Ella and Olivia are sisters. Ella is a little bit older and she has a plan to plant a garden. Olivia really wants to help, the sisters are very excited about doing this fun project. Once they get started though it turns out they can’t agree on anything. Will they ever be able to get the garden built and growing.
Sisters will be sisters and in amongst everything they will fight and then get over it. Or at least they do here. The easy to read and understand text make this series a good choice for beginning readers. The lesson in the story are simple, and definitely relevant to families with siblings. A nice little story.
Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Format: Paperback | 64 pages
Publication date: 1 June 2014
Genre: Family, Siblings
ISBN 13: 9781743620533
Purchase:here or use Booktopia link on side of page.
Frank Davies is just not having a good time of it. It seems he is always in trouble, at school with the headmaster and his arch enemy, then again at home with his mum and step-dad. Things get worse though, because the person in the family he is closest too, his Grampa then dies. This is when Frank’s life takes a strange turn sideways, he finds an old book and The Frog turns up. Frank it seems is destined for something more than just getting into trouble. In fact it is up to him to see that trouble doesn’t become a big permanent thing.
Frank has a lot of issues that kids have, including the dreaded step parent. Rohan has written a very believable character, it is easy to identify with Frank and some of his troubles. When things take the turn into the fantastical you don’t care, it’s just another part of Frank’s journey and you want him to master it. There is a good melding of the familiar and not familiar and so it is easy to remain in the story. It is a fun little adventure ride with some interesting environmental factoids.
Format: Paperback | 240 pages
Publication date: 23 April 2014
Genre: Adventure, Family, Environment
ISBN 13: 978014330753
Purchase:here or use Booktopia link on side of page
Bear Grylls – this man is recognisable throughout the world, he is skilled at what he does and now he has applied those skills to a series of books for middle grade kids. Beck Granger is a kid who knows how to survive anywhere, and I mean anywhere, he is a mini Bear.
Here is the man himself introducing the Mission Survival series.
Beck Granger has been in some tight situations all over the world, on this trip to Australia he has promised his Uncle that he will stay out of trouble. Then somebody lures him away from his uncle with information about the accident that killed his parents. Or at least that is what he thinks he will be getting, rather he finds himself swept up into corporate espionage. He sets out to find an Aboriginal Elder in the outback, who holds information Beck’s parents gave him. To track this man down and survive in the harsh environment Beck will need to use all the skills available to him.
An interesting story that has family, friendship, action and mystery. Beck is a mini Bear, imparting plenty of knowledge about surviving in extreme circumstances, throughout. The other thing this story has that is often missing is a respect for Australia’s natural heritage and those who lived here before Europeans colonised the country. Beck is adventurous, respectful, brave and resourceful, these books are entertaining and maybe a little bit of something educational will be imparted in the process of reading.
Publisher: Red Fox
Published: 01 August 2013
Format: Paperback 272 pages
Categories: Adventure, Action, Environment
ISBN 13: 9781849418423
Purchase:here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page
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.
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
Munkle Arvur lives in a famous canyon that was clean and great, it was a first rate tourist attraction. Munkle Arvur cared for the canyon, until one day the Bod paid a call and Munkle Arvur’s canyon becomes a dumping ground. Munkle will not stand for this and he sets out to do something about it.
A delightful tale of recycling and caring for the environment. The text is quirky, fun and very much in the style of a Dr Seuss book. The accompanying illustrations are wonderful, a little odd and just perfect for the tone of the text. A totally enjoyable book that will be fun to share.
Publisher: Scholastic New Zealand
Published: 01 May 2012
Format: Paperback 32 pages
ISBN 13: 9781775430698
Purchase:here or use Booktopia link on the side of the page.
The Giant’s loo roll falls and rolls out of the door and down the hill to the town where it causes all sorts of havoc. Of course there is much stuff that can be done with such big sheets of paper if the people of the town are creative enough. The big question is; will the giant get his toilet paper back in time?
A very funny tale about creativity with a healthy dollop of toilet humour involved. This story has a somewhat environmental theme paired with detailed illustrations that have the appearance of paint on canvas.
Jack, Ben, Mimi and Lachlan are friends who do loads of stuff together, even plans that are though up by ‘the master of disaster’, Lachlan. This time he has gotten it into his head to meet Just Orsum, a celebrity newly arrived in Hazard River. Orsum is a famous adventurer. Things end up going horribly wrong and the friends find out more about Orsum than they ever could have guessed. Once these friends have embarked on this great adventure it isn’t certain if they will ever get home. The biggest question being, will they survive the killer toads?
A fun adventure read, most suited probably for readers around 8-9. Loads of action and silliness to keep the story going. Fison writes with an easy style that is easy to read, and the chapters are a good length for younger readers. If you are looking for something with entertaining younger characters, a dash of sibling rivalry, and some seriously odd adventures, then this series is definitely worth a look.
Publisher: Ford St Publishing
Published: 1st Aug 2011
Format: Paperback 82 pages
ISBN 13: 9781921665455
Purchase: at Ford St Publishing or use Booktopia logo on side of page
This is the tale of the Lorax as told by the Once-ler. The Once-ler arrived when the place was beautiful – green grass, clean pond, bright coloured and tall truffula trees dotting the landscape. The Once-ler doesn’t care for the environment though and when the Lorax appears to ask the Once-ler to stop cutting down the trees, the Once-ler doesn’t listen. Instead he keeps doing just what he wants, doing more and more damage, without a care until he ruins everything.
This is a truly fantastic story, one of my favourite Dr Seuss’. Also one of the best kid’s stories ever written dealing with this topic, though I’m sure some might find it a bit preachy. It’s a wonderful tale detailing the dangers of carelessness and environmental destruction. A particularly relevant topic in today’s society which makes it amazing when you remember it was written so long ago. Every bookshelf should have a little Dr Seuss represented on it. Children love the silly yet simple illustrations, the made up words and creatures, and the wonderful rhythm and rhyming style in which these stories are told.
A story is a powerful thing. Once we step inside there are worlds to discover, treasures to find, mysteries to solve, adventures to be had and friends to meet. You can learn, laugh, cry, be amazed and be swept away. Come on a journey with me as I welcome you to