The Roly-Poly Baby by Catherine Foreman, Scholastic NZ
This award-winning author/illustrator is well known for her series of picture books for the very young focusing on transport – trains, boats, etc. She’s also responsible for The Cat’s Pyjamas, which has always been a particular favourite in my household. With this book she goes back to targeting toddlers again – the baby in this book is still at the rolling stage, so that puts her well under a year old. The excellent rhyming text undulates across the pages as the baby rolls through the house and out the door, where she discovers the tiny joys of the open countryside. The illustrations are fresh and uncluttered with plenty of calming white space. The sweeps of pastel colour on the double-page spreads are light and bright. I can see this book being read by parents to toddlers who are still learning how to be mobile, and it could also be useful in pre-school centres who cater for the very young.
ISBN 978 1 77543 321 7 $19 Pb
10 Plucky Penguins Pictures by Deborah Hinde, sung by Pio Terei, Maori lyrics by Ngaere Roberts, Scholastic NZ
If you liked 10 Kooky Kiwi and 10 Goofy Geckos this picture songbook will be right up your alley. It’s more of the same. The text of the verse is provided in English and Maori, accompanied by Adobe Photoshop illustrations full of cheeky penguins and colourful sea-scapes. The accompanying CD has the song merrily sung by Pio Terei complete with guitar and background sounds. This would be a great resource for teaching te Reo Maori, and also useful for any preschool or early-primary class activity that combines singing and counting.
ISBN 978 1 77543 324 8 RRP $21 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman