Clementine's Bath Reviewed by Karen Morrow from Creative Kid's Tales 9th June 2016
'Fans of rhyming picture books (and who isn't?) will love the energy created by Author/ Illustrator Annie White's colourful use of rhyme and meter. Clementine is a playful character that children will adore. She's a little bit mischievous and anyone who has tried to bath an unco-operative dog (or child) will relate to the plot. The illustrations will make you smile, even without the text. Most are double spread until the big chase, where punchy, single page illustrations increase the pace of the story until the big SPLASH! Children will love naughty Clementine and the musicality of this story, it's easy to memorise and guaranteed to induce giggles. The back endpapers are genius. They feature a double spread map of the house and yard, tracing Clementine's trail as narrated in the story. Readers can flick back and forth between the story and trace Clementine's frantic chase with their finger. This is a fun book with a classic narrative and broad appeal, making a great gift or library stock.'
Clementine's Bath Reviewed by Jenny Helsop from Buzz Words 15th March 2016
'Clementine, the loveable dog from Clementine's Walk, is back. This time, the family want to give her a bath but Clementine doesn't like baths, and anyway, she wants to keep the wonderful smell she just found and rolled in. What follows is a funny romp through the house and garden as Clementine tries unsuccessfully to hide, a journey which is captured and recorded in a wonderful map at the end of the story.
Clementine's Bath has an even rhyme which rolls off the tongue well and is easy - and a pleasure - to read aloud. The beautifully painted illustrations show Clementine and her family in a soft, warm. gentle light. I love mum in her gumboots as she prepares the dog bath, the cloud of smell which follows Clementine wherever she goes, and the inquisitive chooks who just want to be part of the action.
Dogs are well loved and Clementine's Bath is a lovely story which young children will engage with and delight in. The humour, in both words and pictures, will be enjoyed by both children and adults alike and will fast become a favourite.'
Clementine's Bath Reviewed by Susan Stephenson from www.thebookchook.com 10th February 2016
'I suspect most kids will know a dog that likes to sniff things. They may also know one that likes to roll in something disgusting. Clementine is not fond of baths and runs off as soon as she suspects that's what will follow her encounter with some garbage. Unfortunately for the stinky dog, her smell gives each hiding place away until she somersaults and lands SPLASH into the bath.
White's rhyming story rollicks along, accompanied by endearing and humorous illustrations.'
The Prince Who Shrank
There was once a prince who made everyone around him feel small. A classic story with a positive message about kindness.
Written by Kylie Fornasier. Published by Koala Books an imprint of Scholastic Australia.
'The prince slowly ate the soup.'
The prince thought about his big kingdom.
How did you get this so clean?
My Dad Is A Bear
Charlie's dad is tall, round and soft. Sometimes he growls. Could he be a bear?
Listed in the CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year Awards Notables 2015
Shortlisted in the 2015 Prime Minister's Awards Children's Fiction
Silver category winner in the Illustrator Australia Awards
My Dad Is A Bear Reviewed on ABC radio Central West August 2014 by Deborah Abela
'This is a book that pays tribute to big, cuddle bear-like dads everywhere. Cheekily illustrated by Annie White with great warmth and characters you want to hug, Nicola's story talks about a dad who is a bear. 'He is tall and round like a bear. He is soft and furry like a bear' and he even climbs, gathers and fishes like a bear. There are days when he can even growl like a bear, but mostly dad is gentle and warm and wonderful, but when asked if he really is a bear, he answers, of course, and do you know what bears do best? 'Give bear hugs!' Told with the help of a rabbit, some fish, bees, a bluebird and, of course, a baby bear, this is a charming tale of one great big, lovely dad.'
Reviewed by Jill R Bennett, Red Reading Club UK, June 1 2017
'What is tall and round like a bear: soft and furry like a bear: can climb trees and gather in a bear-like manner? And what has big paws and enjoys a spot of back scratching, not to mention possessing an enormous growl, having a penchant for fishing and a very bear-like way of sleeping? Why a bear of course. And what is it about young Charlie's dad that brings the most pleasure of all? What do you think?... Using ursine characteristics to point up the numerous ways in which a dad is special, debut picture book author, Nicola Connelly paints a pen portrait of a much-loved character. What an engaging book this is with its lovable characters, two bears plus bit part players, blue bird and rabbit. All are so adorably portrayed in Annie White's uncluttered paintings that beautifully orchestrate the simple storyline making every page turn a fresh delight. Beautifully simple and full of warmth, it's just right for sharing with a pre-schooler or with an early years group.'
