Tag Archives: Help

Good Night, Ivy Bright – Ben Long/Andrew Plant


Ford St Publishing

April 2021

RRP: $16.99

ISBN: 9781925804720

This is a glorious book with both a joyful rollicking rhyming text from author, Ben Long, and (as always) sublime illustrations from Andrew Plant. On the surface it is a splendid introduction to both colours and colour mixing but it goes much deeper than that. To be honest, I can’t say it better than Ben himself:

What I didn’t realise while I was writing this story was the importance of the moose.
Everyone needs a moose. We all have times when we’re challenged – when we are tired,
troubled, or in tears. And it’s at those times when we need someone to sit down next to us
and be there for us, just like the moose in this story. For some people, the moose might be
their mum. For others it might be their dad, sister, brother, friend, or all of the above.
Similarly, sometimes we need to be the moose for someone else. It’s a good reminder to ask
for help when you need it, and to offer help when it’s needed.

Just imagine using this with your class and investigating all the artistic possibilities but at the same time inviting discussion around when we might need a ‘moose’ in our lives. It would take very little encouragement to generate the most valuable of conversations and giving small humans the reassurances they need, as well as putting into their minds the possibility that they might, in turn, be someone’s ‘moose’.

I just love this and can easily envisage it in either your library session or a classroom setting – especially since there are brilliant teaching notes provided!

Highly recommended for little readers from around five years upwards.

Ernest the Elephant – Anthony Browne


Walker Books Australia

May 2021

ISBN: 9781406395099
Imprint: Walker

Australian RRP: $27.99
New Zealand RRP: $29.99

Anthony Browne never fails to deliver does he? In this vibrant new picture book from the master a little elephant makes quite a big mistake when he wanders away from his herd and into the tempting jungle, mostly because he was feeling just a little bit bored with everything being the same. How often does that sense of ‘blah’ incite a bit of mischief in humans, whether small or big?

At first Ernest finds his jungle journey rather exciting but when he realises that he is quite lost and has no idea at all of how to find his family, his emotions rapidly change. Ernest knows he needs help and he asks one after another of rather large imposing animals; a rude gorilla, a weary lion, an impolite hippo and an uncaring crocodile but none of these are willing to help.

Finally the little elephant comes upon a tiny mouse who quickly volunteers to help. Ernest is pretty sure that such a small creature would be of no assistance at all but working together, the pair are quickly able to locate Ernest’s mum and family.

It is a simple story of how we can find help in the most unexpected of places and that it is not the ‘big important’ people who can be the best friends, and it will certainly resonate with even the youngest of readers who will be able to pinpoint the crux of the theme very easily. My first thought for a teaching experience was to compare and contrast with Aesop’s Lion and the Mouse – one story so very old and one so fresh and modern, yet both with the same simple and direct message.

As always Browne’s illustrations are simply stunning and bring joy to the reader – that jungle certainly is tempting with its jewel-like colours!

Highly recommended for little ones from as young as three for a read-aloud and on up to Year 2/3.

Teaching notes available here