Archive

Archive for the ‘Picture book’ Category

Valensteins by Ethan Long.

December 24, 2017 Comments off

valensteinsValensteins by Ethan Long. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2018.

Fran the ogre is making pink hearts on Valentines Day, but who are they for and why is he doing it? Could it be love? What is love anyway?

When Fran is caught making the pink hearts Vladimir the vampire speculates that they are pink butts much to the hilarity of the other ghouls. Then a witch surmises that Fran is in love. Eewww! cry all his friends.

An embarrassed Fran  puts up with their taunts of feeling Mushy Mushy and kissing on the lips but who is the recipient of Fran’s feelings?

Read the rest and find out who and learn that love is a feeling in the heart. Awww!

Great illustrations especially the eyes of the characters that show where their feelings and motives are.

Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers

November 24, 2017 Comments off

here we areHere We Are by Oliver Jeffers Pub. HarperCollins, 2017.

If you had to explain what planet earth was and what went on here to a newcomer, how would you do it?

Well Oliver Jeffers has a new son and in the most simplest of terms tells his son all about Earth, how it looks, where it is in relation to the Universe, what life there is on Earth and what we do here.

That is a massive effort and in doing so he gets us, the reader, to assess or reassess what we are doing here. “there are lots of us here so be kind.There is enough for everyone”

He describes the land, the sea and the sky, what a human looks like, how different we all are but how similar we are too. All the animals that are here their diversity and where everybody lives including the city and country. Mr Jeffers comes from Brooklyn so the bridge gets in there.

His advice to his son is to be kind and when he is not around to answer questions you can always ask someone else.

A beautiful message. And there’s more. The illustrations are spectacular. If you don’t read this book you have missed one of the choices of the year.

For everybody.

The Untold Story of Father Christmas by Alison Battle & Mike Battle.

November 10, 2017 Comments off

untold christmasThe Untold Story of Father Christmas by Alison Battle & Mike Battle. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

To wish is to believe in magic, in hopes and dreams that know no boundaries.

Father Christmas is one of those things but what if he was a toy maker with a wife who supported him and both had a dream to have children but it never happened.

What if he and his wife made toys for the children of the village whose parents were hard working but poor, and what if this task became so big that elves from the north pole had to help them out. And what if this became popular and spread throughout the World.

Sounds like a good story to me with ideals and values that all should behold.

Get a hold of this story and fill in the parts that I have missed out. Beautifully told and illustrated by I assume a husband and wife. I hope they have children.

Moo and Moo and Can you guess Who? by Jane Milton, illus. Deborah Hinde.

October 19, 2017 Comments off

Moo & MooMoo and Moo and Can you guess Who? by Jane Milton, illus. Deborah Hinde. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2017

Of all the animals in the World the two with the most appealing and expressive eyes are the giraffe and the cow. In this truly New Zealand picture book about cows, Deborah Hinde has got them just right.

The story is set 9 months after the earthquake that left Moo And Moo and the calf too, stranded on  a hill created by the earthquake that required them to be helicoptered off. Now both Moo and Moo are expecting calves and have remained friends.

I wonder how many Moos there will be at the end of the book? Read it and find out.

The text is rhyming and sometimes is a little forced but it doesn’t matter. We all wanted to know what happened to those cows. A strong New Zealand flavour and a worthwhile purchase for the home and the school library.

First Day at Skeleton School by Sam Lloyd.

October 10, 2017 Comments off

skeleton schoolFirst Day at Skeleton School by Sam Lloyd. Pub. Bloomsbury Children’s Books, 2017.

Deep in the dark forest, lurking amongst the trees there is a creepy night-time school for  spooky girls and boys. Are you one of them?

It is a school like the one you go to, except it is for ghouls, monsters, skeletons, werewolves and other spooky creatures. There is a sign in the boys toilet saying No Wee Wees out the Window, and you are not allowed to do daredevil stunts in the library.

If this is the type of school you would like to go to then read this book or contact the headmaster Mr Bones and you might just get in.

A fun picture book with big colourful illustrations of monstrous things going on and rhyming text. There is even a pair of frilly knickers and a plan of the school for first day pupils.

Check it out.

What Makes me a Me? by Ben Faulks & David Tazzyman.

October 4, 2017 Comments off

what makes me meWhat Makes me a Me? by Ben Faulks & David Tazzyman. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

This is a picture book about identity. We all wonder who we are and our place in the World but for the little boy in this book,its a puzzle.

Is he slow like a snail, or like Alfie Wilkes next door who roars like a dinosaur and draws on the wall. Is he like a fast car, a tree or a computer you can turn off and on? Perhaps he is like his dad and mum–son I think your on to something.

Ben Faulks rhyming text tells a good easy to read story and shows the boys willingness  to question everything and David Tazzyman’s illustrations compliment the text perfectly and show the boy’s identity. His woolly hat and John Lennon glasses. Eventually he comes  to the conclusion that what makes me is ME.

Good stuff.

Categories: Junior Fiction, Picture book Tags:

Watch Out for the Weka by Ned Barraud.

September 14, 2017 Comments off

watch wekaWatch Out for the Weka by Ned Barraud. Pub. Potton & Burton, 2017.

A delightful picture book about one of New Zealand’s other native birds that have personality and brighten up our lives. The weka which is very much like a brown bush chicken.

My family and I used to camp at Totaranui in the Able Tasman National Park in the 80’s and 90’s. At first we saw many of them then less and less until hardly ever. It was a shame. they were a cheeky bird that would go into your tent an forage.

The weka in this book has a scurrilous look and likes shiny things. The hut ranger gets embarrassed in his altogether when chasing a weka that has nicked his watch. But the weka hasn’t finished yet. read it and see what happens.

Superb digital illustrations of the Able Tasman particularly Awaroa Inlet and the beach bought by ordinary New Zealanders. The weka is classic.