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

Friday, 4 December 2020

Review: Who is at the Zoo?

A delight to look at and to read, this highly entertaining book turns daily situations on their head. Imaginative, humorous and creative, and with charismatic characters, everyone who opens this book will discover a magical world whose reality is limited only by their imagination.

Rhyme and rhythm make it the perfect book for reading out aloud, for laughs and entertainment. The stunning, expressive illustrations by Suzanne Houghton, fill the pages with unexpected situations appearing like everyday occurrences. 

A young girl wakes to a house full of animals.

Thursday, 3 December 2020

Junior Review: Trials of Apollo: The Tower of Nero

Apollo (AKA. Lester) has spent six months in the mortal world, and now must face his final trial. 

This end game will either result in his return to Olympus or he will face his death in the bowels of the earth battling against his enemy, Python.

Although the battle for Camp Jupiter has been won and Rome was safe once more (for now at least), the war has not been won. 

For Apollo to claim victory he must travel back to Manhattan, the beginning of his adventures, gain an unexpected ally and defeat the last Triumvirate king, Nero.  

Apollo also must find the courage to face his enemy, Python and prevent him from controlling his oracle Delphi.

But the problem Apollo is more concerned about is if Meg will be able to face her old captor and keep her stubborn independence without snapping under the pressure of returning to her horrid childhood home. 

Review: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dangerous Animals

Deadly and dangerous these animals may be, but each one contributes in some significant way to the natural environment.

Award-winning author and illustrator, Samy Bayly, has created a unique and stunning encyclopedia in The Illustrated Encyclopedia of Dangerous Animals, from its impressive covers with indented title and pen and ink end pages, to everything in between.

Wednesday, 2 December 2020

Review: How Do You Make A Baby?

Children have a natural curiosity and while most questions are easy to answer, there is one question that every parent fears, where do babies come from?

This brilliant comedic style book by Swedish author and illustrator Anna Fiske is a delightful journey into how to answer that question.

The playful and light-hearted approach will help children understand the process. The book discusses the different types of ingredients at home, sperm and eggs work better than clay or hammer and nails. 

It discusses how parents love each other and the different activities they do together to show this.

Guest Post: Kate Forsyth & Belinda Murrell - Part Two

We continue our mesmerising interview with Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrel, on their collaboration for Searching for Charlotte: The Fascinating Story of Australian's First Children's Author

How long did the book take to write and were there any obstacles encountered that you can share?
B: The book took over two years to write, including many months of intense research.

Tuesday, 1 December 2020

Review: Santa and the Sugar Glider

It’s Christmas Eve and the rainforest animals cram against one another to see an incredible sight. Santa and his reindeers have landed! A catastrophe has occurred on their special night! Comet has collided with an albatross and sprained her ankle.

Santa needs help!

He announces to the animals that an audition for a temporary replacement will take place at sunset. His Christmas magic can make anyone fly. But only a special kind of animal will do.

Review: The Midnight Guardians

What if there was a place where our childhood imaginary friends came to life? 

A place where not just our private imaginary friends resided, but where the collective fantastical characters of mythology lived too?

Col no longer believes in his imaginary friends. He had three of them when he was younger – a tiger, a badger and a miniature knight, his guardians, all sworn to protect him. 

But now he’s too old for that, so he is as puzzled as he is wary of their sudden appearance in his life.

Unfortunately, Col needs protection. 

Set during World War 2, Col has been forced to flee his home in London and take refuge in the country with his cantankerous old aunt. 

He misses his adult sister Rose, particularly now that they have become orphaned. 

He is determined that they should spend Christmas together, so he runs away to London to find her. 

Monday, 30 November 2020

Guest Post: Kate Forsyth & Belinda Murrell - Part One

Searching for Charlotte: The Fascinating Story of Australia’s First Children’s Author has just been released. 

Multi-award winning writers and sisters, Kate Forsyth and Belinda Murrell, descendants of writers and artists, have co-authored an exquisite documentation of their research journey, undertaken to uncover unknown aspects about the life of their great-great-great-great-grandmother, Charlotte Waring. We welcome and thank them as they share with us, a little about this epic undertaking.

Winner: When This Bell Rings

Our lucky winner is...

Joseph Spagnolo, NSW


You have won the page-turning mystery middle grade novel,  
When This Bell Rings by Allison Rushby.

Thank you to ALL who entered. 

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Review: Nightshade

It's twenty years since the first Alex Rider story was published, and Nightshade is the thirteenth Alex Rider book.

In Nightshade, as Alex arrives in England by plane, a retired politician dies.

Soon after, the head of MI6's Special Operations is called to the office of a high ranking government official who has just discovered fifteen year old Alex has worked for MI6. 

She's hauled over the coals and ordered never to use Alex again. 

What follows is an unofficial operation which will see Alex put in the most difficult position he's ever been in. 

Someone from his past resurfaces in a most unusual way, and Alex must grapple with a dangerous new enemy known as Nightshade. 

They have unexpected resources ready to do their nefarious bidding. Alex must uncover their latest target and he’s completely alone.

Saturday, 28 November 2020

Video Review: Climate Change for Babies

Join Yvonne Mes for a short and snappy video review of Climate Change for Babies, a nonfiction board book written for children aged one year and up by Chris Ferrie and Katherina Petrou.

Title: Climate Change for Babies
Authors: Chris Ferrie and Katherina Petrou
Publisher: Sourcebooks
Date: 1 October 2020
Format: Board Book
ISBN: 9781492680826
For ages: 1+
Type: Non Fiction 

Review: An Artist's Alphabet

An Artist's Alphabet is an imaginative and whimsical book.

It takes a particular way of looking at the world to see the letters of the alphabet in the world around us.

Norman Messenger takes that to the next level with his illustrations.

A cat curled up in a ball, with its tail held high, becomes a lowercase letter d. 

A much larger and rounder cat whose tail is held close to its body, becomes the uppercase D.

A carefully placed chain and a string of pearls, depict the letter s; while the long ears of a rabbit form a v. 

And an acrobat with legs akimbo standing on the back of a horse forms the uppercase letter a.