Children's picture books

Slinky Malinki 
by Lynley Dodd
Publisher: Penguin/Puffin Books
ISBN: 9780140544398
RRP: $14.95
From the author of the famous Hairy Maclary books, Slinky Malinki is a handsome black cat with a kink at the end of his tail. During the day he is perfectly charming, but at night he turns into a thief and nothing is safe from his clever paws. One night he really goes to town stealing an enormous collection of things which eventually prove to be his undoing, and he is caught out by his family. Dodd captures the dual personality of Slinky perfectly while the rhyming verse and increasing excitement of the storyline will draw children in right to the end. If you love Hairy Maclary, you will love this addition to your child’s picture book collection.

A Giraffe In The Bath
By Mem Fox, Olivia Rawson and Kerry Argent
Publisher: Penguin/Viking
ISBN: 9780670072132

RRP: $24.95

I am a huge fan of Mem Fox and once again she has produced a very funny picture book that will stimulate the imaginations of the very young. While there is no plot as such, the book looks at some crazy animals and their hilarious habits such as the roo on the loo, the emu on the swings and the piranha in pyjamas. The rhyming text accompanied by vibrant illustrations will delight children who love to be read to and is sure to make them giggle. 

Wibbly Wobbly Street
By Trudie Trewin and Cheryl Orsini
Publisher: Scholastic
RRP: $26.99
ISBN: 9781741695618

The dull streets of Squareton are straight and smooth and wide, except for the very peculiar Wibbly Wobbly Street. When Squareton’s councillors decide to straighten the street, a lot of quirky things start to happen. With eye-catching illustrations and tongue-twisting text, kids can’t help but giggle out loud when being read this delightful book. From Cairns’ local author of I Lost My Kisses, Wibbly Wobbly Street has everything you want in a picture book. Parents and kids are also welcome to attend the launch on May 17 at Holy Cross School from xxx. RSVP to xxxxxxxx (info to come Thursday).

The Boy and the Toy
By Sonya Hartnett and Lucia Masciullo
Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 9780670073627
RRP: $24.95
This is a fascinating little picture book with a unique story about a man who invents the best toy in the world for his son. The boy thinks the toy is fantastic, but as time passes, he starts to wonder if it really is the best toy in the world. Lots of strange things happen, but there is a delightful ending to the story. The illustrations are vibrant and expressive, and there’s a deep subtext to the dialogue about what it is to be a good friend, which would suit children aged four and up.

Ten in the Den
By John Butler
ISBN: 9781843626510
RRP: $18.95
Deep in the den, ten sleepy animals snuggle down for the night... but how can they sleep when a fidgety little mouse can’t get comfortable? This bedtime book features baby animals, a simple counting element and is based on a children’s favourite nursery rhyme. Englishman John Butler (not to be confused with the musician) is my favourite author/illustrator of children’s picture books, and my daughter has a collection of some of his best. They are not easy to find, but Angus & Robertson usually have this one in stock, or another title Can You Cuddle Like A Koala? There is enormous value in reading to children from birth, and a John Butler book is the perfect place to start.

By Janet and Allan Ahlberg
Publisher: Puffin/Penguin
ISBN: 9780140503845
RRP: $16.95
With a hole on every page to peep through, this is a picture book that captures young children from start to finish. A rhyming tale of one family’s day, it has a wonderful nostalgic feel of England in the 1940s. The Ahlberg’s have written dozens of children’s books, but this one, first published in 1983 is by far the standout, followed by Each Peach Pear Plum. I would recommend this as an ideal book to start a new baby’s collection as they will love it for many years to come.
Isabella’s Secret 
by Jane Tanner
Publisher: Penguin/Puffin Books
ISBN: 9780140555677
RRP: $14.95

First published in 2006, this delightful picture book for little girls is truly enchanting. Tanner’s illustrations are breathtaking as she takes us into a magical garden where Isabella dreams of flying with fairies. The story celebrates every child’s need for time alone to enjoy nature and time to dream. Tanner’s work has appeared in numerous children’s books including There’s a Sea in My Bedroom by Margaret Wild, and this addition to any girls’ bookshelf will be loved for many years.

The Legend of the Golden Snail
By Graeme Base
Publisher: Viking
ISBN: 9780670073498
RRP: $29.95
Inspired by his favourite story about a magical golden snail that took on the shape of a sailing ship, a young boy decides to find the snail and claim it as his own. Fitted out in his captain’s hat, he sets sail for the Ends of the Earth and comes across enchanting creatures who save him from the rough seas and visits places that will capture the reader’s imagination. Beautifully illustrated, wonderful attention to detail and an enthralling story, this is one of Base’s best works yet. And true to his love of puzzles, Base has created a clever challenge for his readers who can then jump online once they have the answers to bring the Golden Snail magically to life. This is a book you could never tire from as the breathtaking pictures make it a truly enjoyable read for young and old.

My Story 
by Julia Driscoll
Publisher: Palmer Higgs Books Online
ISBN: 9780646540955
RRP: $20.00
Written by local mother of three and medical practitioner, My Story is a practical book for 1-5 year olds who are facing the transition from being an only child to having a new sibling. The aim of the book is to reduce sibling rivalry and by personalising the book with your own photographs, the book becomes a memoir of the child’s own life up to their first birthday. Parents are encouraged to read the book to them before the baby’s arrival and in doing so, can express their excitement about when they were born, and how everyone wanted to see them and hold them. It appears to be a very simple idea, but it is one that is sure to have an impact on a young child in a positive and dramatic way. For more details, visit .