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Archive for the ‘Junior Fiction’ Category

Pages & Co. Tilly and the Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James.

November 14, 2019 Comments off

pagesPages & Co. Tilly and the Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James. Pub. HarperCollins, 2019.

A brilliantly conceived novel for primary and intermediate readers about fairy tales.

Tilly and Oskar are friends who belong to the British UnderLibrary which caters for those who have the power of bookwandering. It is a skill that allows children and adults to enter books and relate to the characters in them. I would love that.

Bookwandering is controlled by librarians and like all librarians I have associated with professionally they are ridden with ego and patch protection foibles. There is a power struggle going on in the underlibrary world, a new head, Melville Underwood, has been elected in dubious circumstances and he has put curbs on bookwandering.

A rebel bookwanderer named Enoch Chalk has created havoc in the fairy tale world with some fairy tales missing and others irrevocably altered. Chalk is hiding somewhere in fairy tale world and is a hunted man.

Tilly and Oskar go to Paris to visit Oskar’s mum and she has access to bookwandering through an uncontrolled book shop. Oskar and Tilly go wandering in fairy tale world and encounter strange goings on. Is it Enoch Chalk or are other factors at play?

Tilly and Oskar find that all the fairy tale characters know each other. They wander first with Little Red Riding hood who knows Jack, of Beanstalk fame, and he knows of Rapunzel and the Three Bears. Rapunzel doesn’t have long hair nor is she trapped in a tower by a witch. She in fact has a sharp bob with an angular fringe, is 17 years old and doesn’t want anything to do with a prince. She wants her own life. Goldilocks is a blonde of course who knows what she wants, preys on the three bears and gazes at her immaculately painted finger nails.

I could tell you more but find out for yourself. Superb intelligent fun. Older readers will have fun with it too. The questions are, will Tilly and Oskar meet Enoch Chalk?  what is Melville up to? and who are the Archivists?

 

 

Dreamweavers Bk1. Awa and the Dreamrealm by Isa Pearl Ritchie.

November 10, 2019 Comments off

awaDreamweavers Bk1. Awa and the Dreamrealm by Isa Pearl Ritchie. Pub.Te Ra Aroha Press, 2019.

After reading this fantasy with a realism twist for primary and intermediate school readers, I played the Gary Wright song Dreamweaver. Do this yourself and see why.

Awa is of oriental descent, she is sensitive, her parents have just split up, she has moved to a small Wellington flat with her mother and she has started at another school.

At night she has dreams that seem real and one evening she sees a light that turns out to be a Dreamcharmer named Veila. Veila teaches Awa to enter the Dreamrealm where unbeknown to her she has an important role to play as a Dreamweaver.

At school Awa is bullied by Felicity but meets a friend Ella who is also bullied by Felicity. The divorce of the parents, the bullying and the racism, provide the realism twist to the dream world fantasy that Awa enters but somehow there is a connection.

This first part of a trilogy has Awa learn to understand the power the powers she has and the enemies she faces in the Dreamrealm in the personna of The Politician and Judgement. I feel the best is yet to come.

Easy to read, short chapters and much to appeal to pre-teens. The fantasy is drawn from the Greek legend Narcissus and from Maori mythology especially the nature of dreams.

Where is my Underwear by Justin Kipp.

October 16, 2019 Comments off

underwearWhere is my Underwear by Justin Kipp. Pub. 2019.

This is a simple story of a boy(who else) who has lost his last pair of underpants or underwear as they say in USA. They are under something but under where?

He asks his mum if she has seen them and she says they were under his bed but they are not under there and there is a spider under the dresser. So where are his underwear?

You have guessed it. This is a play on words about the only boy in the world who has lost his underwear. Not.

It is funny, a good read aloud and is well illustrated in bold colours. I like the hair and the eyebrows. You will like it to.

For primary and pre schoolers and maybe intermediate students especially boys(and mothers).

For copies check the author and Amazon.

Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl.

October 15, 2019 Comments off

badobedayMadame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl. Pub. Walker Books, 2019.

