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

Friday, 23 March 2018

Review: Make and Play: Easter

Decorating, singing, crafts and cooking activities are not just activities for Christmas. Joey Chou's activity book Make and Play: Easter is full of fun that will help bring delight to little ones as Easter approaches.

There are 25 colourful press-out play figures that are very easy to slot together. Chou suggests that readers use the play pieces to decorate their house, creating an Easter scene.

Thursday, 22 March 2018

News: KBR CBCA 2018 Shortlist Predictions!

Forever curious to delve deeper into our book-loving psyches, we asked our intrepid KBR team to predict the 2018 CBCA Shortlist outcome based on the Notable Titles announced on the 27 February.

The Kids Book Review team is a mixed band of accomplished literary professionals, artists, educators, librarians and of course, reviewers so naturally, our responses were never going to be straightforward! Each team member was asked three questions:

·         Which title they thought WILL be shortlisted
·         Which title they thought SHOULD be shortlisted
·         Which title WOULD be shortlisted if they could choose, in other words, their favourite.

Here is what they had to say. Perhaps it will prompt you to make your own pre-announcement predictions. Whatever the outcome, KBR congratulate all those who made the Notables list this year. It is hugely gratifying to see the magnitude of quality, meaningful literature that Australia continues to create for children.

Meet the Illustrator: Alex Pick

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Multi-faceted, directly from the heart, inventive, sometimes Disney-esk.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
My Wacom tablet and stylus are essential to me because they belong to my everyday life and are connected to my hands and brain.  But there always has to be a sketchbook nearby to do some hand-drawn sketches too.

Wednesday, 21 March 2018

Book List: The World Through Picture Books

In 2011, librarians from around the world set out to celebrate and promote the diversity of our languages and cultures.

The librarians compiled a list of books created and published in different countries -- each selecting some of their favourite books from their country.

The project was coordinated by the International Federation of Library Associations (IFLA) section for Libraries for Children and Young Adults.

They were supported in their endeavour by IFLA's Literacy and Reading section and the International Board on Books for Young People (IBBY).

The original list of books, suitable for children up to 11 years of age, has been updated and expanded, and now includes 500 books in 37 different languages.

Review: Sandcastle

I love building sandcastles.
Do you?

Philip Bunting co-creator of Koala Eats Gum Leaves and author/illustrator of Mopoke now brings readers a deep story in Sandcastle. It is a story that reflects on the ebb and flow of life.

On the surface this is a delightful and simple story about Rae and Grandad building a sandcastle, its tower, ramparts and a moat.

Tuesday, 20 March 2018

Interview: Laura Taylor on A Picture Book Adventure

Laura Taylor is a writer and translator, and a mother of two. Born in the UK, she now lives near Newcastle, Australia and facilitates Planet Picture Book. She has set out on a quest to discover picture books from all the 193 member states of the United Nations, and share them with everyone through reviews on her site.

Join us with her today, on her compelling journey of discovery.

12 Curly Questions with author/illustrator Kelly Canby

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I love to make lists! (Which is probably why I loved the book The Liszts by Kyo Maclear so much. Well, that and the gorgeous illustrations by Julia Sarda. Oh my goodness, those illustrations!)

2. What is your nickname? 
Sadly, I’ve never had one. I tried to give myself one in high school but it never stuck. I don’t think you can give yourself a nickname anyway, can you? It doesn’t really work like that. The closest I have to a nickname is Kel.

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.