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

Friday, 22 June 2018

Review: Room on our Rock

Room on our Rock by Kate and Jol Temple is about a mother seal and her calf, who have had to leave their home and search for a new place to live.

They meet three seals who live together on a rock. Will the mother and her calf be welcome to this new place?

This is a very interesting story that can be read from two points of view, demonstrating that there can be two sides to every story.

Thursday, 21 June 2018

Announcing: New Team Member Amie Sabadin

Today I have magnificent pleasure of introducing a brand new team member, Amie Sabadin. She has a fondness for Schnauzers and kids, which is fortunate because she shares her life with these as well as baskets of paints, pencils and brushes.

Amie joins our illustrious KBR family with a desire to share as many of her favourite children's books with us as she can. When she's not creating her own picture books, she is reading whatever children's story she can get her hands on. We can't wait to see which ones she finds. Look out for her reviews right here, soon.

Welcome Amie!

Please take a moment to discover more about this Aussie illustrator from our nation's capital.

Junior Review: Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush: A School Day Smile

Tiggy and the Magic Paintbrush is a life lesson for any child about to begin their first day of school. 

This story touches on all of the emotions of a first day. Its message is not to be shy and to just have fun. Even if you are a bit nervous, don’t let this stop you from making friends or doing your work. 

In this book Tiggy is a very nervous about her first day but she knows everything is going to be A-ok, because she has her magic paintbrush with her! She paints a little smile on her face to help her look happy. But will it work? 

Wednesday, 20 June 2018

Review: The Dream Bird

George is an energetic child, filled with fun and play during the day.

But at night, sleep won’t come to him. His sister has a suggestion. So does his brother. He even tries the warm milk that mum makes. But nothing works.

He escapes to Gran’s empty room. He loves the sounds she make and the warm cuddles she gives. Gran knows what to do and say.

Gran’s whispered words tell George the story of the magical Dream Bird whose grace and loveliness can see behind closed eyes. It comes at night to bring musical delight to children by singing them to sleep, to dream the most imaginative dreams.

Review: Steam Play and Learn

Steam Play and Learn is an wonderful package of ideas for preschool children that is both entertaining and educational.

It shares 20 simple projects that introduce concepts that are STEAM-based. That is, science, technology, engineering, art and maths.

An introduction explains to parents the importance of the STEAM projects in emphasising process, encouraging tinkering, allowing for mistakes, and making connections.

It also asks parents to wherever possible let children experience and work through the projects themselves, at their own speed, and to ask them questions to encourage their curiosity and understanding.

Tuesday, 19 June 2018

Review: What's Weird on Earth

What’s Weird on Earth is packed full of fun, interesting, unbelievable and truly bizarre facts, uniquely presented in visual maps of the world. It makes a fun accompaniment to DK’s What’s Where on Earth Atlas and shows a cross section of the world’s unusual animals, happenings, people and places that will appeal to kids’ natural curiosity.

Let’s start with nature, or should I say, the naturally weird. Where would you find a boiling river? What about a petrifying well that turns things into stone? Or are you more interested in where to find fairy circles or a red beach? These maps will show you where to find the world’s craziest trees, freakiest flowers and funkiest fungi, not to mention bizarre animals and their adaptations.

12 Curly Questions with author Kellie Byrnes

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I somehow won a talent contest when I was around eight, for singing. (I have no recollection of the experience, but there’s a photo of me in the paper to prove it!) Today, though, I wouldn’t be caught dead singing in front of anyone, as I’m terrible. My parents still marvel at the fact that I beat a very talented pianist who wowed everyone with his talent. And I still think they must have paid off the judges, because I have no idea how else I could have won!

Monday, 18 June 2018

Review: Not So Scary Bear

Bears are meant to be scary, aren't they? Well, that's what everyone thinks and so Bear roams the forest, day and night, roaring and growling at the other animals.

But, the truth is, Bear would actually rather stay at home and knit or study the stars. And, he'd actually quite like a friend.

Review: Ducks Away

Mem Fox and Judy Horacek's  delightful and humorous read aloud story, Ducks Away! is now available in a board book.

Mother duck waddles over the bridge with her little brood following behind her. Before they all make it safely across the bridge, a sudden gust of wind picks up one of the ducklings and it falls into the river.

Mother get's into a flap about the situation
'What should I do?
Where should I go,
with four on the bridge 
and one below!' 

Sunday, 17 June 2018

Review: The Lighthouse at Pelican Rock

Megan Evans is on her way to Pelican Island to her Aunt Rachel for restorative rest after an attack of meningitis. On the train she meets another Evans; unusual but likeable, who reveals little about himself but asks a lot of questions.

Rhys Evans, the man Megan met on the train, reappears. There is an early history between him and Aunt Rachel, made obvious by the bitter tension between the two adults. This adds interest as it plays out and evolves as a backstory.

Dylan, an over indulged boy who just wants to have fun, gives Megan a chance to be happy. The care and attention Rachel shows Megan builds the child’s confidence and allows her spirit freedom.

Review: Is My Child ready for School?

The start of school is an important and nerve-racking time for all families. 

We worry our kids don’t know the things we think they should know before starting school. 

We worry our kids won’t have fun or make friends. 

We worry our kids will struggle.

If this resonates, Is My Child Ready For School? will provide useful information to alleviate your fears and help you decide the best time for your child to begin their school adventure. 

But I wouldn’t say this book is just for families with children close to school age. 

Saturday, 16 June 2018

Cover Reveal: Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies: The Giant Moth Mummy! Book Two


Kids all over Egypt Australia have gone mummy-mad for the brand new adventure series Bab Sharkey and the AnimalMummies! 

(You can read our KBR Junior Reviewer's review, here if you don't believe us!)

From a fun and full-on campaign to launch the first book in the series, The Weird Beard, kids everywhere have been making – and sporting – magic Pharaoh’s Beards, snorting with laughter at the selfish ways of the Unpharaoh (who in turn snorts fireballs from her own nostrils!), and delving like archaeologists into the adventures of Bab and his new bandaged friends Scaler the Fish Mummy and Prong the Ibis Mummy!