Debi Gliori: The Boy and the Moonimal

Illustrated by the author

Published by Bloomsbury Children’s Books, UK, 2021

This is a story about Moonimal, a little blue rabbit with three floppy ears, who is found one day on a shelf inside a shop full of wonderful knick-knacks. The Boy and Moonimal are inseparable. They have exploring adventures together, they pretend to be doctor and patient, and even fly into space and back again in their cardboard rocket. It feels like they will be together forever.

One day, deep in the woods, with autumnal leaves littering the ground, the young Boy trips, breaks his glasses and can’t find his beloved blue rabbit anywhere. Turning the page, Moonimal begins to tell the tale of what happens next.

Moonimal waits and waits, hoping to be found again. Instead, some woodland rabbits, who are small and grey, with two floppy ears each, find Moonimal and take him back to their underground burrows. Time passes.

In a meadow one day, Moonimal gets snatched up by a hunting owl and dropped into a cold rushing river. Swept away by the strong currents, Moonimal is found downstream by grazing deer and he stays with the herd for many more years.

Until one day, danger comes again! A dog appears suddenly, scattering the reindeer, and in their haste to flee, Moonimal gets left behind. The dog proudly picks up Moonimal in his jaw to present to his owner. Could this be the end, or has the story come full circle?

This is a gently crafted story of hope when all seems lost. Something similar happened to us many years ago when our two-year-old daughter lost her favourite teddy. We looked everywhere for it. We asked everyone we knew to look for it. I even tried to buy a new one, ringing up stores and asking friends and family to keep searching. I remember days and nights full of tears and longing. Time passed, the ache of loss eased, and my daughter discovered other favourite toys. But do you know what? A friend turned up on our doorstep about six months later, with the lost teddy in her hands!

I expected my daughter to be overjoyed, and she was, but there was another overriding emotion, cautious reserve. If teddy was lost once, then he could be lost again. It was sad to see this understanding in my daughter’s eyes, because sometimes in life, that’s just the way it is. It was my daughter’s first experience of loss and grief, sadly not the last, and one of the many lessons to learn in life.

I can highly recommend this picture for children 3-6 years and below are more suggestions for picture books which explore the experience of losing a beloved toy:

The Velveteen Rabbit
by Margery Williams
Illustrated by Sarah Massini

Little Bear Lost by Jane Hissey

Good Dog by Cori Doerrfeld

The Lost Toys by Irina Hale

Nothing by Mick Inkpen

Clown by Quentin Blake

The Lost Property Office
by Emily Rand

Arno and his Horse by Jane Godwin Illustrated by Felicita Sala

Red Ted and the Lost Things
by Michael Rosen
Illustrated by Joel Stewart

Dogger by Shirley Hughes

The Everywhere Bear
by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Rebecca Cob

Where Are You, Blue Kangaroo?
by Emma Chichester Clark

Lost in Little Bear’s Room
by Else Holmelund Minarik Illustrated by David T. Wenzel

The Sea Saw by Tom Percival

Float by Daniel Miyares

Elmer and the Lost Teddy
by David McKee

This is the Bear and the Scary Night by Sarah Hayes
Illustrated by Helen Craig

Where’s Teddy? by Rod Campbell

Where’s My Teddy?
by Jez Alborough

Eve and Elly by Mike Dumbleton Illustrated by Laura Wood

Knuffle Bunny by Mo Willems

Olivia and the Missing Toy
by Ian Falconer

I Lost My Bear by Jules Feiffer

The Teddy Bear by David McPhail

Bun Bun Button by Patricia Polacco

Ross Collins: There’s a Mouse in My House

Illustrated by the author

Published by Nosy Crow, London, 2020

Ross Collins has charmed us again with a sequel to There’s a Bear on my Chair.

But this time, the cheeky mouse is causing all the problems. He’s arrived at Bear’s house with a box. It looks like he’s moving in and hanging pictures on the wall.

There’s nothing that Bear can do to get that mouse out of the house!

Bear suggests a trip to Luxembourg, Mexico, Timbuktu or Borneo, but no, the mouse just does not want to go.

Mouse settles in and dresses up, helps himself to the food, plays loud music and takes a bath. Oh no! Just when things couldn’t get any worse, there’s a knock. Who could it be behind the red door?

I just love this playful, rhyming story. The illustrations are bright, elegant and expressive. The colours are bold and eye catching. Bear is wonderfully grumpy and at the same time, forbearing, despite being so big. Mouse is cheeky, and at the same time, endearing, full of mischief and mayhem.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 2-4 years and below are more of my favourite picture book stories which feature mice…I didn’t know I had so many!

