Showing posts with label love. Show all posts
Showing posts with label love. Show all posts

Sunday, 4 June 2017

Me and You

Me and You by Deborah Kelly, illustrated by Karen Blair (Viking) HB RRP $24.99   ISBN 9780670079247

Reviewed by Kylie Buckley

So much love packed into one book! Deborah Kelly and Karen Blair have teamed up for the first time to create this beautiful tale of love, togetherness and the simple things in life. The gorgeous endpapers set the mood for this heart-warming reflection on early childhood. The story is told through the eyes of a fun-loving young girl who has overwhelming gratitude for spending time with those closest to her. It divinely reinforces the old adage that ‘children love your presence more than your presents.’

Throughout the book, we see images of the little girl’s fun-filled days with her parents, grandparents, cousins, neighbours and dog as she describes the many everyday experiences that clearly fill her heart with joy.

‘I love our arty-crafty days, our cut-and-paste and colour days, making things all kinds of ways with scissors, paint and glue.’

Me and You
is written in verse and is beautifully illustrated using pencil and soft watercolours. This picture book makes a great bedtime story, best read snuggled up with your little one. This story may even encourage them to reflect on their own relationships and start a conversation about what they love about their days! This book is suitable for children aged 3-6 and is sure to bring a smile to anyone’s face.








Saturday, 25 March 2017

Bone Gap



Bone Gap by Laura Ruby (Allen and Unwin) PB RRP $19.99
ISBN 9780571332755

Reviewed by Daniela Andrews

The phrase ‘never judge a book by its cover’ need not apply to this one. I was drawn to this book as soon as I saw the cover, and I wasn’t disappointed. Cornfields, beehives and a dark horse … I couldn’t figure out how it all fit together, but I knew I wanted to find out.

This alluring novel is best described as magical realism – it is a little fairytale-like, at times, and starkly realistic at others. It targets readers aged 14–18, and raises themes of family, love and self-worth.

It is a highly original, unusual tale set in a town called ‘Bone Gap’, where ‘the bones of the world’ are ‘a little looser’ and where people can simply fall away and disappear. Finn O’Sullivan is a handsome teenage boy who the locals are fond of, despite declaring him nutty. They call him ‘Sidetrack’ and ‘Moonface’ because he won’t look people in the eye. Finn lives with his older brother, Sean, whom the town adores. 

When a young, beautiful girl called Roza appears in their barn, she charms the entire town with her beauty and playfulness. Then she is kidnapped and everybody is devastated. Finn was there but he can’t describe the kidnapper. Locals know that Bone Gap is full of magical ‘spaces one could slip into and hide’ … perhaps Roza simply disappeared as mysteriously as she arrived.

Finn is frustrated that nobody believes him – especially Sean, who was in love with her. When a magical horse appears in their barn one night, it leads Finn to Petey Willis, the beekeeper’s daughter, whom the townspeople taunt for her erratic appearance and behaviour. Finn and Petey fall in love, and she uncovers a remarkable truth about him. When Roza’s kidnapper turns up, Finn realises he himself needs to slip away from his world in order to find her.

Laura Ruby treats us to insights from Sean, Petey and Charlie Valentine (the town veteran), but the majority of the novel is told from Finn and Roza’s perspectives. She expertly overlaps the slow, mystical setting of Finn’s world with Roza’s frantic attempts to escape her captor. The effect creates a very gripping novel, making it a well-deserving winner of the 2016 ‘Michael L. Printz Award’.


Sunday, 8 January 2017

Ida, Always

Ida, always by Caron Levis, Illustrated by Charles Santoso (Koala Books)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 978-1-74276-190-9

Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Gus is a polar bear who lives in the New York City Zoo. Ida is his best friend. Every day they swim together, play together, sit together, cuddle, watch and listen to the world around them from their home. Then one day, Ida is not there when Gus emerges from his sleeping quarters.

Based on a pair of real polar bears in New York City’s Central Zoo, Ida, always is a stunning, poignant, breath-taking picture book about friendship, love and death.
The writing is beautiful:
Gus lived in a big park in the middle of an even bigger city. Buildings grew around him and shifted the shape of the sky. Zookeepers poked in and out. Visitors came and went.

The words have a lyrical and rhythmic quality,  and evoke strong images and powerful emotions. They read smoothly and portray the noises of the city, ‘the city’s heartbeat’, the connection between the two bears as well as with the keeper, and with the visitors as well.

