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

Wednesday, 8 February 2023

Review: Brain Is (Not) Always Right

Being yourself is an important message for children and adults, and one that features in many books including this fabulous new picture book from bestselling author and illustrator Scott Stuart.
Brain Is (Not) Always Right shares the story of two characters represented by a heart and a brain, and explores how approaching life from emotional and intellectual perspectives may differ, but one is not better than the other.

Heart is creative, loves puppies and fashion, and will jump right aboard when there's a chance to ride a roller coaster. Brain is a super-sensible list maker who doesn't take risks and wants to get things right all of the time.

Tuesday, 7 February 2023

12 Curly Questions with author Karen Comer

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I can’t swallow tablets whole – I have to cut them up first! I envy people who can swallow a
tablet without a gulp of water!

2. What is your nickname?
Kaz – occasionally.

Monday, 6 February 2023

Winner: Fabulous February Picture Book Prize Pack!

Our lucky winner is...

Kath York, VIC


You have won a collection of five fabulous picture books from Walker Books including:

Thank you to ALL who entered.

Guest Post: KBR's Nia Shetty on New Year, New You: The Power Of Reflections

Vivacious KBR junior reviewer, Nia Shetty is not just an avid reader and reviewer, she an adept columnist and lead copy magazine editor! 

Here is a piece she penned recently about the healing and enlightening qualities of (self) reflection. 

We are delighted to see that reading and writing are some of the best ways to increase self-awareness. Great for curating creativity, too! Thanks, Nia!                                            Self-reflection is a state of mind, that with true determination and intention to reflect, we might end up learning new things about ourselves that could change our lives. 

In the new year, reflecting can help us take control of our lives by learning where we can improve and grow as people. By consistently reflecting on what we are doing right, and where we might be making a mistake, we are able to constantly make enlightening changes in daily aspects of our life.

Friday, 3 February 2023

Review: Suffragette: The Battle for Equality

First things first, I want to apologise that I haven't uploaded a review of David Roberts' Suffragette much earlier than this. It's a travesty. Much like the travesty women around the world have traversed to secure the basic right to vote. 

And no one tells the suffragette tale like Roberts; he has produced a book that spans not only the gamut of reading age, but a tome that will utterly delight anyone with a love of history, drama and an appreciation of beautiful art [read: most especially children].

Suffragette is one of my best-loved books in the past 5 years, including adult books. It is written with compassion, clarity and goosebumpelling verve that puts us firmly in the seat of those women who fought, lost, gained and even died to change history.

Thursday, 2 February 2023

Review: Pollination: How does my garden grow?

Told as a conversation between a young child and their grandparents, Pollination: How Does My Garden Grow? is an accessible explanation of the concept of pollination.

It begins with the child watching and learning how bees gather pollen and distribute it as they move from flower to flower, and that bees will also eat pollen. Other animals are also discussed and include butterflies, bats and possums.

Wednesday, 1 February 2023

Review: This is Love

Love can be picked and put in a jar.

Love can be made or sung to a star.

Love is a coat that’s keeping you warm.

Love keeps you dry and safe in the storm.

Tuesday, 31 January 2023

Review: The Lorikeet Tree

I grew up reading Paul Jennings and watching addictive episodes of Round the Twist. Jennings is Australian kid lit royalty and many 80s and 90s kids will be familiar with his work.

But The Lorikeet Tree is new. The Lorikeet Tree is different. It’s a sideways step from the quirky Jennings stories you might remember, but it’s no less stunning or addictive. 

A true gift to the middle grade genre, this is a story about family, hardship and heart. It doesn’t stray away from truth or hard issues, but Jennings approaches the subject matter sensitively as well as honestly. His talent is immense, and I see this book featuring in many Australian classrooms (as it should).

So let me tell you about it…

Monday, 30 January 2023

Review: Wishes Come in Threes

Phyll is dealing with a lot. Her mother has been sad for a while and she’s not getting better. They’ve moved to the seaside, away from everyone and everything Phyll knows. 

And to top it all off, Phyll accidently makes a terrible enemy at the summer camp her dad is making her go to.

But when Phyll meets old Mr Djinn at the retirement home, things start to change. Mr Djinn insists he is a genie, and while he says his magic has faded, strange things start to happen to Phyll. 

It can’t possibly be true. Phyll knows genies don’t really exist. But sometimes she thinks, just maybe, the things she wishes for are starting to come true.

Saturday, 28 January 2023

Giveaway: Fabulous February Picture Book Prize Pack!

To kick off the new term, the awesome team at Walker Books Australia have cobbled together a fabulous selection of FIVE fabulous picture books. Suitable for ages 0 - 5 and above, these titles include something for every little growing human covering true life stories, animals, and nature. 

#1 New York Times bestselling, award-winning author and illustrator Mo Willems returns with a new Pigeon story – and it’s one unforgettable ride! The Pigeon Will Ride The Rollercoaster! and 4 more great titles are up for grabs. There is plenty of fun from old favourites, too including a new addition of beloved classic, Where the Forrest Meets the Sea by Jeannie Baker. 

For the chance to win this amazing collection by Walker Books, tell us in 25 words or less what your favourite animal is and why.

Thursday, 26 January 2023

Meet The Illustrator: Sina Sin

Sina Sin

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Colourful, vibrant and comic

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
My iPad! and some dessert 😊

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I love to draw digitally because it flows well and it’s easy to make quick changes.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
There are so many! Tom Froese (@mrtomfroese) hugely inspired me.

Wednesday, 25 January 2023

Review: Darwin's Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular

How much do you know about the wonder of earthworms? Once you've read Darwin's Super-Pooping Worm Spectacular you’ll know plenty.

Written by Polly Owen and illustrated by Gwen Millward, this is a fantastic example of a STEM book for young readers, and how to present factual information in an unusual way. It’s the kind of book that helps readers to engage with the subject matter and remember it.