OH No! Look what the Cat dragged in by Joy H. Davidson, illus. Jenny Cooper.

December 13, 2018 Comments off

cat dragged inOH No! Look what the Cat dragged in by Joy H. Davidson, illus. Jenny Cooper. Pub. DHD Publishing, Imprint Lighthouse Press, 2018.

If you are the owner of a cat who has presented you with a dead bird or mouse on the doorstep and had a smug pleased look on it’s face, then this is the book for you.

Joy Davidson has told a story in rhyming text with a repeated chorus that is over the top and very funny. Grandma’s big black cat on Monday left a big smelly rat on the rug along with a hedgehog and a big brown shiny cockroach. Oh No!

On the other days of the week the nightly catch gets bigger and more bizarre. It is a days of the week book too. But on Sunday things have changed. Read the book and see why.

Splendid illustrations by Jenny Cooper. The cat is a pearler.

For juniors and pre schoolers. A great read-a-loud.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

Ellie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce.

December 11, 2018 Comments off

ellie engineerEllie, Engineer by Jackson Pearce. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2018.

Ellie and her friends are in middle school but Ellie is in a class of her own. She regards herself as an engineer, she wears a tool belt, designs projects and is always dismantling things or putting things together.

Ellie has a best friend called Kit and school girlfriends, who she calls The Presidents because their first names are all Presidents of USA, I wonder where Jackson Pearce got the idea? She also has boy friends who won’t let her play football with them because she is a girl.

All these friends including the boys are going to assist Ellie to build a doghouse for her friend Kit, in secret mind, for Kit’s birthday. But are they acting on wrong information? Read it and find out.

Ellie is a fine character who understands that “people who are organised are way more efficient than people who aren’t”. But she may be neglecting her people skills.

Do you know what Ding Dong Ditching is? Well the boys do it and they are going to get caught. A good section on tools in the back of the book.

Easy to read in short chapters with big font and a load of laughs. The sequel Ellie Engineer. The next Level is also out now. Great holiday reading for young middle school girls in particular. Get into it.


Maudlin Towers2. Treasure of the Golden Skull by Chris Priestley

December 6, 2018 Comments off

golden skullMaudlin Towers2. Treasure of the Golden Skull by Chris Priestley. Pub. Bloomsbury Childrens Books, 2018.

Cor blimey O’Reilly this is good. Quality writing, crazy plot, even crazier characters, full of humour and wit and so easy to read.

Mildew and Sponge are friends at a run down private school called Maudlin Towers. The opening chapter has one of the spires falling through the headmasters office. Both teachers and pupils are full of gloom about going to the school but feel they have nowhere better to go.

Then the School Board refuse to fund the repairs and the school is rumoured to be closing. How can this change?

Well it is discovered that the founding fathers of the school were pirates led by Greenbeard, captain of the Golden Skull, and the captain’s treasure could be hidden somewhere in the school and environs.

Firstly the school Board, who look and act like pirates, remove all the teaching staff and a new boy called Newboy joins the school. Sponge is walloped on the head and keeps seeing a parrot around the school grounds but his friend Mildew is skeptical “I had a cousin once who thought he could see Charles Dickens. It turned out to be a hatstand. He’s an MP now so be warned.”

The characters are weird. Miss Bronteen pines for a lost love on the moors and Kenningworth is a total rotter out of the top drawer. Then there is Miss Nevermiss!

Superb humour and excellent pen and ink sketches of the characters make this an excellent read for even the most reluctant boy reader. I was fascinated from go to woe and there is a lot of woe.

Intermediate and junior secondary.

Stuck in Poo and Gumboot Stomp by Samantha Laugeson, illus. Kat Merewether.

December 4, 2018 Comments off

stuck pooStuck in Poo and Gumboot Stomp by Samantha Laugeson, illus. Kat Merewether. Pub Luke the Pook Press, Imprint Lighthouse press, 2018.

If it weren’t for you gumboots where would you be? Little Ted knows that and he loves his red band gumboots but he has a rival. Yes it is Luke the Pook that carefree pukeko who fancies the boots himself.

Ted sleeps in so Luke puts them on and goes splashing through puddles and having great fun. Then he meets one of Mrs Moo’s big pancake shaped poos. He jumps in and gets stuck. What is he going to do? He can’t get out and Ted will be up  soon. Check it out to see what happens.

gumbootIn Gumboot Stomp Luke the Pook has not forgotten his earlier experience and dreams about having a pair of gumboots himself to go stomping about.  If he had new gumboots his feet would smell sweet.

He makes up the Stomping song and fantasises about what he would do and you’ve guessed it , it involves stomping in poo.

Both picture books are great read-a-louds and Kat Merewether has captured the fun with her illustrations. Life is a ball on Cow Pat Creek.

Pre schoolers and juniors will have fun with these two titles.


Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

Hedgehog Howdedo by Lynley Dodd

December 2, 2018 Comments off

hedgehogHedgehog Howdedo by Lynley Dodd. Pub. Puffin Books, 2018.

All the encounters I have had with hedgehogs have been joyful experiences. I love their eyes, their spines and their demeanor. How great it is to read this new Board book of the picture book first published in 2000.

The hedgehogs are preparing for hibernation and they can be found all over the garden “four are on the compost heap,five beside the shed and six are sweetly snoozing in the Cockleberry bed”. The rhyming text makes it a great read-a-loud.

This board book is also a counting book but it is the illustrations of the hedgehogs that make you go awwww. The facial expressions are a delight.

A great way to start reading and the enjoyment of books for pre schoolers and juniors. Babies can chew to their hearts content.

Keep Fit Kiwi. Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes by Lynette Evans, illus. Steve Mahardhike, Sung by Pio Terei, Maori lyrics by Ngaere Roberts.

December 1, 2018 Comments off

fit kiwiKeep Fit Kiwi. Head and Shoulders, Knees and Toes by Lynette Evans, illus. Steve Mahardhike, Sung by Pio Terei, Maori lyrics by Ngaere Roberts. Pub. Scholastic, 2018.

Scholastic are becoming noted for their children’s books that catch onto popular songs that can be sung by children and combining it with a way to learn and understand Maori language. But better still they are fun.

In this one kiwi, lamb puppy, alpaca and rabbit are put through their fitness paces while singing the lyrics to head and shoulders, knees and toes. Then they do the whole thing again in Maori language.

The illustrations are happy and funny and the song is easy to follow and well sung by Pio Terei.

Great for Xmas and a useful tool in the classroom.

Bonkers About Beetles by Owen Davey

November 29, 2018 Comments off

bonkersBonkers About Beetles by Owen Davey. Pub. Flying Eye Books, 2018.

If you were asked what is the most popular beetle you might be tempted to say John, Paul Ringo or George except that the beetles featured in this publication are not musicians, they are insects.

The answer to the question is the eight spotted ladybird because it eats aphids which are the scourge of many plants. It eats over 5000 in a year so it must like them.

Beetles are insects of course with with six legs an egg, larva, pupa, adult, life cycle and the most distinctive body part is the Elytra which is a hardened wing cover that protects the wings, acts like armour, and can be used to trap water so that the beetle can breath under water.

The scarab beetle is a god in Egypt, it is supposed to roll the Sun across the sky like a dung beetle rolls dung. There are more than 400,000 beetle types and most of the main ones are described and illustrated in this publication. The illustrations are unique, colourful and the information is short and fascinating.

Much better than a web page and easier to read. For primary intermediate and junior secondary students.

Categories: Non Fiction Tags: