A Very Quacky Christmas by Frances Watts

Published: 23rd October 2017Goodreads badge
ABC Books
Illustrator: Ann James
Pages: 32
Format: Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Samantha Duck is getting ready for Christmas and her friend Sebastian thinks she’s silly. After all, he says, Christmas isn’t for animals. But Samantha knows that Christmas is for everyone and sets out to make sure that all the animals have a very quacky Christmas (and a tortoise new year) 

This is such a cute book. Samantha Duck is trying to spread the Christmas cheer for all the animals but is constantly being reminded by her friend Sebastian that animals don’t do Christmas. I liked this because even though Sebastian keeps telling Samantha that she shouldn’t be doing Christmas, he still helps her make decorations and presents. I also loved how they go around and collect things from other animals who want to help like eggs and wool, and it is a lovely story about how even the simplest gesture can mean a lot.

The illustrations are adorable, James has done a brilliant job. I loved the designs on Samantha and Sebastian, and having a visual as Samantha decorates and they create their presents was a great bonus of enjoyment on top of an already sweet story. The water colours and roughly lined illustrations of the characters and scenery works well and they alter between full pages and smaller drawings with the text sharing half the page. The colours bring a feeling of nature as well as the summer Christmas atmosphere which we definitely need more representation of.

There is so much heart and determination Watts has put into a seemingly simple story but is also filled with its own bit of Christmas magic and it is a truly special little Christmas story.

You can purchase A Very Quacky Christmas via the following

QBD | Booktopia | Book Depository

Dymocks | Angus and Robinson

 Fishpond | Amazon | Amazon Aust

Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Books by Frances Watts

Published: 2007Goodreads badge
 ABC Books
Illustrator: David Legge
Pages: 16
Format: Hardcover Picture Book
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

514kfq15sal-_sx218_bo1204203200_ql40_Celebrate the joy of reading and begin a lifelong love of books with the delightful Parsley Rabbit and his pesky little brother, Basil. Lively and entertaining, it features a remarkably clever and handsome rabbit and is full of fun, flaps to flip and questions to share.

This is a fun, quirky book that is exactly what the title suggests: a book about books. From the very first page of the book Parsley Rabbit explains with little notes what each part of the book is called and how you read it; including end page to title page and the publisher’s details. When you get to the main story the theme continues and the story is Parsley talking about books. He talks about what makes up the format of a book like page numbers and how the words are read from left to right and the different shapes and sizes books can come in. Each page is different, some talking about how books can be funny or sad, or have information in them, or even how some books have flaps that open that can hide things behind them.

It’s definitely interactive with the reader, Parsley addresses you and instructs you to do certain things as well so it engages with kids and shows them how to interact with the book and how it often connects with reading the story. This isn’t a book for toddlers teaching them to read, it’s a book teaching kids all the different parts of a book and how reading works. It’s quite clever, and Parsley Rabbit makes it fun and interesting even before the story has started to let you know this book isn’t like other books.

What also makes this book great is that Legge has used Watts’ words and made great illustrations to match. They are simplistic and often don’t feature anyone other than Parsley. But Legge’s drawings, Watts’ words, and the layout of the book all work together wonderfully to not need anything other than Parsley Rabbit to illustrate the story.

This book was the winner of the 2012 Prime Minister’s Award for Children’s Fiction, and the 2008 Children’s Book Council of Australia and while the story isn’t really a story, it is very clever and interesting and a great way to learn how books and reading works.

You can purchase Parsley Rabbit’s Book about Book via the following

Publisher | Dymocks

Booktopia | Amazon

Book Depository | Wordery