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Archive for February, 2012

Cuddle Bear

By: Claire Freedman

Illustrated By: Gavin Scott

Do you need a cuddle. Panda has fallen and she does. Penguin is lonely and she does. Lion has never, ever had a hug. We all have times we need a snuggle or a hug. Cuddle Bear is there for all these occasions. Cuddle Bear is a hug-you-happy bear.

Not much needs to be said. The story follows different characters, all in need of a hug for different reasons. The text simple, with easy rhymes. The illustrations are big, warm and friendly.

All in all an appealing book.

Publisher: Koala Book Company

Published: 01 February 2012

Format: Paperback 28 pages

Categories: Friendship

ISBN 13: 9781742760223

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

13 Little Blue Envelopes

By: Maureen Johnson

Ginny receives a package from her Aunt Peg that contains 13 little blue envelopes, some money and the instruction to buy a plane ticket to London. Ginny knows if she does this something strange and exciting will happen, it just has to because Peg was fun and quirky and prone to odd things like running away across the world. The problem is that Peg is dead and can’t explain why she ran away. So Ginny, following her Aunt’s instructions sets of for London.

Once there she can open the next envelope and follow those instructions. This is how Ginny sets out on an unexpected journey in the footsteps of her aunt. Along the way she meets people who knew Peg, and is challenged to do things outside her comfort zone. In the process of trying to do as her aunt asked she meets an artistic Londoner, an Italian boy with less than pure intentions, a regimented tourist family and some laid back Aussie backpackers, and she gets to see some of the most amazing parts of the world. The real treasure though is discovering her aunt in a whole new way.

This story is a wonderful adventure of discovery, not only of Peg but also self-discovery for Ginny. Throughout the course of this journey Ginny comes out of her shell and really starts to grow as a person. The trip her aunt sends her on is a fascinating one that takes her off the beaten track at times. Ginny herself pulls you into the story as you care more about her journey that the aunt’s, not just the physical trip but also the emotional one.

Johnson takes the reader to some fantastic places around the world and imbues each place with a vitality of its own. The supporting cast are fascinating and each bring a little something special to the story. 13 Little Blue Envelopes is an enjoyable read, though at times I did wonder about an aunt that would throw someone so inexperienced into some of those situations but then that is why this is fiction not reality. A pleasant way to escape for a while.

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Published: 15 September 2006

Format: Paperback 352 pages

Categories: Adventure, Family, Discovery

ISBN 13: 9780060541439

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

The Winning Goal

By: Sally Rippin

Hey Jack! bk 3

It is Jack’s first day at soccer, he is really excited. Jack really wants to kick a goal, it is what he is most looking forward to. He is disappointed when the coach makes him the goalie. Goalies don’t get to kick goals and as far as Jack can see there is no glory in goalkeeping. It is an important position though and Jack finds out just how much.

This book deals with disappointment and opportunity. Good things to learn and discuss with your children. This is a fun, identifiable and easy to read story. It is a perfect format, limited text and large print, for beginning readers.

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 01 February 2012

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: Friends, Sport, Fun

ISBN 13: 9781742971285

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Skoz the Dog All at Sea

By: Andrew Daddo

Illustrated By: Judith Rossell

Skoz is no ordinary dog. Skoz is a dog with a problem, a sleepwalking problem. This time when Skoz wakes he is in a small boat out to sea. At first it looks like he has one problem to figure out, a big one, how to get home. Soon he discovers another, scarier, problem – the shark.

Skoz is a dog who finds himself in silly situations and through sheer effort and more than a little luck, he is able to get out of them. There are plenty of illustrations to break up the text so it doesn’t appear a daunting read for those just starting on chapter books . If you have a child that likes dogs and a bit of silliness then maybe have a look at these.

Publisher: ABC Books

Published: 01 March 2010

Format: Paperback 80 pages

Categories: Animal Stories

ISBN 13: 9780733327797

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

The Scary Solo

By: Sally Rippin

Hey Jack series bk 2

Jack loves to sing and he is going to try out for a solo part in the school production. Things don’t go as planned though and his best friend Billie gets the part instead. Jack is so mad because she knew he wanted the part. Jack manages to realise his feelings aren’t good about this and manages to apologise and then help Billie practice. When the day of the concert arrives things once again go wrong and it is up to Jack to save the day.

