Margaret Wise Brown: The Runaway Bunny

Illustrated by Clement Hurd

Published by Harper & Row, New York, 1991

Some of us accomplish so much in a lifetime. Margaret Wise Brown was only 42 when she died, an artist and teacher from Brooklyn, New York. Fortunately, she left behind many manuscripts, some published in her lifetime and many published posthumously. This story by her, written in 1942, is one of my favourites.

The edition I have is a small board book, just right for reading, snuggled up on the couch with a little bunny of your own. You know it’s going to be an adventure because the little bunny in this story wants to run away from his mother. The mother, however, is prepared for the challenge and you can soon feel the enormous love she has for her bunny, a love that will span and overcome all kinds of distances and obstacles.

Each time the little bunny talks about how he is going to run away, the mother explains how she will find him again. We see their conversation with black and white illustrations and then, turning the page, we see the mother bunny in glorious colour becoming and doing all the things she needs to do, to find her bunny again.

The push and pull of childhood independence and motherly unconditional love gives a wonderful rhythm to the story and ultimately a sense of security and trust in the never-ending and powerful bond between mother and child.

It’s all quite majestic until the very last page when the little bunny admits that he will never really be able to run away from his mother because she will always find him. How he responds always makes me laugh…food fixes everything!

“Shucks,” said the bunny, “I might just as well stay where I am and be your little bunny.” And so he did. “Have a carrot,” said the mother bunny.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 2-4 years and below are more suggestions for books about mothers, their children and the bonds that tie them together:

Everything
by Emma Dodd

Mama, Will I Be Yours Forever?
by Anna Pignataro

Hand in Hand
by Rosemary Wells

Say It!
by Charlotte Zolotow
Illustrated by Charlotte Voake

I Promise
by David McPhail

I Want My Mum
by Tony Ross

I Would Dangle the Moon
by Amber Moffat

The Kiss Box
by Bonnie Verburg
Illustrated by Henry Cole

Loving Hands
by Tony Johnston
Illustrated by Amy June Bates

Tell Me the Day Backwards
by Albert Lamb
Illustrated by David McPhail

Mummy Time
by Judith Kerr

There’s No One I Love Like You
by Jutta Langreuter
Illustrated by Stephanie Dahle

Someday
by Alison Meghee
Illustrated by Peter H. Reynolds

No Matter What
by Debi Gliori

Like the Moon Loves the Sky
by Hena Khan
Illustrated by Saffa Khan

Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney
Illustrated by Anita Jeram

The Kissing Hand
by Audrey Penn
Illustrated by Ruth E. Harper
& Nancy M. Leak

Wild About Mums
by Philip Bunting

Counting On You
by Corinne Fenton
Illustrated by Robin Cowcher

Lynley Dodd: A Dragon in a Wagon

Illustrated by the author

First published by Puffin, 1988

Today is one of those days for lying down on the grass and looking up at the clouds and imagining what all the shapes could be. I can’t remember the last time I did that. Lynley Dodd’s little board book has nudged me in that direction this afternoon and I find myself looking out of the window and letting my mind wander around wishes and things that might be. 

In this little board book, Susie Fogg has taken Sam her dog for a walk along Jackson’s Stream. While she is there, with the lead in her hand and the grass and trees all around, her mind wanders and she wishes and imagines just what it might be like if Sam was something more than a dog.

“Sam,” she said,

You’re very good,

you never bark or bite.

The holes you dig

are not TOO big,

and you’re always home

at night.

But just this once

it might be fun

if you changed from dog,” she said.

“To something HUGE

or something FIERCE

or something ODD

instead.”

After these lively, bouncing, rhyming words we follow Susie and all her various imaginative transformations of Sam. He is a dragon in a wagon, a bat with a hat, a whale in a pail, a chimp with a limp, a shark in the dark and more!

But after tripping over a mossy log, Susie is glad to find her beloved Sam right there beside her. After all, we could wish our lives away and never truly appreciate what we have already.

