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Posts Tagged ‘team work’

Flit the Fantail and the Flying Flop by Kat Mereweather

July 9, 2018 Comments off

fantailFlit the Fantail and the Flying Flop by Kat Mereweather. Pub.Scholastic, 2018.

Flit the fantail chick is bored sitting high in a tree in his nest waiting for his parents to bring him back food. He is ready to fly but his parents know better and tell him to stay where he is.

Flit jumps out and falls flat on the forest floor and the other birds try to get him back in his nest. Kiki the Kaka fails, Bit and Bob the rascally robins fail, Kiri the kiwi fails. Wise old Ruru suggests they work together, with some success.

But has Flit learned anything from his experience. Read it and find out.

The illustrations are superb. All the birds have character and the written text is simple and witty. The alliteration of the title and elsewhere is perfect for language development. A good read-a-loud for juniors.

The Mapmakers Race by Eirlys Hunter.

May 6, 2018 Comments off

mapmakerThe Mapmakers Race by Eirlys Hunter. Pub. Gecko Press, 2018

The best thing I liked about this novel for primary and intermediate school children is that characters have to get off their bottoms and do something. They have to contribute and work for the group otherwise they will not survive. There is no sitting around on their chrome books and moaning that there is nothing to do. The children are challenged.

The novel is about a race to map a route for a railway  from Grand Prospect to the coast across a mountainous landscape. Five teams take part with four of them being adult teams of various skills and ethics.

Then there is the Santanders, Sal age 14, twins Joe and Francie aged eleven, Humphrey who is just walking and talking and their talking parrot called Carrot whose one liners add humour and reality to the story. Add older boy Beckett who provides the donkeys and cooking skills and we have a team to be reckoned with.

The Santanders father has disappeared on a previous adventure and their mother missed the train and there isn’t another for a week. The race to map the rail route is on and waiting for mother is not an option.

The children have some advantages. Firstly no-one gives them a dog show of winning and secondly they are in survival mode and have skills that no other team has. Firstly they were well taught by their parents and secondly Francie who can fly mentally. She never talks and her brain can see the landscape from above. She is the mapmaker.

The drawings at the head of each chapter keep the reader up with the pace and the plot advances in rollicking fashion. It reminds me of a cross between the family in Lemony Snicket and The Road to Ratenburg by Joy Cowley.

A first class read-a-loud for primary children and for individual reading. It’s all about survival and having fun at the same time.

Dino Diggers. Digger Disaster by Rose Impey, illus. Chris Chatterton.

May 31, 2017 Comments off

digger disasterDino Diggers. Digger Disaster by Rose Impey, illus. Chris Chatterton. Pub. Bloomsbury, 2017.

Terri, Tyrone, Ricky, Bruno and Stacey are the best diggers in Dino-town but things do not always go right.

They are building a car factory for a rather grumpy Mr Ali O’Saurus who can’t wait till the next Ice Age to get the foundations laid. Haste makes for error and a water pipe is burst. Calamity? Not for the Dino Diggers they sort it out fast and the job is well done.

Simple story but with a strong message of working hard, sorting out your problems and doing the best you can.

The illustrations are cool. Dinosaurs driving bulldozers, trucks and diggers with a smile on their faces. Lots of boy appeal for reluctant readers and as part of a series leads the reader to further books about the same characters.

In the back is a kit set to make up a Dino Digger and reference to a web page to help the reader with the construction. A practical picture book for early primary readers.

Middle School: Save Rafe by James Patterson Illus. Chris Tebbetts.

June 17, 2015 Comments off

save rafeMiddle School: Save Rafe by James Patterson Illus. Chris Tebbetts. Pub.Random House, 2014.

This is the 6th book in this very good series for reluctant readers particularly boys but not exclusively so. The main character in this novel is Rafe Khatchadorian who lives with his artist mother and younger sister.

Rafe has an attitude problem because he likes to break rules and gets into heaps of trouble. He finds it difficult to talk to girls but is a gifted cartoonist writing a series of comic books about Loozer the loser which is really about himself. The cartoons are spaced throughout the book reflecting the action that has or is to take place.

Rafe was expelled from his last school and before his new school will accept him he has to pass a two week outward bound type school with 7 other kids including 3 girls. It is not easy but they will learn how to conquer their fears, work together and learn to trust themselves. Not everybody will pass.

At the end they have to write a letter to themselves saying where they would like to be in a years time.

Good values and a lively plot as the 8 kids make their own raft to sail down a river, climb a cliff and survive by not hurting the environment.

Easy to read with frequent cartoon breaks that advance or comment on what has occurred.

Valuable for ages 9 through to 13 years.