations – through which I have also learned a lot! There is also detailed info at the end of the book about the night sky in Australia and star gazing – so although we’re enjoying it as an early reader it will stay with us for years and still be relevant and educational.
It’s brilliant that we’ve been to some of the places through the book and some are on our list for the future. Both the boys also loved searching for Banjo the dog who is hiding on every page.
Maddie’s First Day – Penny Matthews
Maddie is off to school! Although we’re travelling full time at the moment we have been talking to Renner a lot about school – as he is always asking about it. He is super keen to go and although we have considered home schooling I’m not sure my level of knowledge would sustain it for long. We walked around the crater of the dormant volcano Mount Shank near Mt Gambier today and he asked me how volcanoes erupted. I realised as I tried to explain it that I really had no idea! So he’ll be heading to school sometime quite soon and this book is perfect to prepare him for some of the questions he has – as well as being a great conversation starter. It covers basic topics like getting a uniform and packing lunch, but also deals with bigger issues like how to handle the other kids and feelings of nervousness.
The book takes you through Maddie’s first day at school, with great illustrations to make it really easy to understand and imagine. There are also lots of boys throughout the story – a very important factor at the moment for Renner – so he can also relate! A great read for pre-school preparation – and also a good one to keep on file to start conversations with little ones about their day at school and any struggles they might be having.
If you love reading as much as we do, you’ll find some great tips in this article of 15 fun idea to help develop a reading habit in children.