Ted, by Leila Rudge

Ted had been at the pet shop for as long as he could remember.
He was a smart dog with his own jumper,
and he did his best to make a good impression.
But there were so many other dogs that nobody noticed Ted.

Ted is a little dog with a big problem. he doesn’t belong – and belonging is what he most wants. So he sets off to find the perfect place. He tries the circus, but everybody cheers the circus dogs and nobody notices Ted. Similarly, Ted doesn’t succeed as a pageant dog or a guard dog. Dejected, he is about to head back to the pet store when he comes across Dot, who is looking for a furry friend who enjoys long walks and ball games. Ted does his best to get noticed by Dot – and succeeds.

Ted is an adorable picture book story about an adorable dog. He may not be suitable for any of the roles he tries, but he is a dog who will win the hearts of young, and not-so-young readers. The illustrations, using pencil and ink with touches of paper collage, have a gentle whimsy to them, with lots of detail for readers to explore and discover.

Perfect for young animal lovers.


Ted, by Leila Rudge
Walker Books, 2013
ISBN 9781921977503

Available from good booksellers or online.

Cowtime, by Kim Barnes

When the sun goes down and the farmers go to bed – it’s COWTIME!

The girls in the cowshed really go to town, dancing and mooing up a storm. But that’s not all – soon the pigs start jumping, horses start wiggling, and the goats, sheep, ducks – even kangaroos and possums – all join in.

This high energy book, by talented writer/illustrator Kim Barnes, is guaranteed to thrill every young reader. The rollicking rhyme, compelte with mooing chorus, is silly enough to have the most serious listener smiling and mooing along.

There are even actions, demonstrated on each page by a dingo, making the book an excellent resource for preprimaries, playgroups and child care centres.

The illustrations are outstanding. Every page is packed full of colour and action. The detail is exceptional, with loads of surprises to be discovered on rereadings. A cat (who refuses to take part in the silliness of the dance) is cleverly hidden on each page, and other clever touches, include the multicultural faces of the human characters, as well as one who is wheelchair-bound.

Cowtime is sure to be an enduring classic.

Cowtime, written and illustrated by Kim Barnes
Scholastic Press, 2002

My Yellow Blanky, by Sofie Laguna

This is Yellow Blanky. We go everywhere together.

Eevry child can relate to the experience of owning a special blanket or toy which spells security and familiarity. In My Yellow Blanky, the special item is, predictably, a yellow blanket.

The child (delightfully unnamed and of an indefinite gender) loves the blanky, especially the special smells it harbours – smells that encompass all of the child’s experiences. But, when Mum takes the blanket away for a wash, something happens to those smells.

The delightfully simple text (little over 200 words) of this title will appeal to preschool aged children and also be accessible for the beginning reader. It would be an excellent bed time story, with its gentle action and message of security.

The beautiful colour pencil illustrations of Tom Jellett complement the text perfectly – the rich pastel tones giving a warmth which echoes the story’s message.

Sofie Laguna comes from an acting background. My Yellow Blanky is her first picture book. She is also the author of Bill’s Best Day, an Omnibus Solo.

Tom Jellet has illustrated a number of children’s books, including Australia at the Beach and Fuzz, the Famous Fly

My Yellow Blanky, by Sofie Laguna, illustrated by Tom Jellett
Omnibus Books, 2002