Wednesday, 11 September 2013

"Books are the best"

I have discovered Pinterest and have started a board about picture books. The board is titled "Books are the best". Pinterest provides another way for people to share information and ideas. There are many interesting boards about children's books, compiled by parents, educators, authors, illustrators and book lovers in general. If you haven't discovered Pinterest yet, have a look:

Keep an eye out for this wonderful new book

Next month Australian author and illustrator Christina Booth will publish a wonderful book called Welcome Home, an inspiring story about a young whale. Christina illustrated my picture book I wish there were dinosaurs. She is a highly talented author and illustrator, and Welcome Home promises to be a wonderful and very popular picture book, telling a very important story. Have a look at the trailer (link is below). I can't wait to buy the book! Congratulations Christina.

Welcome Home book trailer

What's in the library bag?

As a slightly different way of approaching reviewing picture books, I have decided to visit a library regularly and find an old treasure (and maybe some new treasures) to read and write about. In this digital age it's good to remember that libraries are still there as a wonderful free source of quality children's literature. Librarires also have the advantage of keeping their collections for many years, so sometimes you can find books that are out of print and/or not available to buy. 

This week I have Night Noises, by Mem Fox, illustrated by Terry Denton, in my library bag. It was published by Omnibus Books in 1989. It has also been republished by Penguin. Lovely to see that its enduring quality has been recognised. 

The book is about Lillie Laceby, an elderly lady whose "bones were as creaky as floorboards at midnight" who lives alone in a country cottage with her dog, Butch Aggie. NIght Noises is a beautiful combination of many things - the tension around strange noises in the night, images of a warm and cosy cottage, visual portrayals of Lillie's dreams of her life, with an ending both surprising and satisfying. Mem Fox's text is simple but full of both action and imagery. Terry Denton's illustrations have just the right balance of humour, comfort, anticipation and warmth. Many aspects of the story are conveyed only through images, so there is lots for children to think and talk about as they read the book. For this reason it is an ideal book for families and educators to share with children from about 4 to 7 years. Themes and messages about life span, families, dreams, feelings, birthdays, pets, different ways of living are all part of this rich and engaging book. See if you can find it in your library.