A picture book every day

Author Archives: Melissa Gijsbers

santadownunder-200Welcome to December. I’m in the home straight with this challenge, and this is the start of the Christmas books. Some I’ve pinched from my kids shelves and others I’ll get out from the library.

The first book is Santa Down Under by Jenni-Lynne Harris and is one I discovered on my kids bookshelves. This is one of the Cocky’s Circle Little Books.

One of the reasons my kids loved this book, even though we don’t “do” Santa in our house, is that it’s not all about snow and ice. In this story, Santa has an accident over Australia and the animals help launch his sleigh so he can finish his rounds.

It’s a cute book with simple cartoon pictures showing a variety of Australian animals, along with fun, rhyming text. A fun Christmas book.


Weather by Robin KerrodToday’s theme for the My Little Bookshelf game is – A green message. This one was a challenge as we don’t have many books with an environmental message, and I’ve already included Uno’s Garden on this blog. It would be cheating to do it again….

Looking through the boys bookshelves, I found Weather by Robin Kerrod. This book is all about the weather (obviously). It goes through information about different aspects of the weather and has projects to get kids interested in the weather. This includes projects for measuring temperature and rain levels.

For kids who are interested in the environment, this is a great book to get them looking at the weather and climate. The hands on projects were the things that caught our interest today and I can see this book staying out for a while so the kids can start on some of these projects.

Buy this book:

Amazon.com – Learn About Weather


PirateologyIt’s Day 4 of the My Little Bookshelf game. Today’s prompt is ‘A favourite cover’. It took some searching before I re-discovered Piratelology. To be honest, this wasn’t a book I would have chosen for this challenge as I’m not sure if would count as a picture book, even though there are a lot of pictures in it…

This is a book I bought for Mr N when he was going through his pirate phase. I had kept my eye out for it for months as it was quite expensive and I wanted a cheaper price…

The cover is awesome (I know the pic isn’t that great). It looks like an old fashioned notebook with a leather look and gilt decorations. The compass in the middle is a real compass, or at least looks like one, with the needle moving around.

The whole book is wonderful, full of facts about pirates with bits that fold out, pull out, tie up, and more. Since pulling this book out of the bookshelf to include in this post, the boys have rediscovered it, reading it from cover to cover and taking time to open and experience everything this book has to offer.

If your kids are pirate crazy, this is a must have book for your collection.

Buy this book:

Amazon.com – Pirateology: The Pirate Hunter’s Companion (Ologies)

Amazon.com – The Pirateology Handbook: A Course in Pirate Hunting (Ologies)

Amazon.com – Pirateology Guidebook and Model Set (Ologies)


Bartholomew BearIt’s day 3 of the My Little Bookshelf game – A book you love to read aloud.

This one took a lot of searching as there were so many to choose from, some have already been featured on the blog. For today, I chose Bartholomew Bear by Virginia Miller. This copy has 5 stories in it, and they were always fun to read. I don’t have a favourite out of these books and the boys would have different favourites on different nights.

The stories look at common toddler activities such as toilet training, eating dinner, going to bed, being gentle and loving kids. I think this was one of the reasons we enjoyed this book so much. The pictures are simple and Bartholomew is gorgeous. I must remember this book next time my nephews are here and wanting stories read to them.

Buy this book:

Amazon.com – Bartholomew Bear: Five Toddler Tales (George and Bartholomew)


Badness for Beginners

Badness for Beginners

It’s day 2 of the My Little Bookcase game. Today the topic is “A book that makes your children laugh”. I had to ask the boys to choose a book for today and Mr N pulled out Badness for Beginners by Ian Whybrow and Tony Ross. Mr N was given this book as a gift from his kindergarten teachers.

This is the story about the Big Bad Wolf’s son, Little, who is trying very hard to be bad, but doesn’t get it quite right. They have a fun outing and Little decides that being bad is fun after all and wants to have more badness lessons tomorrow. The illustrations give this story an added layer, especially at the end.

If you’re a fan of the Big Bad Wolf in any of the fairy tales, then this is a great book. I also loved reading this again as I’ve just submitted some fractured fairy tales to an anthology.

Buy this book:

Amazon.com – Badness for Beginners: A Little Wolf and Smellybreff Adventure


Green Eggs and Ham

Green Eggs and Ham

It’s the first day of the My Little Bookcase reading challenge. Today’s book is a classic – Green Eggs and Ham by Dr Seuss.

This is a fun book, and very silly. I think it was the sillyness that my kids loved the most, especially the idea of eating green eggs and ham.

If you haven’t read it before, Sam-I-Am is trying to convince another character to try eating green eggs and ham. It goes through all the ways and places he won’t eat them, until he tries them at the end.

There’s a wonderful rhythm to the words, so much that we had memorised the story at one stage and I have memories of Mr N “reading” this book to his little brother. The illustrations are also great, in the typical Dr Seuss style.

I apologise for the quality of the photo. My flash card reader has died so I took this pic on my phone.

Buy this book:

Amazon.com – Green Eggs and Ham Book & CD (Book and CD)


I found this yesterday:

My Little Bookcase Reading Challenge

My Little Bookcase

I thought this would be a good way to kick start this challenge again. I’m not on Instagram, but I’m sure they won’t be upset if I use their prompts on my blog. Watch this space for our first book.


theanimalcountdown-200The Animal Countdown by Frances Bacon is a gorgeous book. One thing that stood out is that, unlike most other counting books, it counts the numbers down from 10 to 1.

The book starts with an invitation to count down the number of animals playing in the sun, with each page dedicated to a different animal. The numbers are made with the animal they are talking about with a picture on the facing page of the animals playing in the sun.  The story ends with zero animals playing in the sun because they are all asleep.

The illustrations look like they have been made by sticking paper to make the pictures – I can’t remember the name of the artistic method (if anyone can help, please add a comment).

This is a simple, fun book that will help kids learn how to count down numbers from 10 to 1.


oldmacdonaldhadaband-200I had completely forgotten about today’s book, Old MacDonald Had a Band by Jane Cornish. Reading it, I couldn’t help but sing along.

This is a fun book that you can sing along to, with the tune of “Old MacDonald Had a Farm”, instead of going through the different farm animals, this one goes through different instruments.

If your kids don’t already know about instruments, this is one way to introduce them to a few of them. The last page is a mini quiz about identifying instruments.

The illustrations are fun and colourful with pictures of different animals playing the instruments. This can bring on further conversations with kids – what animal is playing the flute? what instrument is the pig playing? and so on.


captainskillystrawler-200Captain Skilly’s Trawler by Martin Bailey is adventure on the high seas. Captain Skilly goes out fishing every day and eats his lunch, sharing the crumbs with the seagulls. This is the story about one day when things went a bit wrong.

This is a fun story and my kids enjoyed the seagulls coming to the rescue, and what Captain Skilly did afterwards. The only problem being they would want to feed the seagulls whenever we went to the beach – just in case!

The words follow the same rhyming format as the other Cocky’s Circle books, and the illustrations are fun, brightly coloured and simple/ The cover of the book we have isn’t as sharp as the pictures inside the story.

This was a fun book, but it wasn’t one of our favourites.