The illustrations glow. The emotion of the story is emphasised by these beautiful and moving pictures. The bond between the two friends can be seen strongly and these illustrations capture their togetherness, their care, and the eventual loneliness of Gus, not only through the images but also with the use of colour throughout the pages.

It is not often that a picture book moves me to tears. This one did every time. Even on today’s fourth read I sobbed. An adult reader may like to read it to themselves first, before sharing it with a younger reader. But please do share it; there is so much to gain from this story. It is not just sad; there is friendship, love and hope offered.

This is one of the best picture books I have read all year. Its text and illustrations work together to create an amazing reading experience.




Sunday, 10 April 2016

I Am Doodle Cat

I Am Doodle Cat written by Kat Patrick and illustrated by Lauren Marriott (Scribe) HB ISBN 9781925321258

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

Doodle Cat is a big squarish solid red creature featured on every page dancing, playing drums and showing its love of sun-baking, and hugging trees and its friends. Most pages show lots of white space but now and again there are colours other than red, for instance where there are many examples of things Doodle Cat loves, such as fish-shaped biscuits, toy mice, birds and a 20-metre ball of string. Most pages there is a picture of the cat with a simple one sentence text – ‘I love lentils’, ‘I love baths.’ 

The penultimate double-paged spread shows dozens of other cats of all different sizes, shapes and colours. In the final spread are lots of facts that pertain to certain sections of the book. For example, Doodle Cat has said ‘I love farts’ so that there is a paragraph which tells the reader that ‘the average person produces  a litre of farts a day.’ There are also facts about fractals (a never ending pattern that looks the same at any size), trees, friends, the ocean, stars, difference and me (‘I love me’). The last sentence invites the reader to start a list of all things ‘you like best about yourself.’

What this reader liked most about this book were the double-page red-coloured fly pages with a pattern of dozens of cats in all kinds of poses.

The readership of this book is most likely anyone who adores cats, but it’s appeal other than that would seem to be limited.


Tuesday, 29 December 2015

Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast retold by Margrete Lamond (story by Jeanne-Marie Leprince De Beaumont), illustrated by Anna Pignataro (Little Hare Books)
HB RRP $12.95
ISBN 9781921894886

Reviewed by J. Wishart

From the ‘Once upon a timeless tale’ series published by Little Hare books, Beauty and the Beast offers a timeless tale of love, integrity and duty. Retold by Margrete Lamond (from the original story by Jeanne-Marie Leprince De Beaumont), with full page illustrations by Anna Pignataro, Beauty and the Beast is attractively hardbound, and would make a good stocking-filler or gift book for readers who might like to collect the series.

Pignataro’s illustrations are a striking combination of watercolour and collage, with still-visible sketch-lines that give them movement and immediacy. The muted colours mixed with snippets of vintage fabric also highlight the artwork’s handmade quality; and effectively complement the story of a once-wealthy merchant’s daughter, who is condemned to live out her life with an unappealing suitor.

The personal qualities of the cast are well contrasted by Beauty’s two aspiring, and later, bitter and jealous, sisters, while Beauty is characterised by her consistent humbleness and loyalty to her father. She willingly sacrifices herself to live with the Beast, and, in time, comes to fear him less. As with many beloved fairy tales, things are not what they appear to be – but Beauty is ultimately rewarded for her honesty and open-heartedness.

This telling of the well-known tale is refreshed with light humour, and condensed to the length of a middle-grade reader – also making it an ideal book for busy grownups to enjoy over a cup of tea. With illustrations that evoke the mystery and opulence of the Beast’s mansion and the drama of the dilemmas faced by the characters, this charming version of the classic tale will be sure to please.


Tuesday, 6 October 2015

Sad, the Dog

Sad, the Dog by Sandy Fussell, illustrated by Tull Suwannakit (Walker Books)
HC RRP $ 24.95
ISBN 9781921529641

Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

Sandy Fussell, author of the outstanding Samurai Kids series, has created her first children’s picture book. And what a debut! She makes an impression with strong messages, fantastic characters and moving themes.

Perception is everything for Sad the dog. How he perceives himself and his actions is in total contrast to how his owners, the Cripps, perceive things. ‘Hey, you!’ and ‘Dog!’ is what they call him. Unwanted and unnamed, he passes his days in an emotionless environment. His presence is barely tolerated. He is reprimanded continuously for simply doing dog things. Though he is fed and kept clean, he isn’t loved. He calls himself Sad.

