19 Best Picture Books of 2018

19 Best Picture Books of 2018

What a year it has been for picture books! Here are 19 of the best picture books of 2018. Board books, picture books for preschoolers, picture books for newly-independent readers, picture books for older readers. Something for everybody! These books were loved at our place by children and parents alike. #picturebooks #picturebooks2018 #booksforkidsWhat a year it has been for picture books!
Back in June, we shared our 10 favourite picture books of the year (so far.)
The second half of 2018 did not disappoint.
Here are 9 more of the best picture books of 2018.

* And let’s just point out that writing a post like this is FRAUGHT!
As soon as I wrote it, I kept seeing books and thinking “Oh! That shoulda been on THE LIST.”
So the books on this list are ones that have been LOVED here by children and parents alike. I have also used many of these in the classroom to the delight of many a student.

This post contains affiliate links.
Thanks for your support.

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer book cover

This gorgeous board book celebrates the small everyday acts of love that take place within a family home.
The vibrant illustrations depict families in all their glorious, diverse forms.
What makes a family a family? Love.

Monster Party by Alison Lester and Jane Godwin

Alison Lester and Jane Godwin collaborated with the students of remote Rawa Community School, located on the edge of the Great Sandy Desert, to produce this book with students’ artworks and stories based around life in the Punmu community. Any book that uses the word “gallumphing” will always have my heart.

Watch This! A Book About Making Shapes by Jane Godwin, Hilary Walker and Beci Orpin

A gaggle of adorable children show us how they can make shapes and lines with their bodies.

My kids were intrigued by seeing other kids in print and ADORED the idea of using their bodies to imitate shapes.

When I first read this book, my first instinct was to rush out and find a Kindy class to share it with. But my rational brain kicked in and I figured that the authorities would NOT APPROVE of me rushing into a random classroom AT ALL. I want to teach Infants forevermore just so I can use this book repeatedly in all Shape and Geometry lessons.

Pink is for Boys by Robb Pearlman and Eda Kaban

I bought this book after comments like “Pink is for girls!” started popping up at our place.
This book challenges the gender stereotype of pink for girls vs blue for boys.
Colours are for everybody.
A beautifully diverse cast of characters celebrate colour and encourage readers to simply enjoy whatever it is that they enjoy.

All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell and Alison Colpoys

“Smart is not just ticks and crosses, smart is building boats from boxes.”
This book needs to be in the hands of every policy-maker in the sphere of Education, in every classroom, in every library, and in every home.
I intend on reading it every NAPLAN season to gently let my students know that what makes you unique can’t be shown in the data from a standardised test. *excuse my creaky knees as I get off my soap box*

This book is an utterly glorious call to celebrate your strengths and your own unique smarts.
Davina Bell and Alison Colpoys are a dream team of picture book creators.


Giraffe Problems by Jory John and Lane Smith

Just look at those two names on the cover there! What a dream team!
Giraffe suffers from a very human problem- he feels self-conscious and compares himself to others.
He notices something about himself that he feels is a negative and can’t see the positive in it.
The negative? His long neck.
Sometimes we just need somebody else to point out the positives.
In this case, Turtle shows Giraffe just why his long neck is so special.

The Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush series by Zanni Louise and Gillian Flint

Do you know somebody raising a creative kid?
A spunky, sparky kid with a vivid imagination who is itching to move on from picture books?
This is the book for them.

Tiggy has a magic paintbrush that she uses to create imaginative solutions to the problems she faces.
The content and colourful illustrations of these books are exquisitely perfect for the early reader looking to move out of picture books into short novels.

Our Jacko by Michael Morpurgo

This is an exquisite book for the 8 – 12 year old reader.
The old tin hat has always been a part of family life in Michael’s home.
Michael then discovers that it belonged to his great-great-grandfather, “Our Jacko.”
His ancestor was killed at Ypres in 1915 and Michael uncovers the young soldier’s diary.
A powerful and moving story on the importance of remembrance and carrying on the legacy of those who served.
At 64 pages, this is a perfect mix of text and emotional illustrations for the independent reader. However, it is really a text to be shared and pondered.

Shout Out to the Girls

If you’re looking for a Christmas book present for a young chick in your life, you’d best make it this one.
Heck, I reckon all Aussie chicks, no matter their age, would benefit from having this inspirational and powerful manifesto on their bookshelf.
It features an incredible array of Aussie women who have stood up, stood out, been seen and taken up their rightful space.

Find our 10 favourite picture books of 2018 from earlier in the year here.

The images and titles of each book will take you to Book Depository. As a Book Depository Affiliate, purchases clicked through from my blog result in a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books! Commission is used to maintain Oh Creative Day. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy here.

The Amazon links will take you to Amazon. I am also an affiliate with Amazon and will receive a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books.

If you prefer, you can order from Australian based online bookstore Booktopia.

Thanks for your support. Happy reading!

Some of the books in this post were provided free for review purposes. I always post my honest opinions and never post books that I do not rate.

