Children’s Book Week is here (as if you didn’t already know!) and one of the books on the notables list for Book of the Year: Early Childhood, is:

Ten Little Owls by Renee Treml

Straight off the bat what’s nice about this title is that it’s actually a board book! Which is a bit of a rarity on these lists, even in the early childhood category. So, it’s a perfect choice for parents to be reading if they have pram jam aged children.

As you might be able to guess from the title, this is a classic “count to ten … ” format board book but with a native Australian baby animals theme. It starts out “1 little wombat wakes from his rest … ” and continues through the night with the moonlit adventures of serveral not commonly featured animals, including: 3 little quolls (below); 5 little gliders; 6 little fur seals; 7 little fruit bats, and more.

On the face of it, a simple enough introduction to counting and Australian animals which is given extra layers of fun and learning by little things, like pairing the text of consecutive pages into rhyming couplets, so that there is that subtle addition of anticipation when a page is turned and the word that will complete the rhyming pair is discovered.

“Nine little dingos howl at the moon . . . Ten little owls hoot a goodnight tune.”

It is also a great book to read to your little ones before they go to bed because, as I mentioned, it starts with 1 little wombat waking up and comes full circle at the end with 1 tired wombat returning to bed.

This board book is well thought out and the cute little Aussie animals are very nicely illustrated – they’re all so adorable! I thoroughly recommend it for reading to the little animals you have at home!