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Archive for December, 2012

Faves of 2012

Okay it is that time of the year again where anyone and everyone puts together lists of their top picks of the past year. I am going to be no different, I will, however, not be doing a top 10. What I have put here are the ones that really stood out, but truthfully I had many wonderful reading experiences this year just about gone, and I did limit this list to those books published in 2012.

Let me start with the youngest first and believe me there were so many really cool picture books this past year but here are a few that stood out.

The Snorgh and the Sailor : Will Buckingham and Thomas Docherty


The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore : William Joyce


I Love You Little Monster : Andreae Giles and Jess Mikhail


Plant a Kiss : Amy Rosenthal and Peter H Reynolds


What Does Daddy Do? : Rachel Bright


Fiction 4 – 9 years.

Secret of the Swords : Frances Watts and Gregory Rogers


Hey Jack! series : by Sally Rippin


Billie B Brown series by Sally Rippin

9781742971414Fiction 8 – 12

Floors : Patrick Carmen


Summer’s Dream :  Cathy Cassidy


Dork Diaries series : Rachel Renee Russell

9780857071194Young Adult Fiction

Stormdancer : Jay Kristoff


The Fault in Our Stars : John Green


Team Human : Justine Larbalestier and Sarah Rees Brennan




The Perks of Being a Wallflower

I received this from the publisher.

9781471100482By: Stephen Chbosky

Charlie is a shy freshman who is trying to figure out his way through the maze that is high school. Is is a place of first loves, first dates, friendships and family dramas. Charlie is good at sitting on the sidelines, he is good at watching. There comes a time though when you need to stop watching and start living. With the help of new friends Patrick and Sam, Charlie starts to experience what growing up is all about.

In it’s simplest form ‘The Perks of Being a Wallflower’ is a coming of age story. There is very little about it that is simple though. Charlie is incredibly shy and highly emotional. You know there is stuff that has gone on in his life and that is never made very clear. Charlie is a troubled kid, on many levels. For me he wasn’t the strength of the book.Sam and Patrick were what held this story together for me. For all that it is supposed to be poignant, touching, I found Charlie to be a bit frustrating, especially his constant crying. Yes it is an interesting read, it is a different take on navigating what can be such a difficult time. It will definitely appeal to some, though I think it is going to be one of those books you get or you don’t really. For me it was something I can say I’ve read, but it didn’t leave much of a mark.

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Ltd 

Published: 01 October 2012

Format: Paperback 240 pages

Categories: Contemporary Fiction

ISBN 13: 9781471100482

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

Bella’s Blessings

9781897476611By: Brenda Stokes & Trisha DesRosiers

When Bella is born, her grandmother makes her a blessing bag and promises to give her a different blessing each spring. First love then dedication and on we go. Each year Bella learns something according to these blessings. Bella’s grandmother can’t live forever though and can her last blessing be something Bella can learn from?

This is a beautiful and touching book about life and growing. Dedication, love, beauty, honesty, kindness and courage are all traits for Bella to develop and the message comes clearly to the readers through the gorgeous text and charming illustrations. A heartwarming story. For older picture book readers because it has plenty of text.


Publisher: Simply Read Books

Published: 05 November 2012

Format: Hardback 50 pages

Categories: Animal Stories, Growing Up, Family

ISBN 13: 9781897476611

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

Never Say No to a Princess

9781407115610By: Tracey Corderoy & Kate Leake

This Princess is very spoiled. Everything she wants she gets because she threatens to cry if she doesn’t get her way, so the King and Queen rush to give in. The one day things very much don’t go her way and she demands a dragon to do what she wants. The dragon refuses because the Princess does not appear to know the magic word. Will the Princess be able to remember the right word. If she does she may actually make a new friend.

An interesting story about tantrums and manners. The princess is very unlikeable at the beginning of the story. There is plenty of get and a not so subtle message. The illustrations are kind of quirky and fun. This is perfect for a reader who likes princesses and dragons and may need a reminder of good manners.

Publisher: Alison Green Books

Published: 01 March 2012

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Princesses, Dragons, Manners

ISBN 13: 9781407115610

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


The Jungle Run

9781408311752By: Tony Mitton & Guy Parker-Rees

The animals are all ready for the Jungle Run. Cub wants to join in but they all think Cub is too small. They are off as fast as can be, to deal with the obstacles. It turns out though that sometimes small can be best.