One day Mr and Mrs Cripps simply pack up everything and drive away, leaving Sad alone and distraught at the house.

The arrival of a new family the following day makes Sad afraid, even when the young boy Jack, smiles at him. That night Jack introduces himself to the dog, and lays a path of dog biscuits that lead to a comfy bed. Next day the boy is still kind. Sad can tell by his tickling hand behind his ear. Jack plays with him. They dig in the yard and sail in boxes on dry land. And when Sad barks, no one reprimands him. Sad hears Jack name him Lucky, and knows his days of sadness are over.

Addressing themes of loneliness, friendship and love, this brilliant debut picture book gives the promise of new beginnings, both in the character’s and the writer’s life. Thai illustrator Tull Suwannakit’s second book with an Australian publisher is sure to set his career on fire, due to this exceptional translation of Fussell’s text.

Muted shades of brown, green and ochre, dominate the watercolour illustrations. The full page artwork enhances the emotional expressions on the character’s faces. The harshness of Sad’s keepers is perfectly portrayed in strong, sharp lines of their facial expressions and body language. The boy’s adoration for the dog he sees as a gift that came with the house and a new life is depicted in every scene. Simply perfect!


Friday, 10 July 2015

Lara of Newtown

Lara of Newtown by Chris McKimmie (Allen & Unwin 2015)
HB RRP $29.99
ISBN: 9781760112325

Reviewed by Jade Harmer

Lara of Newtown is a strikingly quirky picture book about a cat trying to find a forever home. Not just any cat, but a beautifully unique, hand-drawn cat in a unique, hand-drawn town.

The first time I read this story I found it so sad, and it is in many ways. Upon a second and third read though, it struck me that this is a story of hope. McKimmie doesn’t pull any punches in conveying the cat’s abandonment. Her loneliness and desire to be loved is palpable. Things might not work out with Nana Banana or Noni Nice, but McKimmie’s endearing feline protagonist ultimately finds her happy place with the eccentric Kafoopses. She is happy as Larry, or Lara, as named by her forever family.

McKimmie tackles themes of identity, belonging and love in such a fresh and imaginative way. His bustling collages and array of erratic font choices can be overwhelming, but hidden elements of humour help to soften the harsh reality of Lara’s situation.

As this story has the potential to evoke many questions and feelings from younger children, and there are many references within the collages with adult appeal, it is a good one to read together. It will leave everyone feeling safe and warm like the lovely Lara, who thinks she is a ‘lucky boots’.


Tuesday, 28 April 2015

The Anzac Puppy

The Anzac Puppy by Peter Millett, Illustrated by Trish Bowles (Scholastic NZ)
PB RRP $15.99
ISBN 978-1-77543-097-1
Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

'In the middle of the night, in the middle of the winter, in the middle of a war, a puppy was born.'
Lucy names the puppy Freda but sadly the family cannot afford to keep her so a passing young soldier, Sam, adopts her and takes her with him to war. Sam and Freda become fast friends, comforting each other through harsh times on the battle front, with Freda becoming a mascot for all the young men fighting in the trenches.
The Anzac Puppy is a beautifully written book. It is a story about the realities of war, the hardships, the friendships and love. It has wonderful sentence construction with much internal repetition such as 'The long, cold nights at the front soon turned into long, terrifying months'. This is a lovely story to read.
The illustrations are soft and sensitive, depicting the emotions of people along with the bleakness and isolation of war and the warmth of reunion.
Inspired by the true story of Freda, a Great Dane who was mascot to the NZ Rifle Brigade during World War I, the author has done meticulous research. The facts of this ‘real’ Freda are given in an equally readable illustrated double page spread at the back of the book.
Ending on a positive note, the echoing of the story’s beginning creates a satisfying conclusion which will appeal to early primary aged children, especially dog lovers.


Monday, 27 April 2015

Nanna’s Boot Camp

Nanna’s Boot Camp by Vicki Griffin (Morris Publishing) 
PB RRP $15.00
ISBN 9780987543462
Reviewed by Francine Sculli

When one hears boot camp these days, we automatically think of sweat, tears and lycra. But Vicki Griffin’s Nanna’s Boot Camp brings a whole new meaning to bootcamp, a softer and subtler feeling that oozes the warmth only a grandmother could.  And when it comes to grandmothers, we know that there is wisdom they carry that no-one else does, like a secret society passed on through the generations.