Pin for later:

What a year it has been for picture books! Here are 19 of the best picture books of 2018. Board books, picture books for preschoolers, picture books for newly-independent readers, picture books for older readers. Something for everybody! These books were loved at our place by children and parents alike. #picturebooks #picturebooks2018 #booksforkids

30+ Best Christmas Picture Books

30+ Best Christmas Picture Books

Our Christmas picture books get packed away every year. It’s like toy rotation, but with books.
So every November when I pull them out, it’s exciting to “rediscover” our favourites.
We countdown to Christmas with a book advent.
(Check out our tutorial on handsewn book bags for a Christmas book advent.)

Here are  30+ of the best Christmas picture books for kids.
The photographed books are straight from our collection. I’ve also included lots of suggestions that I’ve heard raving reviews about. These ones are on our wishlist- at this rate, I’ll be adding to my childrens’ Christmas book collection until they are well into their 40s.

Just a note: I loathe putting age categories on books, as I find this can be restrictive. Please use the age guides as just that. A guide. My preschooler still enjoys certain board books and is interested in reading early chapter books. The best books can be enjoyed by all ages.

This post contains affiliate links.
Thanks for your support.

Best Christmas Picture Books for Toddlers

Looking for some Christmas picture books to add to your collection? Here are 30+ of the best Christmas picture books for kids, organised according to ages. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. #christmaspicturebooks #christmasbooks #picturebooks #kidsbooks #Christmasbooksforkids #santabooks

Dear Santa by Rod Campbell More lift-the-flap goodness from the Dear Zoo creator. How will Santa decide upon the perfect gift? If Dear Zoo is beloved at your place, this Christmas version will be a hit.

Dream Snow by Eric Carle In my humble opinion, Eric Carle is one of the world’s greatest picture book creators. It would be remiss of me to not have him in our Christmas picture book collection! A kind farmer, who bears a strong resemblance to Santa, drifts off to sleep on Christmas Eve dreaming of snow. When he awakens, he realises he has forgotten to lay out presents for his animals. Eric Carle’s acclaimed illustrations were made for the magic of Christmas.

Spot’s Christmas by Eric Hill A sweet snapshot of the busyness of Christmas time with everybody’s favourite canine. Another lift-the-flap!

A Christmas Carol: A BabyLit Colors Primer by Jennifer Adams The BabyLit series are the most delightful board books that introduce little readers to the classics. Symbols from this Charles Dickens classic are teamed with colours.

That’s Not My Santa by Fiona Watt and Rachel Well You cannot underestimate the power of these touch and feel books with their colourful illustrations. This is a festive addition to the extremely popular series.

My Little Gifts: Growing Hearts: A Book of Sharing by Jo Witek and Christine Roussey This dream team create the most amazing books together, using such clever die cuts. This one celebrates the gift of giving.

Bob by Sandra Boynton No toddler book collection is complete without a Sandra Boynton book (or 6) in it! This book actually contains 7 Christmas tales, all accessed from colourful picture tabs.

Christmas Treasure Hunt by Roger Priddy This is a look-and-find book filled with festive pictures.

Click to grab a copy of my Christmas eBook

Grab a copy of my "12 Oh Creative Days of Christmas" eBook. Creatively connect with your children through art, craft and play this festive season. 70+ pages featuring… 12 projects with detailed tutorials | Loads of tips, tricks and inspiration | 13 pages of templates, play dough mats and printable prompts.

Best Christmas Picture Books for Preschoolers

Looking for some Christmas picture books to add to your collection? Here are 30+ of the best Christmas picture books for kids, organised according to ages. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. #christmaspicturebooks #christmasbooks #picturebooks #kidsbooks #Christmasbooksforkids #santabooks Little Mouse’s Christmas by Riika Jantti Little Mouse is a cheeky preschooler and thus a very popular character here. This charming book captures the excitement and anticipation of Christmas Day.

Pig the Elf by Aaron Blabey The Pig the Pug series make for such fun read alouds. The world’s greediest pug shows his true colours (as expected) during the Festive Season.

The Poky Little Puppy’s First Christmas by Justine Korman The Poky Little Puppy is one of the most popular books of all time. Whilst I acknowledge that it’s not the greatest piece of children’s literature ever written, who can go past a bit of nostalgia at Christmas?

Angelina’s Christmas by Helen Craig and Katharine Hollabird This is a throwback to my childhood. That is indeed my tattered childhood copy. A lovely story about spreading Christmas cheer to those who might usually go without.

Pick a Pine Tree by Patricia Toht and Jarvis I ADORE the work of Jarvis so this one is a no-brainer. A beautiful read aloud that explores all the rituals of the Festive Season.

Macca’s Christmas Crackers by Matt Cosgrove Macca is an alpaca and Christmas is his favourite time of year. A fun story about the true gift of giving.

The Christmas Book by Dick Bruna The Miffy creator brings his whimsial style to the Nativity story.

The 12 Days of Christmas by Britta Teckentrup I can never remember the words to this carol but there is no need to when you have this beautiful book on hand. Some exquisite paper engineering enables the peep-through pages to reveal each day’s gift.

A Pussy Cat’s Christmas by Margaret Wise Brown and Anne Mortimer Christmas from the point of view of a cat?! Purrrrrr-fect!

Santa Rex by Molly Idle There are definitely not enough Christmas books featuring dinosaurs. Thank goodness for this beauty from the creator of the Flora series.

Walk This World at Christmas Time by Debbie Powell I’ve tried to convince myself that I can’t spend any money on Christmas picture books this Festive Season. But I really, really, really want this one! Each page is an exploration of how a different part of the world celebrates Christmas.

Presents Through the Window by Taro Gomi Christmas Eve requires so many presents to be delivered in such little time. A hilarious look at how being efficient on Christmas Eve can lead to present mix-ups a-plenty!

Best Christmas Books for 6+

Looking for some Christmas picture books to add to your collection? Here are 30+ of the best Christmas picture books for kids, organised according to ages. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. #christmaspicturebooks #christmasbooks #picturebooks #kidsbooks #Christmasbooksforkids #santabooks Tony’s Bread by Tomie dePaola This is the tale of one of my favourite Christmas treats- panettone. Or pane di Tony. Or Tony’s Bread. Tomie dePaola’s books are always so fun to read with their Italian words sprinkled through the text. This is the tale behind how panettone came into being.

The Polar Express by Chris Van Allsburg An absolute Christmas classic. Need I say more?

Samurai Santa by Rubin Pingk I never can go past a ninja book and this one has awesome graphic novel-style illustrations.

What Do You Wish For? By Jane Godwin and Anna Walker A beautiful ode to all the things that make Christmas special.

The Christmasasaurus by Tom Fletcher A sweet novel about a boy and a dinosaur and their Christmas Eve adventure.

Letters from Father Christmas by J.R.R Tolkien Every November, an envelope from the North Pole would appear for the Tolkien children. This is the treasury of the amazingly detailed letters that Tolkien would write for his children under the pen name of Father Christmas.

The 12 Days of Christmas by Robert Sabuda This is the pop-up book of all pop-up books. The most amazing paper engineering!

Grandpa Christmas by Michael Morpurgo and Jim Field Michael Morpurgo. Need I say more? Mia’s grandfather writes her Christmas letters, outlining his hopes for the world she is to inherit.

Quentin Blake’s A Christmas Carol by Charles Dickens The classic accompanied with the iconic illustrations of Quentin Blake.

The Christmas Book: How To Have The Best Christmas Ever by Juliana Foster An awesome informative text that provides a wealth of tips and tricks on how to have a memorable Christmas.

Click to grab a copy of my eBook

Christmas Picture Books with Beloved Characters

And sometimes you just need a Christmas picture book featuring one of your little one’s favourite characters. Peppa Pig, I’m looking at you.

It’s Christmas, David! by David Shannon

Llama Llama Holiday Drama by Anna Dewdney

Olivia Helps with Christmas

Little Blue Truck’s Christmas

Happy Christmas, Maisy!

Maisy’s Christmas Day

Peppa’s Christmas Wish

Looking for some Christmas picture books to add to your collection? Here are 30+ of the best Christmas picture books for kids, organised according to ages. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. #christmaspicturebooks #christmasbooks #picturebooks #kidsbooks #Christmasbooksforkids #santabooks The Jolly Christmas Postman by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

I hate to make a call like “there is one book that should be in every Christmas picture book collection….” but I’m going to do it anyway. This one is a classic. So many envelopes and papery goodness to explore in this classic.


The images and titles of each book will take you to Book Depository. As a Book Depository Affiliate, purchases clicked through from my blog result in a small commission.

You do not pay any extra for your books! Commission is used to maintain Oh Creative Day. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy here.

The Amazon links will take you to Amazon. I am also an affiliate with Amazon and will receive a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books.

If you prefer, you can order from Australian based online bookstore Booktopia.

Thanks for your support. Happy reading!

Pin for later:

Looking for some Christmas picture books to add to your collection? Here are 30+ of the best Christmas picture books for kids, organised according to ages. It really is the most wonderful time of the year. #christmaspicturebooks #christmasbooks #picturebooks #kidsbooks #Christmasbooksforkids #santabooks

Picture Books About Diversity and Celebrating Difference

Picture Books About Diversity and Celebrating Difference

Picture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday.
As somebody who grew up in a multicultural household and community, I am passionate about ensuring that my kids’ bookshelves are heaving with picture books about diversity and celebrating difference.
Here are some of our favourites.

This post contains affiliate links.
Thanks for your support.

Want to Play Trucks? By Ann Stott and Bob GrahamPicture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday. Here are some of our favourite picture books about diversity and celebrating difference. #picturebooksaboutdiversity #picturebooks #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #kidlit

This book does an exquisite job on a few levels. It highlights how we can all like different things and still get along nicely. It is a book that also gently challenges gender stereotypes.
The beauty lies in the way it does so without being didactic and preachy.

