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Posts tagged ‘Siblings’

Flower Power

I was sent this by the publisher.


By: Yvette Poshoglian

Illustrated by: Danielle McDonald

Part of the Ella and Oliva series

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.

Lilli-Pilli’s Sister

I was sent this by the publisher.


By: Anna Branford

Illustrated by: Linda Catchlove

Lilli-Pilli’s mother is going to have a baby. Lilli-Pilli is very excited about having a baby sister, she knows it is going to be a sister because she can feel it in her wings. Lilli-Pilli is helping her dad make the baby’s crib and he sends her out to collect some soft things to put in it, so it is comfortable for baby. As Lilli-Pilli speaks to others she begins to wonder if her wings are right because they seem so sure the baby will be a boy. Is Lilli-Pilli wrong to trust her wings?

This is a totally adorable book about getting a new baby in the family. It shows how a big sister (or brother) can help out even before a baby is born. The lovely thing here is the feeling of family and community, if you are looking for a picture book to help with the concept of a new sibling this is a great choice. The text is beautifully descriptive and the illustrations delightfully whimsical. A real delight to read and re-read. I am unashamedly a fan of Anna Branford’s work.

Highly recommended.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 February 2014

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Family, Siblings, Pregnancy, Fairies

ISBN 13: 9781921977589

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

Summer’s Dream

By: Cathy Cassidy

The Chocolate Box Girls series

Middle school has ended and summer holidays are underway. Summer’s mum has gotten married to Paddy and they are taking off for three weeks on a working honeymoon. There is a film being shot locally, it is going to be a fun holiday. Unlike everyone else Summer has no time for fun. She had been asked to audition for a new ballet academy, this is her dream, a dream she once saw slip through her fingers and now she has a second chance.

Holidays turn into an obsession on finding perfection. Summer starts down a dangerous path that soon spirals out of control. She pushes everyone away. Perhaps the boy she has know forever and never seen as boyfriend material, will actually be the one who can help her. Maybe through it all she will discover that dreams can come in a variety of shapes and sizes.

Wow what a powerful story. We are familiar with the characters and this is Summer’s story. Summer is the perfect one, the one voted most likely to succeed. The other books were engaging but Summer’s story is darker – her obsession leads to anorexia and depicts how easily it can take hold. It shows how the mind can and does trick her into believing one thing and how easily it can be hidden.

If you want to increase awareness to this topic then this is a good book. This series is for 8-12 year olds but definitely the top end of that and possibly the lower end of YA. It is a strong story that resonates, balanced with quirky and well written. characters.  A great choice.


Publisher: Puffin Books

Published: 07 June 2012

Format: Paperback 304 pages

Categories: Eating Disorders, Siblings, Family

ISBN 13: 9780141344294

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

Best Friend Showdown

By: Yvette Poshoglian

Bk 2 of the Ella & Olivia series

Zoe is Ella’s best friend in the whole world. They do everything they can together. Then their teacher announces a fund raising activity with a prize going to the person who sells the most chocolate. Will their friendship stand this test? Who will sell the most chocolate? Ella is about to give up when she finds out she has a secret weapon – her sister Olivia.

This is a really fun read and great for those who are ready to read a little more the the most basic of first readers. One of the appeals of this series is the fact that family is celebrated. There is a real joy in this book even as it deals with Ella’s struggle in trying to win. A lovely series.

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 01 July 2012

Format: Paperback 64 pages

Categories: Family, Siblings, Friendship

ISBN 13: 9781742833552

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Cupcake Catastrophe

By: Yvette Poshoglian

Bk 1 of the Ella & Olivia series

Ella and Olivia are sisters. Today they are making cupcakes for their dad’s birthday. Ella tells Olivia what to do but forgets that Olivia can’t spell yet and the cupcakes don’t turn out quite as expected.

Ella and Olivia love each other and are wonderful sisters. The story is fun and filled with warmth of family. It’s nice to find books about siblings getting along so well. The text is easy to understand and in large print, not quite as large as the Billie B Brown books, so there is more of it. These books are the perfect follow on for readers who need a bit of a challenge after the Billie books.

Publisher: Scholastic Australia

Published: 01 July 2012

Format: Paperback 64 pages

Categories: Family, Siblings, Cooking

ISBN 13: 9781742833545

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

Cherry Crush

By: Cathy Cassidy

Book 1 of the Chocolate Box Girls

Cherry lives with her dad and is often isolated and in trouble because of the lies she tells. When her dad falls in love again she is happy to move to Kitnor and start a new life and maybe, just maybe become part of a family because her dad’s new girlfriend has four girls of her own. Cherry tries to fit in, she tried not to lie and tries very much not to fall for the one guy who is very definitely off limits.