There’s a Bear on My Chair
by Ross Collins

The Lion Inside by Rachel Bright Illustrated by Jim Field

The Tale of Two Bad Mice
by Beatrix Potter

Seven Blind Mice by Ed Young

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

The Lion and the Mouse
by Jerry Pinkney

Little Mouse and the Red Wall
by Britta Teckentrup

The Mouse’s Apples
by Frances Stickley
Illustrated by Kristyna Litten

The Little Mouse, the Red Ripe Strawberry, and the Big Hungry Bear by Don & Audrey Wood
Illustrated by Don Wood

A Visitor for Bear by Bonny Becker Illustrated by
Kady MacDonald Denton

Mouse Count by Ellen Stoll Walsh

Alexander and the Wind-Up Mouse by Leo Lionni

The Mouse who wasn’t Scared
by Petr Horacek

Town Mouse, Country Mouse
by Jan Brett

Lilly’s Purple Plastic Purse
by Kevin Henkes

Little Mouse by Rod Campbell

We’re Getting a Cat!
by Vivian French
Illustrated by Salvatore Rubbino

A Mouse called Julian
by Joe Todd-Stanton

Maisy Goes to the Library
by Lucy Cousins

Meet Angelina Ballerina
by Katharine Holabird
Illustrated by Helen Craig

Claris by Megan Hess

I Am A Tiger by Karl Newson Illustrated by Ross Collins

Mouse House by John Burningham

The Tailor of Gloucester
by Beatrix Potter

Michael Foreman: Noa and the Little Elephant

Illustrated by the author

Published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, 2021

Michael Foreman has dedicated this picture book to “all creatures great and small and to the children of the world who will look after them.” It is a wonderful story about conservation, friendship and hope for the future.

In association with Tusk, an African wildlife conservation charity, the story is prefaced by Julius Obwona, a Ranger who works in Uganda protecting wildlife in the Murchison Falls National Park. There is a small photo of Julius and, underneath this, he talks about how he became a ranger and the work being done to protect all the animals in the park. Poaching has had a huge impact on elephant survival, but thanks to constant patrolling within its borders, there is hope for the future with increasing numbers in elephant herds.

In this picture book, Michael Foreman weaves a tender tale about little Noa, a young boy who takes his small boat out on to the river every day after school to catch fish for his family’s supper. Along the riverbanks, Noa encounters an amazing array of wildlife, but he especially loves watching a mother elephant with her baby. One day, Noa discovers the baby beside her mother, lying on the ground, unmoving and with her tusks removed. It is a poignant scene, illustrated in pencil and without colour.

Noa decides to take the baby elephant back to his village and they adopt it as their own, feeding and caring for it, and naming it Tembo.

One night, a terrible storm ravages the village and little Noa finds himself floundering in the river trying to save his boat from the floodwaters. Desperate to reach the safety of land, Noa feels something solid in the water bumping him towards safety…it’s Tembo!

And then little Noa makes a promise, just like Julius the Ranger:

“When I’m older, I will join my dad and the other villagers to make sure that no more elephants are shot. You are my brother. We are all one family living under the same sky, sharing the same world.”

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 3-6 years and below are more picture books about elephants, some are about conservation, most are fictional, and all celebrate this amazing animal:

As Big as You by Sara Acton

Babar the King by Jean de Brunhoff

Elmer and Wilbur by David McKee

There is a Bird on Your Head!
by Mo Willems

I Feel a Foot! by Maranke Rinck Illustrated by
Martijn van der Linden

Ernest the Elephant
by Anthony Browne

Five Minute’s Peace by Jill Murphy

A Piece of Cake by Jill Murphy

A Quiet Night In by Jill Murphy

Have You Seen Elephant?
by David Barrow

How Big Is An Elephant?
by Rossana Bossu

Mr McGee and the Elephants
by Pamela Allen

Mouse in the House by Russell Ayto

A Parade of Elephants
by Kevin Henkes

One Step at a Time by Jane Jolly Illustrated by Sally Heinrich

Where’s Ellie by Salina Yoon

If Elephants Disappeared
by Lily Williams

The Elephant and the Bad Baby
by Elfrida Vipont
Illustrated by Raymond Briggs

My Elephant by Petr Horacek

The Elephant by Jenni Desmond

A Sick Day for Amos McGee
by Philip C. Stead
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead

Strictly No Elephants
by Lisa Mantchev
Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

The Saggy Baggy Elephant by Kathryn Jackson and Byron Jackson Illustrated by Gustav Tenggren

