The Little Elephant Who Lost His Bath by Jedda Robaard

Little Elephant woke up feeling very grouchy.

He was hot and dusty

and needed a swim …

Little Elephant woke up feeling very grouchy.

He was hot and dusty

and needed a swim …

Little Elephant wakes up and feels in need of a bath. He investigates many options to achieve this but none are right. Eventually, though, with the help of a friend, he finds the perfect bath. Gently coloured illustrations are pencil and watercolour set in white space. Sturdy square format, board pages and lift-the-flap, designed for little hands.

The Little Elephant Who Lost His Bath, Jedda Robaard
The Five Mile Press 2016
ISBN: 9781760400408

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller

10 Bush Babies, By Susan Hall & Naomi Zouwer (ill)

10 bush babies
went out one day,
into the sun to jump and play.
Mrs Roo rang ding-ding-ding-ding…
…but only 9 bush babies ran in.

Mrs Roo is trying to round her young students up after playtime, but one by one they all disappear. Finally, when none remain, she tries again, and all ten return. Giving an Australian twist to the well-known rhyme ‘Five Little Ducks’, this board book will delight young Aussies, as well as making a cute gift for overseas friends or relatives.

The illustrations are inspired by the work of naturalist John Gould, and each new spread features an almost identical illustration, apart from the gradual disappearance of each animal baby, helping youngsters to guess which animal has gone.There is also a hint as to where the baby has gone and, at the end of the book, a double page spread explains where each animal went.

Very sweet.


10 Bush Babies

Ten Bush Babies , by Susan Hall, illustrated by Naomi Zouwer
NLA Publishing, 2013
ISBN 9780642277695

Available from good bookstores or online .

Meet My Book: The Littlest Bushranger, by Alison Reynolds

Another wonderful visitor. I am delighted to welcome Allison Reynolds to the blog today, here to tell us about her newest book. Welcome Alison.

1.    Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.

Littlest Bushranger [Board book]
The Littlest Bushranger

Author: Alison Reynolds

Illustrator: Heath McKenzie

Release date: June 1 2013

The Five Mile Press

2.    Why did you write the book?

The publisher commissioned me to write a picture book about a bushranger.

Somehow, Jack and Hector’s story emerged.

3.    How long from idea to publication?

About 14 months.

4.    What was the hardest thing about writing it?

It was difficult to think of how to have a bushranger book suitable for very young children.

5.    Coolest thing about your book?

I feel very lucky to have Heath McKenzie as the illustrator. I love how he captures the essence of the words, and transforms it into something amazing.

I couldn’t wait to see how he would interpret the outlaw/monster in The Littlest Bushranger

Also, I really like how he sneaked in an illustration of Hector the dog on every page.

6.    Something you learnt through writing the book?

I realised how much I use my own childhood in my writing. My backyard was my entire world, and I loved recapturing that feeling in this book.

7.    What did you do celebrate the release?

Booked myself a holiday, which will be known as The Littlest Bushranger  holiday.

8.    And how will you promote the book?

I’m having a blog tour to celebrate The Littlest Bushranger . We’re saddling up for it on Tuesday, 11th June. I’ve managed to get some excellent prizes,

including a piece of Heath McKenzie’s fabulous artwork. I’m also having a few signings.

9.    What are you working on next?

I have a YA that wants to be revisited.

10.    Where we can find out more about you and your book?


I would love to see you there.

Thank you for inviting me onto the Aussiereviews blog, Sally!

You’re welcome Alison. It’s lovely having you here.

Our Nest is Best

Before Rocky and Ruby Robin make their own nest ready for their eggs, they decide to check out the nests of other birds to get ideas for their own. But Owl’s nest seems too big, Fairy-wren’s too small and Greb’s nest too soggy

‘It’s spring,’ said Ruby Robin. ‘Time to build our nest.’
‘Yes,’ said Rocky. ‘But what kind is best?’
“Let’s visit the other birds and find out.’

Before Rocky and Ruby Robin make their own nest ready for their eggs, they decide to check out the nests of other birds to get ideas for their own. But Owl’s nest seems too big, Fairy-wren’s too small and Greb’s nest too soggy. Finally the robins realise they need to make their nest their own way – with bark, grass and moss, lined with fur and feathers. They both agree that their nest is perfect for them – even though it wouldn’t be perfect for the other birds.

Our Nest is Best! is an educational board book which will entertain as it informs about different types of birds, their environments and, of course, their nests. Very young readers will enjoy the bird illustrations, all of which come from the National Library’s collection, while older readers will be interested in the facts which are presented through the use of a fictionalised story.

In sturdy board book format, Our Nest is Best! is suitable for children from birth up to school age.

Our Nest is Best!

Our Nest is Best! by Penny Olsen with Penny O’Hara
NLA Publishing, 2012
ISBN 9780642277374

This book is available through good bookstores or online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

The Australian Twelve Days of Christmas, illustrated by Heath McKenzie

With shops full of tinsel and presents, it’s pretty obvious Christmas is on its way. But there’s a catch. Alongside the tinsel and lights, are scenes of snow, plum puddings and all the trappings of a Northern Hemisphere style Christmas. Here in Australia, Christmas usually entails cooling down and trying to escape the heat as we celebrate this special event in the midst of our summer.

The Australian Twelve Days of Christmas, puts an Aussie slant on the old song, with partridges and maids a milking replaced with a kookaburra up a gum tree, wombats, possums and, of course, flies.

