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

Tuesday, 10 December 2019

Announcement: Introducing New Team Member: Yvonne Mes

It's never easy saying goodbye and at the end of this year, we must farewell another of our most revered regular reviewers, Leanne Barrett

Leanne has been contributing her wise and witty reviews for KBR for over seven years but has finally decided to follow her heart's calling and pursue her artistic passions. Fare thee well, Leanne!!

Endings of course make way for new beginnings and so it is with equal joy that we welcome our newest recruit to our KBR family, Yvonne Mes! Yvonne is an accomplished author, illustrator and artist who is looking forward to the release of her third picture book in February 2020. Naturally the best way to welcome someone is to flood them with an ocean of incisive questions! 

Monday, 9 December 2019

Winner: Juno Jones Mystery Writer

And our lucky winner is...

Joseph Spagnolo, NSW

You have won a fantastic prize pack consisting of 1 x Juno Jones, Word Ninja (signed by the author, Kate Goron!) and 1 x Juno Jones, Mystery Writer (signed by the author), plus more (bookmark + temporary tattoos).

We hope you enjoy this prize.

Thank you to ALL who entered.

Review: I'm Ready for Christmas and I'm Ready for Preschool

I'm Ready is a great series of books for toddlers and preschoolers.

The first two titles are I'm Ready for Christmas and I'm Ready for Preschool.

They're sturdy board books that tell a story to introduce and explain situations for young children.

The series is illustrated in super cute style by Jedda Robaard, with pictures beautifully complementing the text.

And the books themselves are just the right size for little hands to hold.

Sunday, 8 December 2019

Review: Gregory Goose is on the Loose! In the Jungle

A colourful seek and find board book bursting with cheerful jungle vibes.

Search for Gregory Goose in each double page spread amongst other jungle animals, plants and objects. Each scene has Gregory hidden in a new environment such as in the trees with chimpanzees, a lion’s den, swimming in a river with hippopotamuses and more.

Saturday, 7 December 2019

Review: Rebel Girls: Ada Lovelace Cracks the Code

Meet Ada Lovelace, daughter of Lord Byron the poet, who dreams of being a scientist. In a time when women with brains were thought to be odd and encouraged to hide their intelligence to secure a husband, Ada is determined to break tradition.

But Ada’s dreams of creating machines that fly is crushed when she contracts measles which leaves her wheelchair bound.

It’s only after a long convalescence and the encouragement of her mother that she enters society and discovers a new love of mathematics. There she discovers machines that can calculate without errors, better known as a difference engine and its inventor Charles Babbage. Charles and Ada share their love of science and mathematics and a lifelong friendship is born.

Guest Post: Claire Zorn on The Necessity of Nonsense

It’s a difficult time to be a child these days. Like the rest of us, children find their lives flooded with imagery and information, a lot of which is highly troubling for a young mind. Studies have found that children are experiencing higher rates of anxiety than ever recorded. Primary school teachers report spending more time looking after the mental health of their students than they do behaviour management. 

Friday, 6 December 2019

Reviews: Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse

Wow, this is a cool book! It takes your common zombie tale and completely turns it on its head.

In Dawn of the Zombie Apocalypse, Seb downloads a cool new zombie apocalypse game, not realising that he’s agreeing to some strange game options. 

When he wakes the next day, his family is acting strange. They won’t look away from their devices, they’re not interested in food and they’re not even talking.

Worse than that, it appears most of the people in Seb’s town are the same. 

It’s a real zombie apocalypse, but instead of zombies that want to eat your brains, the town is filled with people completely addicted to their screens. 

Review: The Sharp Edge of a Snowflake

Imogen is a successful social media influencer. Her daily posts rake in lots of perks as well as money. She appears to her fans to have the perfect life. They adore her; want to be her. 

All this is added to her day job – her other life - as marketing analyst for a leading company. But she hides dark secrets that play no part in the life she shares online.

Hannah is grieving but simultaneously relieved at the death of her bi-polar mother who she cared for. 

An intelligent and gifted school magazine reporter, she investigates a tip that exposes corruption at school – something she should have left alone. She is punished and banished to Iceland where her father now resides.  There she takes on a position as junior reporter on his paper.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

Review: Hidden Wonders

In the busy bustle of day-to-day life it can be easy to miss the beauty and majesty of the world around us. Hidden Wonders entices us to look around and soak in the amazing sights of our world.

This extraordinary collection inspires awe and curiosity. Giant pink slugs, a miniature city, an underwater post office, an island for cats, sacred forests and sparkling caves. With appealing photographs and interesting narratives, this book reveals wonders from every continent.

Have you ever heard of a park full of monkeys who regularly bathe in hot springs? Or a valley with rocks so unusually shaped they appear like a moonscape? These and many other intriguing tales appear on every page.

Review: The Invincibles: Short Circuit (Book #2)

The Invincibles are back! And in this adventure they have a teeny bit of a problem.

While flexing their new super power muscles and testing their new skills, the team trigger a super power short circuit and shrink to the size of bugs.

While trying to stay alive, they discover Tricky Ricky is up to his old villainous tricks. But how can they save the day when someone might step on them at any moment?

The Invincibles series is an awesome junior fiction adventure for kids who love football, hanging out with friends and dreaming up cool super powers they’d love to have. 

Wednesday, 4 December 2019

Review: Can you Hear the Trees Talking?

Did you know that trees in forests live in families and support each other? That family members can merge their roots together so they can exchange messages and food? And that there is a forest internet that connects trees across the forest and helps them communicate with each other?

In this amazing book, Peter Wohlleben, author of The Hidden Life of Trees, brings his message to a younger audience to help them understand the beauty and complexity of trees. 

Kids will learn how tree children grow, are protected and go to school. As well as how trees learn to adapt to their environment and know what to do in different seasons.

Review: Incredible Journeys

Here's an incredible book to ignite the imaginations of young adventurers and explorers.

Real-life explorer Levison Wood takes readers on some of history's most famous expeditions, tracing the routes of ancient explorers, such as Marco Polo and David Livingstone.

There are 20 different expeditions to study, each complete with bold and colourful illustrated maps and fascinating snippets of information to peruse.