Busy Bookworms' 10 Best Books of 2018

Looking for some great summer reading for your kids? Check out our picks of the best picture books released in 2018…Happy reading!


Watch This! 

By Hilary Walker, Jane Godwin & Beci Orpington

This innovative book is not only a fun and interesting way to introduce children to basic shapes, but also an invitation to readers to see what shapes they can make with their own bodies. The book is a photographic celebration of a group of children creating circles, triangles, rectangles and pyramids, and experimenting with the types of shapes they can make if they work together. The bold, colourful backgrounds add to the sense of playfulness, and young readers aged 1 and up will be captivated by the movement and energy which almost leap off the pages.


The Rabbit, the Dark and the Biscuit Tin

By Nicola O’Byrne

How can a young rabbit avoid having to go to bed? Easy - capture the dark in a biscuit tin of course! If it doesn’t get dark, he won’t have to go to bed. But trouble quickly ensues for the nocturnal animals, who don’t like the sun, and the vegetables growing in the garden, which begin to wilt. Luckily Rabbit discovers just in time that the dark can actually be quite wonderful. This is a beautiful book with a surprise ending which will delight readers aged 3-7.


The Visitor

By Antje Damm

This visually stunning book tells the story of Elise, who is frightened of everything and as a result, never leaves her dark, lonely home. One day she unwittingly lets a young boy into her house, who brings with him joy, colour, and the promise of a brighter, more playful future. Award winning picture book creator Antje Damm creates a three dimensional diorama in which the action of the story takes place, and then photographs the scenes to create the absolutely gorgeous images for the book. The Visitor is a beautiful book to share with readers aged 2-8.


Car, Car, Truck, Jeep

Written by Katrina Charman, Illustrated by Nick Sharratt

This ingenious book takes everyone's favourite nursery rhyme, Baa Baa Black Sheep, and modifies the lyrics into a catchy song about every form of transport imaginable, from four-wheeled road vehicles to trains, planes, and even a hovercraft.

Coupled with bold, bright illustrations, this book is sure to be a hit for transport-loving readers aged 2-5.


Rhyme Cordial

Written & Illustrated by Antonia Pesenti

The bright, bold illustrations and board book format of Rhyme Cordial may be designed for the baby market, but the book’s humorous wordplay makes it equally appealing to older children as well. Each page begins with a simple concept, say ‘Spoon of Marmalade’, but the illustrations under the large fold-outs give it a surreal twist – in this case, ‘Moon and Starmalade’. This quirky, funny book is sure to become a favourite for readers from birth, well into childhood.


Going to the Volcano

Written by Andy Stanton, Illustrated by Miguel Ordóñez

While many picture books are described as ‘laugh-out-loud funny’, this is the first book I can recall that made me actually laugh out loud. From the crazy character names to the insane ways they travel to the volcano, and the disastrous results, this book will become a fast favourite for kids aged 2-7 and their grown-up readers!



Written by Katrina Lehman, Illustrated by Sophie Beer

Wren struggles to cope with the cacophony of his surroundings – all he’s looking for is a bit of peace and quiet. Instead, he gets a new baby sister. On top of the sounds of traffic, telephones, dogs, doors, kids and kettles that overwhelm his senses every day, the baby’s crying is the final straw. But some time away in the country shows Wren that maybe peace and quiet isn’t what he needs after all.

The vibrant illustrations and engaging story make this a wonderful book for children aged 3-6, and a great choice for anyone bringing a new baby into their family.


All the Ways to be Smart

By Davina Bell & Allison Colpoys

This is the highly anticipated new book from the author-illustrator team who brought us last year’s beautiful book Under The Love Umbrella. Once again, Bell and Colpoys have created a modern classic with an important message – being smart is about much more than academic success. With a unique and vibrant colour palette and lovely rhyming text, this book is a reminder that in today’s achievement-driven society, all children are smart in their own ways. This is sure to become a family favourite for children aged 3 and up.


Tricky’s Bad Day

By Alison Lester

From the author-illustrator of Australian classics such as Kissed by the Moon, Imagine and Magic Beach comes a fun and engaging new book for kids aged 3 and up. Inspired by spending time with her seven grandchildren, Lester wanted to share the important message that even the worst of bad days can be turned around by spending some time in the great outdoors. Considering that 66% of Australian children don’t spend adequate time in physical activity for healthy development, and that outdoor play is a proven remedy for increasingly common disorders such as anxiety, ADHD and depression, this book could not be more timely. Tricky’s adventures are very relatable for young children, and parents will love to use this book as a springboard for discussion about getting out into nature.


Welcome: A Mo Willems Guide for New Arrivals

Written & Illustrated by Mo Willems

Hot on the heels of Oliver Jeffers’ incredible Here We Are: Notes for Living on Planet Earth comes another brilliant book to introduce newborn babies to the world. Mo Willem’s sense of humour is familiar to many of us who have read his hilarious Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus! books and the Elephant and Piggie series. In Welcome he presents a step-by-step guide for babies entering the big wide world, explaining everything they will encounter here – from music and bagels to ice cream disasters. The simple illustrations are perfect for newborns, and the funny, insightful text will appeal to grown-up readers. Willems’ overarching message of love makes this a perfect gift for new babies and their parents.


NOTE: Busy Bookworms reviews the latest children’s books each month for My Child Magazine. This content originally appeared at www.mychildmagazine.com.au