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!
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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.
Fresh 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
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 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 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
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.”
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.
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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