As we seem to hurtle towards the end of the year – a year that has seemed to find some kind of equilibrium, but has been very far from ‘normal’ – there’s always comfort to be found in books. Books can lead us to other times and places; give us the means to create (or at least look at!) delicious food; and add some humour to a lacklustre day. This month we have so many amazing books being released, a few of which you can find below (and don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter for more new releases).
In a continuation of the dinosaur theme from last month, Who’s Tickling Tilly? invites young readers to explore different dinosaur habitats, all in the search of a tickler! This lovely picture book is incredibly fun, with pages that pull out to more than two metres. We are introduced to habitats such as swamps and forests, as well as dinosaurs doing incongruous things like drinking coffee and wearing sunglasses. This book would be enormous fun to read aloud, with lots of opportunities for children to interact by spotting hidden details.
Many of you will be familiar with Ian Falconer’s work from his Olivia series, featuring everyone’s favourite pig (well, mine anyway!). In Two Dogs Falconer introduces us to Perry and Augie, two dachshunds who look the same, but have very different personalities. One afternoon, tormenting Augie is not enough entertainment for Perry, so he comes up with the idea of escaping into the backyard. Augie is not at all sure about this plan. He eventually goes along with it, and they have colossal fun and manage to dig a gigantic hole in the process. When their family arrives home, it turns out that while Perry is good at getting them into trouble, Augie is much better at getting them out of it!
As much as we may wish it were otherwise, the reality is that most of the students we teach will end up on social media at some point. And while it can be difficult enough to find the right balance in having social media as part of our lives as adults, it’s even harder for children. We might assume that because children have grown up surrounded by social media – chances are they’ve made an appearance of some sort on a family member’s account – it would be easier for them, but wrangling their own online presence is much harder. Social Media Survival Guide is a fantastic way to get children to think about the pitfalls and consequences of managing a social media presence; from trolls to fitspo, and privacy to money, this book is an extensive look at what we all should be keeping in mind when navigating social media.
Read of the Month – Basics to Brilliance Kids
One of the best things about working for a publishing house is free books! So when I saw some spare copies of Basics to Brilliance Kids by Donna Hay, I snapped one up for a nephew who loves to cook. But then I started to flip through the book, and I noticed a recipe for Vegie Fritters, another for a simple Hummus, and yet a third for Zucchini and Bacon Slice. While my nephew may still end up with this book, I’m having some fun with it first!
There are a couple of things I love about this book. The first is that because it’s designed for kids to use, the recipes are quite simple and incorporate ingredients that are easy to find. This means that I don’t need to visit specialty supermarkets to make any of the recipes. It also gives me easy weeknight options when I don’t feel like spending hours on dinner. The other thing I really love is that many of the recipes use healthier ingredients, but not so much that the recipe loses sight of why everyone enjoyed it in the first place. For example, Cauliflower Mac and Cheese has enough cheese to keep everyone happy, but the addition of the cauliflower not only adds some veg, it also adds a nice textural note to the dish.