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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

Speechless by Adam. P. Schmitt.

June 21, 2019 Comments off

speechlessSpeechless by Adam. P. Schmitt. Pub. Candlewick Press, 2019.

This superbly paced young adult novel kept me on tenterhooks from beginning to end.

It is said that you can choose your friends but you can’t choose your family, this is teenager Jimmy’s problem and has been for the whole of his life.

Jimmy’s mum has a twin sister who is needy. She has a son called Patrick who is the same age as Jimmy and they have been around every important occasion in Jimmy’s life and much of other times too. Jimmy can’t stand Patrick because he ruins every event and prevents Jimmy enjoying any occasion and having friends of his own. Patrick is unpredictable and volatile and Jimmy is nearly always the victim.

Now Patrick is dead and Jimmy is told by his mother that he has to make a speech at Patrick’s funeral. He doesn’t want to, he feels even in death Patrick is beating him.

The action opens at the wake before the funeral and many people from Patrick and Jimmy’s life show up. Jimmy recounts some of the episodes that happened and he can’t for the life of him think of anything positive about Patrick to say.

Throughout this novel I was desperate to learn two things. Firstly how Patrick died and secondly what and if Jimmy would say anything.  Adam Schmitt draws you in and strings you out magnificently.

One of the best novels of late. You will feel the same as me, I bet. The ending will move you to tears.

 

Little Wise Wolf by Gijs van der Hammen & Hannecke Siemensma

March 23, 2019 Comments off

little wise wolfLittle Wise Wolf by Gijs van der Hammen & Hannecke Siemensma. Pub. Book Island, 2019.

Nobody is an island unto themselves, not even little wolf, but he acts as if he is.

Little Wolf is very bright. He reads plenty of books and all the other animals go to him with difficult questions but he hasn’t got time for all their questions.

Then he receives a letter from a very sick king wanting help. He hasn’t got time but the crow tells him that when the king calls you go.

He sets off on a long journey to the king and his friends help him on the way without his knowledge. When he finds the king he is humble about his abilities but manages to help the king.

He understands now that his friends helped him and wants to return to them a changed wolf. Now he has time for everyone and still gets done what he needs to.

Wonderful lesson for everyone.

Beautifully illustrated especially when Little Wolf is on his journey to the king. His animal friends are hidden somewhere in the full page illustrations . See if you can find them.

Categories: Picture book Tags: , ,

Lola Dutch. When I Grow Up by Kenneth & Sarah Jane Wright

January 25, 2019 Comments off

lola dutchLola Dutch. When I Grow Up by Kenneth & Sarah Jane Wright. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

Lola Dutch is inventive, she is imaginative and best of all she is confident. She puts her mind to the task of deciding what she is going to do when she grows up.

She tests her ideas out on her animal friends – Bear, crocodile, pig and crane. They of course let her run with her ideas and help her in every way possible as she imagines being on the stage, an inventor, a botanist an Egyptologist and many other things.

Bear puts his finger on the pulse “Lola what do you want to be right now?” Lola’s answer is the key to the whole story. Check it and find out why.

Simple text, complimentary water colour illustrations and a heroine to be admired.

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.

 

Invisible Jerry by Adam Wallace, Illus. Giuseppe Poli.

November 14, 2018 Comments off

invisibleInvisible Jerry by Adam Wallace, Illus. Giuseppe Poli. Pub. EK Books imprint Exisle Publishing, 2018.

This is the sort of picture book that makes you go awwhh. It’s from a new publishing company that promotes itself as  publishing “Books with heart, on Issues that Matter”. I can’t do better than that in my review.

Jerry is a lonely boy, nobody laughs at his jokes and he never gets picked when choosing sports teams. He feels invisible. Then Molly comes with her flamming red hair and riding a unicorn play horse. She asks what he thinks, laughs at his jokes and makes him feel king of the castle.

Can Jerry do the same thing for someone else in the same predicament? Read it and find out.

Brilliant water colour illustrations that enhance the text and the loneliness that Jerry feels. You can tell what is happening without reading the text. The true test of a good picture book. Excellent for dealing with feelings with juniors..

Categories: Picture book Tags: , ,

Kuwi’s Rowdy Crowd by Kat Merewether

October 7, 2018 Comments off

rowdy crowdKuwi’s Rowdy Crowd by Kat Merewether. Pub. Illustrated Publishing, 2018.

This classic picture book will be launched throughout New Zealand next week in Rotorua and around New Zealand for the next month. Make a point of checking it out.

Kuwi the kiwi just wants a quiet morning in her burrow sipping a cup of kawakawa tea but her chick Huwi has other ideas. Huwi wants to play with his friends and make as much fun and noise as possible.

He wants to play King Kong with his tower of blocks, revel in the bath with a flock of farting whio, kung fu with the kokako and tap dance with the tomtits and other things.

Until Kuwi has a melt down, the friends are out, the noise is stopped, and mother and chick have quality silent time together.

The text is fun but the real humour is in the illustrations. There is the Stay Weird tee shirt on the line, the Huwi Potter cupboard under the stairs, the Kicaso painting on the wall, the cans of Bug Beans, the K bars as karate blocks, amongst others. There is a nice little play with rap too, Straight out of Aotearoa.

Lots of Te Reo Maori words with translations in the back.

A fine package for everyone.

Boy Under Water by Adam Baron, illus. Benji Davies.

July 30, 2018 Comments off

boy under waterBoy Under Water by Adam Baron, illus. Benji Davies.. Pub. HarperCollins, 2018.

This novel for intermediate and junior high school readers is about growing up and it addresses a massive question – “Do grown-ups tell you the real stuff or do they try to shove it aside like an old tent stuffed behind a sofa”?

Every family has secrets, secrets that affect other family members and friends  behaviour, and kids do not understand. Why don’t they know? and what will happen when they eventually find out?

Cymbeline Igloo is nine years old and he lives with his mother. He has artistic ability and his mother gives art lessons. Family history comes to a shattering crisis when Cymbelline has to go to the swimming pool with his class. His mother panics and Cymbelline wonders why his mother has never taken him to the pool or any body of water where he could learn to swim.

Cymbelline attends after a challenge from a class member and while waiting to commence a swimming lesson he is pushed into the deep end and sinks to the bottom. His mother erupts. The next morning when Cymbelline wakes up his mother is gone.

I am not going to tell you anymore you will have to read the novel and believe me I did not guess the ending, nor will you but it is brilliant.

Superbly told and explained by Adam Baron with an underlining dark and witty humour. He is talking to the kids and opening big secrets. Deftly illustrated by Benji Davies.

You will find out about the name when you read the book.