By: L Pinchon
Part of the Tom Gates series
Tom is okay with his life, but his dad seems to think he needs to spend more time outside, so they make a kite. Somehow this doesn’t seem like a great idea to Tom, who’d much rather be watching his favourite shows or practicing with his band. Speaking of the band, they have a lot of work to do before the big Band Battle Competition. The last thing Tom wants to do is go to his neighbours place for a tea party, but his mother insists. What are you ring to do? They’re family.
Tom has a plan but outside influences always seem to get in the way of the plans. That’s what life is though and this is why these stories are easy to understand. We all have things we want to do before other people come along and get involved. The format is easy to read with large text and plenty of simply illustrations. Fans of Big Nate and Diary of a Wimpy Kid might like to take a look at these.
Published: May 2014
Format: Paperback 253 pages
Key Words: Humour, School, Family
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
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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.
Publisher: Puffin Books
Published: 03 June 2010
Format: Paperback 192 pages
Categories: Fiction, Life, Family, Friendship
ISBN 13: 9780141325200
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Barking Gecko Theatre in Western Australia developed a stage version of the brilliant book, The Red Tree by Shaun Tan.
Here is a clip of behind the scenes, how it all came to be, with comments from Shaun himself.
So have you done any thinking about what you would need on a road trip? Me? I think there are two things that are essential; good company and a good soundtrack. Of course along the way you will need to fill up on plenty of junk food an drinks but that really goes without saying. A plan on the other hand is something that will work or not, it’s up to you and the circumstances. How nice would it be to be able to pack up and just drive off into the where ever, no plan and no cares.
In Amy & Roger’s case the company was thrust on them. Fortunately they found a way to make it work. They each had their own agendas but were able to incorporate both in the trip. A road trip would be a total shocker if one person made all the choices. The theme here, strangers by need or accident on a road trip together, is a theme that has been used effectively in quite a few road trip stories. Can you think of any films or books that use this. And no I’m not feeding you the answers right now.
Now onto my other essential ingredient. Music. Music is a vital component of any road trip. Roger provides an eclectic and fun soundtrack. If some of them aren’t familiar then it’s no surprise it really is an eclectic list. Don’t believe me, check song list 5. On this one list you will find – Elton John, Erasure, The Dandy Warhols and Muse. Muse would certainly make my travel playlist. Other bands that would make the cut include Within Temptation and Nickelback. Hmmm, maybe I should leave it there but then it is no secret that the actree in me likes showtunes and that’s all I will say. Obviously though the random function on an MP3 player is a really great function. Are there any bands or songs you would have to have on playing on your road trip?
Finally there is of course one problem when it comes to contemplating a road trip – money. Driving on a whim simply isn’t cheap. So if money wasn’t an issue then would you take part of you summer and head off on a road trip? If so where would you go? Somewhere familiar, would you stay in relative luxury? Or would you be more adventurous and willing to try something a little out of the box?
By: Clare McFadden
‘Some days are so windy that even angels lose their balance from the top of City Hall’, so begins the tale of The Flying Orchestra. Their schedule is a very busy one that includes; symphonies, solos, concertos and sonatas. They play at regular times and for special occasions.
This is a spectacular book about the music all around us, if only we care to stop and listen. It pairs music with events and emotions and may help some see things in a different way. McFadden’s illustrations are wonderfully emotive, pairing perfectly with the text to put in your hands a simple yet profound and whimsical story. Simply beautiful.
Publisher: University of Queensland Press
Published: 01 February 2010
Format: Hardback 32 pages
ISBN 13: 9780702237041
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