It’s school holidays here in Australia and a great time for readers of all ages to explore the wonderful world of books during the break.

In today’s post I’m looking at three quite different books from Scholastic that are all standouts in their own right.

The Farmer’s Hat

The Farmer’s Hat is a uniquely Australian picture book with a text that’s ideal for reading aloud.

‘What happened to my hat?’ asked the farmer. ‘I had a fine hat, a well-worn hat, that smelled of hay and grass and sweat. it was full of dreams and schemes, that hat. What happened to my hat?”

There are lots of active words to carry the text along, following the hat as it whooshes and whirls and floats and wafts around the farm.

Author, Kim L Barnes lives on beef-cattle farm, which is probably why this story is so authentic.

There are hilarious illustrations by CBCA-shortlisted illustrator, Andrew Joyner. I particularly enjoyed the humorous pics of the Australian bush animals in The Farmer’s Hat,  and I’m sure that kids will too.

This book is an example of where a simple idea like a missing hat can be turned into a funny and entertaining story for young children.

The Farmer’s Hat is published in soft cover format by Omnibus Books and is for children aged four years and older.

Monster Book of Drawing

The Monster Book of Drawing is an amazing book by Marc McBride for kids who love to draw – especially those who love to create pictures from the fantasy realm.

There are 192 pages of great examples from this master illustrator who created the covers for Emily Rodda’s Deltora Quest books and more recently, J E Fison’s Hazard River series.

Marc takes kids through step-by-step from basic outline to black and white sketches and full colour illustrations.

The book comes in a hardback binder and is divided into three sections – Monster Battles, Mythical Creatures and Dangerous Beasts.

This book is for fans of all things dangerous, including vampires, werewolves, monsters and sharp-clawed beasts.

It is recommended for young artists aged 8 and over.

I don’t believe in dragons

I don’t believe in dragons is the first full-size picture book from bestselling and award-winning author/illustrator, Anna Walker.

This quirky, beautifully illustrated book is full of gentle humour as we follow the story of Jack who is the only one in his class who doesn’t believe in dragons.

The dragon in this book is so cute and not at all scary, but will it be able to convince Jack to play along with the game?

I don’t believe in dragons is a 32 page hardback picture book for children aged four and onwards.

Shrieking Violet

This book is cleverly written and illustrated by Emma Quay.

It’s ideal for children aged 4+ who are an older sibling and have been feeling a bit left out since their younger brother or sister arrived.

When you have the noisiest, loudest, messiest sister, it can be hard to be noticed. But in spite of all this, the big sister in Shrieking Violet finds a way to be the star of the show.

This is a very realistic portrayal of sibling relationships at this age and the personal battles that small children go through trying to assert their own identity.

In her endearing, colourful illustrations, Emma Quay brings to life the fun, silliness and occasional frustration of life with a younger sibling.

Emma Quay is the acclaimed author/illustrator of Reggie and Lu and has also been a shortlisted and notable illustrator in the CBCA awards.

Shrieking Violet comes in a robust, hard cover and easy to handle format.