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

Monday, 15 October 2018

Review: Bonnie and Ben Rhyme Again

Bonnie and Ben Rhyme Again is a companion to the popular Good Night, Sleep Tight! By the marvellous team of Mem Fox and Judy Horacek. In it we join Bonnie and Ben on an outing with their friend Skinny Doug as they climb a hill, see some sheep, a spider, a plum tree and more. The story features six well-known nursery rhymes and brings them together with fun, repetitive and memorable rhyming.

Review: All the Ways to be Smart

I can't tell you how enamoured I am with this joyful and vibrant book from dream team Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys.

I want to give it full marks, but in a world dominated by ticks and crosses, this book is about so much more than marks.

It's a glorious celebration of all the different and fabulous qualities that make our children special and, yes, smart.

Sunday, 14 October 2018

App Review: Flip Flap Dinosaurs

Fans of the flip flap series by Axel Scheffler will love the app version of Flip Flap Dinosaurs

Just like in the hard copy version, kids can flip and flap the top and bottom halves of dinosaurs to create some super funky dinosaur creations, this time by swiping the screen left or right. 

Fun and also factual poems accompany each dinosaur half, so once you’ve decided on what your creation will be, there’s fun rhyming text to describe your new dinosaur (or traditional dinosaur if that’s what you want to swipe to!). 

Review: Alphabet Street

Alphabet Street is a fabulously fun and unique publication. A sturdy, house shaped lift-the-flap concertina book with rhyming text and super cute animal characters. It folds out into a large free standing street of shops with an outdoor park scene on the reverse.

Each page features a shop such as ‘Elegant Fashions’ and ‘Uptown Vacuums’ with two flaps to open, in most cases, the downstairs shopfront contains a business scene and the upstairs window shows a scene which is a little more domestic and relatable to family life.

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Review: Dinosaur Day Out

Kids love dinosaurs and here’s a great new picture book that’s fun and informative. Sally and Max visit the museum with their Dad. They enjoy pressing buttons, reading facts and interacting with all that the museum has to offer.

They have been most looking forward to seeing the dinosaur exhibition, but when they get there, it is closed.

Dad buys a book about dinosaurs instead, and they head to the city. Dad reads them the book as they walk. He tells then about the diplodocus, the pterodactyl, the tyrannosaurus rex and the stegosaurus. He’s so interested in his book, he doesn’t see what Sally and Max can see.

Looking for Books for... Alphabet Fans

There’s something really special about alphabet books. Perhaps it’s because there are so many unique ways to deliver an alphabet book — different ways of expressing and exploring letters, different ways to engage and wow an audience. Whatever the reason, alphabet books can be pure magic, and if you’re on the hunt for a good one, here are six you might like to explore.

The Alphabet of Alphabets by Allan Sanders, Wide Eyed Editions, $27.99, 9781786030016, 2 – 6 KBR Review

Friday, 12 October 2018

Giveaway: Beware The Deep Dark Forest

Thanks to the amazing people at Walker Books Australia and to celebrate the latest picture book release by Sue Whiting and Annie White, we have five copies of, Beware The Deep Dark Forest to giveaway!

Beware of the Deep Dark Forest! You should never, ever go in there!

Rosie has always followed this rule until the day her pup, Tinky, goes missing in the woods. So Rosie decides to trek into this dangerous, muddy place. 

But there are many obstacles along the way - including a huge grey wolf, a scary ravine and a ferocious troll! Can one small girl overcome the dangers of the Deep Dark Forest with just her courage?


Review: How did I get here?

From the Big Bang to birth, Philip Bunting's new book, How did I get here? is a great introduction to the history of life.

Bunting uses the familiar to explain the unfamiliar. He deftly uses food analogies, language from fairy tales and favourite childhood animals to highlight the vast science topics of astronomy, biology and evolution of life on Earth.

Sitting beside the simple language are illustrations, flow charts, diagrams, maps and time lines that assist with the understanding of this information.

Thursday, 11 October 2018

October YA Fiction New Releases


October brings something for everyone with these smashing YA Fiction new releases. There's sequels, thrillers, graphic fiction and and the high quality YA fiction we've all come to love and look forward to each month.

Zenobia by Morton Dürr and Lars Horneman, $19.95, UQP, #LoveOzYA, 9780702260254 

Look What I'm Reading! Robyn Burns

Robyn Burns, Co-ordinator Youth Services (Whitehorse Manningham Libraries)

After more than 30 years, I still find Children’s and Young Adult library services enormously varied and stimulating. Reading makes young people into better human beings, and libraries can literally change and even save lives! The community values are huge, and I love being part of that.

Which children’s book are you currently reading?
I’ve just finished The Tides Between, by Elizabeth Jane Corbett.



Wednesday, 10 October 2018

Review: Ariki and the Giant Shark


Ariki loves the ocean, she feels alive and free as she dives through the water, her eyes taking in the coral, fish and sharks as she swims and plays. She doesn’t fear them, she knows how to handle the ocean and its creatures.

Ariki is different from the other kids on Turtle Island. For one, she wasn’t born there, she arrived as a toddler, washed in from the ocean in a cradle tied to a raft. Her tribal tattoos are also different; she is a stranger from across the seas who is drawn to the ocean.

The people of the island are struggling.  The rains have not come and food is becoming scarce. When giant shark they've never seen appears, the people are scared. The young Queen thinks that the shark is to blame for all their problems so the people prepare to kill it.

Review: Heaven Sent

Heaven Sent was not the book I thought it was going to be.

But it was so much better!

Evie’s life isn’t easy. Her dad left to be with another, younger, woman when she was still a kid. 

Her stepdad isn’t the kind of man she’d like to have as a father, and she’s been wearing a back brace every day for the last eighteen months to try and fix her scoliosis.

Her best friend, Paige, is everything she’s not. And while they are close and spend a lot of time together, Evie has always felt like an outsider.

Then a car crashes through her bedroom window and everything changes. 

Gabe, the boy responsible for the crash, is mysterious and elusive.