Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Humour’

Blong the Cat’s Costume Caper by Karen McMillan.

November 25, 2019 Comments off

blongBlong the Cat’s Costume Caper by Karen McMillan. Pub. Duckling Publishing, 2019.

December 2 Release

Never take a male shopping for clothes unless the clothes are for him or he is paying.

That is the mistake that Blong the cat and Emma make when Blong receives a wedding invitation. They take twin brother Ethan and he is down on everything without any thought. He just doesn’t want to be there.

A black bow tie, which i thought looked great, is boring. A floral shirt is too busy, i love that phrase. A pirate outfit is too dark, a banana is too yellow and a disco outfit is too old. After ten rejections Blong goes back to one of his previous choices. Guess which one it is?

The story is great and it doubles as a counting book. Count the shoes at the bottom of each  outfit.

I thought it was funny and a good read-a-loud for juniors. The illustrations are fitting especially the eyes.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

Pages & Co. Tilly and the Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James.

November 14, 2019 Comments off

pagesPages & Co. Tilly and the Lost Fairy Tales by Anna James. Pub. HarperCollins, 2019.

A brilliantly conceived novel for primary and intermediate readers about fairy tales.

Tilly and Oskar are friends who belong to the British UnderLibrary which caters for those who have the power of bookwandering. It is a skill that allows children and adults to enter books and relate to the characters in them. I would love that.

Bookwandering is controlled by librarians and like all librarians I have associated with professionally they are ridden with ego and patch protection foibles. There is a power struggle going on in the underlibrary world, a new head, Melville Underwood, has been elected in dubious circumstances and he has put curbs on bookwandering.

A rebel bookwanderer named Enoch Chalk has created havoc in the fairy tale world with some fairy tales missing and others irrevocably altered. Chalk is hiding somewhere in fairy tale world and is a hunted man.

Tilly and Oskar go to Paris to visit Oskar’s mum and she has access to bookwandering through an uncontrolled book shop. Oskar and Tilly go wandering in fairy tale world and encounter strange goings on. Is it Enoch Chalk or are other factors at play?

Tilly and Oskar find that all the fairy tale characters know each other. They wander first with Little Red Riding hood who knows Jack, of Beanstalk fame, and he knows of Rapunzel and the Three Bears. Rapunzel doesn’t have long hair nor is she trapped in a tower by a witch. She in fact has a sharp bob with an angular fringe, is 17 years old and doesn’t want anything to do with a prince. She wants her own life. Goldilocks is a blonde of course who knows what she wants, preys on the three bears and gazes at her immaculately painted finger nails.

I could tell you more but find out for yourself. Superb intelligent fun. Older readers will have fun with it too. The questions are, will Tilly and Oskar meet Enoch Chalk?  what is Melville up to? and who are the Archivists?

 

 

The Wonky Donkey and other stories by Craig Smith, illus. Katz Cowley & Scott Tulloch.

October 31, 2019 Comments off

wonkyThe Wonky Donkey and other stories by Craig Smith, illus. Katz Cowley & Scott Tulloch. Pub. Scholastic, 2019.

Five stories by Craig Smith with a CD singing all 5 stories, in a solid hard covered picture book. There is great value in that and lots of entertainment for children.

The famous Wonky Donkey is first up and we all know that story.

Willbee the Bumblebee unravels his black and yellow jersey while getting nectar to make honey. He doesn’t like being naked but he has friends on hand to help him out.

My Daddy Ate An Apple is a hoot as daddy zebra eats an apple with a green worm inside. See what it does to him and how he gets rid of it.

Square Eyes is about a lazy panda who watches TV all day. This was prompted by the knowledge that pandas do nothing except eat and sleep. They are even too lazy to make baby pandas and need assistance from humans. It has a great message that reading is better than TV.

The Scariest Thing in the Garden is a story like the little old lady who swallowed a fly only with a brussels sprout in there. Good laugh.

The illustrations are bright, witty and superbly enhance the stories.

Categories: Picture book Tags: , ,

What Can Possibly go Wrong? by John & Michelle Hotham.

September 20, 2019 Comments off

possibly wrongWhat Can Possibly go Wrong? by John & Michelle Hotham. Pub. Shugar Print New Zealand, 2019.

Ever done something stupid that you regret, and wished you had thought more about it before you started? Things like standing up in the bath, patting a dog that you don’t know, sticking a knife into a power point, using power tools without permission or walking into something while reading your cell phone.

Well this health and safety book for kids and their parents will get you to discuss and think about things that are potentially hazardous to you and everybody around you.

There are 14 scenarios to consider and whats more they are all entertainingly presented

both in picture and in rhyming verse.

Stranger danger, medicine cabinets and playing with a ball inside are also done well. Aimed at 3-9 year olds it certainly has application at older levels, at school and in the home.

Categories: Non Fiction Tags: ,

Lily, the Littlest Angel bk1. Lily gets her Wings by Elizabeth Pulford, illus. Aki Fukuoka.

May 24, 2019 Comments off

lily 1Lily, the Littlest Angel bk1. Lily gets her Wings by Elizabeth Pulford, illus. Aki Fukuoka.

This delightful early reader for girls aged 6-8 is the first of 6 books that the girls will adore. I thought it was a great read.

Lily is at Amelia’s Angel Academy trying to a proper place in the Academy. She has to perform better than Tisa who has a few tricks up her sleep. Things do not go well in the first two tests but the third challenge will change things completely. Failure is not an option as it will send Lily back to the Bossy Boots’ Boarding House. Heaven forbid! Read it and see what happens.

Excellent story from Elizabeth Pulford  who creates drama and fun from a simple situation. Aki Fukuoka’s illustrations get the characters right and enhances the fun.

Categories: Junior Fiction Tags: , ,

Nits! by Stephanie Blake.

May 24, 2019 Comments off

nitsNits! by Stephanie Blake. Pub. Gecko press, 2019.

One of the highlights of being a parent is when your kids get nits. Panic goes through the house, sheets and pillow cases are washed and any itch in your scalp is scrutinised with concern.

Simon gets nits from a girl rabbit he adores but where did she get them from? Check this latest picture book about Simon you will not be disappointed.

Same type of illustrations as the others but why change a winning formula, they are brilliant.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

Alex Rider 12. Secret weapon by Anthony Horowitz.

April 27, 2019 Comments off

alex riderAlex Rider 12. Secret weapon by Anthony Horowitz. Pub. HarperCollins, 2019.

The problem I had with doing this review was how to write something unique that has not already been said of this action adventure series about boy spy 14 year old Alex Rider.

I could have said “it is bloody brilliant so just read it” or I could have waxed lyrical about the plot and the characters of the 7 stories that are told in this collection. But I am not. Instead I am going to tell you what appeals to me about Alex and about the style of writing.

Alex is not pretentious, he is not a braggart or a smart arse. He is skilled at martial arts, he thinks in split seconds but his main weapon is his superb observation skills. He watches people and analyses situations and acts instinctively. He never kills anyone and he does what he has to to win. He is always polite, understates his achievements and if you wanted someone to go into bat for your life then Alex Rider is the boy you would choose.

See how Alex gets on penetrating a crazy man’s castle hideout in Afghanistan, see how he deals with a crazy escaped prisoner who wants to kill Alex in an act of revenge, see how he escapes from a hospital prison over an electric fence using fishing rods and a coat hanger, see how he escapes death while paragliding off a runaway motor boat in the South of France. And more.

Superbly written by master writer Anthony Horowitz in a straight forward action style that keeps you reading long after you want to stop and do something else. The characters are incredible, the action spellbinding. I can’t do better than that.

For intermediate and high school students especially reluctant readers.