There’s an Alien in Your Book by Tom Fletcher

Published: 16th May 2019Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Puffin
Illustrator: Greg Abbott
Pages: 32
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Tom Fletcher and Greg Abbott have created a new interactive adventure, this time featuring an adorable alien who has crash-landed in YOUR book!

You’ll have to help Alien back up into space, because aliens don’t belong on Earth . . . do they?

What I love about Fletcher’s books is how interactive they are. They require you to blow on pages, turn the book upside down, or pretend to draw on the pages. This time an alien has crashed into our book and we have to help him get home.

I love how the narration openly speaks to the reader and asks them to participate. It makes the alien into a real creature who is tampering and having consequences in and on the book itself. The text moves and changes as the narrative instructs so if you don’t follow along you may find it hard to read if you haven’t turned the book upside down, and it certainly is a lot more fun if it feels like your actions have an effect on the alien.

Abbott’s illustrations are a stand out once again. The adorableness of his creations are one reason why I love these books. While Fletcher’s words and instructions are entertaining, there is an extra level added by seeing the character react to these actions.

The story teaches kids about being helpful and also that everyone deserves to belong no matter what they look like. Being unique and different is not a bad thing and I love that Fletcher doesn’t leave it vague, he makes a point and then changes his mind to make the message clear.

If you loved having fun with Fletcher’s dragon and his monster then you will certainly love this story as well, especially since there is a nice surprise cross over.

You can purchase There’s An Alien in Your Book via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

The Book of Mistakes by Corrina Luyken

Published: 18th April 2017Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Dial Books
Illustrator: Corrina Luyken
Pages: 56
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

One eye was bigger than the other. That was a mistake.
The weird frog-cat-cow thing? It made an excellent bush.
And the inky smudges… they look as if they were always meant to be leaves floating gently across the sky.

As one artist incorporates accidental splotches, spots, and misshapen things into her art, she transforms her piece in quirky and unexpected ways, taking readers on a journey through her process. Told in minimal, playful text, this story shows readers that even the biggest “mistakes” can be the source of the brightest ideas — and that, at the end of the day, we are all works in progress, too.

For a story with very few words, there is a wonderful profound nature and beauty to it. Luyken shows how small mistakes can become different yet beautiful things and can help create new intentional things.

The illustrations are very bare, the ink pictures the obvious focus of the story, but they are stunning and seeing the creativity and the imagination stem from those small mistakes are divine.

As each little mistake progresses you see the illustrator’s mind work and see the changes that happen because of unintentional things, one eye too big, one leg too long. It doesn’t dismiss the mistakes, it offers a chance to make something unique because of it.

The illustrations aren’t all black and white ink drawings, there are speckles of colour which stand out against the vast white pages. I love this story because it is a wonderful concept, but it is also a celebration of imperfection which I adore and shows that one mistake doesn’t have to ruin anything magical or beautiful.

You can purchase The Book of Mistakes via the following

Book DepositoryDymocks

Amazon | Amazon Aust

 

Isaac and His Amazing Asperger Superpowers by Melanie Walsh

Published: 22nd March 2016Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Candlewick Press
Illustrator: Melanie Walsh
Pages: 32
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Isaac may look like everyone else, but he actually has superpowers that make him different from his brother and his classmates. Even though he’s not really a superhero — he has Asperger syndrome, which means his brain works a little differently.

Straightforward and engaging, Isaac’s first-person narrative will help kids see the world through the eyes of a child with the high-cognitive type of autism spectrum disorder commonly known as Asperger syndrome.

This is a book that celebrates the great talents and explains the challenges that a child with Asperger’s might face. It turns Isaac’s differences into his own superpowers. His boundless energy lets him play for hours on the trampoline, and he is always thinking of things therefore he might forget to say hello to someone.

The narrative explains some of the downsides too like being sensitive to noises and not wanting to look people in the eye, but Isaac remains positive and includes some handy tips he knows to help. Isaac is very positive about his superpowers, he sees them as an advantage to his day to day life and I think this is a great way to approach it. While there may be difficulties having a child with Asperger’s, or interacting with one, it is good to know that it doesn’t have to be a constantly negative thing or become a huge issue if you understand where the child is coming from.

The illustrations are simple but big and there is a lot of focus on what the text is saying. The colours are bright and bold but they are a good representation of what is being described and add a clear visual of the story.

Walsh has created a great book for helping kids understand someone they may know who has Asperger’s or even help a child understand themselves a bit better. The first person narrative lets reader’s see things through Isaac’s eyes and enables them to relate on a better level. It’s a good beginner’s guide to understanding Asperger’s in an enjoyable story format.

You can purchase Isaac and His Amazing Asperger Superpowers via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | WorderyAngus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

Just the Way We Are by Jessica Shirvington

Published: 22nd June 2015 Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Harper Collins
Illustrator: Claire Robertson
Pages: 32
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

A celebration of families of every kind!

Meet Anna, Chiara, Henry, Izzy and Jack.

Their families might not look like your family, but that’s okay … they’re perfect, just the way they are!

Just the Way We Are is a wonderful book that demonstrates that every family is different and many different types of family exists. There’s diversity between the families and between the cultures and generations presented which was great to see. There’s representation for same sex parents, single parent families, divorced households, fostered and adopted families, and grandparents living in the same house kind of families.

Robertson backs this up with wonderfully diverse illustrations filled with colour. They are cartoonish but not over the top or comical, and help celebrate this cultural diversity ever further with her creations and helps celebrate what makes each family special.

The narration alternates between each child of the five separate families, telling readers about the activities they do with their family and a simple but clear explanation about the type of family they are a part of. The message repeated throughout is that each family is perfect just the way they are and each one is celebrated with happy moments and positive attitudes. The formatting is clear, each child is given a different coloured font for their story, and over a few pages tells the reader why their family is perfect just the way it is.

Shirvington has created a great story that helps celebrate the uniqueness of families, not only in their make up, but in the activities each family does together as well. I really loved this story because it is perfect to show that different families exist outside the reader’s own and each family is unique in their own special way.

You can purchase Just the Way We Are via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

Clancy the Quokka by Lili Wilkinson

Published: 1st October 2019Goodreads badge
Publisher:
Allen & Unwin
Illustrator: Alison Mutton
Pages: 32
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Here’s Clancy the quokka. So friendly and charming.
His innocent face is truly disarming.

Clancy the Quokka is super cute, but also has a super cheeky habit of raiding picnic food, so when he spots a magnificent birthday cake, how can he resist? After the mayhem he creates, will Clancy learn his lesson?

Clancy is a tiny adorable quokka and his thieving proclivities are the main focus on this book but Wilkinson also manages to highlight his charming and adorable nature. I liked the direction this story took, we’re introduced to Clancy and his world initially but as the story goes on we see the wider world and the bigger picture and his role within it. There’s humour and laughs from both story and illustrations, not to mention a recognition about many traditional Australian party pastimes that Clancy inadvertently takes part in.

I enjoyed this story because it makes Clancy a little villain which is hilarious and so enjoyable to read about. The rhymes are lovely and flow really well as you read them, plus the devilishly adorable illustrations show exactly what is going on alongside the words.

Mutton’s illustrations take up the entire page and are realistic but have a fun cartoonish quality as well. The colours are natural and depict the real world, the Australian bush as well as people and other surroundings. They are beautiful addition and they help bring our Clancy’s personality and his expressions show us how he’s feeling.

This is an absolutely adorable story that is filled with fun and cheekiness, with a few lessons learnt along the way. It is simple but fun and it’s a great celebration of one of amazing native animals.

You can purchase Clancy the Quokka via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | Angus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon Aust

 

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