To kick off the January Book Reviews, I wanted to focus on a few of the books that helped define our holiday break. All three books chosen invite the child to play and explore.

Children’s Book Recommendations – JANUARY


Elmer and the Race by David McKee

Before I stampede you with a review, I’d like to share a quote that captures the essence of the story. ‘When the immortal scorer writes against your name, he’ll write not if you won or lost but how you played the game.’ – a misquote of Grantland Rice.

Elmer and the Race was a gift received just prior to the holidays.

Elmer, the patchwork elephant and Wilbur set up a race course for a group of 9 elephants. It’s not about winning that matters in this story, it’s how you run the race. And so the story focuses on the journey more than the end result. Ultimately, each elephant is awarded a medal for different qualities such as the bravest, the kindest, or the sorriest.

Overall, Elmer and the Race is a beautifully illustrated story that covers good sportsmanship and fair play.


Matisse’s Magical Trail by Tim Hopgood and Sam Boughton

After exploring the art of Henri Matisse, we decided to treat ourselves to Matisse’s Magical Trail children’s book. The story follows the tale of a creative snail who expresses himself boldly and colourfully wherever he goes.

Matisse’s Magical Trail encourages children to stop and pay attention to the small things in life, and to embrace their individuality as well as freedom of expression.


Mix it Up! by Hervé Tullet

Presenting Mix it Up! by the same creator of Press Here.

The book is brilliant for in all its simplicity it openly invites children to explore a world of colour and endless possibility. Mix it Up! also introduces children to primary and secondary colours in an ever so subtle yet exciting way. We also particularly enjoyed the tactile experience when reading the story.


For some more reading, check out My Grandma is Like the Sea. Shop Australia here. Shop International here.

And stay tuned for February’s book recommendations!


Nala xx