Hattie Helps Out, by Jane Godwin & Davina Bell, illustrated by Freya Blackwood

Hattie watched as Mama’s breath went9781743435434.jpg
in and out, in and out. She looked just like a little girl.
Poor Mama must be very tires.
I know! thought Hattie. I will help out.

It’s Dad’s birthday and Mum is getting everything ready for the party – with help from Hattie. But when Mum says it’s time for Hattie’s nap, Hattie isn’t keen. She convinces Mum to lie down with her and she doesn’t fall asleep – but Mum does. So Hattie decides that it’s up to her to help out and get everything ready for the party.

Hattie Helps Out is a gently funny story about growing up, being helpful and families. When Hattie tries to help, not everything goes the way it should – she sticks the biscuits together with stickytape (instead of icing), puts flowers in odd places all around the house and hides the mess wherever she can manage. But she does it with love – and that is how it is received by the extended family when they arrive, and Mum when she wakes up.

The water colour and pencil illustrations by Freya Blackwood bring the family to life, with the rough outlines giving a gentle quality.
Hattie Helps Out will make adult and child readers alike smile.

Hattie Helps Out, by Jane Godwin & Davina Bell, illustrated by Freya Blackwood
Allen & Unwin, 2016
ISBN 9781743435434

Bear Make Den, by Jane Godwin & Michael Wagner, pictures by Andrew Joyner

9781760110017.jpgBear make Den. Den good. Den great. Den just right… Den not done!
Den need… Chairs! Wait. Den need… Table! Den still not right!
Den need… oh!

Bear has made himself a Den, band he loves it, until he realises it is missing something – or, in fact, some things. First it’s chairs, then a table, a bed, and more. Finally, with the Den fitted out and decorated, Bear realises what the Den really needs – more bears.

Bear Make Den is a gently humorous story told in very few words. Kids (and adults, too) will love the playfulness and even the very young will see the clues as to what is really missing, in the second, empty chair, the double bunk bed, the couch and so on. The underlying message about the importance companionship is a good one.

The text , by Jane Godwin and Michael Wagner, is ably supported by the artwork of Andrew Joyner, with Bear’s expressions , mostly happy but also puzzled, determined and more, an absolute delight.
Sure to please all ages.

Bear Make Den, by Jane Godwin & Michael Wagner, and Andrew Joyner (ill.)
Allen & Unwin, 2016
ISBN 9781760110017

When Elephants Lived in the Sea, by Jane Godwin and Vincent Agostino

When the world was young, elephants lived in the sea like the whale and the dugong.As sea animals, elephants swam gracefully, diving and rolling, and floating when they needed to rest. Their trunks were snorkels and their legs were like fins. Then, as the world changed and the seas began smaller, elephants began to evolve until eventually they became land animals with strong legs and saggy skin. But even today, when elephants do come across water, they swim , roll and dive, remembering their origins as sea animals.

When Elephants Lived in the Sea is a delightful picture book which takes a nonfiction basis but makes gorgeous use of language to really draw young readers in to this fascinating piece of natural history. Author Jane Godwin doesn’t tell us that elephants could swim – instead she says: They dived, explored, snorted, splashed, rolling with the ocean like a swell. This poetic use of language creates a sense of wonder and whimsy which will keep young readers spellbound. The acrylic illustrations, by Vincent Agostino, use gorgeous aquas and earthy tones in a wonderful complement to the text. A back of book information page provides further understanding of the evolution process.

This is an outstanding offering.

When Elephants Lived in the Sea

When Elephants Lived in the Sea, by Jane Godwin and Vincent Agostino
Lothian, 2006

You can buy this book online at Fishpond