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Dave Pigeon 3. Pigeon Racer by Swapna Haddow, illus. Sheena Dempsey.

November 10, 2018 Comments off

dave pigeon 2Dave Pigeon 3. Pigeon Racer by Swapna Haddow, illus. Sheena Dempsey. Pub. Faber & Faber, 2018.

As I read this new Dave Pigeon book I wondered if he had changed or learned something since his wing was ripped off by a mean cat. He is just as boastful and he and his friend Skipper are still living in the friendly human’s shed. But he is highly imaginative.

The friendly human takes Dave and Skipper to a vet where Dave is having a new wing fitted. There they meet a whole new set of animals including Jet, the wise cracking three legged dog. When they stay over night they are challenged by a former pirate’s parrot  Opprobrious Vastanavius. Dave as usual puts his beak in and ends up challenging the parrot to a race.

Ever the optimist Dave considers his new wing will be right and is confident his status as a racing pigeon will get him home. Then Dave’s missing father, a champion racing pigeon called Micky Lightning, shows up in the enemy camp giving racing tips to the parrot.

It’s all on. Full of bad jokes and madcap capers, this story is highly imaginative with lots of laughs for the newly confident reader.  Sheena Dempsey comes to the party with great illustrations of the new characters.

Worth getting this series.

All By Myself by Jessica McGarvey

September 21, 2016 Comments off

by-myselfAll By Myself by Jessica McGarvey.   2015.

Early readers are some of the most valuable reading resources that a child will ever have. they start the reading process and can engender a love of reading that hopefully lasts a life time.

This is one of those  books. A little boy gets out of bed, his drawings are on the wall, wakes up his dad to help him on with his boots. Then outside to sit on the tractor, then help feed the goat. A bit of hide and seek is fun and off to fly the kite. The kite soars over the farm and the little boy has enough confidence to wind it back in all by himself.

Simple text simple but expressive illustrations. A great confidence builder with the boy initiating the action, the father assisting and creating fun.A lovely piece of work for juniors.

http://www.jessmcgarvey.blogspot.co.nz

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool

Moon Over Manifest by Clare Vanderpool. Pub.Random House Children’s Books, 2010.

A good story can reach out and wrap around a person like a warm blanket. This excellent novel did that to me, I didn’t want to finish it, I wanted to read it every day. Quality writing, so good in fact that this novel won the Newbery Medal in 2010.

Set in the Kansas town of Manifest a word that means the passenger list of a ship and something that is self evident. Both meanings are relevant to this novel. Everyone has a story and a right to know their own story. This is the story of a 12 year old girl  Abilene, who narrates the novel.

Told in two time zones, the Depression year 1936 and the years American entered World War 1, 1917-18. It  is also the story of how the past impacts on the future and indeed the present.

Abilene is sent by her father to live in Manifest, a town he had good and bad experiences in. Abilene stays with the preacher Shady, who is aptly named. On arrival she finds a box hidden in the floorboards of her room that contain a number of objects that are keys to unlocking the past. One of these objects is a fishing lure called a Wiggle King which is so attractive that even a blind fish would go for it.

Like a blind fish I went for the story of Jinx and Ned as told to Abilene by a mysterious woman called Miss Sadie as she unravels the history of Manifest during the war years and the influenza epidemic of 1918. Through her revelations, the newspaper columns of  Hattie May Harper that are brilliant, and the letters from the Front by Ned Gillen,  Manifest’s and Abilene’s stories are told.

One word outstanding!

Intermediate and junior secondary students will love this but there is something in this novel for everyone. If you like classy writing then this is the best novel I have read this year.