A fun little story about getting over disappointments and supporting a friend. The text is simple and fun. Moods go up and down as Jack goes through different experiences and feelings. A good little tale about apologising and still being friends. An enjoyable read for a beginning reader.

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 01 February 2012

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: Music, Friends,

ISBN 13: 9781742971261

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

The Crazy Cousins

By: Sally Rippin

Hey Jack series bk 1

Jack just wants to be left alone. He absolutely doesn’t want to have to play with his noisy cousins. Too bad his Dad won’t let him stay in his room. When Jack does go out to play he discovers something that changes his whole attitude.

This is the first book in the Hey Jack series. Jack is a fun little boy who is a bit moody, but that’s fine because everyone gets a little moody sometimes. This series is a companion series to the Billie B Brown series, Jack and Billie are best friends. In style and format they are the same – large print with simple, easy to follow story lines that are fun to read. An ideal book to look at when looking for something to interest beginning readers.

Publisher: Hardie Grant Egmont

Published: 01 February 2012

Format: Paperback 60 pages

Categories: Family

ISBN 13: 9781742971254

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Hot & Cold

EJ12 Girl Hero series, bk 1

Emma Jacks doesn’t want to go to school because it means having to deal with Nema. Nema is always doing nasty things and Emma wishes she wouldn’t, however Nema isn’t Emma’s only problem. Someone is melting the polar icecap and Emma, as Special Agent EJ12 needs to crack the codes and stop the evil mastermind’s ice melting plans in their tracks. EJ thinks this will be easier than dealing with Nema, but Nema is still there when EJ gets back from her mission.

This is a fun adventure book in the style of Zac Power, though with codes to crack, as well as bad guys to take down. It is easy enough to understand, with snippets of information thrown into the story. Also EJ’s life outside the agency is quite developed with school friends and family. I liked the way she learnt from her mission and applied it in her civilian life. An entertaining read that is a good choice for 8-9 year olds looking for a little adventure.

Publisher: Lemonfizz Media

Published: 01 February 2010

Format: Paperback 128 pages

Categories: Adventure, Crime, Mystery, Friendship

ISBN 13: 9781921684005

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Daizy Star and the Pink Guitar

By: Cathy Cassidy

Daizy is still looking for her star quality and when she gets a pink guitar for her birthday she thinks this may be when she finds it. Then her Dad comes up with another of his really crazy ideas. This time he wants the whole family to move to Malawi for a whole year. he thinks it will be fun to milk goats, build schools and dig wells. No-one else wants to go and he can’t seem to see that this is causing big problems in the family. Then Daizy hears about the Battle of the Bands competition and sets out to put a band together. She thinks if she can win, then she can donate the money to Malawi and maybe then she won’t have to leave her friends and all the things she likes behind.

Daizy Star is a great character, she’s a little quirky and full of heart. She also goes full on into her wild ideas, much like her father. Life in the Star house isn’t always easy, particularly with Dad’s harebrained ideas, but there is plenty of love and support as things are worked through in sometimes unusual ways. This one has a little darker tone than the previous book with her parents actually fighting over Dad’s idea. Also Daizy embraces some darker themes in the music she writes – mostly all the sucky feelings she is experiencing. Still Cassidy does a great job, giving up a wonderfully entertaining story that has heart. Daizy has great friends that balance her out and supportive siblings, oh and a boy she most definitely is not interested in.

Loved it.

Publisher: Puffin Books

Published: 03 June 2010

Format: Paperback 192 pages

Categories: Fiction, Life, Family, Friendship

ISBN 13: 9780141325200

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

National Year of Reading 2012

It has now been launched – the National Year of Reading 2012.

This is a great thing. Of course for me personally I don’t need it to be a particular year for reading to be a great thing, though I am well aware of the fact that reading isn’t so vital so many as it is to me.

So in honour of this year here are a few related clips.

Further information about this can be found here.

Arthur Slade Book Trailers

Arthur Slade is an award winning author and here are a couple of book trailers for his fantastical steampunk series The Hunchback Assignments.

The Hunchback Assignments Bk 1

The Dark Deeps – Bk 2

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