Jack likes trucks. Alex likes dolls with sparkles.
But Jack doesn’t want to play dolls and Alex doesn’t want to play trucks.
They don’t let this difference get in the way of a fun time playing in the sandpit and resolve the situation through compromise.

Same but Little Bit Diff’rent by Kylie Dunstan

Picture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday. Here are some of our favourite picture books about diversity and celebrating difference. #picturebooksaboutdiversity #picturebooks #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #kidlit

“Right up the very top of Australia there is a special place. My friend Normie comes from there, and he says, ‘Things are different to what you might see in the city. Same, but little bit diff’rent….”

This gorgeous book juxtaposes the reality of Normie with that of his city-dwelling friend.
They compare elements of their everyday lives, pastimes and families.
A gorgeous text for highlighting that we can have more in common than we realise.

All the Ways to Be Smart by Davina Bell and Alison Colpoys

“Smart is not just ticks and crosses, smart is building boats from boxes.”
This book needs to be in the hands of every policy-maker in the sphere of Education, in every classroom, in every library, and in every home.
I intend on reading it every NAPLAN season to gently let my students know that what makes you unique can’t be shown in the data from a standardised test. *excuse my creaky knees as I get off my soap box*

This book is an utterly glorious call to celebrate your strengths and your own unique smarts.
Davina Bell and Alison Colpoys are a dream team of picture book creators.

Perfectly You by Amy Cox and Caitlyn Burchell

Picture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday. Here are some of our favourite picture books about diversity and celebrating difference. #picturebooksaboutdiversity #picturebooks #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #kidlit

Disclaimer: Amy Cox from Playful Little Learners is one of my InstaBuds and she is a brilliant person.
She is passionate about giving kids the space to develop into their own selves through play.
This mum of 4 is one inspirational powerhouse.

Amy has teamed up with another InstaLegend, Caitlyn Burchell, to produce this rhyming text that encourages little ones to embrace what makes them unique. It feels as though you are reading a mother’s love letter to her child.

Perfectly You is only available via The Creative Toyshop.

You can purchase the Happy Hands eBook that I contributed to with Amy and other Aussie Instamums by clicking the image below.

Leaf by Sandra DieckmannPicture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday. Here are some of our favourite picture books about diversity and celebrating difference. #picturebooksaboutdiversity #picturebooks #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #kidlit

Leaf was one of my top picture book picks for 2017.
My words will never do justice to this exquisite book.

A polar bear appears in the woods. The other animals are filled with mistrust.
Why does he keep covering himself in leaves? What does he want?
This glorious book gently highlights the plight of polar bears in a warmer world.
More importantly, we are shown how xenophobia is poisonous to us all. How outsiders need our kindness and helping hands more than our judgement.
Seems pretty apt for our current world situation, no?

My Color is Rainbow by Agnes Hsu and Yuliya Gwylim

Picture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday. Here are some of our favourite picture books about diversity and celebrating difference. #picturebooksaboutdiversity #picturebooks #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #kidlitMy friend Agnes is a powerhouse. She emailed to tell me about this idea she had for a picture book.
Within a few months, I was holding that very idea in my hands.

Little White Arch is trying to find his place in the world. He wonders what his colour could be.
He meets many characters along the way who try to convince him of the merits of being their colour.

This is a lovely tale about not needing to be defined by any one single thing. An ode to diversity, acceptance and kindness.
Befitting the title, the illustrations are a riot of colours.

Love Makes a Family by Sophie Beer

Picture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday. Here are some of our favourite picture books about diversity and celebrating difference. #picturebooksaboutdiversity #picturebooks #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #kidlitThis gorgeous board book celebrates the small everyday acts of love that take place within a family home.
The vibrant illustrations depict families in all their glorious, diverse forms.
What makes a family a family? Love.

Tropical Terry by Jarvis

Picture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday. Here are some of our favourite picture books about diversity and celebrating difference. #picturebooksaboutdiversity #picturebooks #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #kidlitWhen this book arrived, it was ON REPEAT FOR WEEKS.
It tells the tale of Terry, a plain-looking little fish. He yearns to be flashy and fancy-like like the tropical fish.
With a little help from his friends, he manages to turn himself into a dolled-up tropical fish. Which proves problematic when faced with a dangerous predator.

I love this book’s message of playing to your strengths. Sure, those tropical fish may look all fancy-like and flashy, but embracing what makes you unique is where it’s at, right? I also love that it reminds us of how good friends will stick by you (even if you forget your seaweed roots and try to swim with the cool school fish.)
The illustrations are a kaleidoscope of vibrant colour and we’ve spent much quality time poring over them.

Welcome by Barroux

Picture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday. Here are some of our favourite picture books about diversity and celebrating difference. #picturebooksaboutdiversity #picturebooks #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #kidlitA trio of polar bears are living a peaceful life until the piece of ice they are on breaks off. They are set adrift in a vast ocean.
They arrive at land on several occasions, but the animal inhabitants of each place reject or ignore the bears’ pleas for a place to live.
Finally, they discover an empty island. Until three monkeys appear looking for a home. Will the bears welcome them?

