Sometimes simplicity is just divine!

the-very-cranky-bearThe Very Cranky Bear, written and illustrated by Australian Nick Bland, has a simple premise. When a group of animals seek refuge from the cold in his cave, he is (surprise, surprise) cranky! The clueless foursome try their best to cheer the bear up, though not because they care so much as they really want to play in that (very) occupied cave.

They each try to get to the bottom of the bear’s crankiness. However, the solution is more simple than they realise at first, and it takes one very ‘plain’ sheep to figure it out.

Bland’s rhyming scheme adds a layer of complexity to this book that otherwise might be a bit on the bland (no pun intended) side. It also adds a layer of delicious charm. I can’t go past mentioning Bland’s illustrations. I absolutely adore his style here. Colourful, vivid and yet cartoonish. Really, I could gush on and on about them.

This book has a simple premise and a simple solution which results in a wonderful story. It’s all very seamless. You won’t be cranky about the decision to spend a few dollars on The Very Cranky Bear.

The Very Cranky Bear, published by Scholastic.
Author/Illustrator: Nick Bland.
Check it out at: http://www.booktopia.com.au/the-very-cranky-bear-collection-nick-bland/prod9781743622520.html

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I wrote to the zoo to send me a pet…

They sent me a… cat who sheds all over everything and a dog who likes to chew up my backyard! Alright, the book doesn’t actually say this, but I’m attempting to be witty here whilst splashing in a puddle of exhaustion. I can either continue to try to be cute about this or just get on with the business of reviewing picture books. I choose the latter! So…

ImageDear Zoo by Rod Campbell is an easy read and quick fun. In fact, I know it pretty much by heart. That’s how simple it is! Also, that’s pretty indicative that my son is a fan. I never thought an 11 month old would have so many opinions about what he reads, but if it’s not in his mouth or he’s not craning his neck so he doesn’t have to look at the pictures, then I know I’m onto a winner.

This book is quick, has a narrative, and is a lift-the-flap — it’s my trifecta! It is very minimal. The page with the lift-the-flap that matches the cover — the one with the cage in front of the lion — is my son’s favourite. He likes to run his tiny little pointer finger through the little paper bars.

This books is pretty darn popular, and I can understand why. Go see for yourself at: http://www.amazon.com/Dear-Zoo-Lift-Flap-Book/dp/141694737X

Silly learning fun for baby.

ImageThis book cover is pretty much self-explanatory. Jeanette Rowe’s Whose bottom? is a flap book suitable for children ages 0-3. The flaps cover the front of the animal, leaving only the cute little animal tushies exposed. The words are rhythmically repetitive (always appreciated by my little one), and the flaps are able to be gripped by tiny little hands. The ending is not necessarily surprising, but is the cutest tushy of all!

Go give it a squiz at:  https://shop.abc.net.au/products/whose-bottom-hbk-rowe.