A fun read about a jungle obstacle course and all the animals who want to win. The text is entertaining and it rhymes. The illustrations are bold, bright, with just a hint of silly.

Publisher:  Orchard Books

Published: 07 June 2012

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Animals, Jungle,

ISBN 13: 9781408311752

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


9781906427900By: Patrick Carmen

The Whippet Hotel is the most amazing hotel on earth. There simply isn’t any place like it. Each room is unique, full of secrets and surprises. That’s not all, the guests are mad or mysterious. Leo loves the Whippet, it is his home and his job. Leo and his dad work as caretakers for the hotel, it is a totally crazy job but Leo wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. Then Merganzer Whippet, the hotel’s owner and designer, disappears and things start to go terribly wrong. It is like the hotel is sick and it is up to Leo to follow the clues and figure out what is wrong. In the course of this amazing adventure Leo makes a new friend and finds hidden floors. One thing is certain, no matter how it ends, Leo’s life will never be the same.

A wonderful adventure through a totally wacky and incredibly fun place. the hotel is it’s own character full of quirks and secrets. Leo is daring and courageous and you want the end to be something wonderful for him. The journey Carmen takes him on is character developing and very entertaining. Anyone with a sense of adventure would love to go to the Whippet. There is the right amount of sneakiness, tension and foreboding.

A real fun read.

Publisher: Chicken House Ltd

Published: 05 January 2012

Format: Paperback 272 pages

Categories: Adventure, Mystery

ISBN 13: 9781906427900

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


9781844282968By: Peter H Reynolds

Ramon loves to draw, anywhere, anytime and anything. One day his brother laughs at him and Ramon tries harder but eventually, when it doesn’t go the way he plans he decides to give up. That is until his sister shows him a different way to see things. Ramon learns that ‘ish’ is a powerful concept, a wonderful thing.

This is a beautiful book on creativity, perspective and encouragement. Totally adorable, with simple language, simple but incredibly appealing illustrations. I totally love Reynold’s books.

Highly Recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Ltd

Published: 05 September 2005

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Creativity

ISBN 13: 9781844282968

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

The Snorgh and the Sailor

9781407116525By: Will Buckingham and Thomas Docherty

The Snorgh lives a solitary life, Snorgh’s don’t like visitors, share their soap and absolutely never go on adventures. Well they don’t until the night a sailor knocks on Snorgh’s door and invites himself in. Snorgh’s life, in that evening, changes more than Snorgh could ever have imagined.

A fun, cute tale about getting out or your comfort zone and really living life. The text is wonderfully entertaining – perfect for the older picture book reader, with longer attention spans. The accompanying illustrations are beautifully quirky and full of fun and life. A total joy to read.

Publisher: Alison Green Books

Published: 02 April 2012

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Fiction, Adventure

ISBN 13: 9781407116525

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

Midsummer Knight

9781741754827By: Gregory Rogers

Bear discovers an enchanted world in the heart of  the forest. He makes new, wonderful,  friends but stumbles upon a plot involving terrible betrayal. Can he find a way to mastermind a clever escape and lead his new friends to victory in a royal battle.

A wonderfully told story through the medium of pictures. The method Rogers uses is engaging, even captivating. The illustrations draw you in and encourage readers to use their imagination. A great story of adventure and friendship.

Publisher: Allen & Unwin

Published: 01 June 2008

Format: Paperback 32 pages

Categories: Animals, Adventure, Friendship

ISBN 13: 9781741754827

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

The Hero of Little Street

9781596437296By: Gregory Rogers

Our character, Boy, ducks into a gallery in order to escape from a gang of bullies. Once inside the most amazing thing happens, he is drawn into a Vermeer painting. It turns out that Vermeer’s Little Street in Delft isn’t a safe place and Boy has to figure out a way to reuse his doggy friends from a terrible fate at the hands of the butcher.

A beautiful story with no actual text. There is however plenty of scope for readers to experience a wonderful story, and in rereading probably find something new. The illustrations are terrific and it was a joy to read this story.

Publisher: Roaring Brook Press

Published: 27 March 2012

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Bullying, Adventure

ISBN 13: 9781596437296

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

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