Barroux’s beautiful story was inspired by the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis and promotes inclusiveness and welcomeness for children.
There are many mixed reviews on this book. Many are critical of Barroux’s seemingly simple and trivial treatment of a complex issue. I feel that this is not Barroux’s best work by far. I do however feel that this is a lovely text for opening discussions with children about how we can be inclusive.

Stanley Paste by Aaron Blabey

I am a mammoth Aaron Blabey fan girl.

Stanley Paste is different. He is really small and this leads to a range of problems and unwanted attention.
Then Eleanor Cabbage arrives. She is the tallest girl Stanley has ever seen.
Eleanor’s height leads to a range of problems and similar attention.
The two form a tight friendship.

As always, Aaron Blabey addresses deep themes like acceptance and empathy in a joyful and humorous way.

Julian is a Mermaid by Jessica Love

Picture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday. Here are some of our favourite picture books about diversity and celebrating difference. #picturebooksaboutdiversity #picturebooks #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #kidlit
I have not actually read this book or held it in my own hands.
I have, however, read many rave reviews about it. So I’m including it in this list to remind myself to source it!
From all that I have read on it, this book is a spectacular ode to self-love and embracing individuality.

I asked the good people of Instagram what their favourite books on diversity were, and they came back with an impressive list.
You can see more suggestions here on that post.

The images and titles of each book will take you to Book Depository. As a Book Depository Affiliate, purchases clicked through from my blog result in a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books! Commission is used to maintain Oh Creative Day. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy here.

The Amazon links will take you to Amazon. I am also an affiliate with Amazon and will receive a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books.

If you prefer, you can order from Australian based online bookstore Booktopia.

Thanks for your support. Happy reading!

Some of the books in this post were provided free for review purposes. I always post my honest opinions and never post books that I do not rate.

Pin for later

Picture books help children make sense of the world whilst exposing them to diverse characters and perspectives that they may not encounter in their everyday. Here are some of our favourite picture books about diversity and celebrating difference. #picturebooksaboutdiversity #picturebooks #kidsbooks #childrensbooks #kidlit

FREE PRINTABLE: Book Week Treasure Hunt

FREE PRINTABLE: Book Week Treasure Hunt

The theme for Book Week 2018 is “Find Your Treasure.”
How good is that? There are so many treasures to be found between the pages of a good book!
Scroll down for your free printable Book Treasure Hunt. Use it with your little readers to celebrate all the gold within books.

How to have your own Book Treasure Hunt at home!

This is a fun activity to celebrate books with your children! Grab your free printable book treasure hunt. Make your own treasure chests and then go hunting through the bookshelves for all the gold that lies within the pages of your books.

We began by digging through the recyclables collection. (I feel like many of my stories begin this way.)
We dug out some “treasure chests” and painted them.
It is then quite clear that we bedazzled them with gem stickers to our hearts’ content.
I am still finding gem stickers stuck to floorboards.

This is a fun activity to celebrate books with your children! Grab your free printable book treasure hunt. Make your own treasure chests and then go hunting through the bookshelves for all the gold that lies within the pages of your books.

In retrospect, I feel like it would be perfect at this stage to also dig out some pirate books to accompany the making!

Download your free printable book treasure hunt here.

Print out your book treasure hunt.
Cut out the objects and place them into your treasure chest. I initially rolled them up into scrolls because CUTE!
It’s actually just easier if you fold them up.

We played by pulling a piece of paper from the treasure chest.
I then prompted with “What book can you find that has a ____ in it?”
And the hunt was on!

(You could also choose to use the printable in a Bingo-style.)
This is a fun activity to celebrate books with your children! Grab your free printable book treasure hunt. Make your own treasure chests and then go hunting through the bookshelves for all the gold that lies within the pages of your books.We then collected all our “treasure” on the table.
Once your book treasure hunt is over, you could review the books gathered and here is where the teachable moments lie.

This is a fun activity to celebrate books with your children! Grab your free printable book treasure hunt. Make your own treasure chests and then go hunting through the bookshelves for all the gold that lies within the pages of your books.

You could ask:

What do you think of this character? Why?
Who was your favourite character? Why?
Where was this book set?
Was there a problem in this book? How was it solved?
What were you feeling when _____?

You could make connections between the book and your child’s life.
Do you know a dog/ cat like the one in the story?
Have you ever been to the city?

The beauty of this activity is that you could use it again and again and again.
Because books should be celebrated every day!

Need some Book Week costume inspiration?

Try here for 90+ ideas or here for a Gruffalo idea.

Want some more Book-Based Play ideas?

Click here for a free printable.

Pin for later

This is a fun activity to celebrate books with your children! Grab your free printable book treasure hunt. Make your own treasure chests and then go hunting through the bookshelves for all the gold that lies within the pages of your books.

