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

Monday, 19 March 2018

Review: Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls

This is the ultimate bedtime story book for girls who dream about changing the world. It profiles 100 amazing women who fought to succeed and make a difference by following their passion against the odds.

Each remarkable story is only one page long and written in simple, easy to follow language, in the style of a fairy tale. Many begin with ‘Once upon a time’ and tell a story about a girl, who had dream and refused to give up.

From cyclists to supermodels, artists to marine biologists, this book covers the full spectrum of amazing achievements of women from the 1600s through to present day.

Winners: Little Fish

Here are our winners.

Congratulations to:

Sharon Hammad, NSW

Charlie Hope (on behalf of Paloma), VIC

You have each won a Luxury Little Fish Lunchbox pack.

Thank you to ALL who entered.Your lunch box suggestions including seanut butter and jellyfishsandwiches, kelp rollups and sweet seaweed tea certainly made our tummies rumble! Enjoy your gorgeous prizes!

Review: Play with Art

This one is for the art and craft fans. And they will adore it!

Play with Art is a bright and colourful book filled with amazing art and craft projects for the kids.

Separated into four sections ('Painting and Printing', 'Paper Crafts', 'Drawing and Colouring' and 'Make and Create'), the book has been cleverly designed to make creating as easy as possible. 

At the beginning of each section is a supplies list, and the same supplies can be used for all the activities in the section, so you can lay things out and create lots of different things at the same time.

Sunday, 18 March 2018

International Read To Me Day

Tomorrow is International Read To Me Day, a worldwide campaign aimed at getting each and everyone of us to sit and connect with a child through word and story with the aim to improve literacy and empower children to enter into conversation about what they read.

Reading is a multifaceted process involving word recognition, comprehension, fluency, and motivation. ... to make meaning from print. *

But it is so much more. It is a sharing of pasts and futures, a relaying of cultures and beliefs, and a portal for discovery and realisations that can shape and influence not just a child's literacy but their entire understanding of the world in which they live...and beyond.

Reading is an intensely intimate experience; one which a child can experience for themselves after they've develop the skills to interpret the written word but before that, reading represents an opportunity to connect with a child like nothing else, both emotionally and physically.

It is not just language and comprehension that are enhanced when you read to a child, you are reinforcing their attachment and nurturing their relationship with you every single time you take the time to share a story. For the very young, it's as much about sharing that time with you as it is a cultivation of audio and visual literacy. The importance of this can not be overvalued, ever.

So, take a few moments or more to enrich a child's day, any child, with a book and read to them.

Then do it again and again and again.

Discover more about this annual campaign and the amazing people who drive it at the Read To Me website, here. Get involved - find out how, here.


* What is Reading? blog post by Diane Henry Leipzig - Reading Rockets Blog

Review: I Remember

I Remember is a gorgeous story about memories, as an elderly woman recalls the family camping trips of her childhood.

Set in the Geraldton area of Western Australia, Joanne Crawford’s text is simple and yet profound. It’s written in such a way that makes you feel you’ve been there; that you’ve experienced the memories for yourself.

Visually Kerry Ann Jordinson exquisitely portrays the landscape through illustration. Using soft pastel and a stunning colour pallet, children will appreciate each illustration as the story unfolds.

Review: Bertha and Bear

As a big fan of Christine Sharp's earlier picture books, I was (and you'll have to forgive the pun) absolutely buzzing about this new release.

Bertha and Bear
is positively luminous with Christine's distinctive illustrations and charm. Each page shines with hues of gold, orange and green to reflect her natural subject matter. The aim? To celebrate bees and their vital role in our ecosystem, while highlighting the plight of their declining numbers.

Saturday, 17 March 2018

Review: Nexus

Our small band of anti-heroes meet their match and then some in Nexus. 

After breaking Bellweather out of a high security prison and racing to New Orleans where something big is about to go down, the edges of this motley group begin to unravel.

While they are struggling to work out who they trust, all hell breaks loose.

Murder is on the cards – murder on a much bigger scale than anyone imagined – and it all centres around a new Zero with irresistible charisma.

Can the original Zeroes learn to trust each other enough to overcome her plan to decimate civilisation as we know it?

Review: How Many Kisses?

Looking for a counting book that’s special and different? How Many Kisses? delivers.

It has everything you’d expect in a counting book.

There are large, bold numbers that stand out on the page, and a visual representation of each number to get some counting practice in.

The numbers span from one to 10 (with extras at the end for special counting fun), and the text is simple so as not to distract from the purpose of the book.

Friday, 16 March 2018

Review: My Sweet Orange Tree

Translated into English for the first time, this International bestseller is a stunning work of great literary merit. Deeply moving, it tells the story of the highly intelligent but mischievous prankster Zeze, whose tremendous capacity for kindness, is matched only by his naughtiness. He pays for this naughtiness with severe beatings from his family members.

Zeze longs for tenderness. His mother is always absent, working to keep the family alive. His father is angry and distant, the result of being unemployed for ages. Zeze replaces what he doesn’t have with a fierce imagination; a creative ability to hear trees talk, to create imaginary friends, and to spin stories to entertain his beloved younger brother, King Louis.

When Zeze finally meets someone who recognizes his pureness of heart and abounding gifts, life has meaning at last.

Review: Easter Croc

One of the special things about Easter morning is waking up to find that the Easter Bunny has left a range of eggs for you to eat.

But how would you feel if you weren't left any eggs?

In the story Easter Croc, Roger Riddy's new pop-up and lift the flap book, children will discover that the only way one gets eggs from the Easter Bunny is to use good manners.

The Easter Bunny has finished her rounds and she has not left any eggs for Crocodile. Croc really would like an egg so he sets off to search for one.

Thursday, 15 March 2018

Review: The Silver Sea

The Silver Sea is a truely magical picture book. 

It's something special, something different and something both children and adults will adore.

The collaboration of esteemed children’s authors Alison Lester and Jane Godwin AND kids from the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, the story follows a boy and girl as they explore the depths of the ocean, meet colourful sea beasts and travel home again.

Review: Ruben

Ruben is the latest book from the talented Bruce Whatley, and it's beautifully artistic.

An unusual story with stunning, black and white pencil illustrations, Ruben seems somewhat otherworldly, and yet not.

It's set in what appears to be the future, a place where a young boy lives and survives alone.

Ruben's life seems bleak. He has surrounded himself with items that mean something to him, and records his life in a journal he constructed from bits and pieces.

Ruben is a maker, an innovator, because he has to be. There's no other way for him to live. He's independent, a loner. In fact, there appear to be few other people in his world.