Cherry is a character that is a little sad, her past is filled with sadness, her school life wasn’t great and she feels as though she has to create stories in order to fit in. The new life at Tanglewood Cottage offers her hope. As alwasy though the stories get away from her. The other sisters are wonderfully unique personalities and except for Honey are very welcoming. Honey, like Cherry has plenty of her own issues going on and it will be interesting to read her story as this is the first in a series of each of the girls. This is a fun read about the ups and downs of blending a family. It is not all hearts and flowers and it is not all terrible, in that respect I would guess it’s fairly normal. Cassidy has done a good job introducing the characters and painting a very realistic kind of family portrait.

Quite a pleasant read.

Publisher: Puffin Books

Published: 02 June 2011

Format: Paperback 304 pages

Categories: Family, Siblings, School

ISBN 13: 9780141325224

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

I Wanna New Room

By: Karen Kaufman Orloff

Illustrated By: David Catrow

Alex is desperate for his own room. He used to have one but now his baby sister has arrived and he has to share one with his four year old brother Ethan. Alex finds this situation intolerable so sets about trying to convince his parents, through a series of letters, that he deserves his own room back. His Dad has plenty of responses to Alex’s attempts, none of them quite what Alex was hoping for. Maybe the two of them will be able to come up with a different solution, even if it doesn’t turn out to be his first choice of a new private wing added to the house.

This book is a lot of fun. It is a story of adapting to family change and using your ingenuity. It is also very funny. If your family is adding another child or going through a change of some sort, this maybe a good book to springboard some discussion from. The illustrations are silly, amusing and very appealing. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

Publisher: Putnam Publishing Group

Published: 02 December 2010

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Family, Humour, Siblings

ISBN 13: 9780399254055

Purchase: here or use Booktopia link on side of page

Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat

By: Anna Branford

Illustrated: Sarah Davis

Violet Mackerel is the sort of girl who likes to help. She really likes to help small things, it is a new theory she is working on. She wants to help her sister with her science project but her sister doesn’t want her help, she says Violet is too young.

So Violet decides to work on her new theory and help a tiny ladybird she has named Small Gloria. Sometimes though helping isn’t easy. When things don’t work the way she wanted Violet gets help from her sister and learns all about natural habitats. With all this going on she manages to help her sister with her project and help something small.

Violet Mackerel is, quite simply, a charming character. She is wonderfully spirited, thinks of others and is inquisitive. It is always nice to see a character willing to learn, particularly in books for this age, it is behaviour that isn’t necessarily modeled all that often. This story is, well to use the word again, charming. The family dynamic is modern, broken and real, this makes it easier for readers to relate.

I think these books are great and love sharing them with my girls. It is always a pleasure to find a writer or a story I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend.

Publisher: Walker Books Australia

Published: 01 November 2011

Format: Hardback 112 pages

Categories: Family, Science

ISBN 13: 9781921529191

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

Blood Money!

By: J.E. Fison

Part of the Hazard River series

Jack has things he wants to buy, so being industrious like he is he sets up a little stall to sell some stuff and make some bucks. The thing is some of the things he is trying to sell don’t belong to him so when his brother pulls out cash to buy his stuff back. Jack is determined to find out where he got it from. His brother leads him to a bag full of money, and a dead lizard. Jack thinks all his dreams have just come true. He is about to learn that money doesn’t always make things go smoothly or bring happiness. Big bags of it can in fact come attached to big bags of trouble. Who does the money really belong to and how did it get where the boys found it in the first place?

This is another fun adventure story for the younger reader wanting a little more excitement and action in their stories. The sibling rivalry is tangible enough to resonate off the page, it is like watching brother’s from the outside in.

This story also deals with things such as; taking stuff that doesn’t belong to you, being honest, and animal smuggling. All good topics for conversation if you are so inclined. Otherwise just open the book and enjoy the ride. A comfortable and adventure filled read that would be good for 8 to 9 year olds.

Publisher: Ford St Publishing

Published: 2011

Format: Paperback 101 pages

Categories: Adventure

ISBN 13: 9781921665462

Purchase: use booktopia logo on side of page or go to Ford Street Publishing

Toads’ Revenge

By: J.E. Fison

Part of the Hazard River series

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

Categories: Adventure

ISBN 13: 9781921665455

Purchase: at Ford St Publishing or use Booktopia logo on side of page

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