All this is what makes Nanna’s Boot Camp a simple and lovely tale that celebrates this very essence. And it brings a whole new meaning to the teens that visit Nanna’s boot camp one holiday. Apprehensive at first, the teens are confronted by the storm brewing in the sky and the large tent set up with boots piled up outside its doors. But the smell of damper wafting through the air and the warmth of Nanna’s voice eases them into the experience.

Nanna guides the teens through an experience they won’t get anywhere else – catching prawns in the creek at dusk, guided by the light of an old kerosene lamp, and cooking by the angry flames of an outdoor fire pit. It  is here, by the fire, that they uncover the story of the boots and the particularly large single boot they are all mystified by, as Nanna passes on the tales of all the mobs that have come before them and lost their in the muddy banks of the creek. This presents a beautiful moment, as the traditions of oral storytelling seep through the pages. The teens meet owner – Uncle Joe – who ventures off for more fishing in the creek, only to re-emerge barefoot and proud to say that his boots will rest there until the dry season comes. The teens leave Nanna’s boot camp endowed with knowledge about the creek, fishing, boots and the seasons.

Nanna’s Boot Camp is written in simple language and is a simple story to follow. There were moments in the story where I wanted to know even more about the traditions of the land, but this is a great entry-level text to expose children to the wonders of living off the land and the traditions that go with it. Nanna is a strong character and her presence is felt, driving the book with an equally strong Indigenous storytelling element that is brought to life with Vicki Griffin’s colourful and dynamic illustrations.


Sunday, 8 March 2015

A Dolphin for Naia

A Dolphin for Naia by Northern Beach Writers’ Group
(Self-Published) 
PB RRP $15.99
ISBN 978-0-9942006-1-7
Reviewed by Francine Sculli

When a book conjures multiple story questions and powerful themes that leave you yearning for the answers in the first few pages, you know that you are in for an absorbing read -- which is exactly how A Dolphin for Naia starts.

Within moments of opening this novella, I was chasing the answers to the story questions raised: What happened to Naia? Where are Grams and Mase going? Who is the Parliament? Why have this family separated and why is Mase so angry with his parents? These questions create a flawless narrative tension that drive through the book like an unrelenting heartbeat.

We travel right by our thirteen-year-old protagonist Mase’s side, on a mysterious and hair-raising adventure as he searches for some of these answers himself. A year after losing his little sister Naia, we are thrown head first into the family dynamics as Mase and his Grams take on the important job of decoding his parent’s cryptic messages and driving a truck across New South Wales to deliver his parent’s very important invention to them in Manly; a dolphin-looking robotic that has seemingly made Mase’s life hell for the past year.

But as Mase and his Gram zoom down the highway – escaping waiters, receiving text messages from the robotic dolphin, recruiting the services of old circus folk, breaking down and calling on “the parliament” for an emergency escape –  the answers start to present themselves to Mase and the very thing he once thought was the reason for his family splitting apart quickly becomes the thing that brings them back together. The dolphin holds a lot more importance than Mase could ever have imagined and when he is finally reunited with his parents at Manly Beach, he discovers that they too have been coming to grips with the death of Naia and fighting for the very thing Mase wished for – his sister to be with them.

A Dolphin for Naia is more than just a thrill-a-minute. It’s a touching tale of the love, family, memory and loss and all the tiny things that connect us. The Northern Beach Writers Group has outdone itself for their second co-written and co-illustrated teenage novella, and it is hardly surprising that this book has taken out the 2014 WABIAD prize for ‘Best Book.


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The Boy On The Page

The Boy On The Page written and illustrated by Peter Carnavas (New Frontier Publishing)
HB RRP $24.95
ISBN – 9781921928468
Reviewed by Emma Cameron

‘One quiet morning, a small boy landed on the page.’  This story’s opening is as captivating as the image of that small boy landing all alone in all that white space. Instantly drawn into this unnamed character’s world I travelled alongside him as pages turned and black pencil combined with watercolour, unfolding his life. His time is filled with the mundane as well as the magical and, because of this, that small boy represents every one of us.

Carnavas has created a perfect balance between the whimsy and humour found in the visual and the written deep life question of why we are here and what life is all about. At first, being so young, the boy observes what is around him. As he grows he embraces life all the more. He gardens, rides horses, paddles canoes, catches fish, plays in a band. He grows up to climb mountains, fall in love, make a family, build a home, care for pets. He provides so much for so many others. Yet he’s still puzzled by one thought.

