I read to my kids every night. My eldest likes to hear a chapter of the latest fantasy novel we have found. My youngest is starting to enjoy longer books, but neither of them can go past a good picture book any night. While there is a wealth of kids books written by talented people worldwide, there is something special about a book written and illustrated by Kiwis. I guess it comes down to that unique Kiwi voice.
The books I have selected here may not be in your top five (or six), but they are some of our favourites. Maybe if you haven’t heard of any of these, you could go and check them out for yourself (click on the image for purchase).
Willbee The Bumblebee – by Craig Smith and Maureen Thomson, illustrated by Katz Cowley
Although Craig Smith’s book the Wonky Donkey is pretty iconic around here, we really love Willbee. It’s a cute story and I love that his awesome friends help him out of an embarrassing situation. My kids and I have a good giggle and it makes this book even better. It’s funny and informative, the character is lovable and it mentions the Woman’s Weekly which gives it that Kiwi flavour.
The Red Poppy – by David Hill and illustrated by Fifi Colston
This one is read throughout April to help explain ANZAC Day and the red poppies to my girls. There is a song on CD included as well, which I will play in the car too. Fifi Colston is an illustrating legend. David Hill does a good job of showing us that in war; there are human beings on both sides. There is injury mentioned if your child/ren are sensitive to that sort of thing.
What’s The Time, Dinosaur – by Ruth Paul
Paul’s related book ‘Stomp’, is also in our library, but my kids have been reading this book most recently. My youngest really identifies with the little dinosaurs and loves it if I read all their dinosaur sounds as well. There are also some hidden characters which make the kids giggle every time. I have lost count of the number of times I have had to “read it again, Mum!”.
I Need a New Bum! – by Dawn McMillan, illustrated by Ross Kinnaird
This book is just hilarious. It’s basically about a kid who has discovered that there is a crack in his bum. He then goes through the thought process of how it got there and how to fix it. The story is fun to read and will have your kids rolling about with laughter. This is not necessarily the book to read them if you want them to settle down to sleep immediately afterwards though!
The Great Egg Stink – by Kyle Mewburn and illustrated by Donovan Bixley
I really struggled to find one book by these two guys to talk about. They have done a few picture books and several chapter book series together. If your kids like dinosaurs or dragons, and gross but funny stuff then they will be a big hit. Just be aware that you might gag a little … or a lot! I did say they can be gross, right? This particular book is the start of the prequel series for Dragon Rescue. It’s written for younger readers, but unlike some early reader chapter books out there, it still feels like a good story well told.
And a new bonus book …
The Robot and the Pussycat – by A.K. McKay
I recently introduced my kids to this story. It’s about a pussycat who meets a robot and finds him to be very demanding and scary compared to his old friend. My kids enjoyed the telling of the story, though my youngest found the robot a little scary herself. There’s an important message about friendship in the story, as well as a morale about too much sugar! Pretty fun little tale.
This article was written by Kym Moore. Kym is a working mum of two, and occasional blogger. Fancies herself a writer, when she isn’t editing her kids’ vlogs or running their social media at Baby Likes Cake. Follow them on Facebook and YouTube.