Bronny’s Bookshelf: Third Pick

Welcome to the Third edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books, a couple of which are very near and dear to mine an my child’s heart.

May We Sleep Here Tonight – Written by Tan Koide & illustrated by Yasuko Koide

May We Sleep Here Tonight

May We Sleep Here Tonight is a story that begins with three mice who are hiking in the woods and get lost in the developing fog around nightfall. They soon come upon a cabin, and after wondering if it would be okay to seek shelter there, they step inside to find it uninhabited and settle in. Soon after, while the three mice are tucked into bed, two rabbits who had similarly gotten lost in the fog drop in to join them. Furthermore, this little group is soon added to by the presence of three lost raccoons who knock on the cabin door. The story hits its peak when a big scary monster descends from the fog and enters into the cabin, frightening all of the animals who are cozy in bed, but it happily turns out to be Mr. Bear, the friendly bear who lives in the cabin and often hosts lost animals before feeding them hearty stew. Unlike a lot of other children’s books which are illustrated in water colour, this one is drawn in pencil which some great use of shading and soft colouring. This book was quite scary as the bear entered, however, the happy ending ultimately teaches our children about perception and how our minds can play tricks on us.

Laurence’s Water Wings – Written by Leone Peguero & illustrated by David Pearson

laurences Water Wings










Laurence’s Water Wings is a story about children and their individuality. It begins with Laurence waking up and realizing that he is on school holidays. As his two brothers, sister and parents begin to pack their things to go on a family holiday, Laurence puts on a pair of water wings despite being politely told that they are going to the bush and he will therefore not be requiring them. Throughout their entire trip, despite suggestions from his brothers and sister to remove the water wings, he keeps them on. When they arrive home his parents surprise him with the swimming pool they had constructed while on holiday, and still wearing his water wings, Laurence is the first one in the pool. I like this book not just because of the soft water colour illustrations in which colours smoothly bleed into each other, but because it teaches our children that it’s okay to be different. If Laurence wants to wear water wings, let him wear water wings.

Paddington Bear: In the Garden – By Michael Bond & illustrated by Michael Bond

Paddington Bear in the Garden
Paddington’s Garden in one of the many stories in the Paddington Bear series. This particular story was published in 2002, but various Paddington Bear stories date as far back as the early 1950’s, and the longevity of this character is testament to the strength of stories such as this. Paddington’s Garden is set in an affluent residence in London, and after Mrs. Brown, the mother of the house, spies Mr. Brown working very hard to maintain their large garden, she suggests that he delegate sections of the garden to their two children and Paddington. After feeling a little tired and overwhelmed with the initial gardening, Paddington uses his allowance to purchase some gardening supplies. However, on his way home he leaves his jar of marmalade at a construction site and after returning he finds that in its place rests a large pile of concrete. After, convincing the site manage to dig up the concrete and recover his jar, they find it was not there but rather on a wooden platform that had been elevated. Unhappy that his now dried concrete is wasted, Paddington saves the day by buying the dried pieces of concrete off him and using them in his garden display.

What I love about this book in particular is that there is lots of text that guides the story, and it doesn’t just rely on the images to look nice and engage your child. This particular edition of Paddington Bear teaches children about being creative in order to solve problems, and is a story best suited to children who have mastered basic reading and are ready to move onto more in depth stories.

Stay tuned for the fourth edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf!

You can purchase these books at:

May We Sleep Here Tonight –

Paddington’s Garden –

Bronny’s Bookshelf: Second Pick

Welcome to the Second edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books, a couple of which are very near and dear to mine and my child’s heart.

Where the Wild Things Are: Maurice Sendak

Earning itself classic status, Where the Wild Things Are is a beautiful book which continues to find a place in children’s bookshelves around the world. Since first being published in 1963, it has sold over 19 million copies – wow. The story follows young Max dressed in his white wolf suit, who is sent to his room without supper. Later that night a forest begins to grow in his room, and soon after he takes a ride in a small boat to the land where the wild things live. The wild things are a group of large, hairy though smiling creatures who crown Max their king before joining him in a celebratory rumpus of dancing, jumping and tree climbing. When fatigue overcomes the wild things, Max orders them to bed before leaving again on his boat and returning to his own bedroom where supper awaits him. The artistry of the illustrations and the depiction of the wild things is one that will leave a lasting, almost archetypal impression on yours and your child’s imagination.