Lynley Dodd is best known for her award-winning picture books about Hairy Maclary and his friends: Slinky Malinki, Scarface Claw, Schnitzel von Krumm and others. From New Zealand, her picture books have been loved and celebrated around the world and have sold millions of copies.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 3-6 years, and below are more suggestions for picture books which explore using your imagination, making wishes, and asking yourself the intriguing “What if…?” question:

If You Give a Mouse a Cookie
by Laura Joffe Numeroff
Illustrated by Felicia Bond

All I Said Was
by Michael Morpurgo
Illustrated by Ross Collins

A Bear-y Tale
by Anthony Browne

Captain Jack and the Pirates
by Peter Bently
Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Not A Stick by Antoinette Portis

Gerald the Lion by Jessica Souhami

I Am A Tiger by Karl Newson Illustrated by Ross Collins

I Wish That I Had Duck Feet
by Dr Seuss, Theo LeSieg Illustrated by Barney Tobey

Imagine by Alison Lester

Would You Rather
by John Burningham

If I Had a Raptor
by George O’Connor

Not Just a Book
by Jeanne Willis
Illustrated by Tony Ross

Journey by Aaron Becker

The Something by Rebecca Cobb

Harold and the Purple Crayon
by Crockett Johnson

Where the Wild Things Are
by Maurice Sendak

If I Had a Horse by Gianna Marino

My Elephant by Petr Horacek

If I Had a Unicorn
by Gabby Dawnay
Illustrated by Alex Barrow

If I Had an Octopus
by Gabby Dawnay
Illustrated by Alex Barrow

Jane Godwin: Don’t Forget

Illustrated by Anna Walker

Published by Puffin Books, Penguin Random House, 2021

We all need to be reminded about so many things in life. Sometimes it’s the to-do list for the day, other times it’s the long-term plans for months in advance, and just occasionally it’s the reminders about what we need to make time for in the busyness of living.

Like a mum calling out to us as we leave for another day out in the world, Jane Godwin reminds us about all those things we need to remember; making our beds, finding socks that fit, brushing our teeth, and bringing our coats. We also need to remember other things like smiling, caring, playing, helping, and listening. And not forgetting the power of dreaming, hoping, adventuring, and celebrating.

The illustrations by Anna Walker beautifully reflect the text and bring each reminder to life with gentle clarity and thoughtful insight. The settings will be familiar to everyone, children splashing in puddles and climbing trees, running through long tall grass, and enjoying a solitary moment in front of a wide-open beach. Our collective achievements are amazing when we remember the ties that bind us together.

“Don’t forget that life is long, you’re not alone, that you are strong, and don’t forget that you belong.”

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 5-8 years and below are more award-winning picture books by this dynamic duo:

Go Go and the Silver Shoes

What Do You Wish For?

All Through the Year

Today We Have No Plans

Starting School

Little Cat and the Big Red Bus

Tilly

Sonya Hartnett: Blue Flower

Illustrated by Gabriel Evans

Published by Puffin Books, Penguin Random House, 2021

This is a very gentle, honest, and thoughtful picture book about not fitting in and what that feels like. It’s good to be reminded that, for some of us, life is full of challenges.

For the young girl in this story, some days just getting out of bed doesn’t feel like a good option, and making friends is not easy. Going to school requires more stamina and grit than she can imagine and feeling that her best is never enough can haunt all the hours of her day. Sometimes, all she wishes for is to be rescued from the place she should be and taken back to her comfortable home, cuddled up in bed under soft doonas with her beautiful tabby cat, quiet and peaceful. That wonderful place where the world can be shut away behind a closed door and all the failings, mistakes and challenges never faced or bravely tackled.

But life isn’t like that, even when you feel like you don’t fit in.

In this story, her mother gets to the heart of the matter. She understands the pull of hiding away and staying behind closed doors. She also acknowledges that being different can be life-changing and wonderful if you accept it:

“Being different isn’t easy, until you decide it’s a good thing to be.”

