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

Wednesday, 22 May 2019

Review: Bat vs Poss

A delightfully rhythmic story about sharing and making friends set in branches of a sprawling paperbark tree.

Bat vs Poss caught my heart in the very first scene, beautifully illustrated with an Australian native tree; the home of a possum family and other creatures, surrounded by terrace houses, wheelie bins and city lights in the background. Everything about it felt familiar to me, as it would for many people who have lived in urban Australia.

Tuesday, 21 May 2019

News: 2019 National Simultaneous Storytime

Wednesday 22 of May 2019 marks the 19th National Simultaneous Storytime event, an annual advocacy campaign, hosted by the Australian Library and Information Association.

Each year, one picture book is selected for a simultaneous read-aloud event held in libraries, schools, pre-schools, family homes, childcare centres, bookshops, children’s hospitals and communities across Australia and New Zealand, where two nations read together as one.
Last year we saw over 1 million kids join in the campaign. This year we aim to drive the numbers of participants even higher, to help promote the importance of reading and literacy for children.

Review: Leonard Doesn't Dance

When Leonard first hears about the Big Beaky Bird Ball, he is eager to join his feathered friends as they practice their dances for the big event. Every bird seems to have their specialty, from waltzing magpies to chickens who cha-cha. But no matter how hard Leonard tries, every step seems to go wrong and soon Leonard declares he is 'never going to dance again.' 

France Watts' alliterative text joyfully rolls of the tongue. Judy Watson's illustrations are vibrant, with rich deep blues, reminiscent of an evening sky, illuminated by the setting sun and a display of fireflies. The landscape feels like the Australian bush, but each spread is populated by an array of birds from all over the world, each with their own distinct plumage and personalities.

12 Curly Questions with author Jessica Sanders

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I was born in Japan and lived there for the first two years of my life. My parents were teaching English over there and I was a happy surprise. My middle name is actually Kyoko.

2. What is your nickname?
I don’t really have one. Although, my sister calls me Joobi sometimes. I couldn’t tell you why.

Monday, 20 May 2019

Review: Tigers On The Beach

If it’s a book by Doug MacLeod, you are pretty much guaranteed a chuckle. Okay, so I admit to being a fan. Although lacking the same punch as his masterful The Life Of A Teenage Body Snatcher (A CBCA Honour Book in 2012), or of the tragedy within The Shiny Guys (shortlisted for a CBCA award in 2013), Tigers on the Beach is nevertheless is an authentic portrayal of the burdens and embarrassing glitches of adolescence.

This light-hearted novel tells the story of thirteen-year-old Adam. His family run a crumbling holiday park. A vulture-like property developer is circling, digging up the dirt to blemish the site’s reputation to scare away guests. And with Adam’s eccentric grandmother taking up residence at the park, the opportunities run thick and fast.

Review: Sticker World: Farm

Lonely Planet’s Sticker World: Farm, is a brilliant activity book which allows the child to become the architect and designer of their own farm. 

40 pages of colour and learning and over 500 stickers, offers the opportunity for children to explore life on a farm by mapping out and building up their own surroundings as they choose.

Marco and Amelia are guides that participate in the creation of the farm. 

Sunday, 19 May 2019

Review: Our Little Inventor

In the countryside, young Nell finishes her invention.

She travels into the big and polluted city to show the people in charge what she has made. But the cranky old men dismiss her. She’s just a child. What would she know?

Nell returns home in despair. She just wanted to help. 

In the face of rejection, can Nell find the courage to fight back, to work harder, to never give up and save the city?

Saturday, 18 May 2019

Giveaway: Australia Map Puzzle

This 252-piece Australia map puzzle is perfect for adults and kids alike.

The beautifully illustrated map and accompanying 12-page booklet created by KBR's very own, Tania McCartney showcases more than 300 illustrations of flora, fauna, landmarks, attractions and other Australiana, with details that will keep anyone enthralled for hours.

Fact bubbles and keys for the various illustrations of flora, fauna, attractions, shipwrecks and Indigenous rock-art sites will also help you learn more about this country.
This amazing gift idea will be available next month but for one lucky reader, the good people of Hardie Grant Travel and Kids' Book Review have a copy to giveaway.

To enter, simply tell us in 25 words or less, what your favourite Australian landmark is and why.

Review: Oink

The almost wordless book, Oink by David Elliot is both delightful and humorous.

The story is told using only sounds and illustrations. The characters' body language and facial expressions are divine.

Pig is looking forward to a nice relaxing bath, naked. Just as pig lies back in the tub there is a knock on the door.

Friday, 17 May 2019

Review: Love Your Body

When was the last time your saw a book depicting cellulite and stretch marks, let alone celebrating it?

This is a book for every bookshelf. It's the one you'll wish you had when you were growing up and the one you'll definitely want for your own children.

Melbourne author, advocate and social worker Jessica Sanders has written Love Your Body to help stem the tide of negative body images in young women.

Review: Kindness Rules!

Kindness Rules! is a funny board book about manners.

The central character is Magic the elephant. His friends include a crocodile, unicorn, and hammerhead shark. There's also a koala, rabbit, turtle, and many others.

Magic sets a good example for his friends in how to meet new people, be welcoming, and sharing.

He demonstrates how it is polite to say please, and not to shout when you're angry, but to use words to explain how you feel.

Other concepts in Kindness Rules! include being gentle and aware of personal space, taking turns to speak, and saying sorry when you hurt someone.

In robust board book format, this is a bright and colourful book. The characters fill the page, with text prominently fitted at the top, supported by appropriate speech balloons.

Colourful and quirky, Kindness Rules! sets out the rules of basic etiquette in a way that children will understand. And at the end Magic sums up all the etiquette in 'the golden rule: treat others the way you want them to treat you!'

This book is one of a series created by sisters Eunice Moyle and Sabrina Moyle who started Hello!Lucky as a way of 'using creativity to spread joy, fun and kindness.' Kindness Rules! is a success at doing that.

Title: Kindness Rules!
Author: Eunice Moyle
Illustrator: Sabrina Moyle
Publisher: Abrams Appleseed, $13.99
Publication Date: April 2019
Format: Board book
ISBN: 9781419734267
For ages: 0 -- 5 
Type:  Picture book

Thursday, 16 May 2019

Review: Stand Up For The Future: A Celebration Of Inspirational Young Australians

In recent times we have heard young voices expressing their views over world issues, climate change and politics – raising concerns about the future and the impacts decisions can have.

This book is a celebration of inspirational young Australians, all of whom are making an impact on Australian society. Some of these young people are just starting to make their mark on the world, whilst others are established advocates and role models.

One thing you will learn reading this book, is that the future is bright – filled with talented, compassionate and determined young people. They might not be famous yet, but they soon will be.