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Posts Tagged ‘Imagination’

Max and his Big Imagination Bk7 The Cave by Chrissy Metge, illus Dmitri Chizhov.

August 13, 2020 Comments off

max caveMax and his Big Imagination Bk7 The Cave by Chrissy Metge, illus Dmitri Chizhov. Pub. Duckling Publishing 2020.

The seventh book in this series dealing with childhood issues with this one handling “afraid of the dark”.

Ever had your children drag blankets from their beds and make a cave with furniture in your lounge? I have and it is fun. Max’s mum does this to help Max with his fear of the dark and she gives him a torch to help him. But Max goes further, he uses his imagination to create a glow worm cave. Read it and see what happens.

Superbly illustrated by Dmitry Chizhov who gets the glow worms just right and enhances the text with his dark images.

Here in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker.

February 15, 2020 Comments off

real worldHere in the Real World by Sara Pennypacker. Pub. HarperCollins, 2020.

This easy to read novel with short chapters for primary and Intermediate students, is a delight from beginning to end. It is set in Florida and Sara Pennypacker’s style reminds me of Kate Di Camillo.

Over protection is one of many disadvantages of being an only child. Ware is eleven and a half years old and is a disappointment to his hard working parents. He knows they are disappointed and he would like to change completely.

I think he is a fabulous person. He is a dreamer, a thinker and above all an artist. He struggles to meet and mix with people and prefers to be with his own fantasies. He is the type of boy who when he closes the door to his room, every cell in his body breaths a sigh of relief.

He is put in a childminding school during the summer holidays after his grandmother who he calls Big-deal, and he hates it. Over the fence from the play centre is an old churchyard and he goes in there to play. It reminds him of a medieval castle and his great love is the code of a knight which concentrates on fairness.

Ware meets Jolene in the yard and she is a die hard realist but the two get on with lots of disagreement and banter. Jolene plants a garden in the old churchyard and Ware builds a moat around the old church tower.

Then an older girl Ashley tells Jolene and Ware that the bank is going to sell the church site and destroy the work they are doing.

Read it and find out what happens. Brilliant ending. One of the best of the year.

Orphans of the Tide by Struan Murray.

January 31, 2020 Comments off

orphansOrphans of the Tide by Struan Murray. Pub. Puffin, 2020.

RELEASED 18 FEB. 2020

Always nice to read a children’s novel by a new author who has a great imagination.

Struan Murray creates a totally believable world that has been through the Drowning. The sea has risen enormously and the only known city left is built on a mountain and is called the City. The City is a character in it’s own right in this novel.

The plot is mysterious and action packed and it is about survival in this watery world. It begins when a whale is washed up on the roof of a house close to the waterfront. Ellie the main character knows that whales start decomposing in the stomach which produces gas and needs to be opened up before it explodes.

The opening starts a panic in the town. Ellie slices the whale open and a boy is extracted from the intestines. Ellie names him Seth and wants to protect him from the townsfolk who have judged him to be a Vessel for the main foe of the people who they call the Enemy.

The Inquisitors in the City have the job of hunting the Vessel down and killing it. Seth is the first Vessel in 23 years, but Ellie, her friend Annie and mysterious character Finn have other ideas.

Between chapters there is the story of the previous Vessel who has left the Diary of Claude Hestermeyer. Does it hold the secret to what is going on?

Ellie is a superb character. Her mother was an inventor and she herself has many skills and a respected role in the town. But she has a deadly secret which you can find out about by reading this novel. The last 50 pages are gripping.

Highly descriptive  novel for intermediate and junior high school students that will make you think. There is a map in the front to guide you. A great start to my reading year.

 

What’s In The Box? by David Minty.

January 23, 2020 Comments off

whats boxWhat’s In The Box? by David Minty. Pub. mintybooks.co.nz   2019.

This is a picture book of discovery and imagination. Aren’t they all?

Two friends coloured yellow, one wearing a pirate hat, the other a hat with a pompom and long straps, find a box on the shore. They ponder what’s inside it their imaginations run wild.

Could it contain “a crab with wonky eyes” “an entrance to a tunnel full of turkeys” ‘a box full of treasure” or “penguins with rocket boosters”.

I am afraid it is none of these but there are visual clues on nearly every page as to what is inside the box. See if you can spot them.

Simple written text and simple expressive illustrations full of colour. An excellent second book to My New red Car also reviewed on this blog.

A Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers & Sam Winston.

October 19, 2019 Comments off

child of booksA Child of Books by Oliver Jeffers & Sam Winston. Pub. Walker Books, 2019.

“The universe is made up of stories, not atoms”. This is a foreword to this wonderful picture book about reading and imagination.

A young girl sits on a raft and declares “I am a child of Books. I come from a World of stories”. She floats on a sea of words describing many great works of fiction, to a young boy’s house and together they travel over mountains of make-believe and lose themselves in forests of fairy tales and other imaginations  to a house where anyone can come.

