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The Children of the King

I received my copy as an ARC from the publisher.By: Sonya Hartnett

Cecily, Jeremy and their mother have left war time London for the safety of the countryside. Once there they are joined by evacuaa May. Cecily and May are able to play and keep each other entertained even though May isn’t quite what Cecily expected. While exploring the ruins of Snow Castle they meet two strange boys. From that moment on past and present join together and the two girls learn about the mysterious possible history of the old castle.

This is the sort of book that is a little difficult to review simply because I don’t want to give too much away. Suffice to say timelines blend through the device of Uncle Peregrin’s story. Cecily is a kind of selfish girl who’s moods and attitudes allow for May’s character to be a lovely counter to her. Jeremy’s arc is a little different as he is a 14 year old boy who is annoyed at being forced to hide from the war that has driven him from the city. All of the arcs – the girls, Jeremy and the story told by Uncle Peregrin, blend together to create a really interesting piece of historical fiction. It is nicely written, delicately balanced, with snippets of wisdom to be mined should you choose.

Will definitely suit a child with an interest in history or even just a well crafted story. This is the sort of book I want to share with my kids.

Publisher: Penguin Australia

Published: 21st March 2012

Format: Hardcover, 276 pages

Categories: History, War, Family

ISBN: 9780670076130

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

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The Boy and the Toy

By: Sonya Hartnett

Illustrated by: Lucia Masciullo

Boy’s father was an inventor who invented a toy to keep his son company whilst he was away. At first everything with the toy was great. Boy had wonderful time with it, they ran and jumped, played and danced. They have so much fun together. But one day the toy starts acting a little strange and the boy begins to wonder if it really is the best toy ever.

This is a cute little story. The text is fun and enjoyable to read. The story is well paced, Mascuilo’s illustrations are detailed and wonderfully complement the text. The colours are more muted than some books and this suits the story perfectly. Worth a look, if you like storybooks where the story is the appeal.

Publisher: Viking Australia

Published: 03 May 2010

Format: Hardback 36 pages

Categories: Fun, Toys, Friendship,

ISBN 13: 9780670073627

Purchase: here or use Booktopia logo on side of page

CBCA Book of the Year Winners

The Children’s Book Council of Australia announced their Book Of The Year winners and honour books today.

A big congratulations to all winners and honour recipients as well as all those who were short-listed.

 

Older Readers 

Sonya Hartnett – The Midnight Zoo

Cath Crowley – Graffiti Moon

Doug MacLeod – The Life of a Teenage Bodysnatcher

 

Younger Readers

 


Isobelle Carmody – The Red Wind

Michael Gerard Bauer- Just a Dog

Anna Branford, Ill.  Sarah Davis- Violet Mackerel’s Brilliant Plot

 

Early Childhood

Jan Ormerod, Ill. Freya Blackwood – Maudie and Bear

Tom Niland Champion, Kilmeny Niland, Ill. Deborah Niland – The Tall Man and Twelve Babies

Leonie Norrington, Ill. Dee Huxley – Look See, Look At Me!

 

Picture Book

Jeannie Baker – Mirror

Nikki Greenberg – Hamlet

Bronwyn Bancroft – Why I Love Australia

Tohby Riddle – My Uncle’s Donkey

 

Crichton Winner

Clare McFadden – The Flying Orchestra

 

Come Down, Cat!

I received my copy from the publisher as an ARC.By: Sonya Hartnett

Illustrated By: Lucia Masciullo

The sun is setting and Nicholas is worried that his cat won’t come down from the roof. He climbs up to get her but she just won’t come down. As he lies in bed Nicholas thinks about her all alone as the night time animals come out. Cat is happy on the roof, she doesn’t want to come down…until. Can Nicholas be brave enough to go and save his friend?

This is a story of a boy and his pet cat, their friendship and his bravery when it comes time for him to rescue her. The story itself is engaging and it will be easy for children to identify with Nicholas’ relationship with his cat. There are also other elements that take it from just an account of a boy and his cat to that place in a child’s imagination where they see and interpret things differently. The illustrations are gorgeous. Simple yet detailed and somehow filled with texture. A wonderful addition to any bookshelf from an award winning author, this is a story that has the potential to be enjoyed again and again.