Accompanying the humorous text are colourful, funny illustrations with illustrator Heath McKenzie interpreting them in a unique way. The seven possums playing are in front of the TV with Playstations, and the six sharks are swimming in paddle pools.

This is a fun Christmas offering which will appeal to Aussie kids, but would also make a novel gift for overseas friends and family. First released in hardcover format in 2006, it has been rereleased this Christmas in board book format.

The Australian Twelve Days of Christmas [Board book]


The Australian Twelve Days of Christmas [Board book], illustrated by Heath McKenzie
Black Dog Books, 2009

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

What the Sky Knows, by Nike Bourke and Stella Danalis

I want to know what the sky knows
How to be blue
Or grey
Or pink
How to make clouds

This beautiful, whimsical book is an invitation to children and adults alike to share the wisdom of the sky which knows how to change colour, how to be loud and quiet, how to make clouds and rain, and so much more.

With simple, lyrical text and gorgeous collage and bright paint illustrations the book is short and gentle enough for reading with infants, but clever enough to captivate older readers and even adults.

First published in 2005 in picture book format, it has now been rereleased as a board book. A wonderful gift for a new baby or for any lover of beauty.

What the Sky Knows [Board book]

What the Sky Knows , by Nike Bourke and Stella Danalis
UQP, this edition 2009

This book is available online from Fishpond. Buying through this book supports Aussiereviews.

Four Baby Board Books, by Sally Rippin

What’s That Noise?, Hush Baby Hush, Go Baby Go! and Where is Baby? are sturdy board books in a new series for babies from Allen & Unwin. Sally Rippin authors them all, but illustrates only Where is Baby?, with the others illustrated by some of Australia’s best-known illustrators. Each spread features a baby interacting with their environment. In What’s That Noise? common noises are identified, from the baby crying to washing flapping and more. Go Baby Go focuses on a range of movements, while Where is Baby? uses simple rhymes. Hush Baby Hushlooks at some familiar daily routines. Each book is linked to the others in the series by a common design spotted spine.

What’s That Noise?, Hush Baby Hush, Go Baby Go! and Where is Baby?’ are very first books for babies. They are designed to encourage early interaction with books between parent and child, child and text/illustration. The text is simple and repetitive and the images invite the reader to explore beyond the written word. A range of cultures are depicted. The colours are warm and bright and each title is robust enough to withstand many readings. Backgrounds to each spread are full colour, with Baby the feature of each opening. Each illustrator has interpreted their characters differently yet there is enough similarity to link the books. The three babies who feature in each book greet the reader on the back cover. Recommended for babies and the very young.

What’s That Noise? Sally Rippin ill Lorette Broekstra Allen & Unwin 2008 ISBN: 9781741753899
Go Baby Go! Sally Rippin ill Ann James Allen & Unwin 2008 ISBN: 9781741753882
Hush Baby Hush, Sally Rippin ill Craig Smith Allen & Unwin 2008 ISBN: 9781741753875
Where is Baby? Sally Rippin Allen & Unwin 2008 ISBN: 9781741753868

Five in the Bed

As much a toy as it is a book, this cute little offering is lots of fun and likely to delight kids well outside the stated age range of Baby to 2. Five in the Bedis a hand puppet board book, comprising a good sized hand glove with a small board book attached, enabling an adult reader to wear the glove, reading and acting out the story with the five finger puppet characters.

Using the popular nursery rhyme (variously called ‘five in a bed’, ‘ten in a bed ‘or ‘roll over’) as a basis, this version uses five Australian animal characters – Koala, Cockatoo, Emu, Wombat and Little Roo – and has a slight twist at the end with Little Roo declaring himself lonely, inviting the other animals back into the bed.

This would be a great tool for read aloud games, both in the early childhood classroom and at home, and will also be loved as a toy, although the size of the glove is better for adults than for children.

A cute concept, which would make a lovely gift.

Five in the Bed

Five in the Bed, illustrated by Claire Dowe
Little Scholastic, 2009

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

Watch Me!

I’m grey and furry
and cuddly, too.
Watch me CHEW!

This board book with a difference features simple rhyming text introducing favourite Australian animals – koala, kangaroo, kookaburra, crocodile, emu, wombat and more . The illustrations are 3D motionprint, with readers able to tilt the book up and down to see the koala chew, the kookaburra fly and so on.

The rhyming text flows well and also encourages young listeners to guess the motions, and page backgrounds are brightly coloured – purples, greens, oranges and blue. The text is large and coloured to complement the backgrounds, with key words (mostly verbs and adverbs) set in white and with embellishments to accentuate the movements of the animals.

This sturdy offering will delight littlies from birth and up to about six, with the novelty of the ‘moving’ pictures being especially attractive to those at the older end of the range.

Watch Me!: Aussie Animals in Action!

Watch Me!: Aussie Animals in Action
Scholastic Australia, 2008

This book is available from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

123 – A First Board Book from Scholastic Australia

One of four titles in Scholastic’s First Board Book series, 123 is, as the title suggests, a first counting book. With bright photo illustrations and clear labels, the book presents the numbers 1 through 10, as well as 20, 50 and 100.

Each number is illustrated by objects which youngsters will know – 1 teddy bear, 2 socks, 3 trucks and so on. Kids will especially love the 50 bright buttons and 100 lollies (yum!).

There are also four double page spreads encouraging counting and discussion, with children being asked to count various objects.

The board book format provides a sturdy learning tool perfect for viewing and interaction for chidlren from birth through to preschool age.

123: A First Board Book, from Scholastic Australia, 2004