Trying to work out why he is here he jumps off the page! If you think kids won’t get the deeper aspects of this work, you’ll see that they do as the power of this moment hits home. Readers become immersed in stillness when they see the man’s two ever-present companions, a little bird and a piglet, confused and deflated in the far corner of a wordless double page white spread once he’s jumped off the page. Turning to the next page, however, satisfies readers and the man, as it answers his question.

How so? I’m glad you asked. The next spread shows the man has tumbled straight back, finding himself surrounded by ‘everything he had ever made, every animal he had ever cared for and every person he had ever loved.’ The realisation that we are all here to be loved and to love others right back is clear and this work is a masterpiece to be enjoyed at any and every age.

Friday, 15 February 2013

Dessi’s Romance


Dessi’s Romance by Goldie Alexander (Indra Publications)
Ebook US $3.99; for P.O.D. copies contact the publisher
ISBN 9781920787219
Reviewed by Nina Lim

When best friends Dessi and Emma finish year 12 they have bold dreams of celebrating at Schoolies Week together and sharing an unforgettable summer. But when a car accident lands Dessi with a broken ankle she is forced to stay behind in Melbourne while Emma goes to Surfers Paradise, and summer becomes unforgettable in ways they would never have dreamed possible.

What happens when Dessi falls in love with her best friend’s guy? Abdul is so exotic and charming, she finds him utterly irresistible. Should she follow her heart or ignore her burning feelings for him? To complicate matters further, Abdul’s family are less than impressed when he brings her home to meet them. How far should she take this new relationship? Or does she risk losing everything?

Meanwhile, in Surfers Paradise, Emma is grappling with her thoughts about meeting her Dad again and his new wife. And why is her good friend Sasha acting differently? Something important has changed about him. When her Mum is diagnosed with a serious illness Emma returns home and is faced with Dessi’s duplicity.

This novel delivers eloquently on many of the topical issues affecting young adults today. Themes of love and friendship, betrayal and deception, religion and acceptance, sexuality and identity interweave to create a compelling narrative. As Dessi and Emma come of age, they learn not only about themselves, but the wider world around them.

Monday, 14 January 2013

Bernie and Flora

Bernie and Flora written and illustrated by Annemie Berebrouckx, translated by Laura Watkinson (Book Island)
PB RRP NZ$19.99 AU$15.99
ISBN 9780987669612
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Gorgeous, gorgeous, gorgeous. Bernie Loves Flora is a picture book that will fill your heart with joy. The story of Bernie the bear, Flora the duck and a flower garden is one of sharing and the 'warm glow, deep inside' received from true love and friendship.

Flora and Bernie are best friends and Flora loves nothing more than helping Bernie in his flower garden. So when she arrives one morning to discover his flowers have vanished, and no sign of Bernie, she rushes off to find who has done this dreadful thing. She questions Bernie's friends but to no avail.

With the warm glow inside Flora now gone, she returns to her own home to find Bernie inside, surrounded by masses of flowers from his garden. He declares his love and asks Flora to live with him and 'the two of us together can make a garden full of beautiful flowers'. It is an offer Flora gladly accepts.

The text throughout is beautiful. Lovers of gardens will identify with 'he breathes in the scent of the flowers and feels the joys of spring tickling inside his tummy' and Belgian Annemie Berebrouckx's gorgeous illustrations truly represent this with flowers spilling across the pages. The manner in which Ms Berebrouckx captures the the emotions of Bernie, and particularly Flora as she experiences feelings of joy, outrage, surprise and contentment, is superb. The illustrations are highlighted by plenty of white space so, despite their colour and intensity, they are not overwhelming to younger readers.

Bernie and Flora has been translated into English from the original Dutch and is one of the three inaugural releases of newly established independent New Zealand publisher, Book Island, which focuses on translations of outstanding children's books. (Read my review of another top Book Island release, Sammy and the Skyscraper Sandwich.) 

Bernie and Flora is the first book in a series and comes with a colouring-in page. An additional nice touch is the inclusion of meanings of the names Bernie and Flora as well as the meanings of particular flowers. I highly recommend Bernie and Flora as a gentle and heart-warming story.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Life, Death and Detention: Short Stories about School and Other Stuff


Life, Death and Detention Life, Death and Detention by George Ivanoff (Morris Publishing Australia)
PB RRP $15.95
ISBN 9780987244499
Reviewed by Anastasia Gonis

This book was George Ivanoff’s first book, published in 1999. He has written over 50 books since then. Although out of print for some time, it has been on the Victorian Premier’s Reading Challenge since it began in 2005. It’s reprinting is welcome because of the excellent content of the stories.

