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

Sunday, 9 August 2020

Review: Beware! Ralfy Rabbit and the Secret Book Biter

A heartwarming story about book lover Ralfy Rabbit and the mystery of the bite mark found in his book.

Ralfy Rabbit loves all kinds of books and nothing more than snuggling up to read in a quiet environment. When his baby brother Rodney cries, shrieks, rattles, clangs, bangs and more Ralfy’s serenity is ruined, he tries all sorts of things to escape the noises of his little brother.

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Review: Blood Moon

It might be 2020, but the double standard is alive and strong!

Sixteen year-old Frankie is a quiet, nerdy girl, who usually flies under the radar. She meets the equally quiet but extremely cute Benjamin and ends up having a spontaneous sexual experience with him.

It’s consensual, exciting and satisfying - but during their intimate moment, her period starts. He’s okay with it – after all, he wants to become a doctor. And Frankie assumes this to be the start of something beautiful.

Well, it’s the start of something! The next day, this private and otherwise loving situation suddenly bursts into everybody’s awareness via social media.

A meme that shows her face and makes her out to have disgusting sexual appetites circulates and gathers momentum. Frankie is being slut shamed.

Friday, 7 August 2020

Review: A World Full of Dickens' Stories

A World Full of Dickens’ Stories presents eight best-loved classic tales adapted by Angela McAllister and retold for children. This is an eye-catching and beautifully designed book that will be treasured and enjoyed time and time again.

An elegant cover decorated with images of the stories’ characters and settings, heralds the contents. Stunning, fully illustrated end pages compete with the cover for first prize.

Reading Dickens in this simplified yet artistic form, younger readers will learn about the real struggles of children within these imaginative tales set in Victorian England.

Thursday, 6 August 2020

Review: There's a Zoo in my Poo

There’s a Zoo in my Poo takes an educational and amusing look at gut health and how an array of bugs work together to process food through our bodies.

Broken into nine sections such as You are a Bug, All about the Poo Train, Bugs in our Guts, Your Poo and You, Feed your Zoo and more, each includes fun rhymes, facts and scientific explanations.

Wednesday, 5 August 2020

Review: The Lost Soul Atlas

Twig sneaks out one night to follow his father to the Black Market despite being forbidden to ever do so. There Twig is attacked and the two are separated. 

Unable to locate his Da, Twig finds himself alone on the streets, fighting to stay alive. He meets the homeless Flea with whom a friendship is quickly built. He learns how to survive amongst the countless homeless children that are ignored, pursued and swept aside.

Then Twig wakes up in the Afterlife. His memory has been wiped clean except for a few foggy remembrances. 

He has with him a key, a raven named Krruk, who is a guardian, and an atlas to find his way home. He also has riddles and rhymes to solve if he is to pass through the Crossings.

Review: Hound the Detective

Join Hound as he tries to unravel a mystery.

This is a tricky case, with a big surprise at the end.

Hound is a canine Sherlock Holmes, without the Watson sidekick.

He's a detective with a 'beagle eye' and uses his nose to 'sniff and snuffle' the clues and track down answers.

In this story, the trail begins with a riddle arriving in the mail.

As Hound follows each clue to a new location, he explores places like the creek, manor house, train station, general store, a cabin in the woods, and the village fair.

When he finally discovers the secret behind the clues, Hound is able to celebrate.

Tuesday, 4 August 2020

Review: Mop Rides the Waves of Life

We are all anxious and unsure of the world around us at the moment. 

This picture book is the perfect way to address those feelings your children are currently experiencing.

Mop is just your everyday kid who loves to climb trees and surf a lot! Not just a little bit, but every spare moment Mop is riding the waves on his trusty yellow surfboard. 

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Jules Faber

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I’m really quite good at MarioKart

2. What is your nickname?
I don’t have one, but I always wanted a cool one as a kid.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Going bald.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words.
Eclectic thoughts, funnelled into a narrative and distilled into paragraphs.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Ambitious, enthusiastic, driven, tangential, reflective

6. What book character would you be, and why?
Last time, I said Max of the Where the Wild Things Are. But today I’d be the Phantom. I’ve read this comic since I was a kid and his world is so fantastic, plus he has an unerring sense of justice. Not to mention his unique trait – he’s a superhero all the time and only dresses like a regular person to blend into the crowd.

Monday, 3 August 2020

Review: Little Lon

Little Lon refers to the area around Melbourne’s Little Lonsdale Street. This stunning picture book relates Marie Hayes’ joyous childhood memories in the multicultural community in which she lived, and the people whose lives grew and changed together with hers.

It is a life in a timber house with green wooden shutters, that faced a road where children played all day and adults stopped to speak to one another. Built in the 1850s, Marie’s mother lived there until the 1950s.

Review: The Sloth and the Dinglewot

A flowing, rhyming story of Samuel sloth who craves adventure beyond the banks of his home in the Lazy Lagoon, and the thrills he encounters when he overcomes his fears with an intriguing feathered friend by his side.

Days are slow in the Lazy Lagoon where a sloth family laze, stretch and yawn, too slow for Samuel who yearns to explore. Despite his family thinking he’s crazy, Samuel climbs to the top of the trees where he catches a glimmer of something funny and feathery darting around; a jingly jangly bird called the Dinglewot Jinglewot Dingledum Dee.

Sunday, 2 August 2020

Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them

Enter a world filled with magical and mystical creatures from the world of Harry Potter and immerse yourself in the quest for knowledge. 

Compiled by famed Magizoologist Newton Scamander, wizards and muggles will love discovering what this updated field guide has to offer.

Travelling the world through darkest jungles, mountain peaks and marshy bogs. An extraordinary array of magical fauna from across five continents is the result of years of exploration and adventure. 

Saturday, 1 August 2020

Giveaway: How Do You Make A Baby? Non Fiction Picture Book

Informational, funny and warm, How Do You Make a Baby? is about an eternally relevant topic, giving parents and children a starting point for discussion and is suitable for children aged 4 and up.

Thanks to the always phenomenal people of Walker Books Australia, we have a copy of this comical new non fiction picture book up for grabs.

In How Do You Make A Baby, Anna Fiske addresses questions about families and their creation in a child-friendly and humorous way. But addressing these curiosities is not always so well-timed! 

For the chance to win a copy, in 25 words or less, share the most awkwardly hilarious (in hindsight!) location your kids have asked you about how babies are made.