Australian author Mem Fox is a prolific writer who knows the importance of adult–child relationships. Whether she writes about human children and their parents or presents animal families, the warmth of love is evident. She also knows the power of sharing books with children. She reminds us of the pleasure and power of reading in her book for adults, Reading Magic (Harvest, rev. 2008) (reviewed in the May 30, 2008 posting of 'Page by Page.')
Good Night, Sleep Tight
Skinny Doug is Bonnie and Ben's favorite babysitter. When he shares a familiar bedtime rhyme, their chant encourages him to share even more ditties until everyone is finally tucked in. Traditional verses appear in the rhythmic, imaginatively illustrated rhyming text.
Harriet, You'll Drive Me Wild!
Harriet Harris is a pesky child whose mother usually handles her antics with patience — but one day, Mom blows her top. The anger blows over and mother and child know that they still love each other. Readers will relate to their story told in expressive illustration and vivid language.
Highly textured, realistic collages on uncluttered backgrounds combine with rhythmic, rhyming, and repetitive text to introduce a range of animals. Ranging from very familiar to lesser known, young listeners will meet creatures and language in this compelling and participatory book.
Koala Lou, a koala bear, lives in Australia with her growing family. In order to regain her mother's attention and be reassured of her family position and her mother's love, Lou enters the Bush Olympics. Lush illustrations show the Australian landscape.
Grandma possum uses magic to make little Hush invisible, but to find the antidote they must explore Australia for just the right remedy. Richly-hued illustrations enhance their journey and introduce different magical (or not) foods.
Mother Bear knows her six cubs so well that she tells each a special bedtime tale in order to get them to sleep for the winter. Lush illustrations detail each dream as the youngsters drift off and fantasize.
Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes
From the opening lines to its satisfying conclusion, readers are introduced to babies from many cultures. Though each child is different, each has some things in common — "ten little fingers & ten little toes." The rhyming text and repeated phrase make this a wonderful book to share with children of many ages.
Time for Bed
It's bedtime for an ewe and her lamb, a cow and her calf and for a mother and her child. Watercolor illustrations show mothers and their babies settling in for the night.
Boris von der Borch is a pirate and as rough and tough as nails until his parrot dies and he mourns just like everyone. The cabin boy also mourns when he's set ashore, forced to leave the pirate ship. Energetic language and illustrations add humor and appeal.
Where Is the Green Sheep?
Cartoon-like illustrations are perfect to engage readers in the search for the missing sheep. Repetitious, rhyming language and comic illustrations combine for an animated romp all the way to its satisfying conclusion.
Whoever You Are
People all over the world laugh and cry, live, and love even though they may look different or live differently. Straightforward text is complemented by illustrations that are reminiscent of folk art in this comfortable reminder that everyone has much in common.
Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge
Wilfrid helps an elderly friend, Miss Nancy, regain lost memories by bringing her some of her favorite things to remind her of them. This is a tender story of a friendship between two very different people, both of whom have four names, and the nature of memories.
Wombat is finally old enough to try out for just the right part in the Nativity play at Christmastime, and finds himself in a very special role indeed. Readers will recognize the emotions of wombat and the other animals in this warm holiday story.
Yoo-Hoo, Lady Bug!
A small ladybug loves to hide — and she does it well in each familiar scene. "Yoo-hoo, Ladybug? Where are you?" She's hiding behind the teddy bear, tucked in a box, and other places in this brightly illustrated, rhyming hide-and-seek book for younger children.
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