 

The Best Picture Books of 2018 (So Far)

The Best Picture Books of 2018 (So Far)

Ummmm…. can somebody please hit the pause button on 2018?
I’m still here trying to figure out my New Year’s resolutions and apparently it is already June?
At this halfway point, I thought it’d be an opportune time to share some of the best picture books of 2018 (so far.)
Because, unlike me, you may actually be organised and have your New Year’s resolutions sorted.
Heck, you may be even starting to think about the picture books that will be appearing under the Christmas tree.
THERE! I SAID IT! THE C-WORD! AND IT’S ONLY JUNE!

What I’m really trying to say, is that you might want to pin some (OR ALL) of the books in this post.
Perfect for presents or for your own bookshelves- these are our favourite picture books of 2018 so far.
I’ll start with some of our fave board books before working up to picture books for older, more mature readers.
Although, I abide by the life philosophy that you should never stick too closely to age recommendations on books.
My 4-year-old still adores toddler books whilst also wanting to explore chapter books.
It is beneficial for young readers to be exposed to a diversity of books.
Books with more mature content may need adult guidance and scaffolding, but HELLO TEACHABLE MOMENTS!

This post contains affiliate links.
Thanks for your support!

Rhyme Cordial cover by Antonia Pesenti

RHYME CORDIAL BY ANTONIA PESENTI

This is a large format board book that has my kids in hysterics every time they read it.
It is cleverly constructed to maximise wordplay fun.
One side of the spread contains a phrase. The right side contains a bold and bright illustration.
You open out the fold to reveal a rhyming phrase.

Rhyne Cordial by Antonia PesentiFresh orange juice….. fresh orange goose
Cheese on toast… sneeze on toast
Suit case… fruit case

My 3-year-old and 4.5-year-old believe they can “read” this book.
They are not decoding the words and reading per se, they are reciting from memory, using picture clues and playing with the sounds in words.
Why is this important? Because in this pre-reading stage, they are building strong self-concepts that they ARE confident readers.
I will forever love this book for that very reason.

LITTLE FISH BOARD BOOKS BY LUCY COUSINS

2018 will go down as the year that my children discovered Little Fish.
These books are brilliantly engaging with their simple text and vibrant illustrations.
You can find Little Fish books in the lift-the-flap format, with finger puppets, that explore counting…..
It feels like there is one for every occasion!

Tropical Terry by Jarvis

TROPICAL TERRY BY JARVIS

When this book arrived, it was ON REPEAT FOR WEEKS.
It tells the tale of Terry, a plain-looking little fish. He yearns to be flashy and fancy-like like the tropical fish.
With a little help from his friends, he manages to turn himself into a dolled-up tropical fish. Which proves problematic when faced with a dangerous predator.
I love this book’s message of playing to your strengths. Sure, those tropical fish may look all fancy-like and flashy, but embracing what makes you unique is where it’s at, right? I also love that it reminds us of how good friends will stick by you (even if you forget your seaweed roots and try to swim with the cool school fish.)
The illustrations are a kaleidoscope of vibrant colour and we’ve spent much quality time poring over them.

Duck by Meg McKinlayDUCK! BY MEG MCKINLAY AND NATHANIEL ECKSTROM

A duck frantically races through the farmyard shouting “Duck!” at other farm animals.
The other animals figure that he is confused and rude and reprimand him for calling them ducks.
The duck is actually trying to warn the other animals of impending disaster.
It’s not until the final spread that he realises he probably should have shouted “Run!” instead.
This is a hilarious book that is excellent for exploring the role of predicting when reading. It is also a great text for exploring the relationship between image and text and how they work together to convey a story.

Grandma Z Daniel Gray-Barnett

GRANDMA Z BY DANIEL GRAY-BARNETT

I started spotting this book on social media a few months before it was released.
And I coveted it.
When it arrived, I was not disappointed. Like our children, we should love all our books equally. Truth be told, this is probably my fave book of the year.
A child’s enthusiasm for birthdays knows no bounds. This is the tale of Albert’s birthday.
Unfortunately, his parents aren’t very enthusiastic people and Albert’s birthday is just like any other ordinary day.
Until Grandma Z arrives and they celebrate together on a most extraordinary adventure.
It’s an adventure that involved teaching Icelandic horses how to can-can, robot pinatas and discovering a new species of beetle.
I love this book for the way it explores the power of the imagination. I have loved sharing it in the classroom and at home.
What child doesn’t love talking about birthdays?!

Ping vs Pong by Mauro Gatti

PING VS PONG BY MAURO GATTI

It’s a book about edamame beans who play ping pong. Need I say any more?

Rhetorical question. Of course imma gonna say more.
Ping and Pong are beans with lofty ambitions- they dream of being world champions in their noble sport.
They persevere with their training, becoming the best of the best.
But the world wants to know which bean is THE best. So friend must face friend.
Does the joy come from winning or does it come from taking part?
Mauro Gatti’s illustrations are gloriously playful and amusing. The message of participation and perseverance over winning is delivered in a manner that is soy entertaining.
The kids’ verdict? “It’s funny and the illustrations are awesome.”

