Kidz Korner Special: Junior Fiction Recommendations

This post is a special dedication for our young readers aged 8 years and up… The following have been read and enjoyed by young and old alike – we hope you will tap into these and enjoy them too…

(Please note some reviews have come from children – names not published to protect their privacy)

Lintang Series by Tamara Moss – Books 1 and 2.
 

This was interesting as it was the first time we saw Indonesian character names in a junior fiction novel. The first 2 books are full of adventure and I am invested in the series I want to read the 3rd one when I can. What I liked was there wasn’t a lot of dialogue but more story and adventure. Both books had a serious story but it was funny, it was a bit scary but kids won’t get nightmares which is great. Recommend this to adventure fans and school friends but beware of Malam Rasha Night Terrors (hehe). Special thanks to Penguin Random House for sending review copies of these books – was a lot of fun to read!!

Jake Atlas and the Hunt of the Feathered God by Rob Lloyd Jones

I really liked this book as it was adventurous and very fast paced. It was an exciting adventure as the characters had to find an ancient tomb in the hidden temple but the secret passage was supposed to stop them but the characters are too sly for the puzzles they are very clever. The story was very clever I liked the mystery and the problem solving. At times it made me confused but that’s what made it very cool. Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.

Annie and Simon – Banana Muffins and Other Stories

A 3 in 1 book. This book really made me want to eat banana muffins but there wasn’t any!!!! The funniest part of this book was the Bobo – it’s a baby dummy (hehe) she tried to say everything but she said Simon and it came out Thymon Bobo, it was really cute and really funny. Special thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me a review copy of this book, now I’m off to make banana muffins!

The Institute of Fantastical Inventions by Dave Leys

This was fantastic and awkward hahaha!!! I loved it, it was so much fun and I think all my friends should read this because it was really funny and very exciting. My favourite bit – they made a girl float because she wanted to float in a bubble but the bubble didn’t pop unless she was in a safe place – she took a pill, very much like Willy Wonka. I wont show this to my brother, he will want to try these inventions at home!! Special thanks to Harbour Publishing House for sending me a review copy of this book.

Polly and Buster Books 1 and 2 by Sally Rippin
Book 1: Polly and Buster, the Wayward Witch and the Feelings Monster
Book 2: Polly and Buster, the Mystery of the Magic Stones

 

Who ever heard of a witch and a monster being friends? Everyone knows that witches don’t mix with monsters. Witches are educated, clever, sophisticated. But monsters? Monsters are just uncouth. Some are even dangerous. But Polly the witch and Buster the feelings monster have been best friends forever.  It’s the sort of friendship that makes your heart squeeze with happiness. Somehow, they’ve managed to keep their friendship a secret. Until one day, when everything changes… This was a great story about friendship, secrets and lies and I found the book to be daring and mystical – it was very cool because the adventures the two characters went on were dangerous. It’s a cool series. Special thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont Publishers for sending me the review copies of these books.

Blog post reviews compiled and published by Annie

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Kidz Korner Round Up of Recommendations for the Younger Read3rz!!!

It’s been a great haul with some wonderful recommendations for our younger readers.. enjoy!!!

The Prince and the Witch and the Thief and The Bears by Alastair Chisholm, Illustrated by Jez Tuya

A bed time story between father and son. A story that keeps getting interrupted by question after question. But the questions are patiently answered by the father.

Even though the father finishes the story to his son, he gets asked another question about the… and the father replies that we find out them tomorrow night. I really want to know.

The witch and her best friend are my favourite characters.

Many thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

 

The Boy who grew Dragons by Andy Shepard, illustrated by Sara Ogilivie

When Tomas discovers a strange old tree at the bottom of his grandad’s garden, he doesn’t think much of it. But he takes the funny fruit from the tree back into the house – and gets the shock and delight of his life when a tiny dragon hatches! The tree is a dragonfruit tree, and Tomas has got his very own dragon, Flicker.. Tomas soon finds out that life with Flicker is great fun, but also very … unpredictable. Yes, dragons are wonderful, but they also set fire to your toothbrush and leave your pants hanging from the TV aerial. Tomas has to learn how to look after Flicker – and quickly. And then something extraordinary happens – more dragonfruits appear on the tree. Tomas is officially growing dragons – very adventurous and a lot of fun!!!
-Annie

 

Sad, The Dog by Sandy Fussell, Illustrated by Tull Suwannakit

A clever little dog christens himself “Sad” when his humans fail to give him a name. Although they feed him and wash him, they don’t appreciate his many gifts, like his love of singing. When the people move away and leave Sad behind, Sad is heartbroken. But then a new family with a young boy arrives at Sad’s house in a big truck.

