This evening I will be on ABC Radio (612ABC) at 8:30pm talking with Trevor Jackson about my favourite books of the past month or so. It’s coming up to *that time of year* when many, many Christmas books are turning up in my review pile, but I can’t come at that yet, so for this month it’s just all my new favourites. I’ll tackle Christmas books later…it’s SEPTEMBER people!
‘I Wish I Could Be a Superhero‘ by Susan Hall and Cheryl Westenberg
Wesley Wombat really wanted to be a superhero. ‘If only I had superpowers like all my friends!’ he thought longingly.
All of Wesley’s friends can do special things: the kangaroo can jump really high, the frilled lizard can make itself look big and scary, the ant can lift up things bigger than itself, and the eagle can see things miles away … children will love lifting the flaps to reveal Wesley’s disastrous attempts to copy his friends!
Feeling despondent, Wesley sets off to a bush birthday party, only to find his friends trapped in a burning shed. Then finally he discovers his very own superpowers – just in time!‘When I Grow Up‘ by Tim Minchin and Steve Antony
The song from ‘When I Grow Up’ from ‘Matilda the Musical’ stayed with me long after I saw this beautiful production, and the girls and sing along VERY loudly to it in the car. So to say I was excited about this book, inspired by Minchin’s lyrics, is an understatement. I had high hopes, and thankfully those hope were not dashed. For those who love Minchin’s work, this will become an instant favourite. The narrative is simple but absolutely beautiful. It is difficult to not sing this book, but my children won’t allow this (probably a good thing); it’s just such a beautiful and hopeful look at the perceived freedom that being an adult brings, from the perspective of a child. It’s innocent and playful and fun…all the things that childhood longing should be about. Well done indeed Tim Minchin. Thank you for living up to my expectations. There is a digital download of the song – LIVING THE TIM MINCHIN DREAM!
‘Imagine‘ by John Lennon and Jean Jullien.
Following a similar theme, we have ‘Imagine’. Featuring the lyrics of John Lennon’s iconic song and illustrations by the award-winning artist Jean Jullien, this poignant and timely picture book dares to imagine a world at peace.
Join one little pigeon on her mission to spread the word of peace around the world. Set to the lyrics the iconic song Imagine, this book brings John Lennon’s enduring message of peace and tolerance to a new generation.
Imagine all the people living life in peace.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.
I hope some day you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.
‘Pea Pod Lullaby‘ by Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King
A glorious, heartfelt story about finding a safe place to call home, from award-winning book creators Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King.
I am the small green pea, you are the tender pod, hold me.
Words sing over the pictures in this evocative story: a beautiful lullaby about what we can be for each other.
A mother and baby, a boy and a dog run for their lives. A little boat carries them across the sea. A polar bear, too, has come adrift. When will they find land? Where will they find friends? Who will welcome them in?
The ‘Pea Pod Lullaby‘ is an inspiring and timely story of courage, endurance, and hope… for a world in which we can reach out and embrace one another.
‘Rockhopping‘ by Trace Balla
Winner of the Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards : Younger Readers Book of the Year 2017.
The story of an eventful hike in Gariwerd (the Grampians), from the creator of the multi-award-winning ‘Rivertime‘.
Join Clancy and Uncle Egg on a rambling, rockhopping adventure in Gariwerd (the Grampians), to find the source of the Glenelg River. A story about following your flow, and the unexpected places you may go.
Last month on ABC radio I spoke about ‘Ginger Green: Playdate Queen‘ as being awesome for young readers starting their independent reading journey. I had lots of good feedback about this series and suggestions for others like them…so tonight I thought I’d mention ‘D-Bot Squad‘, which Book Boy Jnr recommended to me recently (below is an extract of his review…full review here):
About the book: This is book one of a new series. A boy named Hunter discovers a secret about the librarian at his school, and about his favourite thing – dinosaurs. What follows is a big adventure.
What I thought: I thought it was a good book because I like dinosaurs. It’s good for younger kids (5+) as it is short and quick, and I found it an easy read. It’s very exciting and won’t leave you bored.
If you like dinosaurs, this is for you, and I can see younger boys really enjoying it. I think it’s good that it’s a series too, because if they like the first one, there are seven more to read, with the first four out now, and two more coming soon.
‘Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables‘ by Tim Harris and James Hart
He’s the first teacher to cook us breakfast.
Is his spark-maker beetle really that dangerous?
I heard he drank yak’s milk in Mongolia.
He’s the only person who isn’t afraid of Canteen Carol.
My mum says he used to be in the circus.
The class in room 12B has a new teacher, and nothing is ever going to be the same.
‘‘The Book of Secrets‘ (Ateban Cipher #1) by A L Tait
What’s the secret of the book, and why is it so valuable? These are the questions Gabe must answer when a dying man hands him a coded manuscript with one instruction: take it to Aidan. Gabe is hurled into a quest that takes him beyond his monastery home and into a world of danger, political intrigue and adventure.
As he seeks to decipher the code and find a mystery man who may not even exist, Gabe learns that survival must be earned and that some of life’s biggest lessons are not found in books.Gabe finds himself questioning everything he knows about right and wrong and wondering if he’ll ever find a way back home. He also discovers that the biggest secret of all may be his own.
‘Raymie Nightingale‘ by Kate DiCamillo
Full review of this one here, thanks to another of my FAV young reviewers, Jazzy of Jazzy’s Bookshelf! In her seventh novel, international bestselling author and twice winner of the prestigious Newbery Medal Kate DiCamillo tells a masterful story that blends pathos and humour. Raymie Clarke has come to realize that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father – who has run away with a dental hygienist – will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home.
To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton, but she has to compete with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante with her show-business background and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship – and challenge them to come to each other’s rescue in unexpected ways.
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