More children between ages 2-5 can play a computer game than ride a bike. This disturbs many parents who want their children to have imagination and to socialise in traditional ways ie in person.
In this outstanding picture book Dot can Tap, touch, tweet, tag, surf the net, swipe and chat to the point of exhaustion. Her parents say go outside and reboot, recharge and restart. So she does. She communicates with her friends and nature outside as she explores the world around her. Fantastic.
This is a book about balance in life and few could doubt the wisdom of this message.
Joe Berger compliments the text with a very appealing young girl Dot. She is beautifully dressed, has a smile on her face and an imagination that parents dream their children will have.
One of the outstanding picture books of the year.
The Prequel to Warm Bodies, which is reviewed elsewhere in this blog, a book which told of a zombie R and his human captive Julie, and a hope that the horrific world in which they existed had a chance of changing.
This book also tells of R and Julie but at a time when hope is gone for humans as they adjust to the new situation, and the fate of being a zombie has just struck R.
There are three narrative threads in this novel. The first is of R wakening with bodies all around him. he is not sure what he is, where he came from and what is expected of him as a zombie. He starts walking.
The second thread is teenager Nora and her young brother Addis who have been deserted by their parents and are existing in a horrifying world. They too are walking unknowingly in the same direction as the zombie R.
The third strand has 12 year old Julie driving with her ex army father and mother to Canada where they hope the zombie world has gone. They are wrong. This family too are driving towards Seattle. Will they all meet?
Thge star of this book is the language and metaphor that Isaac marion uses to describe the world in which these characters are surviving. A worlf where “responsible murder is the new recycling” where it is “bullets before hamburgers” and where “the bad neighbourhoods of yesterday are the new survival buffets of today”.
Bodies are everywhee many lying in their elegant garb with their skulls scooped out.
You don’t need to have read Warm Bodies to read this short readible novel but it helps, needless to say you will read it once you have read this.
Secondary school readers and young adults. If you are going to read horror read the best. This is it.
The best of the Ruby Redfort novels to date in which Ruby shows a chink in her armour. She is mightily clever when exercises of the mind are concerned but to be a SPECTRUM Agent she must be able to survive in the wild.
The first few chapters of this novel are concerned with Ruby going on a survival course in which she encounters more problems than she expected largely because she ignored some basic proceedures. To find out what they are you will have to read the book.
As always there is a mystery about Ruby’s adventures. In this case they concern the hugely evocative sense of smell. Odours, scents and smells are strongly linked with emotion and memory and often arouse feelings and recollections. It’s no secret that Marilyn Monroe wore only Chanel No 5 to bed at night. But how will a sense of smell help solve the mystery here?
There is an ancient jewelery exhibition in town and some strange looking animals appear to be loose in Twinford. Are they linked? What of Ruby’s survival skills will they be tested again? Thirteen year old Ruby and her best friend Clancy Crew have plenty to contend with in this 500 page novel.
Mostly for primary and intermediate readers or readers who like to solve mysteries and codes.
This is a picture book that pushes boundaries, it is also the sort of book that wins awards and I wish it well.
Words are powerful things, they can be used to bore the pants off you and send you to sleep hence the cover and the third page showing a young boy asleep in a chair with the Book on his lap. Page two has a stapled in book where the words are written to bore and confuse you. It is a book no-one ever reads and it is cancelled and withdrawn from the Whakatane Public Library.
Then the words rebel and march out of the book. Immediately the dreary tone of the book bursts into colour as the words are set free to go where they want. Wahoo! Freedom! But words can confuse even when they are having fun and being interesting especially on road signs and shop signs. Public Toilets for Poos and wees. Brilliant.
Words need to be controlled so they disappear. However you can’t shut up words or life becomes dreary again. So back they come and the book ends with a stapled in book that you can write in yourself. Wonderful.
Books are not boring but the way a story is told can be boring. A good message for aspiring writers in this picture book for everybody.
At one stage in New Zealand’s history there were more than 35 occupied lighthouses watching the coast and a guide to shipping. Men tended to the lighthouse while their families or groups of families made a living and went about the business of going to school growing vegetables and socialising, everything that communities do.
Pre teen Francis and her family live on an island somewhere near Auckland along with two other families. She keeps a diary and tells of life on the island. Her family especially the mother and any woman, work hard. Not that the men didn’t but women bore the druggery of living in such isolated communities. It was the social norm.
During the years 1941-1942 after the attack on Pearl harbour, the fall of Singapore and Hong Kong to the Japanese and the bombing of Darwin and submarines in Sydney Harbour, pressure on New Zealand Lighthouse keepers increased. Rumours were rife, alleged sightings became folklore.
This is such a story. The best aspect is really the contrast of children’s life then with what it is today. I can’t see many children doing what Francis does. She is brilliant.
Primary and Intermediate readers mainly but plenty for History buffs.
Not many kids have the middle names Farht- Ball but Thomas hassler does. It doesn’t bother him and he thinks he is just a boring nobody, but he is wrong. He is related to the Farht-Ball Hasslers who in turn are related to the Seapeople including seals, orcas albatrosses and sea eagles.
Just before he turns thirteen Thomas is summoned by his Aunt and grandmother whom he never knew and discovers his past history and the fact that he has a special task to do – go to Droolmoan cave and stop the incredibly bad Madame Hortense and her black rats from escaping to the mainland and destroying the seafolk.
Big task. Is Thomas up to it? First he must learn to fly. Fortunately he has help in Maria a small brave girl who is going to be the bait.
A self published book from scientist and dyslexic Doug Wilson. Who said scientists couldn’t communicate? Well written with short chapters, big print and plenty of action and characters children can relate to. As well it has a strong conservation theme and it is not going to be the last of the Tom Hassler series.
Primary and intermediate readers. strong child appeal and read-a-loud qualities.
As rule self published books need a dam good edit and restructure before they can convince me they are any good. Most have a good story to tell but the one I read isn’t it.
This novel is an exception. Four things make it stand out. Firstly the author is writing about what he knows well and therefore tells a convincing and indeed thrilling plot. Secondly it is short concise with short chapters and hooks at the end of chapters that keep the reader in the story. Thirdly the plot is structured very well even though it is a time travel story that flits between three time zones – today, 1936 and 16th century Central American when the Mayans and Spanish locked horns. Fourthly the characters are real, you believe in them especially Andy.
The cornerstone of the plot is a two piece Talisman, made by the Mayans, that has the ability to move back and forward in time as long as a key to the time period being traveled to is held by the bearer. The Seven Rules by which it operates are stated at the beginning of the book and are a great starting point to get into the novel.
Having said all that I would ruin it for you if I gave away the plot needless to say if you like an Indiana Jones type story with adventure and fantasy then get it and read it.
While no major girl parts have emerged yet there is time as it is part 1 of a trilogy and there is plenty in it for girls who like action.
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