Archive for the ‘High Interest low vocabulary’ Category

it’s my pond by claire garralon

April 18, 2017 Comments off

my pondit’s my pond by claire garralon. Pub. Book Island, 2016.

This multi layered picture book has some depth and a lot to say about the human condition. It is for everybody but a great junior story with much to discuss and think about.

Yellow duck sees a nice pond and claims it for his own. White duck sees the pond too and negotiates to share it with yellow duck. Then many ducks of different colours take their share and all is tense as each duck guards his/her own piece of pond.

Black duck arrives and  tells them they all look miserable and that ponds should be fun places. They all agree and things are fine.

Suddenly everything changes. To find out what it is you will need to read the book yourself but be warned it is brilliant.

Simple written text and easy on the eye primary coloured illustrations. You will love it.

Johnny Danger2: Lie Another Day by Peter Millett

February 19, 2016 Comments off

lie another dayJohnny Danger2: Lie Another Day by Peter Millett. Pub. Puffin 2016.

I am a big fan of these books as they combine a poo bum wees sense of humour with action and inventiveness. They are silly but not silly at the same time. Reluctant readers will grab them and read them easily particularly boys but not exclusively.

Reluctant boy spy John Dangerfield with his strong willed female off-sider Penelope Pounds are drawn into another crisis by M16 when the President of USA is trying to land on the Moon. During his “One giant leap” speech he drops a horse and cart of considerable velocity, and floats into space. If it was Donald Trump I would be cheering.

Well there is  an aging villain behind it all and he is in the Shady tree Retirement Home and his name is Major Pain and he is a grumpy old codger. My hero and probable fate.

well Major Pain  has invented an undetectable weapon of mass destruction and it involves gas of which methane is a major component. The World is held to ransom. Can Johnny Danger and Penelope Pounds stop him before it is too late. Read it and find out.

Loved the character of Major Pain because he is old school. No online wizardry from him he is a stamp and letter man and this is why he goes undetected. Johnny Danger’s old enemy Dr Disastrous is on hand seeking to become top dog again after a spell in jail, with his ever reliable number 2s, 2A and 2B.

It’s all fun for primary and intermediate kids and there is a code to work out.

Timeline: A Visual History of Our World by Peter Goes.

December 7, 2015 Comments off

timelineTimeline: A Visual History of Our World by Peter Goes. Pub. Gecko Press, 2015.

If you haven’t caught up with this outstanding book yet get to it now. Every school and library in the land should have more than one copy and it would be great for the home that has children.

Why do I say this? Because it is a brief and historically accurate and thought provoking book that is big, easy to read that charts the history of Humankind from the Big Bang and the beginning of life right through  to the 2010’s and the rise of ISIS, Charlie Hebdo and refugees crossing into Europe.

Each Historical period is illustrated in a two page spread with pen and ink drawings suitably coloured  to create realistic effect. Into the illustrations are put interesting and important historical facts, happenings, artistic and social developments. From the dinosaurs to the Industrial Revolution to the Space Race from Beethoven and Mozart to the Beatles and to the first album by AC/DC in 1975.

All of that you say? Yes and I have left heaps out. Get it and see cause it is for everybody.

Treasure Hunters Danger down the Nile by James Patterson

October 1, 2015 Comments off

treasure huntersTreasure Hunters. Danger down the Nile by James Patterson illus Chris Grabenstein. Pub. Random House, 2014.

An easy to read rollicking adventure of a family of four who are seeking the treasure of King Solomon’s mines as well as trying to find their mother and the death or otherwise of their father.

Narrated by Bick one of twins, her brothers Beck and tailspin Tommy and the brains of the group Storm with the photographic memory. They are brave fearless risk takers and have a false uncle after their fortune and the ruthless Guy Dubonnet Merck, a classic villain, chasing them.

Lots of adventure on the Nile and sharp witted conversation. Well written in short chapters with Chris  Grabenstein’s illustrations providing great characterisation and enhancing the plot.

Reluctant boy and girl readers will love this novel, it is madcap. Primary, intermediate and some high school students.

The Cake by Dorothee de Monfreid

May 24, 2014 Comments off

cakeThe Cake by Dorothee de Monfreid. Gecko Press, 2014.

Everybody loves a cake. Tiger decides to bake one but it is hard to get agreement on what type of cake to bake. Monkey wants a banana cake, dog a bone cake, rabbit a carrot cake and cat a fish cake.

No surprise at that except tiger wants a chocolate cake. It’s his idea and he is the strongest animal, so he decides on a chocolate cake. I’m with tiger on this but the others think the idea and tiger too is revolting.

Tiger gets tough. The others disappear then return with a cake. Read the rest yourself.

A multi layered (no pun intended) picture book. Children can see it one way but perhaps adults will interpret it differently. Good ideas can be thrown back in your face.

Bright red and pink pages are illustrated with brightly coloured animals. Large text in white balloons.

Children will want to read it again and again.

Bruiser & the Big Snow by Gavin Bishop

October 6, 2013 Comments off

bruiser snowBruiser & the Big Snow by Gavin Bishop. Pub. Random House, 2013. 

High quality picture book sequel to Bruiser review elsewhere in this blog.

After working a full hard day Bruiser knocks off work on the dot of 5 oclock and snores his way through the night. At 8.00am he does not wake and sleeps till 9.30am. Something is wrong and the traffic is going bananas.

Yes it has snowed over night and the streets need clearing. Enviromentally aware Bruiser charges into action and clears the snow. But after his can of oil a triiinnng noise has him looking for something that has escaped his attention. Bruiser springs back into action.

Big bold illustrations of Bruiser that bring out his character,are a highlight. Bruiser is a good citizen and I doubt that we have heard the last of him.

Great boy appeal but this title is for everybody

Running the Country by Maria Gill

August 3, 2013 Comments off

running countryRunning the Country: A look inside NZ’s Government by Maria Gill. Pub. New Holland, 2013.

Those looking at the news these days may indeed wonder who or what is running the country? Well Maria Gill who is not in the GCSB or the SIS has written this very informative and easily accessible book on who is supposed to be running the country.

She introduces New Zealand’s system of Government and how it works, how the people in a democracy allegedly have power. The political parties, how a law is passed, voting in elections, the Judiciary, the Economy, Local Government and even Citizenship and Human Rights.

It is all there aimed at Primary and Intermediate readers and even for Secondary students who want an overall view before tackling bigger issues.

Professional cartoonist Malcolm Evans provides perceptive cartoon profiles of leading figures from the past and up to today.

The information is provided through the asking of key questions and along the bottom is a timeline of key dates, prime ministers and issues in NZ history. For instance did you know that New Zealand did not have it’s own money until 1933 or that Michael Joseph Savage was actually an Australian? Rob muldoon tried to get elected for 10 years before winning Tamaki in 1960?

Did you know people in NZ have the right to own a gun but must register it and lock it away?

A very good Information book that is an essential purchase for schools and would make an excellent addition to the home.