Katrina’s top five kids’ books


When I was asked to look back over a year of Sunday Arts posts and pick what I considered to be the top five books, the task was easy. It was easy because I only had to think about the books that my kids read over and over and there are unquestionably clear favourites.

In the thick of my children’s extensive winter extra-curricular activities (lacrosse, football, cross-country, music lessons, gymnastics and swimming), I am reminded of the wonderful and relevant message in Jane Godwin’s Today We Have No Plans, which is simply take time to slow down. Pyjama days are important and this book shows you why.


Earlier this year, we showed you Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle. I declared it an early favourite and that still stands – it’s a sweet and funny book.  There’s no text and it’s not needed as the marvellously expressive illustrations tell the story of a little girl and a graceful flamingo.


We’ve all had days when we’ve felt cranky for no apparent reason. That’s the subject of Rebecca Patterson’s My Big Shouting Day!. Kids will appreciate reading about another child’s antics and the end of the story may come in handy for parents next time they’re dealing with a toddler tantrum.


There’s one book in our personal library that has been back and forth to school and kinder multiple times. It’s a book with wow-factor. It’s big, it’s colourful and the ending is truly amazing. It’s How Many Jelly Beans by Andrea Menotti. The book takes kids counting beyond one to ten and if you’ve ever wanted to know what a million looks like, this is the book for you (and it’s mind-blowing stuff for kids!).


My very favourite book is Sky High by Germano Zullo. Apart from the eye-catching format and its appeal for all age groups (including adults!), Sky High is the ultimate story of keeping up with the Joneses, with a clever visual twist at the end. The video clip below gives you an idea of what this book is about but it is only half the story – the rest is definitely worth seeing for yourself.

Katrina Whelen

Katrina studied planning and design, did the hard yards working in a big office building and then traded it all in for a relaxing (!) life at home with four children. She now fills her time with writing, completing a degree in genetics and taxiing her children around Melbourne to their various sporting commitments (not necessarily in that order).

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