A beautiful written story where the illustrations bring the words to life.

I would love to have this puppy as part of the family. Who wouldn’t?

Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

 

The Story Orchestra: The Sleeping Beauty  by Jessica Courtney Tickle

A stunning retelling of the classic ballet story brought to life by music! On each page you press the music button and the sound of Tchaikovsky’s original music plays in the background as you read this beautiful ballet story which features the King and Queen as they throw a party for their new baby, Princess Aurora. But when a terrible guest arrives and places a curse on princess, the kingdom must find the one special person who can defeat it… We have it on good authority that it captivates readers as young as 2 years old!!! It’s such a stunning gift book, special thanks to Allen & Unwin Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Annie

 

Interrupting Chicken and the Elephant of Surprise by David Ezra

It’s homework time for the little red chicken, who has just learned about something every good story should have: an elephant of surprise. Or could it be an element of surprise!! As they dive in to story after story, looking for the part that makes a reader say “Whoa! I didn’t know that was going to happen,” Elephant or element, something unexpected awaits Papa in every story, but a surprise may be in store for the little red chicken as well.

A sweet tale of a child who misheard/misunderstood the saying ‘element of surprise’.

An entertaining read for anyone who has ever tried to explain a saying to a young child.

Special thanks to Walker Books for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

 

Old Hat by Emily Gravett

Harbet likes his comfy knitted hat, but the others keep jeering at him – OLD HAT! OLD HAT! No matter what headwear he buys – be it a towering fruit platter hat, an old-boot-on-the-head hat or a brightly lit traffic cone hat, Harbet cannot keep up with the latest fashions. As soon as he gets a brand new hat it is already an . . . OLD HAT! It seems that Harbet will never fit in. But when one day he decides to go his own way, Harbet discovers just how much more fun it is to stop following others and think for yourself

A fun read for anyone. Where Harbet tries to keep up with the latest hat trends, but always seems to be one step behind.

It takes a little while for Harbet to come into his own. And it’s fun to see his friends trying to match him.

Special thanks to Pan Macmillan Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

 

Such a great haul- watch this space, more for recommendations for our junior readers coming soon!!!

Kidz Korner Round Up: Some picture books you MUST read!!!

Here are some of the picture books we had the pleasure of reading and recommending to our youngest members, the following are recommended to readers aged 3 and up – also recommended for family reading time.. We hope you enjoy them!!!

“The Knight who said No” by Lucy Rowland & Kate Hindley

A sweet tale of being lonely and making friends. Realising what is missing and working out how to fix it and capture the missing link. Special thanks to Allen & Unwin Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

 

“Puffin the Architect” by Kimberly Andrews

This is such a cute story with beautiful animal characters, intriguing houses and amazing ideas for storage solutions and architectural design!!! Yes the interior designer is Puffin is an architect who always exceeds her clients’ expectations, that is, until she takes on the toughest clients ever – her own pufflings! So cleverly written, cute illustrations and a storyline that not only gives you interior décor tips but warms your heart. Special thanks to Penguin Random House for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Annie

 


“Tropical Terry” by Jarvis

This is an acceptance story – to accept who you are and who others are. With friends who will always accept you and not fake it. Tropical Terry is one I will recommend to anyone who.. well.. ANYONE!! Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

 

“Ocean Emporium” by Susie Brooks and Dawn Cooper


This is a beautifully illustrated compilation of our wonderful marine life. Bringing out the creatures of the deep from hermit crabs to great white sharks to fish to octopus it’s just one visual feast of the sea and an ideal introduction for children to explore creatures of the sea and nature. Special thanks to Hardie Grant Egmont Publishers for sending me a review copy of this beautiful book.
-Annie

 

“Ping VS Pong” by Mauro Gatti

This book is about two beans wanting to be the best at table tennis. Ping and Pong learn a lot as they go through their story such as the nature of rivalry, importance of friendship, winning and most importantly good sportsmanship. Special thanks to Penguin Random House Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

Stay tuned for our next children’s books recommendations!!!

