Kids' Picks

A selection of new and recommended books for children

Picture Books

Image by: Rachel Kean

The Koala Who Could. Jim Field

Kevin the koala’s favourite place to be is sitting in a eucalyptus tree soaking up the sun. He has everything he needs there and likes it so much that he never ever leaves. The truth is that he is frightened of the dangers he might face if he leaves his spot. All the animals living in the bush try to encourage him to join them to play but Kevin is always stuck clinging to the same branch. However one day disaster strikes when a bird comes tap tap tapping on the tree. The tree falls and Kevin with it. Finally Kevin finds a 'can do' attitude and life becomes fun for him.

A Crocodile in the Family. Kitty Black

When a family of birds find an abandoned egg in the forest it seems only natural that they will take it home and care for it and when it hatches, even though it is a crocodile, the new creature is completely accepted as part of the family. When some of the other animals are confused and question their decision to keep the crocodile they simply answer “Because he belongs to us and that’s that”. This is a simple but meaningful story that is beautifully illustrated.

Readers 7-9

Isadora Moon Goes on Holiday. Harriet Muncaster

Isadora is half vampire and half fairy. This makes for an interesting life. When she wins an overseas vacation for her family Isadora is very excited because the holiday will include a trip on a boat.  She is thrilled while out at sea when she meets up with an old friend, a mermaid named Marina and together they team up to save the life of a baby turtle.  This great story is accompanied by many fun and quirky illustrations.

Image by: Rachel Kean

A Clue for Clara. Lian Tanner

Clara, a remarkable hen that can read and write, is desperate to become a detective. However, as her only training has been from television programmes she’s watched, her goal doesn’t come easily. When Clara teams up with Olivia, the daughter of a local policeman, things start to look up this smart chook as together they get to the bottom of some of their town’s mysteries. This is a hilarious and entertaining story and, as unlikely as it seems, Clara leads a fascinating existence.

Readers 10 +

Image by: Rachel Kean

Small Spaces Katherine Arden

Ollie gets more than she bargains for when she meets a woman trying to throw a book into the river. Ollie snatches it and the woman warns her to “keep to small spaces or see what happens...” The book tells of a girl called Beth and two brothers who fall in love with her, but one mysteriously disappears. On a school visit to Mist Valley Farm she recognises the woman who she took the book from and when the bus breaks down on the way home things get really scary. Soon Ollie is running to find any small space to hide in. Why? Read it and find out! Fun and perfectly terrifying.

A Secret of Birds and Bones. Kiran Millwood Hargrave

Sophia lives in Italy. In her world everything is made of bone, both animal and human. Her mother is a skilled craftswoman who uses bone to create all kinds of special treasures. Sophia and her brother have to stay at home because her mother is terrified that her children will catch smallpox. Apart from this all is well until one day her mother reluctantly accepts a mysterious assignment from a stranger, a woman who holds much power. Just as the work comes to an end and life is promising to become easier something terrible happens: Sophia’s mother doesn’t come home. This is an intriguing story that once started is difficult to put down. Highly recommended.