Here are our top 10 picks for the best picture books of 2018 so far. Picture books suited to all ages, perfect to pin for present ideas or to add to your own bookshelves. #kidsbooks #picturebooks #reading #raisingreaders

MR SHAHA’S RECIPES FOR WONDER BY ALOM SHAHA AND EMILY ROBERTSON

Mr Shaha is the Science teacher you wish you had at school.
This brilliant text shows you how Science is all about embracing wonder, getting excited about the “I-Don’t-Knows” and seeing failures as super opportunities for learning.
Mr Shaha leads you through a series of excellent experiments based on household items.
His words are accompanied by the seriously rad illustrations of Emily Robertson.
One of the best procedural texts for kids that I’ve seen in aaaages.

WREN BY KATRINA LEHMAN AND SOPHIE BEER

Wren yearns for some peace and quiet. A newborn sister means that his noisy, inner-city family home is even noisier.
He tries everything to block out her wailing. To no avail.
So he decides to move to his grandparent’s country home.
He enjoys the peace and quiet. For a week. The grass is always greener, isn’t it?
I adore how this book explores how being a part of a family also sometimes requires space and time alone.
This is a joyous debut from Katrina Lehman that, teamed with the gloriously busy and colourful illustrations from Sophie Beer, celebrates the sweet chaos of family life.

Here are our top 10 picks for the best picture books of 2018 so far. Picture books suited to all ages, perfect to pin for present ideas or to add to your own bookshelves. #kidsbooks #picturebooks #reading #raisingreaders

WAVES BY DONNA RAWLINS,  HEATHER POTTER AND MARK JACKSON

As I flipped through Waves for the first time, I could feel the weight of the book’s message in my hands and in my heart.
Waves is a narrative non-fiction that charts the waves of migrants that have arrived on Australia’s shores across history.
Each spread features the story of a child migrant.
We begin with Anak who traveled on rafts with his family and dog, 50,000 years before the present from what we now know as Indonesia.
Nianzu migrates in the late 1850s, off to find his fortune on the goldfields to pay back the big debt owed to the agent that gave him passage.
Karim comes in the 1870s from Afghanistan accompanying his cameleer uncle to help open Australia’s interior.
We see how world events influence the waves of refugees, the Industrial Revolution, World Wars, the Holocaust, the war in Vietnam.
We end with the story of Abdul, excited about going to school and in disbelief that he will be able to walk safely on the streets without fear of being shot.
This is a text-heavy book. The experiences of the character and the reasons for their migration are detailed.
An amazing book to explore Australia’s immigration history and to open discussions about refugees. It’s also extremely thought-provoking. How will History judge us?

The images and titles of each book will take you to Book Depository. As a Book Depository Affiliate, purchases clicked through from my blog result in a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books! Commission is used to maintain Oh Creative Day. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy here.

Not Australian? The Amazon links will take you to Amazon. I am also an affiliate with Amazon and will receive a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books.

If you prefer, you can order from Australian based online bookstore Booktopia.

Thanks for your support. Happy reading!

Some of the books in this post were provided free for review purposes. I always post my honest opinions and never post books that I do not rate.

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11 Picture Books About Transport and Vehicles

I kinda never want my 3-year-old’s transport obsession to end.
The passion and intensity with which he discusses all things transport is the cutest thing ever.
Here are 11 of our favourite picture books about transport.
And I’ll be completely honest- I purchased some of these for study purposes. Because I don’t know the names of all the construction vehicles that he questions me about. Every. Single. Day.
What are the favourite picture books about transport at your place?

This post contains affiliate links. Thanks for your support.

All Aboard Picture Book by Andrew KolbAll Aboad! Let’s Ride a Train by Nichole Mara and Andrew Kolb

We bought this book for Mr 3’s birthday. The book’s design alone had me shouting “TAKE ALL MY MONEY!”
It is an accordion-style book. The pages fold out to reveal each carriage and the passengers traveling in each carriage.
Amusing details abound in the illustrations so the young reader has plenty to examine.
There is also a look and find aspect to the book- readers are encouraged to look for a lost hat.
The reverse side of the book unfolds to show the landscape that the train is traveling through. An absolute hit here.

Ambulance Ambulance by Sally Sutton and Brian Lovelock

This is a fun, fast-paced read aloud from the team that brought us Roadworks, Demolition and Construction.
A crash has just been called through and we follow the ambulance crew as they attend the accident scene.
The teacher in me loves the onomatopoeia in this read. As do my kids as they love to noisily engage with the text.

Big Digger, Little Digger by Timothy Knapman and Daron Parton

This book is PERFECT for the digger-obsessed child.
Little Digger is the hardest-working vehicle on the construction site. Then Big Digger arrives. Size doesn’t count, right?
A fun read-aloud that gently explores the themes of perseverance, teamwork and working to our strengths.
I especially love the endpapers that feature a labelled diagram of all the parts of a digger. I may have been secretly studying these diagrams so that I REALLY sound like an expert when Mr 3 and I have our 49 in-depth daily discussions about diggers.

