The volume of literary genius Australia possesses is staggering. Distill this down further to talented kids’ authors and illustrators and you’d still fill oceans, which is why I love showcasing our home grown children’s books.
But it’s impossible to ignore the magnitude of offerings from overseas too. So every now and then I’ll give you 5 Faves from overseas.
Here is the first fistful – all picture books this time round.
1. Waiting for Later by Tina Matthews Walker Books Australia (OK published here but Tina is from NZ so sneaks in on this list). Nancy’s family are too busy to play with her. Each time she appeals for their attention, the reply is ‘later’. Nancy holds out for ‘later’ in a grand old tree in her garden with surprising results. An evocative cautionary tale reminding us of the precious brevity of childhood told in captivating book-end style.
2. Too Many Girls by Jonty Lees Eight Books Limited UK. Fun, frivolous and very pink in parts. Any Dad outnumbered by females will immediately sympathise with this poor fellow who is subject to an appalling lack of privacy, regular nail painting and indiscriminate hairstyling thanks to the females in his household. The crisis erupts in a ‘brush war’ resulting in some happy compromises and a lovely shade of purple. A lesson in the art of acceptance (and why men will never rule the world)
3. The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by W E Joyce and Joe Bluhm. Simon & Schuster UK, originally by Athenum Books for Young Readers NY, USA. Immediately captivating. Glowing illustrations exude a burnished charm and warmth that complement the touching tale of Mr Morris Lessmore, a man who loved books and reading his whole life long. It’s a genuine never-ending story. Magnificently magic.
4. Blue Gnu by Kyle Mewburn and Daron Parton Scholastic NZ. Boo is not your average gnu. He’s blue for a start. And oscillates wildly between yearning to fit in with the rest of the heard and being his own unique self. A warm and witty look a colours, patterns, differences and friendship.
5. This Moose Belongs to Me by Oliver Jeffers Harper Collins Children’s Books UK. Oliver Jeffers – enough said. One of my favourites of his. Illustrations divine enough to frame and hang on the wall plus a mockingly humorous story that questions the audacious assumption that we can really ever own anything outright in this world, equals pure genius. In the end, nature triumphs as does this must read picture book.
Do you have a favourite, unforgettable picture book? Let me know and it could make it onto 5 Faves.