4 kids' books reviewed by little readers
We sent our resident parenting blogger, Patchwork Cactus, to her local Westfield to explore the latest kids’ books. She road-tested four titles with her five and seven-year-old and gave us the inside scoop on how her kids enjoyed them. If you’re looking to encourage your children to read more, plump up their bookshelves with these top four picture book finds.
Llamaphones by Janik Coat
This gorgeous picture book takes exploring homophones to a very cute new level. Each page features two llamas that represent the two different meanings of words that sound the same but are spelt differently. So you have the ‘fairy llama’ next to the ‘ferry llama’ and so on. My kids LOVED it, and they spent the rest of the day pointing out other homophones (which is a pretty exciting experience when you’re a writer.) Because it is a board book, you could absolutely gift this to any age, even a baby. The illustrations are textured and funky, making it a perfect present for children of designers or grammar nerds. Oh, and it's part of a series that explores opposites and rhyming words - so it's a total early literacy win.
I Say Ooh You Say Ahh by John Kane
There is a real trend in children’s literature right now for silly books that encourage the kids to yell out, and it’s a lot of fun. I Say Ohh You Say Ahh had my kids in stitches as they yelled out UNDERPANTS every time there was an ant on the page and patted their heads when the colour red appeared. It’s a clever way to get the kids engaged, and hilariously, they just wanted to keep reading it over and over again. The illustrations are fun and modern, and any book that features a donkey with undies on its head is a hit in our house. Unfortunately now when we are walking down the street, they both yell UNDERPANTS when they see an ant. Fingers crossed the trend doesn’t last long.
Today I Feel by Madalena Moniz
Oh man, this one brought all the feels! An A to Z style picture book that features a different emotion for each letter. It’s one of those gorgeously designed books where every page has a new a vintage-vibe illustration that you could frame and put in a nursery. Reading this with the kids before bed was such a great way to end the day, they loved talking about the things that make them feel adored, surprised, excited and tall. My Daughter said, “when I look at the pictures it makes me remember all the different times I felt different feelings and that makes me feel curious about how tomorrow will be.” Seriously!
Grab some tissues for this one.
Stories for Boys who Dare to be Different by Ben Brooks
My daughter has the book Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls, and she loves hearing about real women who changed the world. Of course, I wanted my son to have the equivalent bedtime inspiration session. And it is incredible; each page introduced the kids to different historical figures, from Gandhi to Barack Obama. My kids asked some difficult questions after reading some of the tales, and although explaining the concept of racism isn’t exactly what parents feel like doing at bedtime; it’s a meaningful narrative to open up in the home. Confident readers could read this cover to cover, but for little ones it’s good to read one or two stories out loud before bed.