Tag Archives: children’s books

End-of-2018 book tag: children’s books

Back in July I tagged myself to share a post about my favourite books from the first half of 2018. So it seems like a good idea to tie off 2018 with my favourites from the second half.

If you’re new here: I focus on books for under 12s. (I just don’t get through many books for grown-ups — or young adults — in 6 months.)

* = I borrowed the book from the library

**= I received a review copy of the book (but not for this blog, I wear a lot of booky hats out there in the real world)

 

Currently reading:
Swallow’s Dance by Wendy Orr.

Favourite picture book read in the last 6 months
Maya and Cat by Caroline Magerl
A gentle story with divine illustrations. The text is like poetry and there are themes of friendship and resilience. This book is good for your soul.

Favourite fiction book read in the last 6 months
Louisiana’s Way Home* by Kate DiCamillo.
This revisits a character from DiCamillo’s earlier book Raymie Nightingale. Louisana’s grandmother wakes her in the middle of the night and they leave home, never to return. A novel about finding your place in the world and your sense of self. Bring tissues.

Favourite nonfiction book read in the last 6 months
Zeroes & Ones ** by Cristy Burne.
The history of technology. Which sounds dry when you say it like that, but this book is not dry! Facts are given in small sections and illustrations are in a graphic style. Burne uses amusing (true) anecdotes, quotes and weird facts, and there  are old photos with humorous captions. Read with pizza close by.

Favourite poetry book read in the last 6 months
H is for Haiku by Sydell Rosenberg, illustrated by Sawsan Chalabi
Poems (haiku) on everyday topics. Fun and appealing visually and poetically. (I bought this as part of my masterplan to buy children’s poetry books when I see them in local bookshops to prove there is a demand for children’s poetry books. This one was purchased at Paper Bird Books and Arts.)

Favourite new-to-me author discovered in the last 6 months
Tamara Moss (Lintang and the Pirate Queen)*
This was a rollicking fantasy adventure on a pirate ship. I couldn’t put this book down. This is book 1 in a series.

Favourite new-to-me illustrator in the last 6 months
Ronak Taher (Sonam and the Silence, by Eddie Ayres) A beautiful picture book about the power of music for a girl in Afghanistan, when music is forbidden. Written in a folktale/fable sort of style. The illustrations are layered and textured and collage-y … and wonderful.

Favourite picture book I read aloud to children in the last 6 months
Aunt Amelia* by Rebecca Cobb. Aunt Amelia is an unusual babysitter, and awesomely subversive. (The parents leave a DO NOT list, which the children and Aunt Amelia systematically flout.) This book is so. much. fun. I read it aloud to a class of 5 year olds and a class of 6 year olds and it took each class about two pages to cotton on to the joke. And they found it hilarious. Plus: Rebecca Cobb illustrations. So joyful.
(NB: official sources advise that Aunt Amelia is a lizard and not a crocodile. This was good for some heated discussion.)

A book that made me cry in the last 6 months
Louisiana’s Way Home* by Kate DiCamillo. (See ‘Favourite Fiction Book’ earlier in this post)

A book that made me laugh in the last 6 months
Gastronauts ** by James Foley. Okay, maybe more groans than laughs. This book has more poo puns than you could ever want. No, really. An entertaining comic-book style novel with a bit of gastro-science sneaking in as a bonus. It’s book three in a series of graphic novels.

A book that surprised me
Watch this! A book about making shapes by Jane Godwin, Beci Orpin and Hilary Walker. This is a seriously fabulous book about shapes, and instead of illustrations there are bright photographs of a group of children making the shapes with their bodies. Brilliant for the Under 6 crowd, but I’m 45 and I read it several times just because I love it so much. It would be excellent to re-create in small groups in a classroom. Or at playgroups. Or in your backyard with all the small cousins etc etc.

A book I’ve bought as a gift in the last six months
Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot by Anna Branford, illustrated by Sarah Davis. Violet is the sort of child who ponders life’s mysteries, and notices details, and likes to collect small things. The entire series is a delight.

Most beautiful book covers seen in the last 6 months
Sonam and the Silence, by Eddie Ayres, illustrated by Ronak Taher.
The cover is debossed (I think that’s the right word), matt-finished (not shiny) and grainy-textured when you run your hand over it. Lovely.

Sonam and the Silence by Eddie Ayers and Ronak Taher
AND
The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Walls* by Jaclyn Moriarty, illustrated by Kelly Canby. (This middle-grade series has gorgeous covers and the books are chunky and a pleasure to hold.) The book cover shown here doesn’t properly show off the metallic foiling on the cover. It’s even better in real life!My favourite book cover for the second half of 2019: The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Walls.

Most anticipated new releases in the first half of 2019
Fiction: Catch a Falling Star by Meg McKinlay (out February)
Picture book: I would Dangle the Moon by Amber Moffatt (Out June)
Nonfiction: Kids Who Did by Kirsty Murray (Out April)

Three books waiting on my TBR
Lenny’s Book of Everything * by Karen Foxlee
Wundersmith * by Jessica Townsend
IF: A Treasury of Poems for Almost Every Possibility edited by Allie Esiri & Rachel Kelly

A girl can never have too many books on her TBR. Give me your recommendations for my 2019 bedside pile!

