Pamela Allen is an award-winning Australian children's author who is originally from New Zealand. She's written numerous books since the 1980s but may not be as familiar to US children.
Who Sank the Boat?
I picked up this book from another toddler-friendly book list. It's a fun read about five animals of various sizes who decide to go for a boat ride. As each animal tentatively enters the boat, the child is asked "do you know who sank the boat? was it the [animal name]". Jonathan really enjoyed this book. It took a couple readings for him to understand the story, but he started chiming in "No!" or "Yes!" when the animal enters the boat. This book won the 1983 Australian CBC Picture Book of the Year.
Bertie and the Bear is a silly book in which a little boy is being chased by a bear. The queen starts to chase the bear, followed by the king, followed by the general, ending with a yapping dog. Each person or animal plays a different instrument or makes a different sound, teaching children about the sources of different sounds.When we started reading, I was a little worried that it could be a scary book- but that wasn't the case at all. The story ends well and Jonathan had fun mimicking the sounds different animals and instruments made. Plus, the story fit in well with our focus on bears this week! This book won the 1984 Australian CBC Children's Book of the Year
My Cat Maisie is a cute story with a wonderful lesson. Andrew is a little boy who wants a pet of his own. He is delighted when a stray cat appears at his doorstep. However, he is overly excited and not too gentle with the cat, which then runs away. Andrew sets out to find the cat, but encounters the neighbor's big dog Lobo instead. Lobo is overly excited to play with Andrew and is also not too gentle. When the cat reappears at Andrew's window that night, he very gently pets the cat and names her Maisie. This is such a cute story and teaches by example how we need to be gentle and thoughtful with animals. The illustrations help tell the story without being very preachy at children. I really enjoyed this book and it was a great platform for talking with Jonathan about how we need to be gentle at times. Jonathan really enjoys both his nana's and uncle's dogs and, like Andrew, is prone to get very excited around them. I think this is a book we'll check out again!
Find these books in your local library:
Bertie and the Bear
My Cat Maisie
Who Sank the Boat?
Other Links to Pamela Allen reviews/activities:
KidzClub has a story pattern for Who Sank the Boat? (Updated 3/8/11)
Our Worldwide Classroom reviewed The Potato People and has a fun craft to go with it.
Purple Frangipani recommends Shh! Little Mouse for toddlers
Jean @ At All Honesty recommends Grandpa and Thomas