The Way I Love You, by David Bedford and Ann James

I love…
the way you always care,
the way you’re always there…
That’s the way I love you.

This is a picture book which parents, grandparents and other gift-givers will buy for its beauty. From an adorable cover, with a simple cream background and heartwarming illustration of a girl hugging her dog, right through to the back cover, with a view of the same pair from behind, with the girl’s arm around the dog and their heads leaning conspiratorially towards each other, all about this book is adorable.

The text is simple – with the first person child sharing the ways that she loves her dog, and the illustrations showing the simple joy the pair share in being together. Of course, the book is much more than a tale of a girl and a dog – the words remind us of the many ways of sharing love, in simple, every day moments.

Adult readers will be touched by this message and be reminded to cherish each small moment with their young loved ones, while children will love the simple rhythm of the story and the delightful illustrations of Ann James.

The Way I Love You will make a lovely going to sleep book and won’t suffer from being read over and over. It would also be an ideal gift for a newborn, to be treasured by both parent and child.

Delightful

The Way I Love You, by David Bedford and Ann James
Little Hare, 2004

The Shack That Dad Built, by Elaine Russell

In the mid 1940s, when Elaine Russell was five, she moved with her family to La Perouse, just outside of Sydney. There her father, Clem built a shack from old tin and other salvaged materials. The Shack That Dad Built is author/illustrator Russell’s recollection of the time she and her family spent in the shack where they lived for the next five years.

The author recounts memories of her everyday life – sweeping and dampening the dirt floor, playing in the sand dunes, going fishing with her mother, as well as of more specific events like being visited by gypsies and missing out on a Christmas gift at a charity function. The memories are also portrayed in Russell’s bold yet simple illustrations which use bright blues, oranges, greens and yellows to recreate the scenes.

The story is further supported by a fact sheet at the back of the book outlining the history of the La Perouse area and its significance to the Aboriginal people, who have camped there for at least 7 500 years.

This is an informative tale which will interest children as private reading but which would also be an excellent classroom resource.

The Shack That Dad Built, by Elaine Russell
Little Hare, 2004

Kiss, Kiss, by Margaret Wild

When Baby Hippo wakes up he hurries off to play, without stopping to give his mother a kiss. Leaving his disappointed mum behind, he waddles through the mud, around the bumpy rocks, up the mossy bank and under the leafy trees.

Everywhere he goes, Baby Hippo hears the same sound – ‘Kiss, kiss!’ – as the other baby animals kiss their parents good morning. When he remembers that he’s forgotten to do the same, he hurries home. But where is his mother?

Kiss, Kiss! is a delightful new offering from acclaimed author Margaret Wild. The text is simple and rhythmic, with youngsters able to predict the ‘Kiss, kiss,” repeated throughout the story. The illustrations of Bridget Strevens-Mazro are a perfect complement, with the gentle colours of nature and an endearing Baby Hippo.

A lovely work.

Kiss, Kiss!, by Margaret Wild, illustrated by Bridget Strevens-Mazro
Little Hare, 2003