Clementine is intent on finding someone to take her for a walk, but everyone is just too busy.
Short listed in the 2014 Speech Pathology Book Awards 3 - 5 year category
Clementine was very bored with nothing left to do.
But he was very busy and didn't want to talk.
But she was busy knitting and didn't seem to care.
The chooks were rather grumpy. They didn't want to walk.
Clementine’s Walk Reviewed in Magpies Magazine November 2013 by Louise Pfanner
'This cheerful book shows Clementine, a friendly dog, trying to enlist all the members of her family to take her for a walk. One by one they rebuff her, until each completes their tasks, and then the tables turn. Clementine is nowhere to be found, and they start to get worried. All is well, and eventually the whole family take a walk with Clementine.
Simple watercolour pictures capture the reassuring elements in this book- the family and the house and garden are all sweet and pleasantly chaotic, without descending into mayhem. The rhyming text is good to read aloud, and really moves the story along.
There is a map of the beginning of Clementine’s walk on the back endpapers which adds another dimension to the story.
Very suitable for pre-schoolers to five-year-olds.'
The story of a remarkable friendship and the battleground that shaped a nation.
Written by Kerry Greenwood and published by Scholastic.
'I'll write lots of letters,' Bluey promised his mother
'Hop on, mate, let's get you patched up.'
Sometimes they got letters and presents from home.
Gallipoli Reviewed by Dimity Powell for Boomerang Books on April 14th 2014
'Picture books about the ANZACs of WW1 abound. Many succeed thanks to the legendary intensity of the subject matter, the sensitive translation of emotions through illustrations and the poetic rendering of a brutal period of modern day history. Gallipoli by Kerry Greenwood and Annie White delivers all these and more.
It is simply the story of Gallipoli. It is Dusty and Bluey's story told through the eyes of Bluey's great grandson. But before you say, not another ANZAC tale, look again; at the sepia-coloured end pages depicting wartime and post war snap shots of our two mates. Be swept along on their adventures, across vast oceans and scorching deserts and No Man's Land. Feel the hunger, the terror and the relief shared by these two young men whose unbreakable friendship withstands time and war.
Greenwood leaves no stone unturned in the retelling of this infamously failed military campaign, however 7 year olds and above could easily master and enjoy this account themselves because it reads as fluently as fiction.There are few dates to stumble over and enough storyline to accommodate a myriad of historical revelations including; the futile charges, trench survival, Simpson and his donkey(s), and the Roses of No Man's Land.
White never belittles the enormity of Bluey and Dusty's situation. Her illustrations show mortar attacks and bleeding wounds in full colour yet are neither cheerless nor grim. Subdued sepia photographs are 'stuck' on every page like an old well-loved album guiding the reader from the past to present day remembrance.
Stirring, significant and worth sharing, especially with school-aged children.'
The Ugly Duckling
A mother duck is disappointed when one of her little ducklings is not as pretty as the other delightful four.
The ugly duckling searches for his place in the world.
The Ugly Duckling - Reviewed by Honey Bee Books March 30th 2016
'Mother Duck is waiting for her eggs to hatch. When she discovers that one of her ducklings is not as pretty as her other four, she is very disappointed. After being teased, chased and laughed at, the poor little Ugly Duckling sets out to find his place in the world. It's not long before the Ugly Duckling happens upon four baby swans swimming in the pond and they ask him to play with them and as the title suggests, he finds his happily ever after when the Mother Swan tells him he is a swan, not a duckling.
The beautiful illustrations by Annie White express so much feeling. This picture book is a lovely way to introduce a new, young audience to the classic story of The Ugly Duckling. It is also a wonderful reminder that there is nothing wrong with being different. This book is ideal for ages 3-6 years.'
Mummies Are Amazing
Mummies are not for going shopping and finding Grandpa's glasses, they are for changing children into chickens and making mermaids out of sand. Mummies are amazing.
