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.

Dec 30, 2016

Books reviewed 19.05.16

Internationally Australia has a prestigious reputation for its children’s picture books. To keep our standards high we should not neglect overseas excellence. This is a principle we should apply to the books we bring into the home.
The nonsense show

Eric Carle
Penguin Random House

This is pure Carle in his surrealist world. He has created a series of colourful inside-out images which are accompanied by short word-teasing poems. Together they flip the child’s world in a way that affirms their imagination. His stories generally challenge children to recognise that the world has many facets to be seen in many ways. If someone else is seeing the world their way, then it must be real - and fun! But please don’t ask for a story synopsis...
There is a tribe of kids

Lane Smith
Pan Macmillan Australia

The range of unusual colours he has used in his palette; the variety in colour textures, right to the background; and the silver shimmer through the colours on the dust jacket; all make for a more than usually elegant book for this renowned author-illustrator, better known for mischief and irony. The text is different, no longer the wisecracking humour but a clever use of collective nouns, sometimes of witty creation. Deep beneath it all, beneath the subtle use of past tense, is a message to children to work together to save the world’s disappearing wildlife.
How the Sun got to Coco’s house

Bob Graham
Walker Books

The skeleton of this story is the passing of the Sun over countries as the Earth rotates beneath. As it goes, the reader is given glimpses of cultures and activities below, finally bursting through Coco’s bedroom window, then to follow her day. This is typical Bob Graham but saying that means to expect genius; to share intimate moments with small detail; to be shown how the world naturally passes its time.

Dec 28, 2016

Books reviewed 28.04.16

Not all children’s picture books are for telling stories. Many are designed just for fun and surprises.
Now you see me, Now you don't
Silvia Borando
minibombo (Walker Books Australia)
ISBN: 9781406364217
RRP: $17.99

Near, Far
Silvia Borando
minibombo (Walker Books Australia)
ISBN: 9781406363180
RRP: $17.99

This series of books for very young readers use very simple shapes to create playful picture book experiences. They are very colourful in bright modern tones as well, focusing on a single concrete concept. But they include silent surprise and hidden giggles that further enrich the imagination. Now you see me, Now you don’t is about colour and contrast. A number of stylised animals in different colours are shown across the pages. As background colours change Some animals even seem to disappear. Near, Far explores colours, shapes and perspective. What the reader sees in close-up may not be the same in distant view! Neither of these books have words, but they will prompt lots of discussion and made-up stories long after the book is closed.
Let's play!

Herve Tullet
Allen & Unwin
ISBN: 9781760292980
RRP: $22.99

The maestro of playful books - no electronic wizardry, just the power of imagination - adds another gloriously innovative book to his wonderful list. readers start with a yellow dot sitting on a sketchy black line, asking if they want to join in. Who could refuse? And so the game begins, pressing on the page here, pressing there; turning the page and something magical happens. The line, twisting and turning, arrives in unexpected places; even a toddler could follow along and join in the mischievous adventures along the path. Une telle joie!
Did you take the B from my _ook?

Beck and Matt Stanton
ABC Books
ISBN: 9780733334832
RRP: 19.99

Want to make adults look silly? This is the book you need. After practising a few words the reader sneezes – only to scatter the B/bs in all the words. Everything begins to sound strange; hilarity builds on the non-sounds of missing Bs. There may be a plot here but there certainly is no story! After the entertainment is finished children have learned that words need their letters and in the right places – and start to make up their own missing letter games.