Pete the Cat and his four groovy buttons by James Dean & Eric Litwin (2012)

[Published by Harper]


Hello again world. I know I know, it’s been far too long. All my promises of continuing to blog after my year was up fell apart slightly. However, in good news, I have now completed my Grad Dip in Teaching, have a job lined up for next year (teaching new entrants!) and am officially on holiday. I won’t do anything rash and make any blog-frequency promises, we’ll just see how it goes. Okay with you? There will probably be more “teacher stuff,” but I can promise there will always be picture books.

Pete the Cat is such a stunner and today’s Pete book is full of maths. Hooray, love maths! Pete begins his day with four buttons. After several popping incidents, he ends up entirely button less, well apart from one special body button that is. With a super groovy song, a nice message and numbers galore, this is picture book party central.20151130_153440

There are heaps of great ideas for using this book in the primary school classroom, with a particularly fantastic selection on this blog.

It’s nice to be back, if I’ve missed any picture book gems in the last few months, feel free to let me know.

Check out Pete the Cat and his four groovy buttons at Auckland Libraries.


Whoops! by Suzi Moore; illustrated by Russell Ayto (2015)

[Published by Templar]


The out-loud-reading-speed-test is a wee invention of mine, that gives a fairly accurate indication of how fun a picture book is to read aloud. It’s pretty scientific/mathematical, so I won’t bore you with all the formulae, but, in simple terms, if I find myself reading a book really fast by the end, it means it’s a winner.

As I trial-read Whoops! to my husband while he cooked dinner, I accelerated to such speeds, he nearly lost his eyebrows. A definite A+ on that test paper.IMG_1913

“This is the cat
who didn’t know how,
she didn’t know
how to say MEOW.”

It’s not just the cat with vocalisation issues, her friends dog and mouse are also decidedly voiceless. The owl recommends a visit to the old lady at the tumbledown house who will have just the spell for the silent trio.

“She went to look at her big spell book.
She cast a spell but the whole house shook.
Then the wind blew in.
And the rain came down.
And the tumbledown house
turned round and round.”

Her first attempts at spell casting are not hugely successful, so the whole process is repeated… several times. Finally everything is right with the world again, the cat miaows, the dog barks and the mouse squeaks. And the little old lady? Well, you’ll just have to read the book to find out what happens to her!

A whole bunch of fun in a very stylish package.

Check out Whoops! at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Whoops! from Fishpond.

[Recommended by Pranita – thanks Pranita, excellent taste as always!]


Mouse paint by Ellen Stoll Walsh (1989)

[Published by Orchard Books]

mouse paint

The advantage of being a white mouse on a white piece of paper is that a cat won’t be able to spot you. But one day, our three white mice discover three jars of paint, and life is destined to become a whole lot more colourful.

Very quickly, three white mice become a red, a yellow and a blue mouse. But they don’t stop there, because everyone knows the most fun part of painting is mixing colours! I’m almost certain that if mice came in bright colours like the cuties below there would be a lot less screaming and standing on chairs in the world.


This wonderful classic is a great introduction to colour-mixing, and lends itself very nicely to a crafting bonanza.

Check out Mouse Paint at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Mouse Paint from Fishpond.


My cat likes to hide in boxes by Eve Sutton; illustrated by Lynley Dodd (1974)

[Published by Puffin]


As I hit the home straight in my year of reviewing, expect a few of my old favourites to pop up. Today’s title was always loads of fun to read to audiences of all ages. Armed with my cat puppet and a variety of boxes, I had a ball with this one.

Each cat matched an action, imagine arms out wide for the cat from Spain and his aeroplane, shivering excessively for the poor chilly cat from Brazil, and you get the idea.

With its brilliant rhyme and delightful illustrations, this book should be on everyone’s bookshelves.

Check out My cat like to hide in boxes at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes from Fishpond.


Room 20s reviews continue…

I might just make myself another cup of tea, the kids have got this…

Spoon by Amy Krouse Rosenthal; illustrated by Scott Magoon (2009)

[Published by Hyperion Books]20150624_101540

This book is about Spoon and his family, so you can say the title like this “SPOOON!!”

This is a comparing story and a silly story for children for bedtime. The characters in the story are Spoon, Fork, Knife and Chopsticks. At the end, everyone was not less than each other!

By Aminta and Crystal

Check out Spoon at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Spoon from Fishpond.

Puss & Boots by Ayano Imai (2009)

[Published by Michael Neugebauer Pub Ltd] 20150624_101015

This is me and my partner’s review of Puss and Boots (our names are Paavi and Reeno). This is a story about a poor shoemaker and his cat who lived together. Business was bad but how it got better is a mystery for you.

This book is great for 7+ kids. A funny, sad little book with a lot of hard words.

By Reeno and Paavi

Check out Puss & Boots at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Puss & Boots from Fishpond.

The foggy, foggy forest by Nick Sharratt (2008)

[Published by Walker Books]20150624_101116

Title: The foggy foggy forest

Like: There is always a mystery somewhere

This book is suitable for 7 and under

Dislike: Not much rhyming, dull colours

By Alisha and Aliya

[Disclaimer: Nick Sharratt you are my hero, these girls are tough critics!]

Check out The foggy, foggy forest by Nick Sharratt.

Or buy The Foggy, Foggy Forest from Fishpond.


Pete the cat; I love my white shoes by Eric Litwin and James Dean (2008)

[Published by Harper Collins]


Pete the Cat and I are old friends. In fact I can’t believe it’s taken me so long to introduce him to the inner circle here at myfriendlucy.

Pete is a stylish young cat with a great choice in footwear. Personally white shoes would stress me out way too much, but not Pete. And when he stands in strawberries and turns his shoes red? “Did Pete cry? Goodness, no! He kept walking and singing his song.” There are some valuable life lessons there for all of us.

For the singing-phobic among you, never fear, the whole story is read and sung for you so your job is just to turn the pages! I should IMG_1816probably warn you, the song is an earworm from way back.

A superbly fun story that is fantastic at preschool storytime.

Check out I love my white shoes at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy I love my white shoes from Fishpond.


Counting crows by Kathi Appelt; illustrated by Rob Dunlavey (2015)

[Published by Simon and Schuster]


The last library where I worked as a children’s librarian had a fantastically multi-cultural customer base. One of my favourite memories is of a regular Chinese grandfather, who spoke almost no English, sitting with his granddaughter after storytime, singing her the alphabet song, just like we had done during our session. That day I discovered that reading stories and singing songs the audience can join in with might not just be benefiting the small people in your audience.

And look at that, today’s book is a winner in the audience-joining-in category! A series of bright perky crows descend on our pages in small clusters. “One, two, three, four, five, six crows in a nest of straw and sticks.” All sorts of tasty goodies are consumed by these peckish chaps until the arrival of a cat encourages a hasty getaway. IMG_1777

The illustrations are beautiful, pencil sketches provide the backdrops, which contrast with the bright stripy flappy crows. Definitely one to add to the counting storytime pile.

Check out Counting crows at Auckland Libraries.

Or buy Counting crows from Fishpond.