If I was an old woman I would like to be like Madame Badobedah. Mysterious, well kept, says “darlink” and keeps to herself.

She arrives at the Mermaid Hotel with two dogs, two cats, a tortoise and 23 bags and moves into room 32. Mabel is a resident of Mermaid Hotel and she keeps an eye on things and she decides Madame Badobedah is suspicious.

Mabel is a young girl with imagination and she treats every room in the Mermaid Hotel as a brother or a sister.  She imagines fantastical exploits with Madame and they become good friends. Read it and see what happens.

Great illustrations portray Madame , the Mermaid Hotel and an English seaside resort . Sophie Dahl’s text  tells a whimsical story with intrigue and mystery.

For primary and intermediate readers but adults will love this as well.

Avis and the Promise of Dragons by Heather McQuillan.

October 14, 2019 Comments off

avisAvis and the Promise of Dragons by Heather McQuillan. Pub. AHOY, imprint Cuba Press, 2019.

How do you weave an ex All Black star, a manipulative dragon, a kind hearted little girl with a slovenly father and brother, a mother who has left home, a bully, an endangered species smuggler and chocolate bars into a novel?

Check out this easy to read tale and find out. Of course it is an outrageous fantasy and tall story, but it is good fun and an easy read for primary and intermediate students.

Avis is the central character and she is a very likeable. Her father is in a slump because his wife and Avls’s mother has run off with an ex All Black. Bruno the 14 year old brother is in a grump as well. Avis does everything around the house.

Then Avis gets a job minding an eccentric scientists house while she attends to a screeching peacock, and discovers a giant lizard that loves chocolate which makes it shed it’s skin and grow quickly. Not only that it becomes a dragon and is able to manipulate Avis through thought control.

I can tell you no more but it is fun.

The Strange Sagas of Sabrina Summers Pt2. The Uncomfortable Glass Slippers by Michele Clark McConnochie.

October 13, 2019 Comments off

glass slippersThe Strange Sagas of Sabrina Summers Pt2. The Uncomfortable Glass Slippers by Michele Clark McConnochie. Pub. Morgan James Publishing, 2019.

The second book in a trilogy is often the hardest to write because it hasn’t got the surprise wow factor of the first book nor the drama of the conclusion in the third.

This novel is more of the same that the first brought but it does fill in gaps and broaden the nature of the conflict in the magical land of Dralfynia. We find out more about Sabrina’s stepmother Bridget and her relationship with the bad witch, witchy Wu who has slipped through the magic barrier from Dralfynia to become a teacher at Melas school (Salem spelt backwards) where Sabrina and her friends Persis and Olive go.

We find out more of the 8 fingered Beast who wants the crown of Dralfynia and the nature of the conflict and my favourite character the horse Clyde who becomes a unicorn in Dralfynia.

The action moves along in short chapters  and there is a cleverness about the reworking of the story of Cinderella and the glass slippers. She needs rescuing in this story.

Good values for primary and intermediate readers especially girls who understand the nature of girlie relationships. I look forward to the conclusion.

Midnight Ninja by Sam Lloyd

October 7, 2019 Comments off

ninjaMidnight Ninja by Sam Lloyd. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019

This picture book is for that special person who likes secrets, martial arts, adventure, fantasy and kicking their legs out and saying hi yah.

At night a little boy and his cat Ginger become the Midnight Ninja and Ninja Master. Ginger, like all cats of course, is in command.

When the boy finds out that socks have been going missing off clothes lines Midnight Ninja springs into action  and is off to Baddie town. He finds spiders wearing socks on their legs and they have a lot of legs. The biggest spider is fierce and he traps Midnight Ninja but Ginger is on his way in a ninja cycle through  the teleporter.

The fighting is fierce but ends with a compromise. See what it is.

Very appealing illustrations showing the ninja hideout with hidden high tech gizmos, a Ninja Spy Cam and a teleporter.

Great read-a-loud with illustrations that will have juniors pawing over it for hours..