The Most Magnificent Thing by Ashley Spires, picture e-book, published by Kids Can Press Ltd in 2014.
Along with her doggy side-kick a little girl plans and attempts to construct her vision. She measures, she cuts, she twists and she builds, but it’s just not right. She becomes frustrated and upset, how can she make it work?
This gorgeous picture book reminds me so much of my eldest daughter. Trying over and over to get something just right, and then quitting because she doesn’t think she’ll ever be good enough. It’s painful to watch a child go through that, and I wish this book had been around when my daughter was smaller. It shows that even when things aren’t perfect, they can still be magnificent!
One of my favourite parts of this book is when she hires an assistant and finds a place out of the way to get to work. It is amusing and so true to life. I also like the girl’s invention, and how is turns out in the end. It’s very sweet. Some of her off-casts were helpful to others too, which was nice.
The illustrations are grand as well. The little dog is so cute! I love the apparent simplicity of the pictures, but there is really quite a lot of detail in them. The pictures of the girl becoming upset and exploding reflects my own daughter’s tantrums when things don’t work the way she expected. It was like watching a cartoon version of something I’ve seen a thousand times!
Suitable for preschoolers through to lower and middle primary school children, The Most Magnificent Thing is a book worthy of any home or public library.
*I obtained this book as a digital copy from Netgalley. I did not receive any other remuneration, and this is an honest review composed entirely of my own opinions.
My Dog Bigsy by Alison Lester, hardback picture book, published by Penguin Group in 2015.
Bigsy is an energetic dog that gets up early and runs about the farm visiting all of the animals and making a lot of noise.
My Dog Bigsy is one of my favourite Alison Lester books. It is a delightful and noisy romp about the farm. Bigsy disturbs the cockatoos, Squawk!, chases the sheep, Baa! and says hello to the cat, Flip! Flap! What a loud way to start the day! This is a great story to introduce and have fun with the sounds of different words. My toddlers particularly like it when Bigsy slurps his water and crunches his breakfast.
The illustrations on every page are simple, bold and cute. I like that the background grass and bedspread appear to have been made using some fabric. Bigsy is a pretty cute dog, though Patchy Pig and her piglets are my favourite with their mud splattered tummies.
My Dog Bigsy is suitable for toddlers, preschoolers and lower primary school children. It is best read out loud to make the most of all the sounds that can be heard on the farm.
* My Dog Bigsy is shortlisted for the 2016 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year in the Early Childhood Book category.
Banjo and Ruby Red by Libby Gleeson and illustrated by Freya Blackwood, hardback picture book, published by Little Hare Books in 2013.
Banjo is a chook dog. It is his job to round up the chooks and get them into their pen to be shut in for the night. He barks and chickens come from all over, except Ruby Red, who sits on the wood heap and ignores Banjo. When Ruby Red falls ill, Banjo finds her and cares for her during her recovery.
Gorgeously illustrated, this story of a wayward and head strong chook and her diligent round-up dog, is both moving and funny. I liked the barking and the squarking, with chooks flying everywhere, it reminded me of the chook yard my grandparents had when I was a child. My preschooler liked that Ruby Red ignores Banjo until he topples the wood pile, this made her laugh. I think she saw herself in Ruby Red, stubborn and resistant til the last! My second grader liked Banjo, and how he cared for Ruby Red when she was sick, even though she had antagonised him in the past. Friendship and love can conquer all.
Banjo and Ruby Red is a lovely book for sharing with preschoolers and lower primary school children, and a must have for primary school libraries!
* Banjo and Ruby Red was an honour book for the 2014 Children’s Book Council of Australia Book of the Year in the Early Childhood category.