Saturday, 23 February 2019

Kiddie's Corner: Mini Reviews #3

The Go Away Bird by Julia Donaldson


Release Date: March 7th 2019

A gorgeous story about friendship and working together from a star picture-book partnership, the inimitable Julia Donaldson and award-winning Catherine Rayner.

‘The Go-Away bird sat up in her nest, With her fine grey wings and her fine grey crest.’ One by one, the other birds fly into her tree, wanting to talk or to play, but the Go-Away bird just shakes her head and sends them all away. But then the dangerous Get-You bird comes along, and she soon realizes that she might need some friends after all . . .

The Go-Away Bird combines brilliant rhyming verse from much-loved children’s author Julia Donaldson, creator of the bestselling picture books The Gruffalo and What the Ladybird Heard, with stunning illustrations from the CILIP Kate Greenaway Medal-winning Catherine Rayner.

A charming story about the power of friendship from a thrilling creative partnership, this beautiful book is perfect for reading together.

My Thoughts: 

Ah I loved this! It's charming, funny and it has a lovely rhythm to it as well as a lesson to be learned. 100% classic Julia Donaldson.

Now I'm going to admit, Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler are the dream team of children's books in my head (probably because their books where my son's favourites when he was little) but the pictures in The Go-Away Bird, drawn by a different artist, were beautiful and engaging and complimented the story wonderfully well forcing me to re-evaluate my knee jerk reaction that no one else can do Donaldson's books as well as he can: Catherine Rayner kicks ass.

I highly recommend this one for the little kiddos!

Kahlo's Koalas by Grace Helmer


Release Date: April 9th 2019

From Henri Matisse’s monkeys and Jackson Pollock's poodles to Roy Lichtenstein's llamas and Wassily Kandinsky’s kangaroos, this beautiful 1-10 counting book provides an imaginative learning experience that will appeal to adults and children alike.

Introduce your little one to some of the world’s best artists while teaching them their numbers 1 to 10. With illustrator Grace Helmer's quirky renderings of animals in the style of world-famous artists, Kahlo’s Koalas extends the basic counting concept in a simple, one number, one image per spread format that introduces the smallest children to their first concept of numbers, animals and art appreciation.

My Thoughts:

This book was not what I expected. I expected a book that would introduce artists and different artistic styles to children in a way that would actually explain a little about the artists and the styles. Instead, you have a book that takes you through 10 different artists - representing different artistic styles - but with no explanation of what any of it is until the very end when there is a little sentence about each.

I guess, if you're an art lover, you could look at a picture and discuss it with your child, compare and contrast with the other pictures and explain the stylistic differences but if you're expecting the book to do that for you? Think again. You can flip to the end after every picture and read the description and see if that keeps your kid interested in the subject matter...

A big difference would have been made to this book by having the stylistic descriptions on the actual page of the 'paintings' (or on the adjoining page) in order to educate and inform as you read. Having it all at the back - I fear - means the book misses its point and thus fails in its mission... However, the pictures are fun and the styles easily recognizable to those who have minimal knowledge of the subject (aka me).

*Both books were review copies received via Netgalley*


  1. Both books sound good. I haven't read a children's book since my daughter was little but I have bought a few for my grandson.

    1. My son's past the age of these now but I have some nieces and nephews that are within this age group so I like to see what's new. :)

  2. I would read the Koala one just because it has Koalas lol!

    1. Only one Koala. :(
      But it does have lizards...


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.