Where’s Baby Elephant?
by Ali Khodai

Horton Hears a Who! by Dr Seuss

I Am Not an Elephant
by Karl Newson
Illustrated by Ross Collins

You Can’t Take an Elephant on the Bus by Patricia Cleveland-Peck Illustrated by David Tazzyman

That’s Not My Elephant
by Fiona Watt
Illustrated by Rachel Wells

In the Shadow of an Elephant
by George Donaghey
Illustrated by Sandra Severgnini

Kate Gordon: Amira’s Magpie

Illustrated by Krista Brennan

Published by Wombat Books, 2021

You can be lucky in life when wild creatures freely come to you. A butterfly might land on your shoulder and rest for just a moment, an echidna might shuffle and snuffle close to your feet looking for food, a rosella might come to the seed bowl you have on the balcony table and feed from it, knowing you are just there. And when we see these creatures up close, it’s hard not to wonder what they are thinking as they go about their business, are we communicating, is there a connection, will they come back?

In this picture book, we meet Amira and she has a magpie that comes to her railing just outside the door, and she has a beautiful description for it:

“His eyes are black pearls. The white on his feathers makes her think, perhaps, he has daubed his wings with paint, to write messages in the sky, love letters to her, because she is his friend.”

The illustrations are soft, mostly black and white and grey, and on one page we see the magpie’s eye magnified, as if it is really seeing Amira and her dreams and hopes. Amira wants to imagine her beautiful magpie soaring through the skies and flying all the way to her home and her grandfather. Amira wants to imagine her grandfather recognising the magpie as a messenger from Amira herself, letting him know that she is okay, that she is growing, that she is thinking of him and can’t wait to see him again one day.

But for the moment, these are all dreams because it seems that Amira is far from her homeland and that her days are closed in by wire fences and dark shadows of detention. So for now, Amira’s favourite colour will be blue, she will dream that her magpie is free and that it will fly back and forth between her homeland and here, singing a song of hope and freedom.

This a wonderful story about hope when days are dark and the future is unclear, Amira, with her black and white cape and soft blue hijab, bravely faces her confinement by holding on to her dreams.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 4-6 years and below are more suggestions for picture books which explore what it means to be a refugee, seek asylum, hope for a better future and hold on to your dreams:

The Red Tree by Shaun Tan

The Wooden Camel
by Wanuri Kahiu
Illustrated by Manuela Adreani

Mia’s Story by Michael Foreman

Spirit of Hope by Bob Graham

The Garden of Hope
by Isabel Otter
Illustrated by Katie Rewse

The Happiness Box
by Mark Greenwood
Illustrated by Andrew McLean

Greta Thunberg
by Isabel Sanchez Vegara Illustrated by Anke Weckmann

Little Lion by Saroo Brierley Illustrated by Bruce Whatley

Little Mole Finds Hope
by Glenys Nellist
Illustrated by Sally Garland

Lost and Found Cat
by Doug Kuntz and Amy Shrodes Illustrated by Sue Cornelison

Reach for the Stars by Serge Bloch

The Lion and the Bird
by Marianne Dubuc

The Peasant Prince by Li Cunxin Illustrated by Anne Spudvilas

Ziba Came on a Boat
by Liz Lofthouse
Illustrated by Robert Ingpen

Four Feet, Two Sandals
by Karen Lynn Williams
and Khadra Mohammed
Illustrated by Doug Chayka

Refugees and Migrants
by Ceri Roberts
Illustrated by Hanane Kai

My Name is not Refugee
by Kate Milner

The Day War Came
by Nicola Davies
Illustrated by Rebecca Cobb

Running with the Horses
by Alison Lester

Room on our Rock
by Kate and Jol Temple
Illustrated by Terri Rose Baynton

Gleam and Glow by Eve Bunting Illustrated by Peter Sylvada

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

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

Michel Streich: Scary Bird

Illustrated by the author

Published by Scholastic Press, NSW, 2020

My father emigrated to Australia in the early 1950s at the tender age of 17, leaving his small Italian village and family behind. He came to Melbourne, not knowing much about the language or the country, but prepared to blend together the best of what he brought with him and what he would find here. Learning the language was hard and making a life for himself even harder. Time and work and marriage softened the differences, until it was difficult to tell if he was more Australian or more Italian, but perhaps he just became a better version of both.

In this picture book, we see a small orange bird with green polka dots peeking nervously out of a closed box. An anonymous hand places it into a bird cage and the other birds completely freak out, they are not happy to make room for the scary newcomer. They worry about the lack of space, the food that will need to be shared, and the language they can’t understand.

