A picture book every day

Tag Archives: Cocky’s Circle

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.

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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.


DiggyDog-200Diggy Dog by Martin Bailey is a book that brings back a lot of memories. It’s one of the first non-reader books Mr Z.

This is a fun story about a dog who loved to dig and would dig up the whole town, before finding the perfect home. I won’t give away the ending, only to say it is a happy one.

The text has a great rhythm to it, with every second line rhyming. The pictures are fun, showing all the chaos Diggy Dog causes with his digging as well as the different reactions of bystanders.

I don’t remember why Mr Z chose this book to learn to read, but he loved it and would read it to anyone who would sit still enough to listen!


sebastianthesportscar-200Sebastian the Sports Car by Ann Martin was a favourite book of Mr Z, my now 9 year old, when he was a preschooler. I think it was a mix of seeing the sports car splash in the puddle as well as the fact it has a cool car on the cover.

This book has a message for kids about not being proud, taking time and being careful. The illustrations are fun and detailed and I can remember spending time with Mr Z going through the book and looking closely at the pictures to add to the story.

The text has a wonderful rhythm to it and we had nearly memorised the book before Mr Z discovered something else.