Archive for the ‘Junior Fiction’ Category

Stories of the Night by Kitty Crowther

August 15, 2018 Comments off

night storiesStories of the Night by Kitty Crowther. Pub. Gecko Press, 2018.

A read-a-loud bedtime story for juniors with some class.

Little bear wants three stories from his mum before he goes to sleep. reading to children before they go to bed is a brilliant thing to do. It shows them the power of reading and it gives them something restful to think about before the land of nod takes over.

The stories are about the Night Guardian who puts all the creatures to bed at night, brave little Zhora  who lives in the forest and the old man with an overcoat who finds it hard to sleep.

These stories are similar to fairy tales, myths and legends and are beautifully illustrated with pink pastel colours that are so restful.

A worthwhile investment for the home and the junior classroom..

Dear Professor Whale by Megumi Iwasa, illus. Jun Takabatake.

August 14, 2018 Comments off

dear whaleDear Professor Whale by Megumi Iwasa, illus. Jun Takabatake. Pub. Gecko Press, 2017.

When giraffe told pelican to deliver a letter to those that live across the horizon he opened up a can of worms that started a splurge of letter writing.

The letter was given to seal who gave it to penguin who told whale about it.

Now whale is wondering what happened to all his friends who have disappeared from Whale point and dreams about the Whale Point Olympics in which he won a gold medal for the best spout.

Whale writes a letter to be delivered by seal and not only contacts some of his old friends but he finds a relative of his old Olympic rival.

I love letters, they for me are the most agreeable form of long distance communication. Perhaps they are on the comeback. In this book for early readers and newly confident readers letters are what precipitates the action. The Olympics are sensational.

The values in this novel are awe inspiring. Sportsmanship, politeness, acceptance of others and there is a warm fuzziness about this book.

The illustrations of all the animals are in keeping with the values of the written text. An altogether first class package.

Check out Yours Sincerely Giraffe also reviewed on this blog.

My Old Man He played Rugby by Peter Millett, illus. Jenny Cooper, Sung by Jay Laga’aia.

August 11, 2018 Comments off

my old manMy Old Man He played Rugby by Peter Millett, illus. Jenny Cooper, Sung by Jay Laga’aia. Pub. Scholastic, 2018.

This picture book come sing-a-long book celebrates New Zealand’s national game, Rugby.

Peter Millett’s clever witty text has been put to music by Jay Laga’aia in a rousing CD included with the picture book. My favourite line is “my old man was stretchered home”.

Jenny Coopers illustrations are the star of this show. She has portrayed a game with two teams in the colours of the All Blacks and the Wallabies. My old man is in both sides and the game has a woman referee who sends my old man off for a late tackle.

Jenny Copper has captured the culture and hairstyles of the modern player and even given one polka dot undies. It is heaps of fun with lots of nuances to savour.

The CD also has an all music track to which you can sing the lyrics of the song and book.


Keep an Eye on This Koala by Scott Tulloch

August 2, 2018 Comments off

koalaKeep an Eye on This Koala by Scott Tulloch. Pub. Scholastic, 2018.

Like Scott Tulloch’s earlier book on the Kiwi reviewed elsewhere on this blog, this too is  a great laugh and easy read for readers 8-12 years old.

Aussies are not noted for their sense of humour but they will need one to see the fun in this story of the dozy koala who believes in bubble-gum trees. Cockatoo doesn’t believe in bubble-gum trees so koala is determined to show him and watch out anyone who is in the way.

Dingo, witchetty grub, cockatoo and drop-bear are in the firing line in this very funny story. Once again the fart becomes a comic weapon but I did wonder how dingo knows that koala tastes like chicken?

Perfect for early readers but don’t forget the earlier book on kiwi.

The Day that A Ran Away by B.C.R. Fegan illus. Lenny Wen.

July 20, 2018 Comments off

ran awayThe Day that A Ran Away by B.C.R. Fegan illus. Lenny Wen. Pub. Taleblade Press, 2018.

Alphabet books play an important role in getting children into reading. They establish enjoyment by introducing the letters from which all language is built. Not only that but they teach the new reader how the letter is pronounced and words that begin with that letter.

This new picture book does all this and more because it gives each letter a personality and a great sense of fun is established.

Master Jet the young boy character has not written his alphabet and is cornered by his teacher. Like all children he makes up an excuse for not doing so and it is straight out of his imagination. A ran away, B was so sad she didn’t stay…

You get the drift it is told in rhyming text and is very witty. Master Jet gets his payment, read it and see what it is.

Lenny Win gives character  and fun to each letter. I loved Q and X. See if you have a favourite too.

Great book for juniors to pour over and for adults to read  aloud.

Moth. An evolution Story by Isabel Thomas illus. Daniel Egneus.

July 18, 2018 Comments off

mothMoth. An evolution Story by Isabel Thomas illus. Daniel Egneus. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2018.

The theory of Evolution and Natural selection has so often been tagged with the catch phrase “survival of the fittest”. This sophisticated picture book brilliantly illustrates that those that survive are those that have the ability to adapt. Adaptation is the key to evolution.

This picture book concentrates on the history of the peppered moth as it changed through the Industrial Revolution and into the modern world where humankind has started to clean up the environment.

At first the salt and pepper winged moths survived because they could disguise themselves from predators, then the black winged moths thrived during the dark days of the industrial Revolution. Now as humankind cleans up the environment, both coloured moths are able to flourish.

Brilliantly illustrated by Daniel Egneus who captures the natural world of the moths as they relate to the changing environment. The Industrial Revolution has never been portrayed better than this.

Isabel Thomas’s text is superb, simple yet telling. A perfect introduction to Natural Selection for children, and a timely reminder to adults on the effects humankind has on the environment of all the species that inhabit our planet.

The best sophisticated picture book of the year in my opinion.

Funny Kid: prank wars by Matt Stanton.

July 17, 2018 Comments off

PRANK WARSFunny Kid: prank wars by Matt Stanton. Pub. ABC Books, 2018.

It had to happen to funny kid Max even though he has always thought that girls are gross. Yes he is 11 years old and he has started to notice the girls, well one girl in particular – Pip.

He has always had a tussle with Abbey and that still goes on, but Pip makes him feel like no girl ever has. Yes he is falling in lurv. The trouble is new girl Pip has a twin brother Tyson who is a prankster and he is going to ruffle Max’s feathers while Max is trying to get Pip to notice him.

Things get quite lively as Max and Tyson play tricks on each other on a school camp to Lake Quiet where it is rumoured  an extinct dragon has been spotted. The girls think it exists but the boys are nah.

Read it and find out what happens. Max’s best friend Hugo is back, Abbey is back as is duck. It all makes for great fun especially for reluctant boy readers of primary and intermediate age.