One of the best things about being an author with a blog is that you can call in the experts when you need to do so. Take Christmas for instance. I have a gorgeous, smiley little 18-month-old niece and, because I am The Aunty Of The Book, I’m looking for just the right picture book for her.
But how do I choose between one lavishly illustrated picture book and another?
Well, I call in Sue Whiting, of course.
Sue Whiting is an award-winning children’s and YA author and editor. Years before I ever met Sue, I knew her work very, very well – her picture book The Firefighters (Illustrated by Donna Rawlins) was in high rotation at our house, a BIG favourite of my youngest son who went through a ‘fireman’ stage that seemed to last about 18 years. In fact, I could probably recite The Firefighters to this day.
And I am quite, quite sure that Sue’s latest book – Beware The Deep Dark Forest (illustrated by Annie White) – will be a firm favourite in many Australian households (and duly memorised by many Australian parents after countless reads…).
But I digress.
I asked Sue to come up with a list of her top picture book picks for Christmas 2018 and, being an obliging soul, she did.
Take it away Sue Whiting.
FIVE PICTURE BOOK PICKS FOR CHRISTMAS 2018
Since my children were tiny babes, I always popped a special book into their Christmas parcel each year. It, happily, became a Family Christmas Tradition of the Best Kind – so much so that said children, who are no longer children, are quite indignant if there isn’t a book in their parcels even now.
So with Christmas galloping towards us, I took on the challenge of creating a list of five fab picture books for presents this Christmas. This is not an easy task though! Without a doubt, there are many hundreds of wonderful picture books out in the marketplace, so in order to whittle my list down to five only, I set myself some rigorous guidelines.
- It had to be a new release – October/November, 2018, so it would be readily available in bookstores and online.
- It had to be by Australian creators.
- And to give a shout out to the girls, it had to be written and illustrated by Aussie female creators. Here’s to Aussie Girl Power!
So without further ado, here are my picks (in no particular order).
There’s a Baddie Running Through this Book by Shelly Unwin and Vivienne To
This interactive book is so much fun! With simple rhyming text and lively illustrations, the book has a pantomime feel, which encourages reader participation as they follow the exploits of very wicked thief!
Ages 3-6 Allen and Unwin 9781760630614
When You’re Going to the Moon by Sasha Beekman and Vivienne To
This heartfelt story about chasing one’s dreams, taps into that wonderful childhood belief that anything’s possible. With gorgeous illustrations from Vivienne To, the story follows one young girl as she prepares for her trip to the moon. Dreamy!
Ages 3-6 Affirm Press 9781925584936
Under the Southern Cross by Frané Lessac
Award-winning and best-selling, author/illustrator Frané Lessac takes us on an evocative tour of Australia under the cover of darkness in this beautiful picture book packed full of fun facts for the curious reader.
5+ Walker Books Australia 978192538101
All the Ways to be Smart by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys
This book celebrates all the many ways one can be “smart”, from the practical, to the emotional, to the creative. A stunning combination of lively, pitch perfect rhyming text and vivid illustrations makes this book a delight to share.
2+ Scribe 9781925713435
Beware the Deep Dark Forest by Sue Whiting and Annie White
Well, what do you know, my own new release picture book fits the criteria! This a quest story that sees feisty Rosie set off into the deep dark forest to rescue her dog Tinky from the dangers within. With stunning illustrations from Annie White this fairytale-style adventure is for courageous young readers.
4 + Walker Books Australia 9781742032344
Here’s to Girl Power!
Happy Christmas shopping!
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