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Archive for May, 2012

The Bump

By: Mij Kelly

Illustrated By: Nicholas Allan

Before you were born things were different and changing with your mummy. She sometimes ate silly things and started to look different. Through all these changes she loved you.

This is a pregnancy picture book with a bit of a twist, the baby in this book is the child the story is being told to. it is not a story about a new baby so much as a story of love. It is simple and the fun illustrations match the joy of the story as we are taken on the journey from first discovery or pregnancy to birth and beyond. It is a tale of a mother’s love for her child.

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

Published: 01 March 2012

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Baby, Family

ISBN 13: 9780340989500

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

Diary of a Soccer Star

By: Shamini Flint

Marcus Atkinson is 9 and doesn’t want to play soccer. He also isn’t interested in keeping a diary. His dad though is big on writing down goals and getting involved, which is how Marcus finds himself semi-infamous for scoring an own goal with his butt. He hopes this will mean he can stop playing soccer. No such luck. It is a good thing he is good at maths – why can’t his dad just let him do that? Also it is a good thing others on the soccer team can really play the game.

If you have a 7-9 year old who is interested in sport then these books might appeal. Stylistically they are like the Wimpy Kid books. Marcus is no doubt an athletic underdog and in this the humour is found. There were a couple of things that I wasn’t keen on in this book; firstly if he is so good at math how is it he is so terrible at spelling (haf for have), and after a while the misunderstanding of soccer references seems to get a little tired. However there aren’t many sports books for kids that age so if you are looking for one then give these a look.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: 01 January 2012

Format: Paperback 96 pages

Categories: Humour, Sports Stories

ISBN 13: 9781742378251

Purchase: use booktopia link on the side of the page

The Secret of the Swords

By: Frances Watts

Illustrations By: Gregory Rogers

Being a kitchen girl at Flamant Castle is not where Tommy really wants to be. Tommy dreams of becoming a knight and often watches the training sessions when she should be working. When she stands up to a bully and is made Keeper of the Blades she is so excited and starts to hope that maybe her dreams can come true. Then disaster strikes, Lord Walters most valuable sword goes missing and Tommy needs to find it so she doesn’t get sent back to the kitchens.

Way cool. Sorry but that needed to be said. I love characters like Tommy who have big dreams outside the norm, stand up to those who pick on the more helpless and are open enough to accept the unusual in their lives. Tommy is all that.

This story is sure to entertain. The text is funny and appealing. Tommy is in the midst of an interesting cast that includes Lil the talking cat and ghosts that inhabit the swords she is to look after. Rogers’ illustrations bring a quirky visualisation to the story. If you are looking for something for a 7-9 year old girl who isn’t into fairies or way girly things, something with an independent and strong character, then definitely pick this up. Likewise if you want to encourage boys to read books with girl characters, and lets face even these days not enough do, then this is probably a great place to start. Can’t wait to see more of this series.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: 01 April 2012

Format: Paperback 96 pages

Categories: Fantasy

ISBN 13: 9781742377285

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

Hugless Douglas and the Big Sleep

By: David Melling

Douglas is ever so excited, he is going to Rabbit’s for a sleepover. He is all packed. Along the way a few others are invited, Rabbit doesn’t mind, but how will everyone fit into Rabbit’s place? They push, they pull and they dig. It is not looking too good, how will Douglas and everyone else ever get to sleep?

An adorable addition to the Hugless Douglas series of picture books. Douglas is a wonderfully innocent and open character. The illustrations are instantly recognisable and warmly appealing. The stories are fun and entertaining. Every child’s bookshelf should have at least one Hugless Dougless book on it. Who wouldn’t want to spend time with Douglas?

Publisher: Hodder Children’s Books

Published: 05 April 2012

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Characters, Animal Stories

ISBN 13: 9781444901481

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Comic Books

So this is a blog about books, sort of, mostly though it is about reading and although I know plenty of adults that read comic books, manga or graphic novels there are plenty of younger folk who do to. While I am not about to start reviewing that format on here, I figured it wouldn’t hurt to have a post about them.

My favourites : well I always liked Wolverine and Nightcrawler was pretty cool.

I also loved Sandman written by Neil Gaiman.

I read pretty much whatever my boyfriend at the time, had in his collection (and it was a big collection). Needless to say I get a little excited when a comic based movie comes out, though I am also wary, sometimes they do them very badly. I happen to know so people who are very passionate about this topic though and if they say a film is good I will absolutely take their word for it.

I guess really what I want to say is that just because there are lots of pictures doesn’t mean it is an invalid form of reading and absolutely can be used to encourage literacy. If you have or are a reluctant reader it could just be because you haven’t found the right book or format. Comic book stores are not scary places, the people in there are passionate about their format, go on in you might be pleasantly surprised.

Of course it is entirely possible I just wanted to post a few clips for movie adaptions.

Sister Madge’s Book of Nuns

By: Doug MacLeod

Illustrations By: Craig Smith

Convents are religious places

Peaceful and sublime

Unless of course you happen to know any of the nuns contained within the poetry of Sister Madge’s book. Sister Bossy likes to tell people off, Sister Isobel is a little careless with children in her care, Sister Stephanie rides with a motorcycle gang and Sister Laurel has a bad habit involving snuff.

This is a wonderful collection of poetry by Doug MacLeod and to be honest I have a fondness for them, especially Sister Ginger who met the cannibals. I first came across these when studying speech and drama and Sister Ginger was one of the poems I had to learn. They are so much fun, who doesn’t like to read about bikie nuns and plants that talk back. The illustrations amusing and perfectly suit the tones of of the pieces. If you are looking for something really fun and just a little different then definitely give this a shot, it is bound to brighten up your day.

Publisher: Working Title Press

Published: 21 March 2012

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Humour, Poetry

ISBN 13: 9781921504433

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Cave Baby

By: Julia Donaldson

Illustrated By: Emily Gravett

Cave Baby’s daddy is brave, his mummy is good at painting but Cave Baby is bored. Then he finds a paintbrush but his work is not appreciated and he is told to behave or the mammoth will throw him to the big brown bear. Then at night the mammoth comes and Cave Baby is afraid but it is not what he thinks and he finally gets to have fun.

This is a wonderful tale of imagination and allowing children to express their creativity. Donaldson’s rhyming text, as always, is wonderfully expressive and is paired this time with Gravatt’s beautifully appealing illustrations. This has less text than some of her books but is a great addition to the bookshelf for your younger readers.

You can’t really go wrong with a Donaldson book.

Publisher: Macmillan Children’s Books

Published: 01 June 2011

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Imagination, Cave People, Creativity

ISBN 13: 9780330522762

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

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