Kidz Corner Round Up of Recommendations

As part of our love for reading, we love exploring reads that are suitable for the younger generation so we can reach out and encourage the younger audience to immerse themselves in a great book. The following are recommendations for children ranging from picture books to junior fiction.. enjoy!!

Coco: My First, Little people, BIG DREAMS by Ma Isabel Sanchez Vegara and Ana Albero
This cute little kids book is an introduction to a world renowned designer whose life, though quite controversial, was very interesting. Having read her biography once before, I wondered how they would tame the life story of a woman who created the world’s famous scent Coco Chanel into a children’s book but I have to say the authors and illustrators did a fabulous job to tell her story through sequential art and few words. The drawings reminded me of the cartoon “Madeleine”. Quick read, definitely suitable to read to a younger audience – even 4 years and under as it’s a hard bound picture book. Special thanks to Allen & Unwin Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Annie

Square by Mac Barnett & Jon Klassen
This book is about Square. Square spends every day taking blocks from a pile below the ground to a pile above the ground. This book is also about Square’s friend Circle. Circle thinks Square is an artistic genius. But is he really? This is a touching tale of how one might not always see their strong point(s) while others can. A picture book suitable for children from the ages 3 years and up – special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

Begone the Raggedy Witches, Book 1 of The Wild Magic Trilogy by Celine Kiernan
This was indeed Ireland’s answer to JK Rowling! A middle grade, magical adventure that crosses over realms for a challenge between good and evil and a young girl’s quest to saved loved ones. Although the target audience would be middle grade readers from ages 8 and up, I found it to be so well written, even adults could enjoy the tale. The story is fast paced and the action begins from page one and manages to hold the reader captive to the end. I believe this is a promising start to an epic trilogy. The dialogue is quite humorous and I also found the notion of “forced rhyming” among some of the characters quite clever. Mup is the main character and a likeable one at that, a lovely character with an open heart and determination to conquer evil. You will meet other characters along the way who will stay with you even at the end of the story. I personally enjoyed the story and I do look forward to the sequel. Recommended to younger readers and adults who are young at heart. Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Annie

A Stone for Sascha by Aaron Becker
This year’s summer vacation will be very different for a young girl and her family without Sascha, the beloved family dog, along for the ride but a wistful walk along the beach to gather cool, polished stones becomes a brilliant turning point in the girl’s grief. This was an extremely beautiful picture book without words. As we read A Stone for Sascha, we follow a young girl’s grieving process for their family pet. Suitable for young readers from ages 5 and up – special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy of this book.
-Meredith

Kidz Korner Round Up

With our passion for reading, we still engage in children’s books so we can continue to make book recommendations for parents and our younger audience. Here is a round up for our children’s reading recommendations!!!

Hugo Makes a Change by Scott Emmons and Mauro Gatti

Hugo the vampire craves red, juicy meat for every meal! But when his eating habits leave him feeling sluggish and bored, he goes on the prowl for something new. After trying fruits and vegetables for the first time, he discovers the joys of a more balanced diet. The story is told in rhymed verse accompanied by simple, charming, graphic illustrationsA fun read. Hugo learns what fun it is when you try eating new and exciting food produce. In his it was fruit and vegetables. Hugo also learnt not to judge certain foods by what they look like. I had fun going on the adventure with Hugo as he went exploring. A great read for those fussy little eaters!!! Suitable to readers under 5 years old. Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Meredith

Ivy and the Lonely Raincloud by Katie Harnett
Everyone loves the warm sunshine—except the lonely raincloud. No one wants to be his friend! But one day, he stumbles across a grumpy little florist, could she be looking for a friend too? In this charming tale, a solitary raincloud finds a way to make a sad little girl happy again, by using the very thing that most people dislike about him—rain! This is a picture book about finding friends that are right for you. It shows that being with the right friends can make you happy. An important lesson to surround yourself with people who make you feel good. Suitable to readers 6 years old and up. Special thanks to Walker Book Publishers for sending me a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Amanda

Swan Lake by Anne Spudvilas
The iconic ballet Swan Lake, the tragic love story of a princess transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer, has been revered for more than a century. In this atmospheric adaptation, the picture book reimagines the classic tale of passion, betrayal and heartbreak in the dramatic riverscape of the Murray-Darling. This is such a beautiful picture book illustrating the classical ballet, the art work is so well done, a book where charcoal art speaks a thousand words. Very beautiful and flows so well, a book you would want to read over and over again. Suitable to children and families and recommended as a family storytime book. Special thanks to Allen and Unwin Pubishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Annie