Review of Mummies Are Amazing from Aussiereviews.com by Sally Murphy
'Mummies Are Amazing is a delightful book about the wonderful things that mummies do, filled with the humour and the joy of families. The mummy in the story and illustrations is lively, lovely and filled with enthusiasm. It seems nothing is too hard for her - from making chicken costumes, to removing splinters and scaring away monsters. The illustrations have lots of cute touches that don't just bring the text to life, but also provide plenty for the children to find and explore. This gorgeous book is perfect for reading aloud and would make a lovely gift for Mother's Day.'
Maa! Moo! Howl! Toot! A farm is a noisy place to be at bedtime. So how will Farmer Hayden ever get a good night's sleep?
..and Farmer Hayden fell fast asleep sitting in his battered old chair.
Reviewed by Jenny Helsop for Buzz Words 12 August 2016
'The text is lovely to read aloud. It has a nice soft rhythm with some repetition and new noises added as the story builds and each night is 'noisier still'. The conclusion comes gently with Farmer Hayden and all his animals sleeping peacefully - he on a battered old chair on the front veranda and the animals scattered around him. White's illustrations echo this soft tone. Her character's expressions convey the emotions of the story - especially Farmer Hayden's which are priceless. Among my favourites are the ones of him pulling his bed cap over his eyes with the mouth and body gestures fully conveying his exasperation, and the picture of him dozing, slumped against the cow he is milking, who looks both concerned and surprised. Although a book about noise, this sweet picture book is quiet enough to become a favourite bedtime read for young pre-schoolers- 3-5 years- with plenty of animals to look at and noises to explore.'
Mum and Me
A little girl and her mum love to laugh, play games and splash in puddles.
My mum knows just what I like. She makes me toast with vegemite.
She takes me riding on her bike.
We love to jump and splash in puddles.
My mum loves to make me laugh when she blows bubbles in the bath.
Mum and Me Reviewed by Tania McCartney for Kids' Book Review Sunday 2 May 2010
'Released just in time for Mother's Day last year, this charming little book is illustrated by prolific artist, Annie White, who has illustrated over fifty children's books.
Designed for the very young, the book's rhyming text is basic but charming, and easy on the ear. As a little girl takes us through her happiest and funnest moments, we learn that most of them are thanks to her mum. So lovely to see a book focusing on what a child loves and appreciates about her mum, from the way she makes toast with vegemite to the way she jumps in puddles and joins in all the games. She's there taking care of the everyday practical stuff as well as the fun and treasured moments- and isn't that the stuff of comforting childhood memories?
Above all else, often it's the safe, secure and comforting childhood memories that are the most fond. And Mum and Me celebrates just that.'
In the cleft of a rock, on the crest of a hill, grows a tree that belongs to no one and to everyone. This heart-warming story imparts a timeless message of bravery and respect for nature.
Mbobo Tree was listed in the CBCA Picture Book Notable Books 2010
Written by Glenda Millard and published by Scholastic
The wise women, whose memories numbered more than the stars, said it was the last tree of a beautiful garden planted when the world first began. But they were only guessing.
Nor could they tell you where the baby came from, the baby that was found swaying from the tree's stooping boughs in a sling made of mattress ticking.
She danced with the villagers at births and weddings and wept with them at wakes, but she never spoke a word.
On hot, slow summer days, Tiranamba Adesimbo Mbobo and the other children played while fruit sweetened and swelled upon the tree.
Reviews of Mbobo Tree
'The language of this book is as rich and colourful as the artwork. There's a sense of dusty, hot wide open spaces and unyielding sand. There's a feeling of poverty but deep joy and the message of respect for living things and sharing the tree's yield with animals is quietly powerful. A satisfying book that will provoke thought and discussion.' Books for Keeps
'A stunning well-told story. An excellent book with brilliant illustrations that would make a really worthwhile contribution to the RE unit on the symbol of trees.' Religious Education Primary News
Isla Lu, Where Are You?
She isn't upstairs, she isn't downstairs, she isn't in the garden... or is she?
Written by Catriona Hoy and published by Windy Hollow Books.
Email Annie White for copies of Isla Lu, Where Are You?
