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Archive for the ‘Junior Fiction’ Category

The Ice Sea Pirates by Frida Nilsson.

June 22, 2017 Comments off

ice piratesThe Ice Sea Pirates by Frida Nilsson. Imprint Gecko Press, 2017.

Pirate Whitehead is the coldest, most evil man on the Ice Sea. He wears his hair in a bun and treats children like animals by capturing them and making them work in his diamond mine on a secret island somewhere in the Ice Sea.

What is worse is that he has stolen Miki, the sister of the heroine of this story, Siri who sets out to rescue Miki, unarmed but with a determination that could beat the All Blacks.

On her journey across the Ice Sea which freezes over in winter and crushes ships caught in the ice, Siri meets some amazing people and creatures that all assist her in her mission to free Miki. Some of the creatures are bogle birds, sea parrots which are very tasty when cooked with snowberries, and a baby merman.

The smell of fish is ever present in the written text and the coldness seeps through so make sure you read it in front of the fire.

Siri is a brilliant character, good and sincere to the core and brave and resilient beyond belief. Love does that to people and Siri loves her sister Miki. But will Siri find Miki alive and well, and defeat Whitehead? Read it and find out.

This is a translation of a highly acclaimed Swedish writer which lacks nothing in power and the illustrations by David Barrow enhance the mood and illustrate the plot.

This novel really is a saga and cries out to be read aloud to children of ages 8-12 years but older kids will love it too. If you miss this you will kick yourself.

Jorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson.

June 19, 2017 Comments off

JorieJorie and the Magic Stones by A.H. Richardson. Imprint. Serano Press Washburn Tennessee, 2015.

This is a fantasy story for children between 8-12 years. It has dragons, a magic book, a cat that can talk and a girl hero with hair of fire and bright green eyes.

Her name is Jorie and she is not aware of her heritage until she goes to stay with her aunt Letty in a big house with a tarn or deep glacial lake within view of the house. On her first night in the house she finds an old book which tells a history that she is going to become involved with.

Like all good fantasy stories there is a fantasy land called Cabrynthius that was once ruled by Maalog Doonan through the power of three magic stones. The stones are now missing  but it has been prophesised that a Child with Hair of Fire will return to find the stones and restore the balance of power in Cabrynthius.

In the interim period a baddy called Fodomalk from the neighbouring land of Shyloxia who can turn into a dragon is seeking the stones to enhance his own power.

It is down to Jorie and her friend Rufus to find the stones and defeat the baddies.

Written in short chapters in a lofty writing style, this novel is for the gifted reader.

I read it to my granddaughters and they related well to Jorie. Great cover.

 

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.

Nga Atua: Maori Gods by Robyn Kahukiwa

June 13, 2017 Comments off

maori GodsNga Atua: Maori Gods by Robyn Kahukiwa. Pub. Oratia Books, 2017.

I have been reading Robyn Kahukiwa’s books for more than 30 years and they have always impressed me.

This picture book is a simple introduction to some of the deities that are special, unique and awesome and are some of the supernatural beings of Aotearoa, the Land of the Long White cloud.

Tane is described first as the most powerful Atua who looks after the birds the trees and the people, he also gave light to the land by pushing Ranginui the sky away from Papatuanuke, the Earth.

Maui is in there of course and so is Ruaumoko who I am well acquainted with here in Christchurch because when Ruaumoko burps an earthquake is on the way. The stunner for me was Mahuika the Atua of fire. Each finger of her hand has a name and she hurls fire at her enemies.

The illustrations are superb and affirm the relevance of the Maori Gods today just as the Greek and Roman Gods are relevant and all the other cultural gods of Earth’s many peoples.

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.

Dino Diggers. Digger Disaster by Rose Impey, illus. Chris Chatterton.

May 31, 2017 Comments off

digger disasterDino Diggers. Digger Disaster by Rose Impey, illus. Chris Chatterton. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

Terri, Tyrone, Ricky, Bruno and Stacey are the best diggers in Dino-town but things do not always go right.

They are building a car factory for a rather grumpy Mr Ali O’Saurus who can’t wait till the next Ice Age to get the foundations laid. Haste makes for error and a water pipe is burst. Calamity? Not for the Dino Diggers they sort it out fast and the job is well done.

Simple story but with a strong message of working hard, sorting out your problems and doing the best you can.

The illustrations are cool. Dinosaurs driving bulldozers, trucks and diggers with a smile on their faces. Lots of boy appeal for reluctant readers and as part of a series leads the reader to further books about the same characters.

In the back is a kit set to make up a Dino Digger and reference to a web page to help the reader with the construction. A practical picture book for early primary readers.

The Big Bad Mood by Tom Jamieson, illus. Olga Demidova.

May 31, 2017 Comments off

bad moodThe Big Bad Mood by Tom Jamieson, illus. Olga Demidova. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

If you could see a big bad mood, what would it look like? Well George is going to find out on a day when nothing is going right for him and he is in a right mood.

Mum says “there is a big mood hanging around you today George” so George goes looking for it and it makes him badder and moodier that ever. Then he finds the Mood and it takes him on  on a mischievous bender. They make  a big bad mood sandwich with pickles, cheese, ham, mustard and a sprinkle of shaved caterpillar legs.

It’s fun at first especially when they fill the swimming pool with jelly and custard but George tires of it because it is noisy and makes his friends unhappy. So the Big Bad Mood stomps off. But will George become a better person for his experiences and learn to say sorry?

Read it and find out for yourself.

Excellent colourful illustrations by Olga Demidova. The Bid bad Mood is perfect and the World Famous Big Bad Mood Sandwich is a delight and almost edible for some.

Good positive message that tantrums and moods are not for ever and there is a price to pay. great read-a-loud for pre- school and early primary children and good to have in the home for children to linger over.