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

Sunday, 25 August 2019

Review: Welcome To Your Period (Your easy, no-dumb-questions guide to handling it like a boss)

Welcome To Your Period  (Your easy, no-dumb-questions guide to handling it like a boss) is an indispensable modern guide to menstruation, filled with honesty, humour and reassurance that everything is going to be alright.  This book is  definitely not stuffy or embarrassing - it is funny, fresh and vibrant, with something for every reader!

This book is for pre-teens and teens, but there is information that many parents, teachers and others will appreciate, as times, attitudes, and equipment for managing a period, have changed!

It contains relevant, easy-to-read sections, with case studies, stories and questions from a diverse range of young people. This book is for anyone who will get a period, or has just started, and everyone who cares about them.

Saturday, 24 August 2019

Review: Kids Who Did

This collection is made up of 40 real life stories about children throughout history who made their mark on the world. 

They feature kids from countries around the globe, from varying timelines and mixed age groups.  Each story inspires with a collective theme of courage, bravery and initiative. 

The detail is generous, and highlights the contribution each child made, and the impact their choices had on humanity.  

Previously published in 1999 under the title Tough Stuff, true stories about kids and courage, this 2019 edition has been updated re-titled Kids Who Did. 

Friday, 23 August 2019

Guest Post: Learning to Fly with Jason K Foster

Golden Books. Mr Men. Doctor Seuss.

Many of us had our parents introduce us to reading with these books and as it was with me. My mother has always been an avid reader, encouraging me to read from an early age.

Hadamar is dedicated to her – she taught me to see the world in a different light.

I was also lucky enough to have wonderful teachers, many of whom introduced me to Literature’s classic tales. When my second grade teacher read Charlotte’s Web I cried, and learnt the power a story has to move us. Later, I read The Hobbit as it was on the bookshelf at home. It took me a while to read The Lord of the Rings, the red eyes of the Mordor horses on the cover scaring me too much to read it until I was older.

Review: The Gruesome General: Costa Banana

Rosa Fernando is the President’s daughter.

Her father is the much-loved (or so he believes) President Pablo Fernando of Costa Banana.

President Fernando has some strange laws — all children in Costa Banana must be called Pablo, everyone must call him ‘Great Leader Genius’ or ‘Big Strong Man’ and on Fridays everyone must eat banana soup — but the president truly believes everyone loves him, and he believes everyone will love his son Fico when he becomes president, because girls are absolutely not smart enough to become presidents, so Rosa absolutely never will.

Rosa, of course, disagrees. Actually, she disagrees with a lot her father says and does. She knows she would make a great president one day, but she also believes the people should get to choose their leader. 

Thursday, 22 August 2019

Review: Trees

'Trees are marvellous beings.'

Come and discover the life of trees and their role in nature.

Appreciate their beauty in all the seasons. See deciduous trees bare of foliage in winter and their fruit bearing branches in summer.

Discover how trees communicate with one another.

Reflect on where trees grow.

Contemplate a tree's function in the environment, 'Trees clean the air we breathe.'

Meet The Illustrator: Debbie Coombes

Name: Debbie Coombes

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Modern and contemporary colours with Tiwi designs.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
The main space for me before I became employed on a full time basis was at the art centre,in the open space and sitting with fellow
artists while telling,listening to each other stories and listening to music playing in the background. You have a big, long table with plenty of room for other artists. All I need is my paints, canvas and paint brush.

Wednesday, 21 August 2019

Review: Captain Cat and the Treasure Map

Patch is a courageous pirate cat that lives on board The Golden Earring with his friends, Monty the monkey and Cutlass a green parrot and talented joke-maker. 

They communicate well between themselves. The rest of the crew, Ginger, the lookout in the crow’s nest, Butch who steers the ship, the one-legged Captain Halibut, and Cannonball the cook, can’t understand them. This sometimes creates a problem with communication.

When Ginger falls overboard, the three friends try to get the others’ attention in vain. They help pull Ginger out with a friendly helping hoist from a mermaid. Ginger comes up clutching a bottle with a message in it.

Look What I'm Reading! Zoe Bechara Publicity Manager

Zoe Bechara is a Publicity Manager for Young Readers at Penguin Random House, based in Sydney. She has worked in publishing for a decade. As a publicist for some of Australia’s most celebrated and emerging authors she is frequently on the road: rattling about in radio or TV studios, wrangling pull-up banners and filing young children into signing queues at events. She loves big newspapers and small coffees and thinks that small humans are usually the best kind of humans.

Which children’s book are you currently reading?
A book by debut children’s author Nat Amoore called Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire (out June.)

Can you tell us in two sentences what the book is about?
It follows two best friends who find a million dollars in the backyard, and all the trouble they get themselves into. 

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Review: Stepsister

We all know Cinderella and her happy ever after story, but what about her step sisters Isabelle and Octavia? 

Jennifer Donnelly’s novel explores the youngest step sister Isabelle’s story. Raising the question of what happens when the bullies become the victims, can mean girls really change?

A gorgeous man known as Chance visits the Three 
Fates to make a deal on a certain map he has discovered. 

This map outlines a person’s fate, their destiny and the choices that can lead to a better life or result in disastrous consequences.

The map Chance holds belongs to a plain, selfish, mean and uninteresting girl – Isabelle de la Paume. 

12 Curly Questions with author Stef Gemmill

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I used to be a Montessori teacher by day and a music journalist by night at heavy rock and metal gigs for music magazines. Both experiences bring a lot to my writing for children now and I had a lot of fun in both jobs.

2. What is your nickname?
Everyone calls me Stef, except I am Stephanie to my Mum (particularly when I’m in trouble).

Monday, 19 August 2019

10 Reasons to Visit Story Time: Australian Children's Literature Exhibition - with Dr Belle Alderman AM


Design adapted from: Koala Shape Book, (Sydney: John Sands Ltd., 1931) nla.cat-vn4272738

KBR warmly welcomes Dr Belle Alderman AM, Director of the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature with this guest post on the incredibly wonderful upcoming children's literature exhibition at the National Library of Australia. Here are 10 reasons why you simply cannot miss this stunning, extensive (free!) exhibition. For more on the exhibition and how to plan your visit, see here.

The National Library of Australia and the National Centre for Australia Inc have collaborated to bring you Story Time: Australian Children’s Literature at the National Library from 22 August 2019 - 9 February 2020. Here is your unique opportunity to enjoy almost 200 years of stories for children and the young at heart. Story Time: Australian Children’s Literature  offers many associated programs for adults all described on the National Library of Australia and the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature Inc websites. 

1.What are two very rare items?
A Mother’s Offering to Her Children published in 1841, featuring a child’s name neatly handwritten and coloured in opposite the title page, also coloured in!

Book List: Superheroes Picture Books

Superpowers may be obvious, or hidden to all but those who really need them. Superheroes come in many forms and eveyone has their own special talents.


My Superhero by Chris Owen and illustrated by Moira Court, Freemantle Press, $16.99, 9781925161212.