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.

The Playground is Like the Jungle, by Shona Innes & Irisz Agocs

Playgrounds are a little bit like the jungle. Lots of creatures come together to live and play in the jungle. And when lots of creatures come together in one spot, things can get really wild and adventurous.

Using the extended simile of the jungle to represent the playground, author/psychologist Shone Innes explains to young readers the dynamics of playground interactions, highlighting the fun and pleasure that can be had there, but also some of the pitfalls. She identifies some of the personalities that may show up in the playground – cheeky monkeys who chase and tease, tigers that lash out when they’re angry, and slipper snakes who pretend to be friends – before offering suggestions for being safe and comfortable in their midst.

The Playground is Like a Jungle is a Big Hug book, designed to help young children understand and tackle life’s challenges. There are also back of book notes for parents and teachers. Illustrations, in watercolour with pencil outlines, have plenty of movement and an appropriately gentle humour.

A great resource for home, childcare centres or schools.

The Playground is Like a Jungle, by Shona Innes & Irisz Agocs
Five Mile Press, 2015
ISBN 9781760064150

Available from good bookstores and online.