The illustrations are often made with words and enhance the magical world that reading can invoke.

Sophisticated picture book but easy to understand for primary, intermediate and secondary readers. In fact for everybody.

A superb piece of work.

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

Madame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl.

October 15, 2019 Comments off

badobedayMadame Badobedah by Sophie Dahl. Pub. Walker Books, 2019.

If I was an old woman I would like to be like Madame Badobedah. Mysterious, well kept, says “darlink” and keeps to herself.

She arrives at the Mermaid Hotel with two dogs, two cats, a tortoise and 23 bags and moves into room 32. Mabel is a resident of Mermaid Hotel and she keeps an eye on things and she decides Madame Badobedah is suspicious.

Mabel is a young girl with imagination and she treats every room in the Mermaid Hotel as a brother or a sister.  She imagines fantastical exploits with Madame and they become good friends. Read it and see what happens.

Great illustrations portray Madame , the Mermaid Hotel and an English seaside resort . Sophie Dahl’s text  tells a whimsical story with intrigue and mystery.

For primary and intermediate readers but adults will love this as well.

Cornelia and the Jungle Machine by Nora Brech.

October 9, 2019 Comments off

corneliaCornelia and the Jungle Machine by Nora Brech. Pub. Gecko Press, 2019.

Not quite a wordless picture book, with the written text giving you just enough to stimulate your imagination.

Cornelia moves with her parents to a new or rather old house. It looks like the sort of house Norman Bates lived in – stuffed animals on the walls and a grim gothic exterior.

Cornelia doesn’t like it, there’s no one to play with. Her parents send her off into the forest to have some time out and the fantasy begins and Oh what fantasy.

Cornelia finds a ladder leading to the tree tops and meets Fredrik who has an eye patch and an inventive personality. They have a great time.

The illustrations are impressive. Kids will pour over them for hours. Some of the best I have seen in a picture book.

Needless to say Cornelia comes back to her new home with a different point of view.

For primary and intermediate readers but everybody will love this story. Check it out.

The Girl and the Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes Illus. Sarah Massini

September 30, 2019 Comments off

girl dinosaurThe Girl and the Dinosaur by Hollie Hughes Illus. Sarah Massini. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2019.

From ordinary events can come great dreams and imagination. Marianne digs for bones in the sand on the beach. She looks lonely to the fisher folk who frequent the coast and they wish she had friends.

Marianne however is content and at night she dreams great fantasy of the dinosaur bones she finds coming alive. She rides with the dinosaur to a land in the sky and sees unicorns fairies and a party place for children and their dreams.

When morning comes Marianne is found digging for bones on the beach but this time with other children.

Rhyming text is enhanced greatly by simple water colour illustrations that reflect the loneliness of Marianne at the start and tell their own fantasy story when she dreams.

A good writing team this one. For juniors and primary level.

I Go Quiet by David Ouimet

September 25, 2019 Comments off

I go quietI Go Quiet by David Ouimet. Pub. canongate Books Ltd imprint Allen & Unwin, 2019.

When this book came through my mail box I took one look at it and said to myself “read it now”. The cover has immediate impact.

It begins with a girl who feels lost, alone and misunderstood in the world she lives in. She wanders through this old world that has a feel of the Industrial revolution, sometimes wearing a mouse mask. All the people in this picture book wear mouse masks and look insignificant in the world they are in.

As the book progresses the girl begins to feel she does belong and does have a future as her imagination takes over and her knowledge of reading books gives her power.

Stunning message  written with text that is almost poetry. The illustrations are equally stunning and at times have a filmic quality. The world the girl lives in looks horrible but she finds hope for the future.

If this is not the best picture book of the year I want to see the one that is.

For everyone but  sophisticated readers will see it’s power.

Adventures of Anders by Gregory Mackay

September 25, 2019 Comments off

andersAdventures of Anders by Gregory Mackay. Pub. Allen & Unwin, 2019.

This is a graphic novel structured in comic book fashion about an unusual  creature somewhat like a cross between a dog and a cat, called Anders.

He has a best friend called Eden who is just like him, and in the first novel of three in this compendium he meets an elephant like creature who becomes another friend called Bernie.

Anders, Bernie and Eden play together and have enviable imaginations and as such have adventures that just happen rather than are contrived. They are good to each other and to everyone around them. They have respect and deserve their good fortune.

In these three novels they find a comet, search an extinct volcano and find their way through a maze in a castle.

They meet an odd friend in Skip who is a beetle who lights up when he eats sweets, what kid doesn’t? he can fly Anders around. They also meet a mad scientist called Dr Larsen who provides all the interesting stuff in these stories.

Great for kids who are visual readers who will be able to read fast with simple text and good illustrations. A necessity in every school library. It meets a need.