The Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook group has grown into a wonderful community (nearly 2500 members!) of parents, teachers, librarians, booksellers, bloggers and authors, which means there’s always someone on hand to suggest the perfect book for every occasion.
Our author members are active participants with a wide knowledge of children’s books, and they are wonderful at abiding by our strong ‘no self-promo’ housekeeping rule (as an author myself, I fully understand the strong impetus to put your own books forward, but I also understand that the best recommendation for any book is someone else’s!)
But there are some amazing authors in our group, writing fantastic books, so I thought it might be nice to introduce a new series where I’ll shine a little spotlight their way.
The first author to step up on stage is Anne Helen Donnelly (check out her website here). Anne is the author/illustrator of the Ori the Octopus series of picture books, about a cute little octopus and his family and friends. The latest book Ori’s Christmas, is out now.
Here, Anne shares her inspiration for her picture book Ori’s Christmas, as well as three other picture books* about friendship for young children.
By Anne Helen Donnelly
“Although my original inspiration for the character of Ori the Octopus was the busy mum, the series has developed into stories that model friendship to young children. The first book in the series, Ori the Octopus (April 2017), is about helping others and teamwork while the second book, Ori’s Christmas, is about learning to compromise.
Learning to compromise can be a difficult concept for young children to grasp and I felt it was worth a special book with a festive spirit.
The story is about Ori the Octopus, who is very excited to be sharing Christmas with all his fishy friends. But all his friends want to do something different on this special day so they must find a solution, a compromise, before they can enjoy the holiday together. The book features bright and colourful illustrations and simple language that is also suitable for early readers.”
Three other favourite picture books about friendship
By Janet A. Holmes & Jonathan Bentley (ill)
Boy thinks he’s Duck’s hero until one day when Duck goes missing. He then realises who the real hero in the friendship is.
By Catriona Hoy & Cassia Thomas (ill)
George and Ghost are friends, but George isn’t sure he believes in Ghost anymore. But does a friendship have to take up space, weigh something, be heard or be seen to be real?
By Ciara Flood
Bear is happy to be left alone so he gets quite frustrated when those pesky rabbits move in next door. But then bear starts to feel lonely which gives way to an unlikely friendship.
Visit Anne’s website for more information about her and her books, free downloadable activity sheets for each of her books and monthly videos for kids.
You’ll find more recommended reading lists for kids of all ages here, or join the Your Kid’s Next Read Facebook group to ask for suggestions.
*Click the title of each book for more information and to purchase