American Robert Kraus is the author of Leo the Late Bloomer, the reassuring story that tells children that not everyone does everything at the same time or pace, but in their own time. Leo, a small tiger cannot read, write or draw. He even eats sloppily, but he 'blooms' in his own time and does achieve at things that his peers have already done.This story provides great discussion starters for Circle Time and allows children who achieve easily to empathise with those who don't. The flower metaphor can also be explored further with a class after a reading session.
Australian Janet McLean is a kindergarten teacher who started her writing career writing stories with her husband, Andrew McLean (see 29th May) for him to
illustrate. She says that 'working with young children over the past thirty years has been an inspiration to me as a writer.' This is very obvious in her book Make it I'm the Mother.
And thirdly, a picture book on the refugee theme. Petar's Song by Pratima Mitchell and Caroline Binch tells the story of a mother and her three children who escape from their village when war breaks out by walking over the mountains and across the border. One of the sons, Petar plays the violin well, but cannot bring himself to play it again, despite taking it with him, once he leaves his father and village until Christmas comes and a song of peace plays in his head. This story does not see the family reunited, but it is hopeful.