The Bookworm by Debi Gliori

August 22, 2019 Comments off

bookwormThe Bookworm by Debi Gliori. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

Three of my favourite things about picture books – pets, imagination and reading, are covered in this delightful creation by Debi Gliori.

Max wants a pet but his parents are reticent. There is a baby in the house that does all the less likeable things that pets do. Max is persistent and settles on a worm but his is a special worm, not just a book worm but something from the soul of childhood imagination – a dragon.

Excellent illustrations with a simple easy to read text. The ideal book for juniors and pre schoolers.

Ravi’s Roar by Tom Percival

August 22, 2019 Comments off

ravis roarRavi’s Roar by Tom Percival. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

Ravi is not happy being the youngest and smallest in his family even his dog biscuit is bigger than him.  He is always last in a race for anything, he is not allowed on the big slide and he can never find anyone during hide and seek.

When he is last to the ice cream cart and there is none left, Ravi sees red and turns into a tiger that scares everyone off. this loses him all his friends and he has to make a big decision. Read it and find out what it is.

Easy to read script and illustrations that enhance the plot and highlight personality differences. Tom Percival is good at this sort of thing and two others of his picture books are on this blog. Check them out.

Five Go Gluten Free by Enid Blyton, Text by Bruno Vincent

August 20, 2019 Comments off

glutinFive Go Gluten Free by Enid Blyton, Text by Bruno Vincent. Pub. Quercus, 2016.

Satire can be wonderfully entertaining especially when applying modern day ethics and habits to the Famous Five. The Five are now in their 20’s with University degrees and careers ahead of them.

Anne, George, Julian and Dick plus dog Timmy are housemates and on Anne’s birthday she gets a book by a woman called Portia who opens her eyes to the toxic nature of the modern western diet.

Turns out Portia is a friend of Cousin Rupert whom he met at a party by Silvio Berlusconi and Rupert convinces Anne to go on a wellness gluten free diet.

Anne in turn convinces the others to go on the diet and calls it their new adventure. They are extremely reluctant and fight it all the way until Anne decides they should go back to Dorset to consolidate the new diet which will make them energised and happy.

No more cakes and lashings of ginger beer. It does not go down well even with Timmy whose whatsits once could be collected in a bag but would now need a hoover to mop them all up.

Will the Dorset trip /come adventure help with the diet? Read it and find out.

Very funny and totally true to the original stories. For everybody. The front cover is perfect with original drawings throughout the text.

Coo Coo Kereru by Terry Fitzgibbon

August 18, 2019 Comments off

coo cooCoo Coo Kereru by Terry Fitzgibbon. Pub. New Holland, 2019.

A big reason why I like living in New Zealand is the birds and not just the feathered variety.

The kereru or blue green wood pigeon is one I have seen less and less of. I used to see many at Totaranui in the Abel Tasman National park where we used to camp every year and the last time I saw one was in the Christchurch botanical gardens.

You don’t just spot one, the first evidence of one in your presence is the noise it makes when it flies. They are a plump bird and are often clumsy in flight probably due to fermenting berries in their stomach.

like many NZ birds the kereru is in danger. Loss of habitat, animals such as the possum and man himself have reduced the life expectancy of the kereru from 20-25 years to 5-6 years. This is a tragedy.

This beautifully illustrated picture book tells the story of the life of a kereru which also features in the Maori legend of Maui. it helped him pull up the North Island.

This book has rhyming verse in the front and information in the back and it tells you what to do if you find an injured bird. The onus is on us all to save these beautiful gifts.

The information is compiled by Terry Fitzgibbon who works for the Department of Conservation.

Simple, easy to understand and excellent for study at primary and intermediate level.

Two For Me, One For You by Jorg Muhle.

August 17, 2019 Comments off

two for meTwo For Me, One For You by Jorg Muhle. Pub. Gecko Press, 2019.

An insightful picture book that looks at friendship when the puzzle of 3 into two won’t go is posed, especially when food is involved.

Bear finds three large mushrooms and his friend Weasel cooks them with some style. Bear thinks he should have two because he found them and Weasel thinks he should have two because he cooked them.

Perhaps there needs to be a third party to solve the impasse. Read it and find out.

Simply told with beautiful illustrations of the characters and especially of the mushrooms. I wanted one myself. You can cook for me any day of the week Weasel.

A delight for everybody but juniors will love it.

 

Ringlet and the day the oceans stopped by Felicity Williams.

August 17, 2019 Comments off

RingletRinglet and the day the oceans stopped by Felicity Williams.Pub. AHOY, Imprint Cuba Press, 2019.

One of the most unusual fantasy novels for primary and intermediate students that I have ever read. It is set under the sea and brings a whole new range of terminology and characters with it.

The novel begins with a legend -“when the world began there was water everywhere”, but things have changed and the oceans are in danger. Land has risen, animals have evolved and the seas have formed different currents which go everywhere.

Into the story comes a mermaid named Ringlet and her merdog Iskee. The story stands or falls on how the reader gets on with Ringlet (most readers will). She is a jolly hockey sticks, innocent sort of lass that most fathers would like for a daughter. She is good natured, caring and above all brave.

When Ringlet breaks the baton of a high placed mermaid she is sent away to get another and rapidly finds she is on a quest that can save the oceans. I can tell you no more, read it and find out.

Written with some enthusiasm that at first is hard to get your head around but persistence is worth it. The world of Merfolk is here.

Cross Fire. A Noughts & Crosses Novel by Malorie Blackman

August 15, 2019 Comments off

cross fireCross Fire. A Noughts & Crosses Novel by Malorie Blackman. Pub. Penguin/Random House, 2019.                    RELEASED 20 AUGUST

If there is a better novel this year for High School students and Young Adults then I would love to read it. The 4th novel in the Noughts & Crosses series from the legendary Malorie Blackman is superb and the good news is, it is not over yet, there will be another.

Albion is a country divided by severe racial problems. The dark skinned Crosses are the elite and home people, the Noughts are a fair skinned people from the north and throughout this series have slowly progressed to a state of near equality but only on the surface. Both sides have fanatics.

The first novel in the series featured Sephy a Cross and Callum a Nought who was the son of a servant in Sephy’s home. They got on very well and caused havoc in their racially torn world.

Now  a Nought,  Tobias Durbridge, has climbed the ranks with the help of a rich gangster Dan Jeavons, and become Prime Minister. Cross fanatics cannot stomach it and plot to bring him down.

Caught in the cross fire are teenagers Troy who is a Cross and the son of Sephy, and Libby, a Nought who is the daughter of Tobias. Central to the fortunes of all is Callie a cross breed and a lawyer of some repute but considered a Cross.

With the election of Tobias as PM fanatics from both sides get busy. Tobias is falsely charged with murder and Libby and Troy are kidnapped to pressure both sides.

The action and intrigue is thrilling. Malorie Blackman brings you up to date with the family histories so you needn’t worry about having to have read the earlier novels although you would be mad not to.

Outstanding writing from a writer at the top of her game. A modern story with fake news, cell phones and forbidden love. excellent cover.