As the young girl thinks about this and wanders outside with her beloved cat Piccolo, she sees that many things in nature are different: birds, trees, clouds, and flowers. In a field of yellow flowers, there are a few blue ones too, and realisation dawns:

“No one wants everything to be the same. Things being different is what makes the world wonderful.”

So, let’s celebrate the things that makes us different and not hide our talents and gifts under doonas and behind closed doors, let’s allow all of our differences to make life more wonderful and a little easier for those of us who struggle with it.

The text by Sonya Hartnett makes this story easily accessible and the illustrations by Gabriel Evans beautifully reflect the emotional journey of figuring out how to find your place in the world. I can highly recommend this picture book for children 4-8 years and below are more suggestions for books that explore the idea of being and feeling different:

Colour Me
by Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Illustrated by Moira Court

The Glump and the Peeble
by Wendy Meddour
Illustrated by Rebecca Ashdown

Max by Bob Graham

All About Families
by Felicity Brooks
Illustrated by Mar Ferrero

All Bodies are Good Bodies
by Charlotte Barkla
Illustrated by Erica Salcedo

All Except Winston
by Rochelle Brunton
Illustrated by Nicoletta Bertelle

All Sorts by Pippa Goodhart Illustrated by Emily Rand

Brian The Brave by Paul Stewart Illustrated by Jane Porter

Egg by Sue Hendra
Illustrated by Paul Linnet

Hugo: The Boy with
the curious mark
by Yohann Devezy
Illustrated by Manuela Adreani

I Feel…Different by D.J.Corchin

My Friend Fred by Frances Watts Illustrated by A.Yi

Be Exactly Who You Are
by Laura Gehl
Illustrated by Joshua Heinsz

Chee-Kee: A Panda in Bearland
by Sujean Rim

Edward the Emu
by Sheena Knowles
Illustrated b y Rod Clement

How To Be a Lion by Ed Vere

The Story of Ferdinand
by Munro Leaf
Illustrated by Robert Lawson

Rufus by Tomi Ungerer

Antoinette by Kelly DiPucchio Illustrated by Christian Robinson

Elmer by David McKee

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Philip Bunting: Wild About Dads

Illustrated by the author

Published by Little Hare, Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, 2020

If you know someone who is about to become a father, or if you are thinking about your own father, or even if you are wondering about what attributes make a father particularly good in that role, then pick up this book, buy it or borrow it, and enjoy reflecting on all the shapes, sizes and ways of being a dad.

There is a lot to be learnt from animals in the wild and the way they naturally and inherently behave. Philip Bunting has picked out a few species and highlighted the best behaviours that fathers can model.

Did you know that gorilla dads teach their babies how to find food, play and look after each other? A desert dwelling sandgrouse makes a big effort to keep his offspring well hydrated by dropping water into their mouths from his water-soaked feathers. The giant water bug has the responsibility of carrying the eggs, laid on top of his back by his dear lady, for weeks until they hatch. Flamingo fathers regurgitate food for their baby chicks, sounds gross, but not if you are the baby flamingo chick! The Australian magpie is well known for defending the nest of his young by swooping on anyone or anything that comes too close. Chinstrap penguin fathers have even been known to team up and incubate abandoned eggs, help them hatch and grow into maturity.

The lesson we learn from all these examples is that dads can come in all shapes and sizes, temperaments, and skills. All of them show their children how to live, by action and deed. Whether you are a father, mother, grandmother, grandfather, sister or brother, in a family of any description, we can all benefit from this simple concept, that sometimes our love is better expressed by doing than by saying.