Publisher: Viking Australia

Published: 29 August 2011

Format: Hardback 32 pages

Categories: Friendship, Animals

ISBN 13: 9780670074754

Purchase: Not on sale until August 29th

Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards Shortlist

The shortlists for the 2010 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards were announced today.

A big congratulations to all shortlisted authors. Here are the category lists The’Verse is most interested in.

CHILDREN’S BOOKS

Henry Hoey Hobson by Christine Bongers (Random House)

Mirror by Jeanne Baker (Walker Books)

Sarindi’s Dragon Kite by Janine M. Fraser/Illus. Elise Hurst (HarperCollins Aust)

The Red Wind by Isobelle Carmody (Penguin Group Australia)

The Three Loves of Persimmon by Cassandra Golds (Penguin Group Australia)

Toppling by Sally Murphy/Illus. Rhian Nest James (Walker Books)

YOUNG ADULTS

Anonymity Jones by James Roy (Random House Australia)

Happy as Larry by Scot Gardner (Allen & Unwin)

The FitzOsbornes in Exile: The Montmaray Journals 2 by Michelle Cooper (Random House)

The Midnight Zoo by Sonya Hartnett (Penguin Group Australia)

This Is Shyness by Leanne Hall (Text Publishing Co.)

Wavelength by A.J. Betts (Fremantle Press)

The winners will be announced in September 2011.

For further information go here

Speech Pathology Australia 2011 Book of the Year Awards

Speech Pathology Australia (SPA) this week released the shortlist for its annual Book of the Year Awards.

These awards were started with the objective to promote literacy and the need for good literacy skills, and enabling speech pathologists, teachers and parents the resources to build a library that can be uses to help promote literacy and reading.

There are four categories and this years short list is :

YOUNG CHILDREN

A Giraffe in the Bath
Mem Fox & Olivia Rawson, ill. Kerry Argent – Penguin Group (Australia)

The ABC Book of Cars, Train, Boats and Planes
Helen Martin, Judith Simpson & Cheryl Orsini – Harper Collins Publishers Australia

Can We Lick the Spoon Now?
Carol Goess, ill. Tamsin Ainslie – Working Title Press

The Flying Orchestra
Clare McFadden – University of Queensland Press

I Found a Friend and My Friend Found Me
Beth Norling – Penguin Group (Australia)

It’s Bedtime, William!
Deborah Niland – Penguin Group (Australia)

JoJo Goes to Playgroup
Christine Miesen – Penguin Books (Australia)

Leo, the Littlest Seahorse
Margaret Wild, ill. Terry Denton – Penguin Group (Australia)

The Little Drummer Boy
Bruce Whatley – Random House (Australia)

Love from Grandma
Jane Tanner – Penguin Group (Australia)

One Funky Monkey
Stacey McCleary, ill. Sue Degennaro – Walker Books Australia

The Truth About Penguins
Meg McKinlay, ill. Mark Jackson – Walker Books

LOWER PRIMARY

Boris Gets a Lizard
Andrew Joyner – Penguin Group (Australia)

The Boy and the Toy
Sonya Hartnett, ill. Lucia Masciullo – Penguin Group (Australia)

Duck for a Day
Meg McKinlay – Walker Books

Hairy Nose, Itchy Butt
Elizabeth Frankel, ill. Garry Duncan – Jane Curry Publishing

The Important Things
Peter Carnavas – New Frontier Publishing

Magpie
Luke Davies, ill. Inari Kiuru – Harper Collins Publishers Australia

The Miracle of the Little Wooden Duck
Margaret Wild, ill. Dee Huxley – Working Title Press

Miracle on Separation Street
Bob Graham – Walker Books

Scaly-tailed Possum and Echidna
Cathy Goonack – Magabala Books

Shake a Leg
Boori Pryor – Allen & Unwin

The Snake and the Boy
Azmen Senastien – Magabala Books

UPPER PRIMARY

Arnie Avery
Sue Walker – Walker Books

Battle Boy: White War
Charlie Carter – Pan MacMillan Australia

Grimsdon
Deborah Abela – Random House Australia

Harriet Bright: The Star You Are
Claire Craig – Penguin Group (Australia)

Head Spinners
Thalia Kalkipsakis – Allen & Unwin

Mosquito Advertising: The Parfizz Pitch
Kate Hunter – Quniversity of Queensland Press

The Keepers: Museum of Thieves
Lian Tanner – Allen & Unwin

Nanny Piggins & the Runaway Lion
R. A. Spratt – Random House (Australia)

