Welcome to Children's Corner book reviews from 4MBS Classic Radio FM in Brisbane. Here you will find short annotations of the children's books reviewed by Kerry Neary in Children's Corner on 4MBS, together with the details you need to find them at your favourite bookstore. Any prices shown are the publisher's Australian recommended price and may vary depending on where you shop. You are welcome to use these reviews for newsletters and the like with appropriate acknowledgement.

May 28, 2016

Books reviewed 27.01.16

The research shows that the most important factor in learning achievement over time is family reading in the early years. Children who have been read to regularly before they enter school will invariably be ready for school.
My first day at school

Rosie Smith, illustrated by Bruce Whatley
Scholastic Australia
ISBN: 9781743622964
RRP: $16.99

Typically the text is direct and clear, describing events by instalments that happen to children during this special school day. The illustrations are open and colourful, attracting attention; equally typically they depict contradictory situations featuring animal characters. That’s where the humour resides and good impressions made on the reader. If these characters are having so much fun doing ordinary things then the school day can’t be so bad. This book makes preparing for school enjoyable.
Alphabet school

Stephen T. Johnson
Simon & Schuster
ISBN: 9781416925217
RRP: $24.99

There isn’t one actual letter from the alphabet shown in these illustrations. They are all represented in objects, shapes and patterns around a school. The A is in the frame of a free-standing display board in the library. Many of the letters are in markings on the quadrangle and patterns in walls. The reader has to search for each letter in prints made from colour-slides then textured by computer to give a chalky or wax-crayon effect. The school setting is a touch of inspiration.
My friend Ernest

Emma Allen, illustrated by Hannah Sommerville
ISBN: 9781460750537
RRP: $24.99

Oscar is reluctant to join in at school. All the kids are rushing to get their dress-ups and snatching for their favourites; especially that boy with the dragon tail. He seems to be paying special attention to Oscar and later when he knocks down his sandcastle, Oscar gets angry and throws water over his tail. Things could get nasty but it’s refreshing to see another behaviour modelled here. As the title suggests, things turn out well but it takes a careful while to resolve. The homely illustrations add to a warm story of budding friendship and fitting in.