Check on Me, by Andrew Daddo

Reviewed by Julie Murphy

My best bedtime goes exactly like this.
There has to be a story…
A cuddle, please…
Don’t forget to check on me!

It is almost bedtime, and there are a number of things to do before this little fellow will drift off to sleep.

Check on Me is a charming look at the things we do to make children comfortable before they settle down to sleep. The text is warm and engaging, and the illustrations by Jonathan Bentley are cheerful and fun.

Real world parents already happy with their existing bedtime routine may run the risk of their children discovering unwelcome new possibilities, such as a last-minute drink before bed or an extra cuddle in the middle of the night. However, this is a sweet book, which will be particularly appealing to parents seeking to establish a bedtime ritual for their own baby or toddler.

Check on Me, by Andrew Daddo & Jonathan Bentley
ABC Books – Harper Collins, 2009

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Letters to Santa, by Andrew Daddo, ill Michelle Pike

Dear Santa
Would you be a grizzle guts if you’d slept through every Christmas? I thought so. I always miss the food!
So I’d like an alarm clock set for dinnertime.
Even better, can you bring the dinner, too?
Thanks, Santa. I promise not to grumble at you. GB

Christmas is coming and, just like every year, letters to Santa are being written. But this year is different – because this tear the letters are from the animals of the world, and they have their own special lists of wants. The Grizzly bear (GB), for example, wants to be woken for Christmas dinner, while the Aussie roo wants some sunglasses for the glare of headlights on the highway.

This solid novelty format picture book is interactive, with each letter in an envelope reminiscent of its country of origin. Letters are slid out of the envelopes, but remain cleverly attached meaning they won’t be lost and are printed on solid card making them difficult to tear. The illustrations are bright and humorous, and there is plenty to explore from the postage stamp endpapers right to a surprise illustration on the back of book imprint page.

Plenty of Christmas fun here, this one will please kids aged four to eight, and possibly older.

Letters to Santa, by Andrew Daddo, ill Michelle Pike
Scholastic, 2008

Run, Kid, Run! by Andrew Daddo

Mum folded some money into Jess’s hand and told Harrison to be careful. ‘The security guards are in hats, white shirts and black pants. They’ve got badges on their sleeves. If you see one with a black ponytail and a knife tattoo, disappear. Got that?’
‘Got it, Mum.’
‘And don’t draw on any more posters.’
The two of them left the meeting room in a crouch.

When Mum is called in to work for an emergency, Jess and Harrison have to go with her, because it’s the school holidays. But Mum works at a television station where high security means kids aren’t allowed. So the kids are told to keep a low profile and stay out of trouble. But keeping out of sight is proving harder than they thought.

Run, Kid, Run! is the first title in the new ABC Kids Fiction series. The fast moving plot and the short length (72pages), coupled with the cartoon illustrations by the talented Craig Smith, makes it very accessible to young readers, especially those making the transition from picture books and easy readers to longer chapter books or novels. The shape cut into the book, reflective of the ABC symbol, will be appealing to kids, echoing the bite in Aussiebites books, and making the series readily identifiable.

As the first instalment in the series, Run, Kid, Run sets a standard for what is to follow. Lots of illustrative support, bright covers and a humorous plot ensure success both in the private reading and school library markets.

Run, Kid, Run! by Andrew Daddo, illustrated by Craig Smith
ABC Books, 2007
ISBN 9780733319280