It’s that time of year again. Christmas is almost here!
I’ve trimmed the tree and hung the lights, but still have a few Christmas gifts to gather.
If you are anything like me, you had every intention of being organised this year, just this once! Would have been nice, but it never seems to happen. December rolls around too quickly and Christmas day is sneaking up so fast!
So here are my suggestions for that last minute gift to grab for the kids. Based on some fantastic children’s books I have reviewed this year, here are three of my favourites you can download or purchase from Amazon and still have them in time to add to your little ones Christmas stocking.
After all, by giving the gift of reading you are giving a gift that can be opened over and over again. Seems like a winner to me!
My three picks (in no particular order) are :-
Three Little Gnomes and the One Bite Mystery by Rhonda “Grammy Pags” Paglia
With Christmas being in the middle of the summer holidays here in Australia, this story is a great way to motivate the kids to get outside and start a vegetable patch. I adored this story and the wonderful illustrations that supported it.
Loved this little gnome tale! I absolutely adored “Three Little Gnomes and the One Bite Mystery.” The illustrations were simply charming and Nibbles McGibbles was a fabulous character! I could easily see kids really enjoying this story. It helps develop imagination while encouraging healthy eating habits without explicit instruction. Children are also encouraged to share in a meaningful manner. It could be a useful springboard for a school vegetable garden or one at home so that children can learn first hand how to grow and nurture their own food. They also learn the value of patience while waiting for the vegetables to grow and ripen, and that their patience and caring pays off in the end.The extras at the end were fantastic. I always feel an opportunity to learn is so valuable. Rhonda Paglia adds information in a light and entertaining manner that kids are sure to enjoy
Along with rather cute caricatures of our native fauna, One Hot Mess reminds us all of the importance of looking after our environment. There has been an ad campaign here lately reminding everyone not to “be a tosser” but to place your rubbish in a bin. This short tale demonstrates just how important that message is for people and animals alike. It is a wonderful read aloud story for the whole family.
What a compelling read for children and the adults who read to and/or with them! We learn that our stewardship of the earth begins with how we care for our own space in order to keep our environment free of contamination and pollution. The text flows with lively dialogue and descriptive passages. The illustrations are eye-catching and colorful. In keeping with the educational value of this text, a glossary at the end of the book presents the Australian flora and fauna specific to this story. The author’s photographs are vivid examples of the characters and their outback homeland. This clever, non-preachy fable that teaches the precious lesson of caring for our environment makes a perfect gift for a very lucky child. I think I’ll read it once more before I gift-wrap it for my granddaughter!
Amazing Matilda -A Monarch’s Tale by Bette A Stevens
This award winning picture book presents the life cycle of a butterfly. From the tiniest of eggs to crawling out of a cocoon and becoming a beautiful butterfly. It also teaches the important lesson of persistence and patience, to never give up and follow your dreams. Sound familiar? Emma the Eager Emu teaches a similar significant lesson. It’s no wonder I love this book so much.
Amazing Matilda, A Monarch’s Tale, is a beautiful tale about a monarch butterfly during the stages of her metamorphosis. Catepillar is eager to grow up and fly but the wise words from other animal friends encourages her to be patient, one day it will come. Not knowing what her fate will be, she listens to her friends and hears of their youthful life trials and the lessons they have learned. As time passes her instincts take over and soon she begins to physically change.
Children of all ages will be able to relate to monarchs plight in some way. The tale will also inspire readers to not only follow their dreams, but to encourage others to do the same. Ones dreams are never too big, but with the support of friends and family, as well as with patience and determination, anyone can reach their goal. Ths sky is the limit.
This story is a true gem and one that will inspire children for years to come.
This story with colorful, bright illustrations delivers a very important message to children the fun way. Emma, the emu is very eager to fit in and be like other birds, but she can’t fly like others. She believes that it’s her fault and it makes her very sad until Rosie encourages her to run instead of trying to fly. Emma discovers that running, which she can do better than others, gives her the sensation of flying and it makes her happy. The story prompts children to learn to recognize their limitations as well as their abilities and potentials. Just because we can’t do something, it doesn’t mean we can’t do something else well.
Poor Freya, the frill-necked lizard, is so frazzled by the heat, the spooky shadows, and the terrifying (but imaginary) monsters, that she’s too scared to play with her friends. Children’s author, Sandra Bennett has tucked a lot of little lessons into this delightful rhyming story. Illustrator, Dianna Budd has done an outstanding job with her color palette choices. The reds, yellows, oranges, and browns help the reader get a sense of the hot, dry, dusty Australian outback that Freya is feeling. In addition to experiencing the Australian environment, kids meet some of the creatures that live in the outback, and they learn along with Freya, that sometimes, stepping out of your “comfort zone,” will help you overcome fears. Ms. Bennett, who is from Australia, has added extra enrichment pages at the end of the book. Kids will learn more facts about each of the REAL creatures found among the pages of this charming book. I learned a lot too!!
We gave a hard copy of this delightful book to our 5 year old niece who loved it. I don’t know what it is about snot and exploding slime that intrigues little people so, but Sandra Bennett has managed to capture the secret to bring this delightful story to life from a child’s point of view. We (and our niece) are eagerly awaiting the sequel. Recommended reading.
I have never released this one on Amazon as yet, perhaps it should be on my “to do” list for 2017. Consequently I don’t have any reviews. I can say however, that those children that loved the first in the series, loved this one too! So much so, because of their humour and entertaining manner of delivering kitchen and classroom science to kids, they are both now available at Questacon, Ausrtralia’s National Science and Technology Museum.
My best wishes to everyone for a wonderful Christmas. I hope you are able to spend the season with your loved ones. Don’t forget to Read a aloud a good children’s book (picture, early reader or middle grade) with the family. It will give you all great pleasure and precious memories to share.