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

Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Guest Post: Q & A with Kelly Jarris

Today we welcome Kelly Jarris to KBR and discover her world of children's books.

Tell us how you ventured into the world of children’s books.
After my fourth son started his first day of school, I was excited to get back into writing again. I attended a course in Melbourne several years before. 

Here, I was shown how to write, format and create a children's book. I then turned my book into an App, which was a success. 

Having two young children at the time, I focused on them and as technology changed my book was left behind.

Tuesday, 5 July 2022

10 Quirky Questions with author Jackie French

1. What's your hidden talent?
I can milk an echidna. (Do not try this).

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
Confession time: I don't believe in villains, and can't quite believe in any of them. The people who cause the greatest misery may be misguided, ignorant, confused, have their good sides, or be psychopaths or sociopaths. The only psychopath I have known well never truly loved anyone, even herself. She was a victim as much as any of the many others she hurt. I mostly read books without villains, except maybe Violet Sepotho in The Ladies Detective Agency Series: beautiful, manipulative and sashaying from fraud to fraud, but as she never succeeds, I'm not sure she's a real villain. Real villains succeed, at least 'til the end of the book.

Monday, 4 July 2022

Review: Rex: Dinosaur in Disguise

From the prehistoric world to the modern world, Rex is a dinosaur who traverses time when he gets frozen during the ice age.

When the iceberg he's inside finally melts, Rex finds himself in unfamiliar territory. The 21st century is not made for dinosaurs!

Rex is given a helping hand to disguise himself so he doesn't scare the humans. He also learns about speaking and food (what is and isn't food in this new world), and gets a job.

Rex becomes an undercover creature living in the city and trying to avoid the dangerous humans. With the helping hands of other creatures in disguise he tries several different jobs, but employment for a dinosaur in disguise proves more difficult than he expects. He's also rather homesick.

Saturday, 2 July 2022

Giveaway: Old Fellow

Renowned Australian creators, Christopher Cheng and Liz Anelli, have combined forces to produce a touching and tender picture book about the joy that can be found in companionship and community.

An old man and an old dog look after each other on their daily trip to the local park. Along the way they meet friends new and old who brighten their day in different ways. 

For your chance to win a copy of this beautiful, heartwarming picture book courtesy of Walker Books Australia, tell us in 25 words or less what’s your favourite thing to do with your friends? And Why?

Friday, 1 July 2022

Review: Tangki Tjuta Donkeys

Tangki Tjuta Donkeys
is a wonderful bilingual story.

It's told first in Pitjantjatjara, then English, with each page featuring both languages.

The words are illustrated using special sculptures created by the Tjanpi Desert Weavers. They're made from grasses and are full of expression and personality.

Thursday, 30 June 2022

Review: Boogie Woogie Bird

Aside from the groovy sounding title, the thing that strikes you first about debut author, Alison Stegert’s Boogie Woogie Bird, is the jaw dropping detail of Sandra Severgnini’s illustrations.

I have known and lived with curlews, notably, the Bush stone aka the Thick-knee curlew for some time and am gobsmacked by the level of exactness both of these creators have imbued within their adorable character, Curlew.

Curlew cries his plaintive call, alone and forlorn, night after night. He needs a friend, more than a friend in fact. A mate. Someone to share his random pile of leaves with. 

Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Review: What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say

Emotions can sometimes be overwhelming, or you might not know how to deal with what you're feeling.

What to Say When You Don't Know What to Say is all about this.

It's a collection of situations and experiences which are depicted visually along with a response that might be appropriate. The approach demonstrates kindness at all times.

Each situation depicted stands alone and while acknowledging any difficulty and emotions, they all encourage understanding and empathy, and emphasise a positive response.

Tuesday, 28 June 2022

Review: The Listies Big Number 2

The Listies (AKA Matt and Rich) are back with Big Number 2, and this time things are going to get messy (pun intended times 2)!

Nan’s evil nemesis (the Nanasis) is up to her old tricks again, and she may have even taken it a bit too far. 

She’s captured Nan’s beloved pet ferret Vanessa AND she’s taken the town’s water supply.

While Nan tries to track down Vanessa, Matt and Rich must head back into the tele-porta-loo to retrieve a special blue pencil for the Nanasis, or she’ll never give the water back.

Monday, 27 June 2022

Winner: Double Prize Pack - The Wearing of Green and Interned

Our lucky winner is...

Joseph Spagnolo, NSW


You have won a copy of this stunning double prize pack featuring Claire Saxby's, The Wearing of the Green and Pamela Rushby's, Interned

Thank you to ALL who entered.

Friday, 24 June 2022

Review: Bluey a Jigsaw Puzzle Book

The Heeler family star in Bluey a Jigsaw Puzzle Book.

There are four puzzle pages, each 9 piece puzzle accompanied by a single narrative page that introduces the jigsaw image.

Thursday, 23 June 2022

Meet The Illustrator: Shelly Laslo

Shelly Laslo

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Quirky and heart-warming, and hopefully sweet but not saccharine.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
My iPad, a tiny pad of Post-Its to manage all the ideas that pop into my head, and a sketchbook.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I’m obsessed with layering coloured pencils over gouache, on hot press watercolour paper. There’s nothing quite like it. My other love is working in Procreate app on my iPad. And I love combining the two methods- starting an illustration in gouache and adding details digitally.

Wednesday, 22 June 2022

Review: Blobfish

You may be familiar with the humble blobfish – the animal that has been deemed by some as the ‘Ugliest Animal in the World’ (a harsh and cruel title, at that). 

But what you might not know about blobfish is that they can be incredibly funny, full of life, and make great friends.

This blobfish lives deep, deep, deep in the sea (as blobfish do), and all they want is a friend. But sadly, no one really wants to be friends with them. 

This is a true waste, because they would make a great friend. Blobfish is seriously funny, and loves to tell jokes. So one day, they decide to swim up, up, up – all the way to the surface. There, they finally find… a friend!