Most animals in this picture book have their own page and colour palette, and some lucky ones are illustrated across a double page spread. All critters are easily identifiable, the text is short but informative, and there are a few humorous asides on some pages, making it hugely accessible and interesting for younger and older readers.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 3-8 years and below are more suggestions for some of my favourite picture books about fathers:

My Dad Thinks He’s Funny
by Katrina Germein
Illustrated by Tom Jellett

Guess How Much I Love You
by Sam McBratney
Illustrated by Anita Jeram

I Love My Daddy
by Giles Andreae
Illustrated by Emma Dodd

Papa, Please Get the Moon for Me
by Eric Carle

Owl Moon by Jane Yolen
Illustrated by John Schoenherr

Knuffle Bunny: A Cautionary Tale by Mo Willems

Can’t You Sleep, Little Bear?
by Martin Waddell
Illustrated by Barbara Firth

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt
by Michael Rosen
Illustrated by Helen Oxenbury

Mitchell’s License by Hallie Durand Illustrated by Tony Fucile

The Big Honey Hunt
by Stan & Jan Berenstain

My Dad is Brilliant
by Nick Butterworth

Mister Seahorse by Eric Carle

Nelly Gnu and Daddy Too
by Anna Dewdney

My Dad Used to be So Cool
by Keith Negley

Father Bear Comes Home
by Else Holmelund Minarik Illustrated by Maurice Sendak

My Daddy is a Giant by Carl Norac Illustrated by Ingrid Godon

My Dad by Anthony Browne

Molly and Her Dad by Jan Ormerod Illustrated by Carol Thompson

Now One Foot, Now the Other
by Tomie dePaola

Every Friday by Dan Yaccarino

My Dad by Jeanette Rowe

Sam and his Dad by Serge Bloch

Shirley Hughes: Dogger’s Christmas

Illustrated by the author

Published by The Bodley Head, Penguin Random House, 2020

“Dogger has become something of a celebrity. He was put in a glass box, on tour, at the Ashmolean in Oxford and Liverpool Walker Art Gallery. He has one ear flopped down as it should be, and another was cocked up from years of cuddling and has remained that way after 60 years. His eyes are rather far apart, which makes him especially endearing. He’s retired from the celeb circuit now, living in a shoebox, only coming out for the occasional photoshoot.” – The Guardian, Dec 22, 2019

If you have picked up this book and been enthralled by the story, then make sure you go back to the beginning and read Dogger, also written by Shirley Hughes, way back in 1977. This Christmas sequel, released last year, has been written and illustrated by the same lady at the amazing age of 92. The wonder is that the children Bella, Dave and Joe are still much the same age as they were when the first story was conceived over 40 years ago, and life in this new story is much the same as it was then. It’s a time I remember in my childhood, when Christmas lists were posted up the chimney, paper decorations were made for the tree, and hand made cards were given with love.

Dogger is Dave’s favourite toy dog, and almost as old as Dave himself. He is brown and small, with one ear up and the other ear down, and Dave’s constant companion. Dogger has been lost before and Bella, Dave’s big sister, saved the day. As Christmas approaches in this story, Mum takes Bella and Dave to the shops and they very wisely leave Dogger at home, waiting for their return sitting on the windowsill. Nobody wants the stress and trauma of losing Dogger again!

Christmas arrives and we are enveloped in all the familiar traditions of the day, with stockings full of presents, wrapping paper strewn everywhere, grandparents joining the celebrations and a special visit to a lonesome neighbour. The strength of family bonds, the joy of being together and sharing in the deeper meaning of the nativity is expressed so beautifully in text and illustrations.

It’s not until the end of the day, when mum and dad are cleaning up, and all the children are asleep at last, that a wail is heard. It’s Dave and he wants Dogger, but where is he? It seems that this time, Dogger is truly lost. Can Bella save the day again with her kindness, ingenuity and empathy?

This is a wonderful story about family, love, loss and hope. A story that keeps reminding us about the important things in life and caring for others. I can highly recommend it for children 4 years and up to 104 years, after all, it was written by a 92 year old lady, with enough life experience to share her wisdom with everyone.

Below are more of my favourite stories by Shirley Hughes:

Dogger

Don’t Want To Go!

