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Funny Kid for President by Matt Stanton.

June 14, 2017 Comments off

funny kid presidentFunny Kid for President by Matt Stanton. Pub. ABC Books imprint HarperCollins, 2017.

If you want to make an impact with primary and intermediate school students in order to get them reading then hitting on the poo, bum, weeze formula is the way to do it. Make the school the setting and introduce a range of characters from bullies to total weirdos and you’ve got it made.

Matt Stanton is the latest to take up the challenge of getting boys in particular to read and he does it so well I think I will read them all myself.

Max is a bit of a clown, he doesn’t think too deeply about things but he is not a dummy. He is Mr average and that covers a lot of kids. He decides to run for class President because it is a first and he sees it as a way to get back at his mean teacher Mr Armstrong who has accused him of pooping on the floor. Max wishes to clear his name as the phantom pooper and to combat his nemesis Abbey Purcell at the same time.

He is assisted in this mission by his best friend, but only on a temporary basis, Hugo, and has an ally that he would rather not have in the form of a duck who keeps chasing him around and biting him on the bottom.

Elections are in the air so compare this election to the alleged serious elections that are to come, you might find that there is not much difference.

Easy to read with a variety of large fonts and splendidly perceptive black and white illustrations. This series is destined for legendary status.

The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams, Illus. Tony Ross.

June 11, 2017 Comments off

worst children 2The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams, Illus. Tony Ross. Pub. HarperCollins, 2017.

You don’t need to advertise a new David Walliam’s book, the children all know before you do, so if you have never read one get hold of this and get part of the magical lunacy that catagorises his books.

In this book we meet ten improbable children with ten very real foibles that are exaggerated into a laugh out loud series of cautionary tales aimed at the reluctant reader.

Stacey wants to be a superstar but can’t sing and won’t be told. Frankie is fussy with his food and won’t eat vegetables, Harry never does his homework, Clarissa is cruel to cats and Colin wants to win everything that he does. Recognise some of these? Of course you do. Read it and find out what the other five are.

As ever Tony Ross interprets the written text with superb and equally bizarre illustrations that this time are in colour.

Simply written and very appealing, get hold of this quick before somebody reads it before you. There is no age limit on this novel and there will be a 3rd part.

Middle School. I Funny. School of laughs by James Patterson, illus. Chris Grabenstein.

May 16, 2017 Comments off

school laughMiddle School. I Funny. School of laughs by James Patterson, illus. Chris Grabenstein. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2017.

I have reviewed a number of books by these two authors and they always have a funny way to address issues that concern children such as bullying and friendship which always have a positive ending.

The novels are easy to read, appeal to the reluctant reader of primary and intermediate age and are expertly illustrated.

In this novel wheelchair bound comedian Jamie has finished with his TV show and returned to school with his friends Gilda, Joey and Pierce. Once again they have to contend with bullies Stevie and Lars but this time the bullies have an ally in the new Headmaster, Coach Ball.

Coach Ball has a flattop haircut and a closet full of tracksuits and has a desire to close the school library and turn it into a wrestling arena. The new librarian Ms Denning has a month to prove that more than 50% of students are using the library or the die is cast.

Jamie and his friends set out to help, but how come Coach Ball drives a $140,000 Masaerati? Read it and find out.

 

T

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.

My Pictures after the storm by Eric Veille.

March 28, 2017 Comments off

after stormMy Pictures after the storm by Eric Veille. Imprint Gecko Press, 2017.

What does an octopus look like after it has been stood on by and elephant? or a boys bedroom after two boys have played sword fights in it?

This French picture book is zany, it is clever, it is perceptive and it is gloriously funny. The front cover shows a lion after the wind has blown his mane all over the place and this establishes the pattern of this picture book.

But what really emphasises the humour are the eyes even on an inanimate object like a tractor or a gumboot and watering can. The illustrations are colourful and require no text but what text is written is concise and often enhances the humour.

This is a before and after picture book for the pre school and primary student. It is a great book for granddad or grandma to show their grandchildren or a parent to their youngsters. Adults will have a chuckle too.

Spy Toys by Mark Powers, illus. Tim Weeson

March 1, 2017 Comments off

spy-toysSpy Toys by Mark Powers, illus. Tim Weeson. Pub. Bim UK imprint Allen&Unwin, 2017

I am very impressed with this new series that is designed for reluctant readers both boys and girls of primary/intermediate age.

In a phrase it is like the cartoon network without the cartoons. Bizarre, witty with a tight and sharp dialogue exchange between the highly imaginative characters.

The plot and characters revolve around rejected and defective high tech toys  from the Snaztacular Ultrafun toy factory. Dan is a cuddly bear who is so strong he can crush a tractor with his cuddles, Arabella, a rag doll with an attitude to burn and sympathy for no-one and Flax a highly aggressive rabbit with a down beat wit.

The toys are all discarded because they are defective but escape into the World and are captured then hired by Auntie Roz from the Department of Secret Affairs to bodyguard the Prime Ministers son from Rusty Flumptrunk a very bad half Elephant half human nasty.

Brilliant stuff with Tim Weeson’s animation filling in the gaps.

I was spellbound and read the short book in one sitting with a smile all over my face. It is great.The first chapter about Dan is called If Hugs Could kill and it sets the tone of the book immediately. Big font makes reading easy.

If you want your reluctant readers particularly boys to read, these are a great start.

Bruno by Catharina Valckx illus. Nicolas Hubesch

February 1, 2017 Comments off

bruno-daysBruno by Catharina Valckx illus. Nicolas Hubesch. Pub. Gecko Press, 2017.

This brilliant piece of work is subtitled Some of the more interesting days in my life so far and that is exactly what it is. For Bruno every day above ground is a good day and if it is not, then there is always another day.

Six days in Bruno’s life with his friends Ringo the old pony, Gloria the dairy owner, Bup the fish, Georgette the turtledove, Gerard the wolf and my favourite, Tweety the canary. There are other characters and they are all superbly developed with their own mannerisms and language.

The six days are not all good but they are very interesting. Included are a peculiar day, a day when the power went off and an almost perfect day. These days spent by Bruno with his blue cloth cap and his friends are all connected. They will make you laugh and recognise human foibles.

The illustrations show a French urban setting in which the detail is absorbing and has a strong sense of accuracy. The characters are brilliantly drawn but my favourite is the elegant giraffe in white skirt and top, with sunglasses and a bag over her shoulder at the escalator.

If you get bored with this book you have no soul.

A book for everybody but the writing is for primary and intermediate students. The cover makes you want to pick it up. This is a beauty.

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