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

Wednesday, 16 October 2019

Review: There's a Dinosaur in my Bathtub

A fabulously fun, imagination-filled story of a dinosaur in Amelia’s bathtub.

In There’s a Dinosaur in my Bathtub, Amelia tells readers of her secret, the dinosaur from France named Pierre in her bathtub. Having Pierre there is great, they have many adventures together including chocolate milk on the moon, giant ice-creams and when it rains and dancing upside down in their pyjamas. Challenges occur too, like where should Pierre should hide when Mum needs to wash her hair?

In the essence of all good things coming to an end, Pierre packs his suitcase and says goodbye to Amelia after a delicious picnic with plenty of his favourite cheese, but maybe, just maybe he’ll be back.

Review: Mr Chicken All Over Australia

Taking his two years as Australian Children's Laureate as inspiration, Leigh Hobbs has created a new adventure for his character, Mr Chicken.

Mr Chicken All Over Australia starts with Mr Chicken receiving a letter inviting him to visit.

Deciding it's a good idea, he heads off, and on arrival makes his way straight to the tourist office.

Armed with a map and letters from children all over Australia inviting him to see what makes their homes special, Mr Chicken is soon traversing the country all over, from east to west, and top to bottom.

Tuesday, 15 October 2019

Review: Six Sleepy Mice

Gorgeously illustrated you would almost forgive these six sleepy mice if you found them in in your kitchen, they are so cute.

This beautifully written tale of friendship and adventure is brought to life with the fast-paced rhyming and hilarious situations.

The story centres around six sleepy mice who discover a banquet of food in a kitchen cupboard. They celebrate by gorging themselves on nuts, popping corn and anything else they can get their furry little noses into.

12 Curly Questions with author Liz Ledden

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I eloped to Paris and had both my kids in Bangkok. Running away overseas is one of my favourite things to do!

2. What is your nickname?
It’s pretty much just Liz (no one ever calls me Elizabeth), but some old friends still know me as Squiz.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Sneezing while driving – that moment when your eyes involuntarily close is terrifying!

Monday, 14 October 2019

Guest Post: Q & A with Liz Leddon on Tulip And Brutus

Tulip and Brutus is your new picture book, about a ladybug and a stinkbug who never play together. What inspired this story?
The initial idea for Tulip and Brutus was based around two things – wanting to write an unlikely friendship story (one of my favourite types of picture books!) and thinking about kids not knowing what they’re missing until they’re exposed to something new. 

One of my kids was going through a period of insisting they hated certain foods, and when they finally tried them, they’d often discover they actually loved them!

Review: Every Child a Song

Lyrical and poignant, this glorious celebration of children has been published for the 30th Anniversary of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It reminds us that every child must be protected by the articles laid out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and that every one of us must play a part.

Every Child A Song tells of the song that begins when every child is born — A melody the world had never heard before.

Sunday, 13 October 2019

Review: Fly

Lucy's imagination sparked her passion to fix things. She often assisted her father when he needed help because it was just the two of them living on the farm.

One day Lucy discovered a common sparrow with a broken wing. Lucy combined her compassion, imagination and determination to aid Flap to fly again.

With her chalk Lucy thought, drew and planned the perfect solution. Once she had collected all her materials she spent a whole weekend and a few afternoons, hammering, nailing, sawing and sewing until her creation was completed.

Saturday, 12 October 2019

Giveaway: In The Corner of My Eye

In The Corner of My Eye is a book about a special relationship between a grandfather and his granddaughter who tries to see life through his eyes

When you are very, very young or very, very old, you can see things out of the corner of your eye. In between, all you can see is all you can see. Unless you are very, very lucky. Then the corner of your eye stays awake forever. The story of an ageing man who has lost something. But what and where? His granddaughter, Sally, helps him find it. Subtle and touching, this is an emotional response to people trying their best to live in an imperfect world.

To celebrate the release of this beautiful new picture book by Colin Thompson, the wonderful people at Walker Books Australia have not one but three prize packs to give away! Each pack consists of a copy of the book plus a marvellous signed poster by Colin Thompson.

To enter, in 25 words or less simply tell us,  what is your favourite part of your house, and why.

Review: From Above The Clouds

From Above The Clouds is a tale of abiding love. The main character is a young girl named Grace, who begs to hear her favourite story about her life as a tiny baby.

In her little life, Grace has already been through a very long journey to become the child she is today. Kezia Brett's lyrical text, deeply inspired by personal experiences, explores the wishes, dreams and fears of Grace's family and community, as they all learn that the little baby is very sick, and each brings hope, support and guidance.

Friday, 11 October 2019

Review: Take The Shot

Dougal “Bug” Fyfe is keeping a few secrets. He has been recently diagnosed with a rare genetic condition that results in a time-bomb ticking in his aorta – so playing sports is out. 

Trouble is, he lives and breathes basketball. So when he is tasked with forming a basketball team at his new school, he needs to keep this little project hidden from his parents’ attention. 

And given how poorly his friends at his previous school responded to the news of his ‘syndrome’ he keeps his diagnosis away from his new group of friends. They have no idea that Bug risks his life every time he exerts himself.

This debut novel from Susan White is warm hearted and fun. It’s about acceptance and trust. It’s about being a new kid who looks weird and believes his only attribute is his basketball prowess. 

It’s about responding to nastiness with kindness and making hard choices.

Review: The Caveman Next Door

Penny lives in a normal street, but things change a little when a caveman moves in next door.

The caveman is different, that’s plain to see, so Penny tries to help him fit into the neighbourhood a little better.

Penny takes the caveman to the library, on the bus and to the park. But the caveman doesn’t fit in anywhere. He doesn’t understand the rules and people get mad. 

The caveman is too different. He doesn’t belong. 

Thursday, 10 October 2019

Meet The Illustrator: Claire Powell

Name: Claire Powell

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less. Character led, filled with emotion, personality and humour.

What items are an essential part of your creative space? I have lots of pots filled with crayons, paintbrushes, marker pens, inks… the list is endless… but all I really need is a pencil, a light box and some paper!

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I’m out comfortable using pencil. Recently I’ve been experimenting with different ways of adding colour to my original work, trying out watercolour, brush pens, coloured pencils but I always come back to using just a pencil. It allows me to do what I want to do with minimum frustration!