The Poesy Ring by Bob Graham
It’s 1830 in County Kerry, Ireland, and a gold ring is thrown into the wind by a young woman on a black horse. As the seasons pass, the little treasure finds itself on the most astonishing journey, finally settling at the bottom of a deep sea. Will the ring, inscribed with “love never dies”, ever fulfil its destiny, and find the finger of a woman truly loved? It doesn’t matter what form one might take, this book shows us that you can always have an adventure. Whether your adventure is sitting on top of a hill, in a field being plowed by a farmer, flying through the air with wings or even in the ocean – take your time and enjoy the adventure you are on. A wonderful read suitable for children ages 6 and up. Special thanks to Walker Book Publishers for sending me a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Meredith

Horses by Iris Volant and Jarom Vogel
The beautiful honrse has been part of us for centuries. These
iconic animals have been a part of human history–they’ve plowed our fields, pulled our carts, fought in our wars and been our beloved companions. Journey through the history of human and horse interaction in this beautifully illustrated book. A great and insightful history that captivates the attention of youngsters. Suitable for ages 5 years old and up. Special thanks to Walker Book Publishers for a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Annie

The Junior Readers Round Up

We’ve posted a few blogs that cater for our children’s readers however I thought it may also be beneficial to post a Junior Fiction Round Up. These recommendations are for the older kids who don’t quite read YA just yet…

Here are some recommendations!!!


The Rogues: Accidental Heroes, Book 1 by Lian Tanner
Expected Publication: October 2017

Synopsis as seen on Goodreads: In the city of Berren, strange things happen. People disappear, trees sprout overnight. But no one believes in magic. To believe in magic would be disloyal…The devious Lord Rump and his granddaughter, Duckling, need a disposable boy, and Pummel, a farm boy looking for work in the city, fits the bill perfectly. Duckling is happy to tangle him in her grandpa’s web, as long as Grandpa keeps his promise – that this will be his very last Scheme. Lord Rump’s intrigues take both children into the Strong-hold of Berren – where time has stopped – and before long they are entwined in a plot to kill the heir to the Faithful Throne. If they want to protect the Young Margrave, and save themselves from an awful death, Duckling and Pummel must learn to use the magic that no one believes in. This is a book filled with epic adventure!! It’s highly recommended to readers who love fantasy adventure and are aged between 8-12 year olds. Even as an adult, I found this book to be quite exciting and a lot of fun to read – I am sure kids will love this!!

Special thanks to Allen & Unwin Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
 

Girlish: An empowering journal for the twenty-first century girl by Alana Wulff.
“Don’t be afraid to be the smartest person in the room”

“I never cut class. I loved getting A’s. I liked being smart. I liked being on time. I thought being smart was cooler than anything in the world” -Michelle Obama

A great journal every young girl from the age of 9 years old should have – a journal that teaches young girls a sense of empowerment and self-confidence. I think it’s great for young girls to have this book – it’s ok to be smart, it’s ok to go for your goals – don’t let anyone else tell you differently!!!

Special thanks to Black Inc. Publishers for sending me an Advance Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.

Pirate McSnottbeard in the Zombie Terror Rampage by Paul Whitfield
This was a funny book – one that can be enjoyed by all the family and the laughter (as in the LOL type) starts from its title.. Pirate McSnottbeard!!! This story is about Emilie and her brother William who embark on an adventure to rescue their parents from the horrible and smelly pirate king – Pirate McSnottbeard. Whisked from the high seas, through prehistoric lands, into an evil wizard’s castle and finally to the PIRATES’ clifftop hideout, they must tackle dinosaurs, zombies, angry parrots, and at least one warlock. I read this book then handed it to my friend’s daughter who is 8 years old who then handed it to her brother who is 7 years old – the 3 of us absolutely loved this book!!! From beginning to end we found ourselves cracking up laughing at the characters and the story line. Highly recommended for junior fiction readers aged 7+

Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a review copy in exchange for my honest review.

The Secret Throne by Peter F. Hamilton.