Moving Molly

Daisy Saves The Day

Bobbo Goes To School

Jonadab and Rita

Alfie Gives a Hand

Alfie Gets in First

Angel on the Roof

Lucy & Tom: At the Seaside

The Alfie and Annie Rose Storybook

Let’s Join In: A First Book of Bedtime Stories

Up and Up

My First ABC

My First 1 2 3

Time For Tea: A First
Book of Cookery

Snow In The Garden: A First
Book of Christmas

Nicola Davies: Hummingbird

Illustrated by Jane Ray

Published by Walker Books, London, 2019

“There are over 300 different kinds of hummingbird and even the biggest is very small. This book is about the ruby-throated hummingbird. It’s tiny and weighs about the same as a penny, but every spring it flies over 3,000 kilometres from Mexico and Central America to spend summer in the USA and Canada, where it builds a nest and has its babies. In autumn it flies all the way back again, to spend winter where it’s warm.”

Nicola Davies and Jane Ray have combined their talents to tell us the incredible story of the mighty hummingbird. It may be small in size, but the hummingbird is astonishing in its capacity to travel long distances and heed that genetic inner calling to breed and follow the paths set down by generations beforehand.

Just like the circular route the hummingbird follows north and south, the story begins and ends with a little girl and her grandmother. We learn that the little girl will be travelling to New York City and leaving behind the colours and culture of her South American home, just like the hummingbird flying north.

Along the journey, the hummingbirds encounter different places to rest and eat, sometimes on a ship’s rigging, other times on nectar-filled feeding dishes, sometimes on blossom and fruit laden trees, until they finally arrive at their nesting sites.

We learn that these tiny birds can lose half their body weight during the flight and that their nests are only as big as half a walnut shell!

In New York City, a little girl spies something white and small on the grass in the park, she knows what it is. In South America, a grandmother opens up a parcel just delivered to her and inside there is a small white eggshell wrapped up tenderly with a letter and newspaper clipping…yes, hummingbirds have found their way to New York City.

Nicola Davies is a zoologist and author and has written many informative and educational picture books about animals in our natural world: Surprising Sharks (2003), Outside Your Window (2012), Bat Loves the Night (2001), Dolphin Baby (2011) and White Owl, Barn Owl (2007). I encourage you to check out her website for more information about her publications and workshops.

Jane Ray’s illustrations for this picture book about hummingbirds are gorgeous, I would like to wallpaper the rooms of my entire home with her art!

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 4-6 years and below are more suggestions for stories (and non-fiction texts) which teach us more about animal migration:

Migration: Incredible Animal Journeys by Mike Unwin
Illustrated by Jenni Desmond

Circle by Jeannie Baker

The Long, Long Journey: The Godwit’s Amazing Migration
by Sandra Markle
Illustrated by Mia Posada

Is This Panama?
by Jan Thornhill
Illustrated by Soyeon Kim

Boundless Sky
by Amanda Addison
Illustrated by Manuela Adreani

How Far Home? Animal Migration
by Monika Davies
Illustrated by Romina Marti

Swallow Journey
by Vivian French
Illustrated by Karin Littlewood

Animal Journeys
by Patricia Hegarty
Illustrated by
Jessica Courtney-Tickle

One Tiny Turtle
by Nicola Davies
Illustrated by Jane Chapman

Atlas of Animal Adventures by Rachel Williams, Emily Hawkins Illustrated by Lucy Letherland

Simona Ciraolo: If Winter Comes, Tell It I’m Not Here

Illustrated by the author

Published by Walker Books, London, 2020

There is nobody like your big sister to tell you the bad news straight up.

In this charming picture book, we meet a young boy who is loving the season of summer and all the cool things there are to do while the weather is hot and balmy: swimming, eating ice cream, feeling that warm sun on his skin and being outdoors almost every day. His big sister, however, has some developing news and is quite happy to pass it on:

“You’d better make the most of it while it lasts. Summer’s going to end soon.”

