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Lilli-Pilli’s Sister

I was sent this by the publisher.

lilli-pilli-s-sister

By: Anna Branford

Illustrated by: Linda Catchlove

Lilli-Pilli’s mother is going to have a baby. Lilli-Pilli is very excited about having a baby sister, she knows it is going to be a sister because she can feel it in her wings. Lilli-Pilli is helping her dad make the baby’s crib and he sends her out to collect some soft things to put in it, so it is comfortable for baby. As Lilli-Pilli speaks to others she begins to wonder if her wings are right because they seem so sure the baby will be a boy. Is Lilli-Pilli wrong to trust her wings?

This is a totally adorable book about getting a new baby in the family. It shows how a big sister (or brother) can help out even before a baby is born. The lovely thing here is the feeling of family and community, if you are looking for a picture book to help with the concept of a new sibling this is a great choice. The text is beautifully descriptive and the illustrations delightfully whimsical. A real delight to read and re-read. I am unashamedly a fan of Anna Branford’s work.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 February 2014

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Family, Siblings, Pregnancy, Fairies

ISBN 13: 9781921977589

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

Best of 2013

I’m not sure I really like doing best of lists because I am so sure I am going to miss something that I thought was really cool. I look at the books on my shelves to see if anything prods my memory. Using this method is very scattershot but does give me a couple of titles I had forgotten about. There is no real rhyme or reason to this list, they are simply the books that stayed with me the most or caught my attention for longer than others.

Kinslayer by Jay Kristoff (YA)

9780230768963

Acid by Emma Pass (YA)9780552566148

Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo (8+)

flora-and-ulysses

The School for Good and Evil by Soman Chainani (9+)

the-school-for-good-and-evil

Extra Time by Morris Gleitzman (8+)

9780143307754

Princess Betony and the Rule of Wishing by Pamela Freeman (5+)

princess-betony-and-the-rule-of-wishing

Violet Mackerel’s Pocket Protest by Anna Branford (5+)

9781921977572

Noah Dreary by Aaron Blabey (picture book)

9780670077182

Journey by Aaron Becker (picture book)

9781406342307All of these are worth more than a quick look.

Continue reading throughout the new year, I know there will be heaps of great books out in 2014.

 

How to Make Small Things with Violet Mackerel

I received this from the publisher

how-to-make-small-things-with-violet-mackerel

By: Anna Branford

Illustrated By: Sarah Davis

Photos By: Cath Muscat

With holidays upon us craft books can be a great idea. This one in particular is great for fans of Violet Mackerel. It embodies the spirit of Violet that comes from the stories, home made craft from found things. There are a wide variety of things to make to keep or give away as gifts. I love the Violet Mackerel books and am pleased that this craft book so echoes the sentiment in them, that its no all about what you can buy or get. There is plenty of room in these designs for each person to customise them in their own particular way.

If you are looking for something to fill some time have a look at this book, it won’t require you to go out and buy things, so you can get crafty as soon as you want. Found things and recycling are great concepts when it comes to children’s craft.

Recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 November 2013

Format: Paperback 80 pages

Categories: Activity, Craft

ISBN 13: 9781922179401

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.

Violet Mackerel’s Pocket Protest

I received my copy from the publisher9781921977572

By: Anna Branford

Illustrated By: Sarah Davis

Violet and her best friend Rose love playing at the park. They love to collect the acorns. Then something terrible happens, people turn up to measure the tree. They say they are going to cut it down so that a carpark can be built there instead. Violet and Rose decide they need to think of a plan to save their tree. They think about a protest and starting a petition. They design little signs to let people know what’s going on. Then there is a storm. Violet and Rose decide to try something else. They come up with a clever idea all in line with Violet’s Theory of Small Things. At first they don’t think they have made a difference, but then a wonderful thing happens.

Violet and Rose are wonderful characters. They have a passion for little things that gives them the heart to try things others wouldn’t. This is a great message. In fact the Violet books have simple messages about small things which is very Violet. These books are charming and very appealing. The stories are simple, joyous and fun. There are black and white illustrations which add to the charm. A great choice for young readers 7-9.

Highly Recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 July 2013

Format: Hardback 112 pages

Categories: Friendship, Environment

ISBN 13: 9781921977572

Purchase : here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Violet Mackerel’s Possible Friend

I got my copy from the publisher.

violet-mackerel-s-possible-friendBy: Anna Branford

Illustrated By: Sarah Davis

Violet’s family have moved to a new house. Her mum has told her she thinks their is another little girl who lives next door, Violet wonders if they might be friends. Then she leaves a note in the fence and the other little girl invites her over. Rose has a pink and white bedroom and a wonderful doll’s house. She thinks stuff at Rose’s place is pretty awesome. When she gets invited to Rose’s birthday party she starts to wonder if Rose will really like to have her as a friend.

This is a really great series. Violet Mackerel is one of my favourite characters for this age category. She is down to earth, honest, inquisitive and generous. It is lovely to see a character and a family who don’t have everything going for them but who have to try and who do it together. It is also great to have a character who is taught to value things like friendship and the wonder of a homemade gift over the more expensive store bought fare. It is a good look at if materialism is really what is important. I hope to see Rose join Violet in future stories, for now though I will just enjoy the fact I got to visit with Violet again.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 February 2013

Format: Hardback 112 pages

Categories: Friendship

ISBN 13: 9781921977565

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page

Top Titles 2011

As I’m going to not be posting between now and the new year I thought I would put my top picks of this year down now.

These aren’t the only ones I loved and there is no order to them, they are simply some of the ones released this year as far as I know that stand out in my mind.

Picture Books

The Flying Orchestra – Clare McFadden

The Last Viking – Norman Jorgensen/James Foley

The Jewelfish of Karnak – Graeme Base

Fiction 4-9

Violet Mackeral’s Natural Habitat – Anna Branford

Mystery in Paris – Thea Stilton (As with the rest of the series)

The Amazing Voyage – Geronimo Stilton (really I love the whole series)

Fiction 8 – 12

Eight Keys – Suzanne LaFleur

The Medusa Plot – Gordon Korman

Wonderstruck – Brain Selznick

Young Adult Fiction

Daughter of Smoke and Bone – Laini Taylor

The Extraordinaires – Michael Pryor

Mastiff – Tamora Pierce

Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat

By: Anna Branford

Illustrated: Sarah Davis

Violet Mackerel is the sort of girl who likes to help. She really likes to help small things, it is a new theory she is working on. She wants to help her sister with her science project but her sister doesn’t want her help, she says Violet is too young.

So Violet decides to work on her new theory and help a tiny ladybird she has named Small Gloria. Sometimes though helping isn’t easy. When things don’t work the way she wanted Violet gets help from her sister and learns all about natural habitats. With all this going on she manages to help her sister with her project and help something small.

Violet Mackerel is, quite simply, a charming character. She is wonderfully spirited, thinks of others and is inquisitive. It is always nice to see a character willing to learn, particularly in books for this age, it is behaviour that isn’t necessarily modeled all that often. This story is, well to use the word again, charming. The family dynamic is modern, broken and real, this makes it easier for readers to relate.

I think these books are great and love sharing them with my girls. It is always a pleasure to find a writer or a story I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 November 2011

Format: Hardback 112 pages

Categories: Family, Science

ISBN 13: 9781921529191

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

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