The Secret Throne is the first installment of the children’s fantasy series: Queen of Dreams.
Taggie and her younger sister, Jemima, live with their mum, go to school, play sports and spend their holidays with their dad in the countryside. But one day, everything changes, when a white squirrel wearing purple glasses turns up in their lives. Next minute.. their dad has been kidnapped and it’s up to Taggie and Jemima to get him back. But it seems their father has been keeping some very large secrets from his young daughters and it appears their dad is no ordinary man.
Once again I read this one and passed it on to younger readers I know for a second opinion and this one was very well received. It’s an intelligent tale – one that is very suitale to the junior readers as it’s full of adventure and intrigue with underlying words of wisdom that all kids should know. I highly recommend this to junior readers who love adventures and mystery!!! This book is the first of a series that is worth investing in. Peter F. Hamilton is better known for his fantasy fiction/sci-fi stories that target an adult audience however he’s done very well with plot and dialogue with his children’s series!!

Special thanks to Pan Macmillan Publishers for sending me review copies in exchange for my honest review.

-Round Up compiled by Annie

Kidz Korner Round Up – School Holidays Special

The kids are on holidays in Sydney, NSW.. here is a round up of recommended books the kids can immerse themselves in these school holidays!!!


Cinnamon by Neil Gaiman, Illustrated by Divya Srinivasan

An exquisite hardcover picture book that would now be considered a collector’s item that tells a beautiful tale about a princess called Cinnamon whose eyes are made of pearls – in other words, she is blind.. and for reasons unknown to her parents, she refuses to speak. After futile attempts to find someone to make Cinnamon talk, suddenly a mighty tiger appears at their palace to teach Cinnamon to talk.. the illustrations and art in this book are so beautiful and bode so well with this mighty tale.. Suitable for family reading time to children from 5 years Many thanks to Bloomsbury Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Annie

Hotaka (Through my eyes, Natural Disaster Zones) by John Heffernan
This was an interesting book that’s told in the perspective of a 10 year old child whose life is turned upside down in light of a natural disaster. The way the story starts is so real, this child is simply enjoying his friend’s pantomime like it’s just “a normal day” and suddenly the town is on alert and from a hill top, he sees the water drawing out in prep of a tsunami that is about to hit, something he has learnt from class and his own family. My family are originally from Aceh and endured the effects of the Boxing Day Tsunami in 2004 so this story was real for me. It kept me on the edge of my seat and I feel this is a good learning experience for children. I say this suitable and recommended to junior non fiction readers aged from 9 years and above.. Many thanks to Allen & Unwin Publishers for sending me a review copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Jamal

Rock pool secrets by Narelle Oliver
At first glance there’s nothing much to see. But the rock pools are full of secrets. Nestling in crevices … hiding in the seaweed … camouflaged against the rocks … What creatures will you find? An interesting and fun read. This book shows you what you can find in rock pools during low tide at beaches. As you read this picture book there are flip sections on a few of the pictures where you can get a better look at the creatures that live in the rock pools. The pictures are beautifully done. Suitable to a younger audience from pre-school to primary school. Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Meredith

Where’s Wally? 30th Anniversary Edition by Martin Handford
As a kid, I always loved the Where’s Wally? books and the various editions that were published. I bet kids today could still appreciate the hours of fun they can have with this one! This book celebrates 30 years of searching for Wally, a one off special edition of the original eye boggling classic. It’s an awesome special edition with bonus scenes and characters – it makes you determined to find him each time you find a false lead. In this edition you can hike around the world, on the beach, at the train station and you can even find Wally on a new wander in town again. Intricately detailed scenes and artistry here, I highly recommend it as a fun activity – you could even play teams – these school holidays!
-Annie

Poor Louie by Tony Fucille
Louie’s life is great! A walk on the leash every morning, ice cream on Sundays, snuggling in bed at night with Mom and Dad. Even the playdates with Mom’s friends despite their little crawling creatures who pull Louie’s ears aren’t all that bad. But then things get weird… This story had me smiling from the beginning. Because Louie doesn’t know how to handle the new member of the family, that’s coming in nine months… I’ll be re-reading this one for long while. I now want a dog like Louie!! Highly recommended children’s picture book. Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me an Advanced Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Meredith

Owl Babies by Martin Waddell, Illustrated by Patrick Benson
A beautiful story that is artistically illustrated of three baby owls who wake up one night in their tree to find that their mother has gone, so they sit on the branch and wait, wondering when she will return. It’s such a cute and lovely story – heart warming and very suitable to read to kids aged 3+. Special thanks to Walker Books Publishers for sending me a Review Copy in exchange for my honest review.
-Annie