And she almost delights in the apprehensive reaction she gets from her young brother! There will be shorter days, chillier weather, and trees will lose their leaves. Days and days will go by inside with nothing to do but watch the rain and feel cold and miserable…well, that is certainly a lot to be unhappy about.

But as winter approaches, something amazing happens. It’s just as his big sister says, but there is something wonderful (and not terrible) about snuggling up on the couch with his family, crunching through the colourful autumn leaves, splashing in puddles, skating on ice, and enjoying a big warm bowl of soup.

Yes, life is constantly changing, but if we bend into the change and embrace each new way of living, then sometimes, just sometimes, we can find our silver linings.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 3-6 years to introduce them to the wonder of our changing seasons and below are more suggestions for picture books which focus on that theme, for both northern and southern hemispheres:

Snow Rabbit, Spring Rabbit
by Il Sung Na

Tap the Magic Tree
by Christie Matheson

Tree by Britta Teckentrup Illustrated by Patricia Hegarty

Goodbye Autumn, Hello Winter
by Kenard Pak

My Boots in Season
by Kerryn Pascoe
Illustrated by Elise Hurst

Sing Me the Summer
by Jane Godwin
Illustrated by Alison Lester

Our Seasons by
Grace Lin & Ranida McKneally Illustrated by Grace Lin

Ruby & Rufus Love the Water!
by Olivier Dunrea

When Spring Comes
by Kevin Henkes
Illustrated by Laura Dronzek

Lift-the-Flap Seasons and Weather by Holly Bathie

Dry to Dry by Pamela Freeman Illustrated by Liz Anelli

A Year on our Farm
by Penny Matthews
Illustrated by Andrew McLean

The Snowy Day by Ezra Jack Keats

That’s Not a Daffodil
by Elizabeth Honey

Spring for Sophie by Yael Werber Illustrated by Jen Hill

and then it’s spring
by Julie Fogliano
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead

All the Year Round by John Yeoman Illustrated by Quentin Blake

In the Garden by Emma Giuliani

Millie-Mae in Autumn
by Natalie Marshall

The ABC Book of Seasons by Helen Martin and Judith Simpson Illustrated by Cheryl Orsini

Michael Morpurgo: Owl or Pussycat?

Illustrated by Polly Dunbar

Published by David Fickling Books, Great Britain, 2020

I think I have read just about everything that Michael Morpurgo has written…I just love the way he invites the reader into the story, makes the characters come to life, draws on our collective emotional experiences of what it is like to navigate the complexities of the world and shows us the way to go forward with integrity, honesty, and respect, even as we sometimes fail and make mistakes.

This story is about something that actually happened to Michael Morpurgo when he was a six-year-old schoolboy at St Cuthbert’s in England. His mum had read Edward Lear’s poem, The Owl and the Pussycat, to young Michael so often, and he had recited it so well in class, that the teacher nominated him to play the part of Owl in the Christmas school play. This was especially wonderful because the Pussycat was going to be played by Belinda…Michael’s best friend and the first girl he had ever loved. That’s a big thing for a six-year-old boy.

There are lots of preparations for the big night, lots of ups and downs in the rehearsals, but finally the curtains open on the stage and Michael and Belinda begin the performance of their young lives, as Owl and Pussycat.

All is going well, until the Owl picks up his guitar from the bottom of the pea green boat and his mind, voice, and heart freezes. The miracle that happens next is a testament to the wonder of friendship, love and team-work.

