Top ten children’s books of 2013

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I read lots and lots of children’s books. Lots. Yet, at the end of the year when I put together a list of my favourites, the task is easy because there’s always a handful that standout.

The standouts are those special books that are demanded at story-time repeatedly, have illustrations that enchant or are simply so funny that my kids laugh at the same bits over and over again. So let’s count them down.

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10. The Treasure Box by Margaret Wild and Freya Blackwood – wonderful, haunting, memorable.

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9. Goldilocks and the Three Dinosaurs by Mo Willems – a refashioned fairytale told with signature Willems wit.

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8. Maude: The Not-So-Noticeable Shrimpton by Lauren Child – it’s a little bit dark but in a very good way.dot-to-dot-Malcolm-Cossons-3

7. Dot to Dot by Malcolm Cossons and Neil Stevens –  sensational illustrations accompany a story about a little girl and her grandma, who lives on the other side of the world.

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6. Starting School by Jane Godwin and Anna Walker – sweet, sensitive and perfect for all children who are beginning school in the new year.

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5. Yoo-Hoo, Ladybird by Mem Fox and Laura Ljunkvist – a visual treat for the youngest of readers.

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4. I Am an Artist by Marta Altes – if there was an award for the ‘best story ending of the year’, I Am an Artist would win – it’s terrific!

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3. Journey by Aaron Becker – a beautiful wordless book suitable for everyone with an imagination (so yes, everyone!)

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2. Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle – Flora is my favourite character of 2013.

And my favourite book in 2013 –

1. The Day the Crayons Quit by Drew Daywalt and illustrated by Oliver Jeffers – I’m still laughing about the beige crayon and I’m yet to see a kid get excited about colouring wheat.

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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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