Mid-year book tag: children’s books

I’ve seen a few mid-year book tag posts on book blogs recently. (No-one has tagged me, but that won’t stop me joining in.) Because no-one has officially tagged me, I’ve changed up the questions a bit to suit myself. That’s the upside of tagging yourself.

I’m all about children’s books for under 12s. (I just don’t get through many books for grown-ups — or young adults — in 6 months.)

If there’s an asterisk it means I borrowed it from a library. I do love a library.

Here goes:

Currently reading:
The Dog with Seven Names by Dianne Wolfer

Favourite picture book read in the last 6 months
They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel*
The cat walks through the world, and we see the cat through the eyes of other creatures. An interesting approach to changing perspectives. I really loved the illustrations, too.

Favourite fiction book read in the last 6 months
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone by Jaclyn Moriarty, illustrated by Kelly Canby*
Magic! Meddling! Mayhem! and also dry humour. There are pirates. And faeries. And dragons. Basically there’s something for everyone, in a satisfyingly chunky and beautifully-presented book.

Favourite nonfiction book read in the last 6 months
The Bee Book (DK Books) by Emma Tennant and Fergus Chadwick*
A hardcover book with all the facts about bees you could want. Includes stunning photographs and illustrations.

Favourite poetry book read in the last 6 months
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris, illustrated by Lane Smith
Poems on topics that are super familiar to primary school kids. Hilarious, clever, and entertaining. Every child and adult I shared it with loved it.

Favourite new-to-me author discovered this year
Kimberley Brubaker Bradley (The War That Saved My Life)*

Favourite new-to-me illustrator this year
Lorna Scobie (Apes to Zebras: An A–Z of Shape Poems by Roger Stevens, Liz Brownlee, and Sue Hardy-Dawson).* A book of concrete poems about animals, with some illustrations and graphic detail to enhance the text. Good poems! And a beautifully presented hardcover book. I also bought 365 Days of Art because I loved Scobie’s work so much. I haven’t tried it out yet. Because I am no Lorna Scobie. Wah.

Favourite picture book I read aloud to children in the last 6 months
The Hole Story by Kelly Canby and
Oh, Albert!* by Davina Bell, illustrated by Sara Acton
Both these books are fun to read aloud. Also easy to read aloud (no stumbling). The perfect length. The illustrations were lovely. I (as a grown-up) enjoyed the story. The kids loved the story and joined in with the obvious repetition.
Both excellent read-alouds. Yay!

A book that made me cry this year
The War that Saved My Life* by Kimberley Brubaker Bradley 
Ada has a twisted foot and is trapped inside day in and day out. She and her brother join the students evacuated to the countryside in WWII and are put into the care of a woman who isn’t expecting them. I couldn’t put it down. 

A book that made me laugh this year
Duck! by Meg McKinlay and Nathanial Eckstrom 
This is a picture book that’s funny to read out loud and the pictures are funny and the twist at the end is funny and it’s just a wonderfully silly book for those times when you need a good laugh.
 

The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone* by Jaclyn Moriarty, illustrated by Kelly Canby

A book that surprised me this year
Room on Our Rock* by Kate and Jol Temple, illustrated by Terri Rose Baynton
A picture book that can be read from front to back. And then read from back to front — and this flips the message from negative to positive. With the treatment of refugees and people we’re being told to call ‘other’ in Australia at the moment, this is an interesting book to share with young readers through to older readers.

A book I’ve bought as a gift in the last six months
I’m Just No Good at Rhyming by Chris Harris, illustrated by Lane Smith

Most beautiful book I’ve read this year — which sounds fickle, but … hey, I do judge books by their covers. If you’re a book with a beautiful cover, you won’t stay on that TBR pile very long.
The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone* by Jaclyn Moriarty, illustrated by Kelly Canby

The extremely inconvenient adventures of Bronte Mettlestone. Cover is dark blue, with gargoyles and girl and a boy and the title is in gold foil.

This image doesn’t do it justice. The cover is so shiny. The words are in gold foil. It’s a beautiful book.

Most anticipated new release in the second half of 2018
Fiction: The Slightly Alarming Tale of the Whispering Walls by Jaclyn Moriarty, illustrated by Kelly Canby (out November 2018)
Picture book: Maya and Cat by Caroline Magerl (out August 2018)
Nonfiction: Zeroes & Ones by Cristy Burne (out August 2018)

Three books waiting on my TBR (yes, I do have loads more than three on my TBR, but I’d get RSI typing it up)
The List by Patricia Forde
My Life as an Alphabetby Barry Jonsberg
Wormwood Mire* (Stella Montgomery Book 2) by Judith Rossell 

Know any good books I should put on my TBR before the end of 2018?