Is she under the table?
Is she under the bed?
Where are you, Isla Lu?
Isla Lu, Where Are You? Reviewed by Kids' Book Review Thursday 18th April 2013
'A game of hide and seek begins. Mother is searching. Isla Lu is hiding. First look- behind the couch. But there's only a red pencil, a hair pin and a lost scarf. The search continues behind the curtains, under the table, and past other family members on the stairs. Then it's on to the shower, the wardrobe, down the stairs and into the garden. The search ends after a check of the smelly rubbish bin and the dog house. Where was Isla Lu hiding?
Isla Lu, Where Are You? is a delightful story about a loving relationship between mother and daughter and their carefree expression of love through play.
Annie White's superb illustrations created with watercolour and pencil are full of movement and expression, just like the characters that flit across the page.'
A story about visiting grandpa and discovering that people are never quite what they seem.
Grumpy Grandpa is written by Kate Forsyth and published by Scholastic.
When we go to Grandpa's house, I'm as shy as a little grey mouse.
Are you grizzling or are you singing?
When Grandpa sleeps, he snorts and snores.
Grumpy Grandpa reviewed by Jenny Heslop from Buzz Words.
'Grumpy Grandpa is a humorous story, told in rhyme, about a young girl's visit with her grandfather. She is a little scared of him and his gruffness, but by the end she overcomes this fear and comes to the realisation that he is, as her mother says, 'a funny old teaser'. I am immediately drawn to the title and the first page- both the text and the illustration- it is an enticing start to the story plunging the reader straight in. It does take a couple of read-throughs to get the rhythm right but it is worth it. The language is rich and descriptive, Grandpa 'honks like an elephant into his hanky' giving her 'ghastly nightmares'.
The illustrations are fabulous and focus mainly on the girl- with her braid always flying backwards- and her grandpa in his flannel shirt and braces. Although the words make Grandpa seem harsh and scary especially when he asks 'are you grizzling? Or are you singing?', the pictures give away the suppressed grin beneath his bushy eyebrows and crinkly eyes.
This story presents a unique view of a grandparent/ grandchild relationship and is one that I think many young children will find reassuring. And they will respond also to the cheekiness of the story. A great picture book to add to any collection.
Written by Tarryn Lean and illustrated by Annie White.
Charlotte thinks having a new baby in her family is like Baby Glue because it brings people from all around the community together to help prepare for its arrival. After all, it takes a village to raise a child.
Email Annie White for copies of Baby Glue.
Baby Glue - Reviewed by Kids' Book Review on 22nd September 2014
'This debut book by Tarryn Lean is a wonderful way to reconnect kids with the idea of family as community - that we are not alone and that so many people play a part in raising children. love that this book opens the dialogue on this concept with kids and that our increasingly introverted society takes note of that classic adage: it takes a village to raise a child.
With typically gorgeous illustrations by Annie White, Baby Glue is an adorable and important book.
For ages 3 to 7.'
The Sorcerer's Apprentice
Rizwan is a fumbling apprentice determined to prove to his master that he is ready to become a fully fledged sorcerer. But things are not as easy as they seem. This story is part of the Music Box Series and unfolds to the backdrop of the well-known music of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The picture book is accompanied by a CD of the music with a narration of the story by Antonia Kidman.
The Sorcerer's Apprentice reviewed by Vicki Stanton from Buzz Words 12 January 2011
'The Sorcerer's Apprentice is a colourful and lively contemporary adaptation of Goethe's famous poem and attests to the enduring popularity of this story. The poem was put to music by Paul Dukas in 1897 and is the basis of Disney's Fantasia. Tom Skinner has brought The Sorcerer's Apprentice into the era of the car while still retaining the magic and wizardry. As in the original tale, everything goes wrong and the sorcerer must fix all on his return. Annie White's illustrations are bright and colourful and full of movement. As with Skinner's text she manages to combine magic and modern. Part of New Frontier's Music Box Series, the book is accompanied by an audio CD read by Antonia Kidman and featuring Dukas' classical composition of The Sorcerer's Apprentice. The Sorcerer's Apprentice could stand as a picture book on its own but is also a perfect way to introduce young children to some of our literary and musical traditions.'