Family Reads: January - March 2024

on Picture Books, Australian
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A few books our family has been reading at the beginning of the year.

Day Break by Amy McQuire, illustrated by Matt Chun (Hardie Grant Children's Publishing)

Amy McQuire is a journalist whose work I follow, and who I really admire so I immediately bought Day Break when it was announced a few years ago. I also pull this one off the shelf particularly around January (although I think it's important to have available all year round). It is both beautifully written and illustrated, each aspect works together to provide a story that showcases how one family remembers January 26. This is done is such a way that provides multiple opportunities for further reflection and conversation about so-called Australia's history and the celebration on Invasion day. A powerful book, and wonderful resource for parents.

Day Break by Amy McQuire | Hardie Grant Publishing
Day Break by Amy McQuire. Hardie Grant Egmont. Hardie Grant Publishing.

Yoga Babies by Fearne Cotton, illustrated by Sheena Dempsey (New Frontier Publishing)

We had this one out from the library, but the kid took a sudden liking to it right before it was due back. I think we've now read it at least twenty times. She loves following along trying to do the different poses, and pointing out the different kids. A fun story to read aloud, the book goes through a group of toddlers each doing a different pose. Sometimes with a family member and sometimes alone. Each pose is straight forward enough that small readers can follow along.

Yoga Babies
We’re the Yoga Babies, look what we can do! The Yoga Babies love to have fun trying new poses. Sometimes life is busy and tricky, but not to worry! Yoga can help everyone chill out. Follow these babies big and small as they practise yoga at home, in the garden and before bedtime, then you can have a go at home, too!

Bedtime Sorted by Jimmy Rees, illustrated by Briony Stewart (Affirm Press)

I love the illustrations for this book, very clever and really add extra storytelling layers plus some amusement for the parents. We read this book at bedtime A LOT, and the kid is always pointing out different aspects of the illustrations she's noticed. If you ever hear her yell "oh no the twins" it’s because of this book.

Affirm Press

11 Words For Love by Randa Abdel-Fattah, illustrated by Maxine Beneba Clarke (Hachette Australia)

When I first bought it when it came out, we enjoyed looking through each of the pages and encountering new words. It is beautifully illustrated and the words are full of hope and joy (as well as the sadness of the past).

As it currently sits on our mini faced out bookshelf, I regularly discover my kid looking sitting looking at the pictures by herself. It hurts my heart a little, that she is safely enjoying the beautiful depictions of love in this book while beautiful, loved, Palestinian children are being murdered and their people suffer a genocide that seems to get impossibly worse each day.

11 Words for Love by Randa Abdel-Fattah, Maxine Beneba Clarke - Books
A moving and joyful book for children from all backgrounds about the many ways we love, from award-winning author Randa Abdel-Fattah and acclaimed illustrator Maxine Beneba Clarke.

Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder (Penguin Random House Australia)

This book is top of every list of resources for parents wanting to provide their kids with a foundation positive body image. It is also the best picture book I've personally seen at representing an actual diversity of body types.

It's also delightful. Incredibly easy to read aloud, and each page filled with vibrant illustrations that provide a joyful celebration of many variations of the human body. We especially enjoy counting on each page, "count ice-creams? count legs? count bodies?" and have already incorporated (kid-led) referring to our bodies as cool.

Bodies Are Cool by Tyler Feder
This body positive picture book is a vibrant, joyful, and judgement-free celebration of every body shape and size.


We finally finished working our way through the incredible Fat Talk by Virginia Sole-Smith. Audiobook is a great way to read this, and we had a lot of great discussion while we were listening together. Highly recommend for any people who care for children.

You can see what I read each month on StoryGraph. Read some great Australian middle grade in particular so far this year.

This is a way to share a few different books we've enjoyed. I am hoping to do a similar post each month. Obviously didn’t manage that so far but we will see.

We also read a lot of the same books over and over, so I will only be sharing books I've not posted before and that we all enjoyed. But I want to be transparent, my child also likes to insist on reading the same books repeatedly. Sometimes those books are very boring. However your family reads is great.

Other recommendations I've posted for board books include my wrap ups of our favourite books for 0-3 months, 3-6 months and 6-12 months last year.