A marauding mouse shares a little morsel of wisdom while pinching some bird seed, Hey, birdbrains! Don’t you know you’re ALL exotic birds?

And then the breakthrough happens. One soft pink bird with a curly tail decides to be a friend and the acculturation begins, stories are shared, accents are accepted and customs are admired. Before anyone knows it, the orange green polka dotted bird is part of the group, but what happens when the next scary bird comes along?

This a very clever story about acceptance, diversity, cultural norms and friendship. Being a newcomer is daunting for everyone, whether you are making a new country your home or starting kindergarten. Perhaps not so subtly, this story embraces the idea that when we focus on our similarities rather than our differences, the more harmonious all our lives can be.

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 2-6 years and below are suggestions for picture books that explore the themes of migration, fitting in and belief in the value of being you!

I’m New Here
by Anne Sibley O’Brien

The Littlest Yak by Lu Fraser Illustrated by Kate Hindley

Stellaluna by Janell Cannon

Strictly No Elephants
by Lisa Mantchev
Illustrated by Taeeun Yoo

Gaston by Kelly DiPucchio Illustrated by Christian Robinson

The Day You Begin
by Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated by Rafael Lopez

Be You! by Peter H. Reynolds

The Big Umbrella by Amy June Bates and Juniper Bates

Josephine Wants to Dance
by Jackie French
Illustrated by Bruce Whatley

We Are Together
by Britta Teckentrup

My Name is Lizzie Flynn
by Claire Saxby
Illustrated by Lizzy Newcomb

Eureka! A Story of the Goldfields
by Mark Wilson

Ten Pound Pom
by Carole Wilkinson
Illustrated by Liz Anelli

Phillip Gwynne: Small Town

Illustrated by Tony Flowers

Published by Puffin Books, Penguin Random House, 2020

When my husband and I married, we moved to Northcote and discovered the delights of inner city living. We made many long-lasting friendships while we were there but there was one special lady who lived around the corner whom I have never forgotten. Her name was Gwen and she was old, ninety something and still living independently at home. Sadly, Gwen is no longer with us, but she told me something one day that I have never forgotten:  be kind.

Small Town by Phillip Gwynne is all about kindness and based on the true stories of small rural townships like Pyramid Hill, Nhill and Strathbogie that have revitalized their diminishing communities by inviting refugees and immigrants to make these places their homes.

Milly narrates the story and tells us all about her wonderful home called Gong Gong: “so nice, they named it twice” is a repeated refrain throughout the book.

Milly is a member of a basketball team whose players are all called Chloe! That is not a big problem, until one by one, members of the team move away to live in the city. Milly’s parents explain that sometimes families move because there is more work in the city and sometimes they move to be closer to larger communities.

At school Milly learns about refugees, war, famine and persecution. Observing all the space available in her hometown, the houses for rent and job vacancies, Milly decides to invite refugees to come and try country living. Milly makes a video with her Granny Mac, they send it out to the world, and wait and wait.

Soon, refugees are coming to Gong Gong by the carload and a township that was diminishing is revitalized with the influx of new families, some of whom play basketball! This is a wonderful story about people being kind to people and the amazing things that can happen when we embrace diversity in our lives.

Tony Flowers created the illustrations for this book and took inspiration for his images from exploring small Tasmanian country towns. Also take a close look at the end papers and check out the Flowers Bakery in the “video”, apparently it’s a tribute to Tony’s baking skills and the fact that his family owned a bakery in Victoria from the late 1800s to early 1920. Phillip Gwynne is an Australian author and best known for his YA novel Deadly Unna?

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 4-8 years and below I have included suggestions for other picture books which explore the theme of kindness:

Finding Kindness
by Deborah Underwood
Illustrated by Irene Chan

Kindness Grows
by Britta Teckentrup

A Sick Day for Amos McGee
by Philip C. Stead
Illustrated by Erin E. Stead

How to Heal a Broken Wing
by Bob Graham

Make Way for the Ducklings
by Robert McCloskey

Enemy Pie by Derek Munson Illustrated by Tara Calahan King

How Kind! by Mary Murphy

All Are Welcome by
Alexandra Penfold
Illustrated by Suzanne Kaufman

The Farmer and the Clown
by Marla Frazee

Should I Share My Ice Cream?
by Mo Willems

Counting Kindness: Ten Ways to Welcome Refugee Children
by Hollis Kurman
Illustrated by Barroux

Be Kind by Pat Zietlow Miller Illustrated by Jen Hill

Cori Doerrfeld: Say Goodbye…Say Hello

Illustrated by the author

Published by Scallywag Press Ltd, London, 2020

Have you ever watched Sliding Doors? I’ll never forget Gwyneth Paltrow missing the train in one version of the story and catching the train in the other. The changes in her life all hinged on that one event. Does it make you wonder if this is the same for all of us? Life can feel like it is full of opening and closing doors. Simple decisions we make everyday have the potential to take us along different paths. Big decisions can too but we make them more consciously and we take time to weigh up the potential consequences of our choices, so I suppose it feels like we are more in control, but are we really?

