Recommended kids books, news & resources for April
This month we have a gorgeous crafty Easter book, a picture book to bring a smile to your face and heartfelt middle grade fiction.
Find our April picks for YA books here.
FIVE KIDS BOOKS TO READ THIS MONTH
Beautiful Eggs by Alice Lindstrom
Learn all about egg decorating traditions from around in the world in this big and gorgeous board book. Kids can travel to Latvia, Czech Republic, Greece, Japan, Mexico and other countries with each double-page spread, illustrated by Melbourne artist Lindstrom in a colourful and folky cut-paper style. The simple text imparts ideas about materials that can be used (leaves, lace, flowers, string and straw) and patterns to try (stars, crosses, crescent moons and spider webs). Complete with two stencils, this book simply won’t fail to inspire kids to spend hours creating their own beautiful eggs at home. This is a craft book that will last long past Easter!
For ages 4 and up.
Your Birthday Was the Best! by Maggie Hutchings & Felicita Sala
Things seem destined to go rather poorly when a happy-go-lucky cockroach crashes a birthday party, especially when Dad pulls out the vacuum cleaner! This delightful, gross and truly hilarious picture book riffs on the known resilience of cockroaches, and is illustrated by Felicita Sala who is already a Readings favourite thanks to her kids cookbook, Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street. Our reviewer Kim urges people of all ages to read it, saying: ‘It’s an uplifting story with an insect protagonist that always looks on the bright side of life.’
You can read Kim’s full review here.
For ages 3 and up.
Landing with Wings by Trace Balla
Trace Balla is the author of two amazing nature-themed graphic novels, Rivertime and Rockhopping, so it’s fair to say we are very excited about her new book, Landing with Wings. Mira and her mum move to the goldfields to the west of Melbourne, on Dja Dja Wurrung country. Slowly mother and daughter make friends, meet neighbours, put down roots, commune with nature and find their place in the community. With lots of fascinating details about frogs and birds, plants and traditional language, our reviewer Angela described this as ‘a culturally rich and absolutely delightful visual story of the joys of engaging with nature and community.’
You can read Angela’s full review here.
For ages 7 and up.
The List of Things that Will Not Change by Rebecca Stead
12-year-old Bea reflects on life since her parent’s divorce and the many challenges conspiring to overwhelm her: family adjustments, school frustrations, struggles with spelling and eczema. With so much upheaval in her life, Bea maintains a list of things that will not change to keep her centred and reassured. But as her father’s wedding to his boyfriend Jesse approaches, Bea’s joy is clouded by a terrible secret she has kept hidden since last summer. Our reviewer Athina highly recommends this uplifting book by an award-winning author, saying that its young narrator is ‘genuine and funny and makes you laugh in a way that only the truth can.’
You can read Athina’s full review here.
For ages 10 and up.
Wink by Rob Harrell
Year Seven student Ross Maloy just wants to fit in. But after he is diagnosed with a rare eye cancer, he suddenly becomes the ‘cancer kid’ of his school. Now he has to deal with disappearing friends, social media bullies, and the threat of losing his eyesight…or worse. Based on the author’s real-life experiences, and packed with his cartoons and illustrations, this is a heartbreaking and hilarious story of survival. Our reviewer Bianca loved this heartwarming book, especially how its young protagonist ‘discovers the power of true friendship, laughter and, most importantly, music as medicine.’
You can read Bianca’s full review here.
For ages 9 and up.
NEWS, RESOURCES & RECOMMENDATIONS
We know there’s a lot going on right now. Here are some of the bits and pieces from the world of kids books that have excited and entertained us recently.
A big congratulations is due to all the authors and illustrators on the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book of the Year Awards shortlists! You can watch the very jolly shortlist announcement here.
In our last in-person podcast episode for a while, Readings Kids shop manager Angela and I chatted about books that could help us all stay home and feel calm. Most of our picks can be found in this collection.
The wonderful Sally Rippin, author of the Billie B Brown and Polly and Buster books, has formulated a very special weekly school holiday program that is free for all! There are worksheets, activities and special events. All the details are available on Sally’s website.
And budding artists, colouring enthusiasts, graphic novel readers and, more particularly, Amulet fans, Kazu Kibuishi has made some awesome colouring pages available, for colouring manually or digitally. Find them all here.