All About Cars picture book

All Kinds of Cars by Carl Johanson

This is a colourfully illustrated catalogue of standard cars and vehicles, alongside wacky, imaginary vehicles.
One spread shows the standard vehicles one might find on a farm. Another spread shows rescue vehicles.
Other spreads feature zany creations like the Hip-Hop Car or the Chewing-Gum Car. Doughnut Car, anybody?
At our place, the favourite is the Poo Car. Because potty humour never gets old.
This is a book guaranteed to make Bigs and Smalls giggle.
We’re looking forward to getting our hands on the recently published companion book, All Kinds of Planes.

Do you have a transport-loving little reader at your place? Here are 9 of our favourite picture books about transport. Everything from cars to trucks to planes to construction vehicles. #picturebooks #kidsactivities #booksabouttransport #transport #booksforkids #booksaboutcarsMighty, Mighty Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker and Tom Lichtenheld

I’ll admit to groaning inwardly when this book is brought to me for bedtime stories.
It is long.
But Mr 3 ADORES it, so who am I to deny him his bookish delights?
Plus I do appreciate the way it explores the themes of teamwork and friendship.
All the construction vehicles must work together to get the job done.
The roles of different vehicles are shown and explained in rhyming text.
We initially borrowed this book from the library. It was so adored that we purchased a copy for our home library. We adore KidArtLit boxes. KidArtLit is subscription box delivered to your doorstep each month, allowing you to easily integrate art & storytime into your family’s routine. Each box contains a top-quality picture book and a guide to help scaffold your exploration of the book. The guide also contains a sequence of thoughtful art experiences that extend the book. Do you have a transport-loving little reader at your place? Here are 9 of our favourite picture books about transport. Everything from cars to trucks to planes to construction vehicles. #picturebooks #kidsactivities #booksabouttransport #transport #booksforkids #booksaboutcars

Transport by Alain Gree

We bought this book for Mr 3’s first Christmas.
So we’ve clearly been cultivating his transport infatuation for awhile now.
One of my random life goals is to own all of Alain Grée‘s books. His vintage illustrations are just so charming.
This book takes the format of informative text. The illustrations are rich in detail and pored over in this household. Do you have a transport-loving little reader at your place? Here are 9 of our favourite picture books about transport. Everything from cars to trucks to planes to construction vehicles. #picturebooks #kidsactivities #booksabouttransport #transport #booksforkids #booksaboutcars

Busy Builder: Airport by Timothy Knapman and Carles Ballesteros

This is an informative text meets boxed play set meets craft project.
A 32-page soft cover book is packed with facts about life at the airport and the processes that enable air travel.
The book is housed within a box that opens up to form an airport terminal and runway.
Also contained within the box are punch-out models that you can assemble to create your own fleet of planes, complete with ground crew and accessories.
I love any activity that extends the reading of a book and this is book-based play at its finest.

Curiosity: The Story of a Mars Rover by Markus Motum

This is one of my favourite non-fiction texts of 2017.
The search for life on Mars is told from the perspective of Curiosity, the Mars Rover.
The informative text is paired with rad retro-style illustrations and fantastic diagrams.
If you have a little one obsessed with space travel, they need this book.

Traffic Jam by Aino-Maija Metsola

This beautifully designed board book not only explores forms of transport but is great for positional language.
The rhyming text details the position of each person in the traffic jam.
Removable puzzle pieces then create a 6-piece traffic jam.
The author/illustrator is a designer for Marimmeko and the illustrations are wonderfully bright and engaging. Do you have a transport-loving little reader at your place? Here are 9 of our favourite picture books about transport. Everything from cars to trucks to planes to construction vehicles. #picturebooks #kidsactivities #booksabouttransport #transport #booksforkids #booksaboutcars

BuildABlock by Christopher Franceschelli and Peskimo

We are such huge fans of this partnership and series of chunky board books.
There is a lot of construction happening in our local area.
Mr 3 is frequently testing my knowledge of construction vehicles.
So I treat this book as my textbook to improve my knowledge on the topic.
It features more than 24 different types of construction vehicles.
These books are renowned for their awesome die-cut shapes. This one does not fail to amaze and engage.
Every spread has something to lift or open. You can check out my video here.  

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Do you have a transport-loving little reader at your place? Here are 9 of our favourite picture books about transport. Everything from cars to trucks to planes to construction vehicles. #picturebooks #kidsactivities #booksabouttransport #transport #booksforkids #booksaboutcars The images and titles of each book will take you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. As a Booktopia Affiliate, purchases clicked through from my blog result in a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books! Commission is used to maintain Oh Creative Day. For more information, you can read my Disclosure Policy here.

Not Australian? The Amazon links will take you to Amazon. I am also an affiliate with Amazon and will receive a small commission. You do not pay any extra for your books.

If you prefer Book Depository, click here.
(Also an affiliate link.)

Thanks for your support. Happy reading!

Some of the books in this post were provided free for review purposes. I always post my honest opinions and never post books that I do not rate.