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Posts Tagged ‘life’

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: , ,

Me Too by Erika Geraerts & Charl Laubscher, illus. by Gatsby.

March 5, 2018 Comments off

me tooMe Too by Erika Geraerts & Charl Laubscher, illus. by Gatsby. Pub. Walker Books, 2018.

The authors and illustrator are clearly in a good place with this excellent picture book.

The simplicity of the written text is matched by the illustrations and it is the sort of book that makes you say aww! when you finish it.

Boy and girl talk about qualities they would like in a person to share their lives with. After each states a quality in turn the other says “me too“‘

It begins with the line “I hope I find someone who wants to go on adventures every day” and ends with “I hope I find someone I like…as much as I like you”

The children are young and simply drawn with childhood activities around them. They have their dreams too. If only life were as simple as this. Aww!

I Need a New Bum and other stories by Dawn McMillan, Illus. Ross Kinnaird.

October 30, 2017 Comments off

new bumI Need a New Bum and other stories by Dawn McMillan, Illus. Ross Kinnaird. Pub. Oratia, 2017.

Three short illustrated stories in rhyming text on the poo, bum wees theme that are certain to attract reluctant primary and intermediate readers particularly boys.

Many people are not happy with their bums and when a boy discovers a crack in his, he wonders how it got there and considers a range of replacements with great hilarity. It’s not permanent though as he discovers that his father has the same crack. Don’t we all?

Seagull Sid plots to get all the humans off his beach in the way that seagulls always have, only with accuracy and persistence. Once again great hilarity all round.

Doggy Doo on my Shoe is more of a city problem especially if you walk in the suburbs. People are not careful or respectful with their dogs and doggy doo on the shoe is a common sight and smell. Once again great hilarity with Ross Kinnaird’s illustrations hitting the funny bone with regularity.

The Wonderling by Mira Bartok.

September 11, 2017 Comments off

WonderlingThe Wonderling by Mira Bartok. Pub. Walker books, 2017.

Every now and then  there is published a book that raises the bar in Children and Young adult literature. This is such a book.

There is nothing new in  characters going through total misery in their quest to find out who they are or in the fact that the strong will dominate the weak. What is unique about this novel is in the superb way in which the story is told and in the richness of the language used.

The character who we learn later as the Wonderling was not always called this. He was abandoned at a young age with the number 13 on a metal disc around his neck which becomes his first name. He is a fox like creature with one ear and only 3 feet tall who is put in The Home for abandoned creatures run by a Dahlesque character Miss Clementine Carbunkle who feels hard done by.

The Home is a Dickensian type establishment where ill treatment of inmates is a daily occurrence. Number 13 barely survives until he saves a kiwi type bird creature named Trinket who masterminds his escape into the wild world to find out his identity.

His task is fraught with danger as he makes his way to Lumentown where danger lurks in every corner. He is driven by a love of music and knows that in music there is the answer to where he comes from. He is determined even when he is forced to hide in the underground city of Gloomintown from which there is no escape. See how he gets on.

Superbly written in three parts with maps and excellent sketches of all the characters. You will feel every emotion as you read this novel, you cannot help but become involved.

For fantasy/adventure readers from primary through to secondary. You will love it.

Some Eels by Amelia Harris.

September 5, 2017 Comments off

some eelsSome Eels by Amelia Harris. Pub. Index press, 2017.

If ever a picture book deserved a better cover it is this one.

It is a simple tale that has much to say about friendship and how we cope when things get a bit murky.

Three eels start on a journey, they are not racing but you don’t want to get left behind. They enter deeper, darker waters and confide in each other until there is nothing more to say, so they start to hum. When they emerge from the murk they keep humming.

Beautifully simplistic hand written text with illustrations that are simple yet powerful. Three wriggly lines for the eels and shades of blue for the water.

I loved it and you will too.

Those interested contact http://shop.index.org.nz/product/some-eels

Categories: Picture book Tags: ,

Middle School. Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein.

July 21, 2017 Comments off

stoopidMiddle School. Pottymouth and Stoopid by James Patterson and Chris Grabenstein. Pub. Penguin Random House, 2017.

It was a miserable wet day and I needed something easy to read that would make me laugh and think at the same time so I grabbed Pottymouth and Stoopid. I was not wrong.

I love these Middle School stories they deal with serious issues like bullying, poverty, inequality, snobbery and friendship and they turn them into heart warming stories.

Pottymouth (Michael) is a black boy who invents new words that sound like swearing but are not. His friend is Stoopid (David) and they met at nursery school and are still friends at middle school. They are not as they are described by their school mates and are ploys to the old statement of “give a dog a bad name”.

Michael is a foster child and Michael comes from a broken relationship. Both boys and their mutual friend Anna Britannica are terrific. They have fun together but they have many low points that make them angry.

David’s father is a frustrated writer and a penny pincher but when he takes David and Michael to lunch one day he listens to their stories and this is to change their lives.

I do like a happy ending and am always on the side of the underdog. These are great stories for the reluctant reader, easy to read superbly illustrated by Chris Grabenstein and essential in every school library.

The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams, Illus. Tony Ross.

June 11, 2017 Comments off

worst children 2The World’s Worst Children 2 by David Walliams, Illus. Tony Ross. Pub. HarperCollins, 2017.

You don’t need to advertise a new David Walliam’s book, the children all know before you do, so if you have never read one get hold of this and get part of the magical lunacy that catagorises his books.

In this book we meet ten improbable children with ten very real foibles that are exaggerated into a laugh out loud series of cautionary tales aimed at the reluctant reader.

Stacey wants to be a superstar but can’t sing and won’t be told. Frankie is fussy with his food and won’t eat vegetables, Harry never does his homework, Clarissa is cruel to cats and Colin wants to win everything that he does. Recognise some of these? Of course you do. Read it and find out what the other five are.

As ever Tony Ross interprets the written text with superb and equally bizarre illustrations that this time are in colour.

Simply written and very appealing, get hold of this quick before somebody reads it before you. There is no age limit on this novel and there will be a 3rd part.