Little Mates is a colourful new series from Scholastic for children aged 3 +.

There are 26 pocket-sized books designed to fit easily into a handbag, nappy bag or backpack. Each book features a letter of the alphabet so the books are both educational and fun.

The Little Mates series is written by Susannah McFarlane and illustrated by Lachlan Creagh. Susannah has been writing since she was seven and is the author of the EJ12 Girl Hero series. You’ll see when you read the books that she is a big fan of alliteration, which is something that young readers seem to enjoy too.

Illustrator, Lachlan Creagh is also a concept designer and illustrator whose work is inspired by nature. He likes to create original visions full of life and imagination and his hilarious, colourful pictures help McFarlane’s words to leap off the page.

The alliteration makes these stories fun to read aloud and each one features an endearing Australian animal. The 26 books enable readers to work their way through the alphabet in a fun way and each has the applicable letter of the alphabet on its spine so that by lining up the whole series, readers will have the entire alphabet laid out for them.

In the first book, we meet Amelia, the most athletic ant on the anthill. She is an astonishing acrobat and an amazing tennis ace. Then there is Bouncy Ben the bilby who has a batch of beaut bush buddies, and Cuddly Callum the cockatoo who has a collection of cheerful chums. Daredevil Declan the dingo likes to dart and dive and Energetic Elliot the emu is excellent at eating but his exuberance can lead to emergencies.  Finally, there’s Friendly Fred the fairy penguin who feasts on felafel and plays a ferocious game of footy.

In each book the main character goes on fun adventures with their friends. As well as introducing readers to the alphabet and fun words, these books also present personal concepts like friendliness, loyalty and ‘giving things a go’.

The first six Little Mates came out this month and the rest are due for rapid release during 2011-2012

Published by

Dee White

Dee White lives with her husband and two sons in a small rural country town which has more kangaroos than people. She has worked as an advertising copywriter and journalist and has had numerous career changes because until recently, writing wasn’t considered to be a proper job. Letters to Leonardo, her first novel with Walker Books Australia, was published in 2009 to great critical acclaim.