The illustrations for this story are so tenderly drawn by Polly Dunbar, with gorgeous details on every page: parquetry floors, costumes, paperchains, a double page spread for the opening night on stage and the wonder of friendship and miracles etched in people’s faces. An added bonus is that the end pages beautifully illustrate the complete poem by Edward Lear.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 4-8 years and anyone who has memories of school plays and being saved by a friend. Below are more picture book titles by Michael Morpurgo, but if you have older children, please check out his other popular junior fiction books, you won’t be disappointed:

Coming Home
Illustrated by Kerry Hyndman

Wombat Goes Walkabout Illustrated by
Christian Birmingham

On Angel Wings
Illustrated by Quentin Blake

Grandpa Christmas
Illustrated by Jim Field

Dolphin Boy
Illustrated by Michael Foreman

It’s a Dog’s Life
Illustrated by Patrick Benson

The Silver Swan Illustrated by Christian Birmingham

The Best of Times
Illustrated by
Emma Chichester Clark

The Little Albatross
Illustrated by Michael Foreman

The Goose is Getting Fat
Illustrated by Sophie Allsopp

We Are Not Frogs!
Illustrated by Sam Usher

Simon James: Days Like This

Illustrated by the author

Published by Candlewick Press, 1999

My first day at school to-day.

Funny sort of day.

Didn’t seem to learn much.

Seemed all we did was play.

Then teacher wrote some letters

On a board all painted black,

And then we had a story…

I don’t think I’ll go back.

By Rod Hull

Simon James has selected and illustrated a collection of small poems to be enjoyed and savoured by young and older readers alike. The poem written above by Rod Hull is my favourite. It reminded me of something my daughter said when she started kindergarten.

My mother-in-law had made her three new and wondrous dresses for the occasion. One dress for each day of the week she would be there. When the first three days were over, my daughter asked what she would be wearing next time she went to kinder. When she discovered there were no more new dresses, my daughter declined very politely to go to kindergarten ever again!

Poetry is a wonderful medium that can be used to introduce young children to the emotive power of words and to help them see the extraordinary in the ordinary moments of life.

In this collection, we are sledding down mountains, fishing for guppies, stepping over stones, going on adventures, feeling the summer sun, and wondering about the mystery of a fallen seed and what it might become. Each poem has its own double page spread, giving you time to pause and contemplate the language and the illustration before turning the page and investing your thoughts anew.

Contributions have been made by Charlotte Zolotow, Ogden Nash, Steve Turner and many others. I can highly recommend this picture book for children 3-6 years as a gentle introduction to poetry and below are suggestions for more of my favourite poetry and nursery rhyme books:

Animal Crackers by Jane Dyer

A Classic Treasury of Nursery Songs and Rhymes
Illustrated by Trace Moroney

Playtime Rhymes: A Treasury for Families to Learn & Play Together Illustrated by Marc Brown

Eric Carle’s Animals Animals Compiled by Laura Whipple Illustrated by Eric Carle

My Country by Dorothea Mackellar Illustrated by Andrew McLean

My Very First Mother Goose
Edited by Iona Opie
Illustrated by Rosemary Wells

Chicken Soup With Rice:
A Book of Months
by Maurice Sendak

Thankful by Eileen Spinelli Illustrated by Archie Preston

Honey For You, Honey For Me: A First Book of Nursery Rhymes
by Michael Rosen
Illustrated by Chris Riddell

Shuffle and Squelch: Poems and Rhymes for Children
by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Nick Sharratt

Here’s a Little Poem
Collected by
Jane Yolen & Andrew Fusek Peters
Illustrated by Polly Dunbar

Little Poems for Tiny Ears
Poems by Lin Oliver
Illustrated by Tomie dePaola

Each Peach Pear Plum
by Janet and Allan Ahlberg

The Puffin Book of Nursery Rhymes by Raymond Briggs

Winter Bees and
Other Poems of the Cold
by Joyce Sidman
Illustrated by Rick Allen

Wynken, Blynken, & Nod
A Poem by Eugene Field
Illustrated by Johanna Westerman

Won Ton: A Cat Tale Told in Haiku by Lee Wardlaw
Illustrated by Eugene Yelchin

Out and About:
A First Book of Poems
by Shirley Hughes

The Owl and the Pussy-Cat
by Edward Lear
Illustrated by Ian Beck

Sing me the Summer
by Jane Godwin
Illustrated by Alison Lester