Confronting, powerful, poignant, and at times shocking, it contains ten stories about school life and all the terrors faced by youth during those educational years, the result of bullying, the absence of duty of care from teachers and headmasters, and peer pressure. These stories have strong themes including, attempted suicide, grief/mourning and love, the angst of first love, and loss.

An interesting thing about these stories is the Afterword by the author, where he addresses the reader with a short response to the story; a note about the reason for the ‘deliberate uncertain ending’. This is meant to draw the attention of the young reader to the various outcomes, how the situation depicted can have many endings, depending on the reaction of the victim and ‘the other/s’ involved.

The only story that is unrelated to the rest is the slightly Sci Fi, Sugar. All the rest are within the boundaries of school and schoolyard. Ghosts is a slightly different slant on coping with grief, and The Writing’s on the Wall is about conversational graffiti, although both stories are set inside the school boundaries.

Ivanoff, although having moved the stories into the 21st Century, and having edited some prose where it was not clear due to his earlier inexperience as a writer, has remained true to the original contents of the book in this revised edition.

This is an impressive collection of stories, highly recommended by the reviewer to anyone wishing to understand the separate world of school bullies, the absence of care and interest for young people’s dilemmas, and the chaos of young lives biding time behind the boundaries of schools, where changes may occur slowly, but seem never-ending.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

Book Review: 30 Things My Mum Taught Me

30 Things My Mum Taught Me 30 Things My Mum Taught Me by Denis and Ian Baker (Jane Curry Publishing)
PB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9780987227508
Reviewed by Vicki Stanton

Just in time for Mother's Day, 30 Things My Mum Taught Me  is a heart-warming (and at times tear jerking) book of cherished memories, words of wisdom and stories of Dorothy Josephine Mitchell, the mother of the authors. However, the book is more than a homage from sons to their mum. It is a celebration of all mothers and the joy and guidance they bring to the world as women, wives and mothers.

Reflections on family life are at the heart of this book. Throughout the book there are pages where readers can add their thoughts about their own mother. The Bakers have also included some of their mother's recipes (I particularly like the look of the recipe for lamb shanks) and there is space provided to record personal recipes.

30 Things My Mum Taught Me is the companion book to the previously released 30 Things My Dad Taught Me (You can read the Buzz Words Books review here.)

Tuesday, 9 November 2010

Kisses for Daddy

Kisses for Daddy by Frances Watts, illustrated by David Legge (Little Hare Books)
HB RRP $14.99
ISBN 978-1-921541-63-6
Reviewed by Simone Zmood

Kisses for Daddy is a delightful book from an award-winning duo.  It was first published in 2005 and has been repackaged in hard cover as the fourth title in Little Hare’s “My Little Library” collection of books on kisses and love.

Baby Bear was feeling out of sorts and didn’t want to cooperate with his parents in going to bed.  He reluctantly gave his mother a kiss goodnight but steadfastly refused to give his dad one.  So his father transforms the bedtime routine into a game, trying to get a kiss at each step along the way by imagining the type of kiss that other baby animals would give their dads.

When Daddy Bear picks Baby Bear up, he requests a long, tall giraffe kiss.  While carrying him up the stairs Daddy asks for a cuddly, clingy koala kiss.  As they bathe together Daddy suggests a snappy, watery crocodile kiss.  Baby bear is clearly having fun but still refuses to give his dad an upside down bat kiss while they dry off.  No stripy, growly tiger kiss is forthcoming while they brush their teeth.  As he dresses Baby Bear in his pyjamas, Daddy suggest a jumpy, wriggly monkey kiss.  He then asks for a tiny, whiskery mouse kiss as he tucks Baby Bear into bed, but all to no avail.  By now Baby Bear has got over his original grumbles and he has the last laugh.  It is only as Daddy Bear is about to leave the room that Baby Bear offers a big bear kiss and a big bear hug to say goodnight.

Kisses for Daddy is filled with warm edge-to-edge illustrations and the bears look so soft, anyone would want to have a cuddle.  The black text is set at the top of each page and sits nicely on the backgrounds of the whole-page illustrations.  This is a lovely book which can be read to toddlers and pre-readers at any time of day. It could be particularly helpful for those who are parenting reluctant bed-goers and provides a wonderful role play opportunity to use when standard bedtime routines aren’t working.  Thank goodness for imaginative parents!