New Children's Fiction

Title: Tomorrow girl : a tale of mindfulness
Author: Conley, Vikki, author.
Published: 2021
ISBN: 9781925820362

Do you find yourself always dashing from a to b? Do you find yourself burdened by a fear of tomorrow? Sometimes focusing on the present is the healthiest path, and this book is a wonderfully gentle reminder of that.

Tomorrow Girl is a wonderful book about a girl who is always racing to do the next thing. She is so excited about what she will be doing tomorrow that she forgets to take joy in what she is doing today. Tomorrow meets Yesterday whose worries about the past make it difficult for her to enjoy the here and now: “come climb with me,” said Tomorrow, “I can’t”, said Yesterday, “I fell the other day I’ll probably fall again”. Eventually Tomorrow meets Today who opens her eyes to the wonder that is around her if she would only slow down a little and take a look.

Mindfulness, or being mindful, is the act of trying to pay attention to the present moment, without judgement, and noticing when we are getting caught up in worrying about the past or future. With so many sources of potential anxiety for our little ones at the moment, it is easy for children to get caught up in thinking about where they need to get to, things that have not gone to plan in the past, or worries about what the future holds. This book is a wonderful introduction to the therapeutic benefits of stopping to notice the beauty that is around you, of acknowledging your past and considering your future, but also taking pleasure in the here and now.

 

Title: Moon & Sun
Author: Szymanik, Melinda, 1963- author.
Published: 2021
ISBN: 9781988516806

A beautiful picture book by one of Aotearoa New Zealand's most versatile authors.

Moon is sad. She feels like she lives in the shadow of her bright happy sister, Sun. Everyone loves Sun and the way that she shines. Moon is embarrassed about the craters on her face but she misses the light and warmth that her sister brings.  Moon has taken to avoiding her sister so that she only comes out at night until Sun tells Moon how special she is and how she would love to share the sky with her.

Sun explains how important Moon is. People need Moon for the oceans to ‘dance in and out’ and to help them know when to plant crops. Both Sun and Moon are loved but they both get lonely, so sometimes they share the sky. Moon & Sun is a wonderful story about self-worth and individuality. Melinda shows readers that they all have strengths and value, even if they are different from others. When we work as a team though we can combine our individual strengths to make a great team.

Special mention must be made of the sumptuous illustrations by Malene Laugesen in this gorgeous book.

Title: This is the dog
Author: Finn, Maura

“This is the dog with the snuffly snout, the half-crumpled ear, the fur that sticks out.” How could we not immediately fall in love with this little pup, who lives in a pet shop and watches as all the desirable pups get chosen, until one day, lured by good food smells, he escapes into the street.  

This is the house that Jack built is the underlying rhyme for This is the Dog, and it is a jaunty little rhyme that is perfectly suited for this story, and also makes it a perfect read aloud. The illustrations are adorable, the pup is cute as a button and there is so much in each scene: characters spotted in the first street scene feature throughout the story, there are dogs, people on bikes, babies in strollers, old people at bus stops, street scenes, libraries, and parks.

This is an adorable book and your kids will probably endlessly beg you for a dog but it is a small price to pay for such joy.

Title: The secret explorers and the tomb robbers
Author: King, SJ, author.
Published: 2020
ISBN: 9780241442265