Hairy Maclary’s Caterwaul Caper: Written & Illustrated by Lynley Dodd

Coming out of New Zealand, the Hairy Maclary children’s book series is definitely one you don’t want to miss reading to your child. The series follows the adventures of Hairy Maclary, a little black Affenpinscher, who gets himself into all kinds of mischief with the other pet dogs and cats in the neighborhood. What really stands out about this series of books is the variety of other animal characters, each with their own distinct names and personalities, including: Scarface Claw the cat, Bottomley Potts the Dalmatian, Muffin McLay an old English sheepdog and of course Schnitzel von Krumm the sausage dog. What also stands out is the style of the language. The story is narrated poetically and employs rhyming and alliteration, lending it a very musical flow. In this story the neighborhood dogs gather around a tree in which Scarface Claw is stuck:

“Puffing and panting, impatient to see, together they came to the foot of the tree. They sniffed and they snuffled, they bustled around, and they saw what was making the terrible sound.”

Hairy Maclary stars as the protagonist in twelve books in the series, while a further nine have been written about the other neighborhood animals.

Press Here: Herve Tullet

Press Here is a fantastically unique and interactive book for you to enjoy with your child. The book is almost solely composed of dots of different patterns and colours, with a brief amount of text at the bottom of each page.  The text gives you instructions such as, “press the button and turn the page,” and, “rub the dot on the left gently.” After such instructions, the dot your child rubbed will have turned red on the following page. Likewise, after being told to tilt the book to the left or right, on the next page all the dots will have ‘rolled over’ onto that side of the page your child tilted them to. What I love about this book is that you and your child are the characters, and you are helping move the story forward. Along the way you learn about colours, direction and movement, and it really feels more like an engaging activity for your child as opposed to being passively read a book. Furthermore this book offers a new way of telling a story and learning through book reading, making the learning process exciting and enjoyable.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf!

You can purchase these books at:

Where the Wild Things Are –

Hairy Maclary –

Press Here –

Bronny’s Bookshelf: First Pick

Welcome to the first edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf. In these posts I’ll be picking a handful of children’s books from my home bookshelf and sharing my thoughts on them. Today I’ll be discussing three books of which are very near and dear to mine and my child’s heart.

Felix and Alexander: Written & Illustrated by Terry Denton

Felix & Alexander is a fantastic and cute children’s book from Australia. It follows two characters which give the books its title. Alexander is a young boy who lives in the city with his talking and walking stuffed toy dog named Felix. The story begins with Alexander leaving for his regular afternoon walk, but once he fails to return by nightfall, loyal little Felix goes out looking for him with a torchlight. One of the features of this story that really stands out is the two or three panes of illustration when Felix is wandering around in the dark, and the houses of the urban streetscape are personified as grim, scary faces with eyes and mouths. A happy ending ensues when the two are re-united, and find their way home by following the stuffing that leaked out of a tear in Felix’s stitching.

The Tiger Who Came to Tea: Written & Illustrated by Judith Kerr

The Tiger Who Came to Tea is a classic English children’s book about a tiger who drops in on a mother and her daughter Sophie as they are about to drink tea. The tiger is harmless and no-body seems concerned by its tiger-ness as it knocks on the door and asks if it can join them for tea as it is quite hungry. The friendly tiger then proceeds to clean out the family’s supply of fresh baked goods, tea from the pot, the dinner cooking on the stove as well as food in the cupboards and water in the bath tub. At the end the mother and daughter buy more food at the shops including some tiger food in case their orange friend decides to drop in again…

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch: Written & Illustrated by Ronda and David Armitage

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch is a great and different children’s story, particularly because it doesn’t feature any children. The characters include Mr. Grinling – the lighthouse keeper – his wife Mrs. Grinling and a flock of a hungry seagulls. Each day Mrs. Grinling fills a basket with her husband’s lunch and sets it on a cable from a window by their house on the coast, and sends it over the water to Mr. Grinling in the lighthouse. However, the scrumptious meal is soon raided by the flock of hungry seagulls en route! Some unique traits of this book that make it particularly special are the water colour artwork which creates a very warm blend of colour and compliments the oceanic scenery, as well as the speech bubbles of the hungry seagulls which are very humorous.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Bronny’s Bookshelf!

You can purchase these books at:

Felix & Alexander –

The Tiger Who Came to Tea –

The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch –