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Posts Tagged ‘friends’

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.

Watch Me! by Jenni Francis.

April 7, 2018 Comments off

watch meWatch Me! by Jenni Francis. Pub. jennifrancis.com  2018

The most recent short novel for intermediate and junior secondary girls from the Keri series about Keri and her friend Mereana who are now 13 years old.

The girls go to visit cousin Claire on a farm that runs horse trekking holidays as well as stocking sheep and cattle. Someone is stealing horses sheep and cattle from Claire’s farm and from surrounding farms and the girls are going to become involved.

It is not the only drama in the book as Claire has found lumps under her arm and has bad sweats in bed at night but this is not going to hold her back.

As usual this short novel is tightly written with realistic dialogue between the girls and other characters. It has great family values and is written at a pace that keeps you in the book.

Who would have thought that Morse Code would be still useful in these days of cell phones. Read it and find out why. Lots of horse talk.

Eric Makes a Splash by Emily MacKenzie

March 24, 2018 Comments off

eric splashEric Makes a Splash by Emily MacKenzie. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2018.

This is a picture book about fears. We all have fears and most are not warranted and can be easily overcome.

Eric is scared about lots of things- noises in the night, spiders in his welly boots and getting lost in the park among others. Fortunately he has a brave friend called Flora who is fearless. Eric thinks she is the cat’s whiskers.

She shows Eric how to overcome some of his fears but then he is invited to a swimming party at the Soggy Towel Swimming Pool. This sends Eric into a whirl but Flora kits him out in gear and persuades him to pretend to be a shark or a turtle so in he goes and loves it. But Flora looks very worried indeed..

Simply told nicely illustrated in bright water colours and with a great message for children. Be confident in what you do and overcome your fears.

Radio Boy and the Revenge of Grandad by Christian O’Connell

March 5, 2018 Comments off

radio boyRadio Boy and the Revenge of Grandad by Christian O’Connell. Pub. HarperCollins, 2018.

This is a sequel to Radio Boy in which middle schooler Spike Hughes took on his spiteful headmaster and won by setting up his own radio station in his garden shed.

This story has him competing with his granddad a former cruise ship entertainer with a Pepe Le Pew hairstyle who goes by the name Toni Fandango, has been kicked out of the house by Spike’s grandma, and now shares Spike’s bedroom.

After taking over Spike’s Radio show and being sacked by his grandson it is all on when the local DJ on Kool FM runs a competition to hire a replacement while he goes on holiday.

All is fair in love and war and radio competitions but who will win? In the final Spike has to interview the winner of the best dog competition and grandad has to interview the cow of the year. In between time it is mayhem.

Easy to read with large font, short chapters and illustrations. In recent weeks I have talked to many middle and lower school children and this type of story is very popular indeed. Some great writers like James Patterson, Matt Stanton, David Baddiel and others are writing in similar style and reluctant boys and girls love them. Many are reviewed on this blog so check them out they are a good laugh and have good values.

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.

Good Night, Sleep Tight by Kristina Andres. Translated by Sally-Ann Spencer.

August 29, 2017 Comments off

good nightGood Night, Sleep Tight by Kristina Andres. Translated by Sally-Ann Spencer. Pub. Gecko Press, 2017.

Fox and rabbit share a house together and even sleep in the same bed but they have trouble getting to sleep and are a bit obsessed with saying good night.

These are eleven and a half read-a-loud story for primary aged students in which rabbit, fox and friends analyse their sleeping habits which at times is laugh out loud funny.

It is no use counting sheep as it makes fox’s whiskers twinge, although elephant finds it quite soothing. With elephant they decide to sleep like bats in the pear tree, the tree is not amused.

There are some interesting characters beside fox, rabbit and elephant namely Granny Wolf with the gold tooth that shines in the dark, the wolf with the leather jacket and of course Lottie the sheepdog.

The illustrations are superb creating an idyllic world and characters that are unique. I loved elephant’s glasses and Lottie’s deer stalker hat.

A classy piece of work in picture book sized publication.