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Put Me in the Zoo by Robert Lopshire is a childhood favourite of mine that I was quick to add to the bookshelves of my own kids. Two children follow the exploits of a mysterious creature who is trying prove to them why he belongs at the zoo. Spots fly here, there and everywhere in this funny, rhyming classic.
Meg and Mog by Helen Nicoll and Jan Pienkowski is another book I enjoyed as a child. Meg has to get ready for her day. She gets out of bed, puts on her clothes, heads down the stairs, steps on Mog's tail - MEEEOW! It's bright illustrations and simple story will please most preschoolers.
Banjo and Ruby Red by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood is a beautifully illustrated picture book rich in themes (farm life, friendship, loss/grief) making it the perfect addition to any book shelf. I'd first writtten about this book in the lead up to Book Week in 2014 after using it to teaching young children reading comprehension strategies.
The Runaway Hug by Nick Bland and Freya Blackwood was the Children's Book Council of Australia's Early Childhood Book of the Year and a deserving winner too. It's such a beautifully crafted book. Lucy is getting ready for bed and asks her mum for a hug before bed. Her mum lends Lucy her very last hug provided she returns it. Lucy then shares the hug with the rest of her family but then Annie, the family's mischievous dog, steals the last hug and runs off with it. Lucy chases her down the hall and up the stairs and in and out of every bedroom to get the hug back. A great bedtime read but perfect in the Early Years classroom too.
Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes and Stephen Michael King is a lovely rhyme filled repetitive text which follows three friends as they make their way through a scary night past the cool and rocky cave, across the creek, over hill and dale, through the woods and down the trail. A great read aloud that was shortlisted 2015 Book Week.
Bears in the Night by Stan and Jan Berenstain is another classic picture book perfect for teaching children spatial concepts with enough slapstick humor thrown in to keep kids engaged. Their book Inside Outside Upside Down is another good buy for teaching prepositions.
Sam and Dave Dig a Hole by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen quickly became one of our favourite books of 2015. It's a great read aloud which follow Sam and Dave as they dig a hole. They will not stop until they find something spectacular! It's not as rich in prepositions as some books but it's a great one for direction and it's just so funny we had to include it here.
Joey and Jet by James Yang is an simple read great for beginning readers. It follows the story of a boy (Joey) and his dog (Jet). Joey has a ball and loves to throw it. Jet loves to chase the ball through the trees, up the hill, between the tables and into a hole.
Spot Goes to the Farm by Eric Hill follows the same formula as many of the Spot books making them perfect for preschoolers. This time Spot is on the farm looking for baby animals in the barn, behind the bush, in the straw. In all sorts of places except the pond - Get out of the pond, Spot!
Outside the US? We recommend The Book Depository
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