Nanna’s Button Tin, by Dianne Wolfer & Heather Potter

We start sorting the buttons.
The button I’m looking for
needs to be just the right size,
just the right shape and just
the right colour.

Nanna’s button tin is a treasure trove of buttons of all sizes and shapes. But when Teddy needs a button, it has to be just the right one. As Teddy’s owner and her Nanna sort through the buttons, they also revisit the memories that the buttons contain – buttons from a baby cardigan, a button from a first meeting, and buttons from special outfits. Finally, though, just the right button is found, and Teddy has a new eye.

Nanna’s Button Tin is a divine picture book  offering. Many adults will share the joy of remembering a grandmother or mother’s button tin, and the bond between generations depicted is really special. Wolfer’s simple, heartwarming story is brought to life in beautiful pastel-toned gouache with ink outlines. The inclusion of details including a grandfather and baby sibling reading in the background highlight the warm family feel.

Suitable for all ages, this is just beautiful.

Nanna’s Button Tin, by Dianne Wolfer & Heather Potter
Walker Books, 2017
ISBN 9781922077677

Where is Bear? by Jonathan Bentley

Where is Bear?
Where could Bear be?

A young boy is ready for bed, but cannot find his bear anywhere. He searches first the bedroom, then the rest of the house, and even outside. The reader can see what he apparently can’t – a huge reddish brown bear that shadows him everywhere. Finally, in desperation, the boy asks the reader  Have you seen Bear? But, though an answer from the reader might be forthcoming, the surprise is that boy looks around and finds, not the big bear, but a teddy bear peeking out from a rug in the bedroom. The boy then presents it to the big bear and, together, the pair go to bed.
This humorous, clever picture book will draw the young reader in, and encourage them to interact. The apparent humour of the boy seemingly unable to see the huge bear who follows him everywhere, coupled with the twist at the end, makes for lots of child engagement and laughter. Bentley’s colourful pencil and watercolour illustrations fill each spread, and allow for minimal text.

Where is Bear? By Jonathan Bentley
Little Hare, 2016
ISBN 9781760122911

Teddy Took the Train, by Nicki Greenberg

Teddy Took the TrainDot loves Teddy, and Teddy loves Dot.
So when Teddy goes missing, she misses him a lot…

When Mum and Dot go on an outing, Dot brings teddy along for the ride. But, in the rush to get off the train, Dot loses Teddy. The kindly stationmaster assures her that the train didn’t take teddy – rather Teddy took the train, and has gone for a big adventure. Although she isn’t sure, Dot gets involved in imagining Teddy’s adventures. Finally, at bedtime, Teddy comes home, delivered by the stationmaster.

Teddy Took the Train is a delightful picture book about imagination, adventures and courage. The rhyming text is fun to read and the illustrations, using a range of media including collage, ink and acrylic are warm and both sensitive and gently humorous. The depiction of Mum in a wheelchair is a wonderful touch, with the disability not forming a part of the written narrative, and thus part of the family’s life rather than the central issue of the book.

A gorgeous offering.

Teddy Took the Train, by Nicki Greenberg
Allen & Unwin, 2015
ISBN Teddy Took the Train

Available from good bookstores and online.