'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Monday, 3 October 2022

Review: Swifty the Super-fast Parrot

I have to admit, I hadn't heard of the swift parrot before reading this marvellous picture book. But after reading it, I feel well informed about this remarkable bird.

But this isn't a book of facts per se. Award-winning author Stephanie Owen Reeder takes us on a journey through the eyes of Swifty the parrot in a delightful narrative story about her life.

Friday, 30 September 2022

Review: And Everything Will be Glad To See You - Poems By Women And Girls

Sometimes an anthology of poems just hits a sweet spot. With its foreword, afterword, separate lists of poetry and poets, gorgeous tactile cloth bound cover, posh ribbon bookmark and adorably lush, sumptuous, immersive illustrations - not to mention poems by the bucketload - this book is truly a feast for the senses.

A delightful collection that will appeal to both long-time poetry afficionados and newbies, there’s something for everyone here. 

Old favourites such as Maya Angelou and Mary Oliver sit alongside fresh, exciting contemporary voices in Jackie Hosking and Amanda Gorman, among others. 

Thursday, 29 September 2022

Review: Quickly! Quickly!

Some years ago, little Bongani sprung into life. I had this to say about him:

He ‘is impatient to grow and learn and be more than he is. His family temper his yearnings with humour and ancient fables to foster a sense of compassion and tenacity. As does Bongani, they eventually succeed.’

Bongani’s realisation came, Slowly! Slowly! It was how he learnt to catch his monkey but also learn self-temperance. Happily, Bongani is back in T M Clarke and Helene Magisson's latest edition of his life, Quickly! Quickly! 

Wednesday, 28 September 2022

Review: Crumbs

Crumbs is a beautiful rumination on what it is to be kind, compassionate, aware of others, and to share. We know it’s cold out, but we are warmed by this story.

A little girl, Ella, who has spent her saved up coins on a toasty warm scarf in the thick of the New York winter, sits at a table waiting for her father to bring her lunch from a nearby kiosk. 

As she waits, she becomes aware of two beings who are hungry: a one-legged bird, who sits on the chair back opposite her; and a man with his life in a bag on his back, who sits on a stoop across the way.

Tuesday, 27 September 2022

12 Curly Questions with author Sharon Boyce

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I lived in Papua New Guinea twice while growing up.

2. What is your nickname?

I don’t have one.

3. What is your greatest fear?

Spiders and snakes. They’re a bit creepy, but also fascinating at the same time. From a distance.

Monday, 26 September 2022

Winner: Graphic Novel Series Prize Pack: Act, Camp, Click

Our lucky winner is...

Liz Dorrington, WA


You have won a copy of three fabulous graphic novels by Kayla Miller: Act, Click and Camp.

Thank you to ALL who entered.

Saturday, 24 September 2022

Review: A Berry Long Walk (The Wild Life #1)

A Berry Long Walk is the first in a new series (The Wild Life) by Laura and Philip Bunting.

The stars of the story are Wombat and Roo who are new neighbours. Readers are introduced to them, and join them on their first adventure together.

Wombat is a homebody who is wary of the dangers he believes are lurking in the bush, and prefers the comfort of his burrow over anywhere too far away. He doesn’t like change, but he loves eating, especially bush berries.

Friday, 23 September 2022

Review: The Very Best Doughnut

I feel like I need to write the Very Best Review of The Very Best Doughnut. because this book - part of Pan Macmillan’s Our Stories series celebrating multiculturalism - is quite delicious in all the Very Best of Ways.

Fridays are doughnut days in Adam’s family, so he takes an iced doughnut to school for morning tea. Except when it’s Ramadan. Because then, the older members of his family do not eat or drink between sunrise and sunset.

So today is Friday and Adam has a problem. He is determined to be like the rest of his family and fast from sunup to sundown, even though his mother thinks he’s too young and should wait a couple of years. But the real issue is, can Adam actually wait ALL DAY for his very special doughnut?

Thursday, 22 September 2022

Meet The Illustrator: Jeremy Martinez

Jeremy Martinez

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Colorful, warm and endearing.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Music, my papers, pastels, inks, rollers, scissors, charcoals, computer, scanner and iPad.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
My Pentel Arts pocket brush pen.

Wednesday, 21 September 2022

Review: A Little Spark

A Little Spark is a delightful book that is warm and heartbreaking at the same time. It is about growing up, relationships and family.

Caitlyn Carson is a 13-year-old girl who lives an ordinary life and loves writing. Her parents are split, and she lives with her mum and her mum’s partner, Sam. Every second weekend she goes to her dad’s place and they do some incredible and imaginative things.

Cate has a great relationship with both her parents, but she likes to keep her worlds apart. ‘I don't tell Mum and Sam anything about my weekends with Dad. It would be giving them tickets into that world. The world Dad and I have created.’

Monday, 19 September 2022

Review: Miss Understood

Little Red Riding Hood is one of the most widely recognizable stories in the world. Over the years, there have been many MANY adaptations of the folk story, from movies to books and everything in between. But, has anyone really gone and thought if it was all just one big misunderstanding? 

Maybe there is no villain, but rather a set of unfortunate circumstances and a touch of bigotry that resulted in one of the most popular stories of the last 400 years?

Sunday, 18 September 2022

Review: Pigasus

Pig dreams of flying. 

It’s all she wants to do. 

But her family isn’t exactly supportive and they think she’s better off focussing on rolling in mud.

But dreams are not always so easily ignored, and Pig dares to be different, so she tries several methods to get herself in the air.