The Six Picture Books I’m Gifting for Christmas

All of these books have a great story and brilliant illustrations. And they’re Australian. They wouldn’t make my Christmas giving list otherwise. What I want to share here is what makes them special to me.

Invisible Jerry – Adam Wallace

After I finished reading this book, I immediately wanted to give a copy of it to every preschool family. This is a simple story. No-one notices Jerry. Until Molly comes along. Jerry wishes other kids could have a Molly but there’s only one of her. Then he decides that perhaps another kid, like Paul who no-one notices, could have a Jerry. How brilliantly simple is that? The solution to the world’s problems in a picture book. But let’s not start with the world. A playground will do. This book demonstrates important stuff –  how to find a friend, how to not be alone, how to show empathy and how to make the world a better place.

Macca’s Christmas Crackers – Matt Cosgrove

This is the Christmas book with both sides covered – the sparkle and the spirit. There’s the over-the-top fun of Christmas as Macca the Alpaca runs around decorating everything in sight, And oh the rhyme as he does it! But Macca’s exploits also nail a key message – “you don’t have to spend on a friend” firmly focusing the reader on more important things than the trappings of the season. For those who score this Christmas gift from me, there will also be socks.

The Pink Hat – Andrew Joyner

The Washington Post said: “This simple and cheerful tale suggests, with not an ounce of preachiness, values of care and comfort and the support women have for each other across generations”. And I said “What they said.” I’m even tempted to get my knitting needles out and knock up a few hats to go with this one.

Room on Our Rock – Kate & Jol Temple & Terri Rose Baynton

I’m impressed that a book can read backwards and forwards but doubly impressed that the message itself can be reversed. It’s the perfect way to make the point – without even saying it – that sometimes what needs to happen is reverse gear. Plus there are seals. Wonderfully drawn seals.

There’s a Baddie Running Through this Book – Shelly Unwin & Vivienne To

“Books about books” is my absolute favourite reading category. So this one gets a big tick for doing that with bucket-loads of humour. The baddie races through the book grabbing the pages as he runs. I smiled from the first to last page so with this book I can give the gift of a smile (It’s the sort of thing Macca might put in a Christmas cracker!).

Beware the Deep Dark Forest – Sue Whiting & Annie White

This book teeters perfectly balanced on the edge of almost scary – which makes it very exciting but still safe to read before bedtime. I can’t recall any other book that fits into that niche, that doesn’t use humour to dilute the potential scariness. It also has a very, very feisty heroine willing to brave anything to rescue her dog Tinky from the dangerous forest. I like that!


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