This picture book by Cori Doerrfeld explores the ending and beginning of new experiences. Sometimes we have to say goodbye in order to say hullo. Sometimes, a fun day has to end so that we can embrace the cosiness of night-time.  Sometimes the loss of something or someone special can leave you feeling empty, but also gives a friend the opportunity to offer you comfort and friendship. Experiences that end or begin, whether we want them to or not, whether we planned them or not, can change our lives in ways that we can’t even imagine.

These are difficult concepts for children to understand but the various scenarios presented in this picture book are engagingly illustrated and cleverly chosen. In some ways, the different scenarios are like abstract opposites. Saying goodbye to sitting alone and saying hullo to sitting together. Saying goodbye to frozen snowmen and saying hullo to watery puddles. Saying goodbye to giving up and saying hullo to giving it one more try.

I love the acknowledgment that goodbyes can be sad and not something that you want to experience. Because who knows what is around the corner? It could be worse. But it could be better. Having a conversation like that with your child is one worth having, because life is not all honey and crumpets, and this picture book will certainly get the conversation started!

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 4-8 years and below are more suggestions for books which explore the themes of leave taking, life changing experiences and saying goodbye:

Goodbye House Hello House by Margaret Wild
Illustrated by Ann James

Clare’s Goodbye by Libby Gleeson Illustrated by Anna Pignataro

Leave Taking by Lorraine Marwood

Gotta Go, Buffalo: A Silly Book of Fun Goodbyes
by Kevin and Haily Meyers

Oh No! Time to Go! A Book of Goodbyes by Rebecca Doughty

The Goodbye Book by Todd Parr

Moving Molly by Shirley Hughes

Oliver and Patch
by Clare Freedman
Illustrated by Kate Hindley

Alexnader, Who’s Not (Do you hear me? I mean it!) Going to Move
by Judith Viorst
Illustrated by Robin Priess Glasser

A House for Hermit Crab
by Eric Carle

Margaret Wild: Pink!

Illustrated by Judith Rossell

Published by Harper Collins Children’s Books, Australia, 2020

A.A.Milne once said, “The things that make me different are the things that make me.”

How hard it is to accept that universal truth! Our differences define us, but they can also keep us separate. The colour of our skin, whether we are very tall or very short, too skinny or too large, too shy or too loud, the language we speak and the land we come from, are just some of the things that can contrive to make us unique. Can we be different and still fit in, can we still be part of the whole and retain our uniqueness?

In this story we are introduced to Pink. She is a small dinosaur, born the colour pink to very green dinosaur parents. Wonderfully, they love her just the same, her colour making no difference, in fact, they believe it makes Pink more beautiful, pretty and sweet.

But as Pink grows, she begins to realise that being pink can have its disadvantages.

Especially when playing hide-and-seek. Everyone can see her because, unlike all the other dinosaurs who are brown or green or blue, Pink cannot hide in the undergrowth of the forest. This makes Pink sad. Her mum has good advice however: “Try being happy with who you are.”

One dark afternoon when Pink is playing with her friends in the forest, they realise they are lost. How will they find their way home? Pink uses her wits and her colour to come up with a plan that will save them all.

I think we all need to be reminded that being who you are, with all your strengths and weaknesses, is part of the wonderful package of you. The things that make you different, also make you unique. There is no one else like you and isn’t that just marvellous?

I can highly recommend this picture book for children 4-8 years and here are more suggestions for stories that explore the idea of individualism and being different:

The Day You Begin by
Jacqueline Woodson
Illustrated by
Rafael Lopez
I Love Me by
Sally Morgan
Illustrated by
Ambelin Kwaymullina
Thelma the Unicorn by
Aaron Blabey
Stellaluna by
Janell Cannon
Chrysanthemum
by Kevin Henkes
The Smeds and the Smoos
by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by
Axel Scheffler
Whoever You Are
by Mem Fox
Illustrated by
Leslie Staub
Same, but little bit diff’rent
by Kylie Dunstan