More Picturebooks for Year 4 (list 3)

Here is list three for Year 4. I have tried to look at diversity and variety of theme. Hope its useful.

  1. Faraway Things by Dave Eggers and Kelly Murphy

From a bestselling author comes an evocative, classic-feeling adventure tale about a boy and his sword, and how giving away something precious leads to an even more important discovery.Lucian’s father called them faraway things, those mysterious objects orphaned upon the windswept shore, their stories long lost in the shroud of ocean fog. Lucian’s discovery on the beach this particular day, though, is no ordinary faraway thing. It’s a cutlass: strong, shiny, and powerful. As its history comes to light, Lucian faces a choice: cling to the sword he loves or accept a gift that shines farther, wider, and deeper than he could have ever dreamed.

Stunningly illustrated with evocative art by Kelly Murphy and written by award-winning and bestselling writer Dave Eggers, here is a profound and resonant tale about the reward of letting go.

Faraway Things is a book about choices. It’s dreamy and thoughtful. The sweeping art gives the book a widescreen feel and allows lots of discussion.It’s a gentle and joyous story about thinking about others rather than ourselves. As a school by the sea I can imagine us hunting for the storm left treasure. Delightful.

2. Moose of Ewenki by Gerelchimeg Blackcrane and Jui Er. Translated by Heken Mixter

From one of China’s bestselling children’s authors comes this story of friendship and empathy, which celebrates the traditional way of life for the Indigenous Ewenki peoples of Mongolia.

When a Mongolian elder named Gree Shrek hunts a female moose by mistake, her young calf is left behind. Saddened by her loss, Gree Shrek names the calf Xiao Han (“Little Moose”) and the moose and man form an authentic attachment. Xiao Han accompanies Gree Shrek as the hunter-gatherer herds reindeer, sets up camp, forages for food in the forest, and visits his peoples’ village, where many fun adventures happen. But as the little moose grows bigger, Gree Shrek knows he must return his companion to the forest.

I love this beautiful and warm depiction of a traditional tale. The artwork is detailed and vibrant, full of energy and humour. For certain it is a book best read aloud, as it has the feel of a story told orally through generations over firelight. Its a great story about man’s relationship with nature and our part in the greater whole. Great for opening discussions on the nature of wild.

3. Everybody Counts by Kristen Roskifte

This fun book teaches you to count from 0 to 7.5 billion, but also to do so much more. Follow the characters’ stories through the book and see how their lives collide with those of others. There are a lot of secrets to be discovered for the sharp-eyed! You’ll see that everyone is different, everyone has their own life, and that—most importantly—everybody counts. At the end, a spotting section allows you to go back and have even more fun. This critically acclaimed book has been shortlisted for the prestigious Brage Prize in Norway, its country of origin.

This is a book that demands exploration, multiple narratives play out across the pages and the following and sequencing of those is fascinating. The scale and size of the numbers is brilliant to help children understand the the real scale of numbers. It’s full of whimsy and is more than a little quirky. It’s also full of subtle clues and questions. Perfect for a group explore.

4. Outside In by Deborah Underwood and Cindy Derby

Outside is waiting, the most patient playmate of all. The most generous friend. The most miraculous inventor. Our connection with nature is not so easily obscured by lives spent indoors.

Outside In stunning and timely picture book. It is about our connection with nature. It is about that lure that nature has for us. Given the past 18 months it is is even more important that we help children make that connection with the outside. A real book for now and the future. With sparse, poetic language and beautiful illustrations this book reminds us of our connections with nature and how even inside our homes the outside world will find us. Whether its sunlight and moonlight streaming through our windows, birds heard singing in the trees or tapping on our roofs, insects we encounter that are seeking shelter, or the food and water we eat and drink, our lives are part of something greater. This is the perfect read for any child (or adult) who is feeling like a shut-in.

5. One Little Bag by Henry Cole

A wordless book that starts from a tall tree growing in the forest –
to the checkout counter at the grocery store –
one brown bag finds its way into the hands of a young boy on the eve of his first day of school.

And so begins the journey of one brown bag that is used
and re-used
and re-used again.

In a three-generation family, the bag is transporter of objects and keeper of memories. And when Grandfather comes to the end of his life, the family finds a meaningful new way for the battered, but much-loved brown bag to continue its journey in the circle of life.

One Little Bag is a stunning wordless picturebook that starts becomes something very different to how it starts. It is a wonderful story of family and relationships of aging and time. Picture books don’t get any better than this. Perfect for discussions, the stunning detailed illustration make it perfect for using with groups for exploring narrative structures.

6. Freedom We Sing by Amrya Leon and Molly Mendoza

“I wonder, then, what freedom is. Is it a place? Is it a thought? Can it be stolen? Can it be bought?”

As powerful as it is beautiful, Freedom, We Sing is a lyrical picture book designed to inspire and give hope to readers around the world. Molly Mendoza’s immersive, lush illustrations invite kids to ponder singer/songwriter Amyra León’s poem about what it means to be free. It’s the perfect book for parents who want a way to gently start the conversation with their kids about finding hope in these very tense times we are living in.

Gorgeous, timely, but so accessible.

With simple words and phrases in rhyme, FREEDOM WE SING is about what freedom means. To breathe is freedom and everyone wants to breathe in freedom. There are people from all over the world fighting for the chance to breathe free. Perfect for PSCHE discussion, the vibrant art sings and the words hum. A powerful beautiful book.

7. Birrarung Wilam by Aunty Joy Murphy, Andrew Kelly and Lisa Kennedy

Travel along Melbourne’s twisting Yarra River in a glorious celebration of Indigenous culture and Australia’s unique flora and fauna.

As ngua rises, Bunjil soars over mountain ash, flying higher and higher as the wind warms. Below, Birrarung begins its long winding path down to palem warreen.

Yarra Riverkeeper Andrew Kelly and Aboriginal Elder of the Wurundjeri people Aunty Joy Murphy join to tell the Indigenous and geographical story of Melbourne’s beautiful Yarra River — from its source to its mouth and from its prehistory to the present day. The writing dazzles with poetic descriptions of the trees, plants, and wildlife that thrive in harmony along the iconic waterway. Lush and vibrant acrylic paintings from Indigenous illustrator Lisa Kennedy make the mighty Yarra come to life — coursing under a starry sky, drawing people to its sunny shores, mirroring a searing orange sunset. Jewel-like details in the illustrations offer opportunities for discovery on every page. As gorgeous and powerful as the river itself, this stunner invites all to come to Wilam: home.

End matter includes an authors’ note and a glossary of the Woiwurrung words used in the story.

Birrarung Wilam is a takes us on a glorious journey along the Yarra river. It is an immersive poetic masterpiece that totally transports you. Full of detail and facts the journey meanders gently and beautifully. Its a stunning achievement.

8. Phoenix of Persia by Sally Pomme Clayton and Amen Hassanzadeh Sharif

In a bustling marketplace in Iran, a traditional storyteller regales her audience with the tale of Prince Zal and the Simorgh. High up on the Mountain of Gems lives the Simorgh, a wise phoenix whose flapping wings disperse the seeds of life across the world. When King Sam commands that his long-awaited newborn son Zal be abandoned because of his white hair, the Simorgh adopts the baby and raises him alongside her own chicks. She teaches him everything she knows. But when the king comes to regret his actions, Prince Zal will learn that the most important lesson of all is forgiveness.

The artwork in this picture book is gorgeous, and the accompanying music that can be accessed through a QR code is exquisite as well. . This is a moving story of betrayal, forgiveness, and loyalty beautifully told and exquisitely illustrated, it a fantastic different take on traditional tales.

9. Feathered Serpent and the Five Suns by Duncan Tonatiuh

Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh brings an ancient Mesoamerican creation myth to life
Long ago, the gods of Mesoamerica set out to create humans. They tried many times during each sun, or age. When all their attempts failed and the gods grew tired, only one did not give up: Quetzalcóatl—the Feathered Serpent. To continue, he first had to retrieve the sacred bones of creation guarded by Mictlantecuhtli, lord of the underworld. Gathering his staff, shield, cloak, and shell ornament for good luck, Feathered Serpent embarked on the dangerous quest to create humankind.
Award-winning author and illustrator Duncan Tonatiuh brings to life the story of Feathered Serpent, one of the most important deities in ancient Mesoamerica. With his instantly recognizable, acclaimed art style and grand storytelling, Tonatiuh recounts a thrilling creation tale of epic proportions.

This is a stunning retelling of a Mesoamerican creation myth, chock full of determination, daring, helpers, and cunning. The journey undertaken by the Feathered Serpent, bent on a last attempt to create People after several earlier attempts have resulted in fish, birds, and animals, is mysterious and thrilling. The Tonatiuh’s illustrations nod to the source material imagery and the whole is a wonderful introduction to both the content and style of this mythology. A great book for introducing children to wider cultures and stories.

10. Boy and the Gorilla by Jackie Azua Kramer and Cindy Derby

This profoundly moving tale about a grieving boy and an imaginary gorilla makes real the power of talking about loss.

On the day of his mother’s funeral, a young boy conjures the very visitor he needs to see: a gorilla. Wise and gentle, the gorilla stays on to answer the heart-heavy questions the boy hesitates to ask his father: Where did his mother go? Will she come back home? Will we all die? Yet with the gorilla’s friendship, the boy slowly begins to discover moments of comfort in tending flowers, playing catch, and climbing trees. Most of all, the gorilla knows that it helps to simply talk about the loss—especially with those who share your grief and who may feel alone, too. Author Jackie Azúa Kramer’s quietly thoughtful text and illustrator Cindy Derby’s beautiful impressionistic artwork depict how this tender relationship leads the boy to open up to his father and find a path forward. Told entirely in dialogue, this direct and deeply affecting picture book will inspire conversations about grief, empathy, and healing beyond the final hope-filled scene. “Luminous.” Kirkus Starred Review.

A beautifully emotional book. This is the touching story of a young boy grieving the loss of his mother. With an imaginary gorilla by his side the boy asks all the questions he has been keeping inside. The gorilla thoughtfully provides some answers and helps him connect with his father. The topic of death is a hard story to tell but this book delicately provides an opening for children and parents to talk about something so painful. Brilliant for PSCHE and smaller group conversations.

Hope the list is useful.

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