NOW
Morris Gleitzman – Penguin Group (Australia)

Raven’s Mountain
Wendy Orr – Allen & Unwin

Red Dirt Diary
Katrina Nannestad – Harper Collins Publishers

The Song of the Winns
Frances Watts – Harper Collins Publishers

INDIGENOUS CHILDREN

Beautiful Colours
Tina Raveneau – Black Ink Press

The Devil You Know
Leonie Norrington – Allen & Unwin

Fair Skin Black Fella
Renee Fogorty – Magabala Books

Guulaangga the Green Tree Frog
Gloria Whalan – Black Ink Press

Jakobi & Nan
Esther Fisher – Black Ink Press

The Little Moo Cow
John Delacour – Black Ink Press

Look See, Look at Me
Leonie Norrington – Allen & Unwin

Our World: Bardi Jaawi Life at Ardiyooloon
One Arm Point Remote Community School – Magabala Books

Peka-Boo, the smallest bird in the world
Eliza Feely – Allen & Unwin

Sam’s Fishing Adventure
Monique Russell – Black Ink Press

Scaly-tailed Possum and Echidna
Cathy Goonack – Magabala Books

Shake a Leg
Boori Pryor – Allen & Unwin

Sissy’s Secret
Althea McKeown – Black Ink Press

The Snake and the Boy
Azmen Goonack – Magabala Books

Stolen Girl
Trina Saffioti – Magabala Books

Walkabout with our Mates
Esther Fischer – Black Ink Press

Congratulations to all short listed authors. The Awards will be presented  in Darwin on Tuesday 18 October 2011.

Aurealis Awards 2010

Established in 1995 by Chimaera Publications, publishers of the Aurealis magazine, the Aurealis Awards recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers.

These awards complement the Ditmar Awards and the ACBCA’s, neither of which distinguish between categories of speculative fiction. The awards originally comprised of four categories: science fiction, fantasy, horror and young adult with children’s fiction (ages 8-12) being addd in 2001. The later two categories cover works in all three speculative fiction genres.

This years awards were announced on the 21st of May and the event was hosted by Garth Nix. Finalists and winners in the children’s and YA categories are:

Children’s Fiction (told primarily through words)

Grimsdon – Deborah Abela, Random House

Ranger’s Apprentice #9 : Halt’s Peril – John Flanagan, Random House

The Vulture of Sommerset – Stephen M Giles, Pan Macmillan

The Keepers – Lian Tanner, Allen and Unwin (winner)

Haggis MacGregor and the Night of the Skull – Jen Storer & Gus Gordon, Aussie Nibbles (Penguin)

Children’s Fiction (told primarily through pictures)

Night School – Isobelle Carmody (writer) Anne Spudvilas (illustrator), Penguin Viking

Magpie – Luke Davies (writer) & Inari Kiuru (illustrator), ABC Books, (HarperCollins

The Boy and the Toy – Sonya Hartnett (writer) & Lucia Masciullo (illustrator), Penguin Viking (winner)

Precious Little – Julie Hunt & Sue Moss (writers) & Gaye Chapman (illustrator), Allen & Unwin

The Cloudchasers – David Richaradson (writer) & Steven Hunt (illustrator), ABC Books (HarperCollins)

Young Adult Short Story

Inksucker – Aidan Doyle, Worlds Next Door, Fablecroft Publishing

One Story, No refunds – Dirk Flinthart, Shiny #6, Twlefth Planet Press

A Thousand Flowers – Margo Lanagan, Zombies vs Unicorns, Allen & Unwin (winner)

Nine Times – Kaia Landelius & Tansy Rayner Roberts, Worlds Next Door, Fablecroft Publishing

An Ordinary Boy – Jen White, The Tangled Bank, Tangled Bank Press

Young Adult Novel

Merrow – Ananda Braxton-Smith, black dog books

Guardian of the Dead – Karen Healey, Allen & Unwin (winner)

The Midnight Zoo – Sonya Hartnett, Penguin

The Life of a Teenage Body-Snatcher – Doug MacLeod, Penguin

Behemoth (Leviathan Trilogy book 2) – Scott Westerfeld, Penguin

The press releases announcing the nominees from all categories can be found here and the winners here.

Congratulations to all nominees and winners.

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