Children

Children

The Gecko and the Echo by Rachel Bright

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Some very young children, in their exuberant joy of living, are driven by ego and unrestrained pursuit of all they enjoy or interests them. In this story of a gecko, who has a similar failure to consider his fellow geckos, eventually finds he is not popular.  Under the illusion that he

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Children

Smarty Pup by Anh Do

Reviewed by Wendy Lipke Anh Do is a Vietnamese-born Australian author, actor, comedian, and artist. He has appeared on many Australian TV shows. He is probably best known for his book The Happiest Refugee, and his TV show Anh’s Brush with Fame. But this talented man has written over thirty children’s books in several series.

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Children

Need a House? Call Ms Mouse! by George Mendoza

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The best architects not only have imaginative skills related to their profession, but also are sensitive to the client’s needs and personality.  Henrietta, Ms Mouse, is a splendid example of this. This much loved classic, first published in the 1980s, has delighted adults and children alike, for decades.  George Mendoza is

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Children

The Raven’s Song by Zana Fraillon and Bren MacDibble

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The Raven’s Song is evidence of the range, quality and stimulating puzzles that may be found in current children’s fiction. Everything is far from straightforward. In a world that is 100 years from now, characters Shelby and Davy live on 700 hectares, carefully tended by its strictly numbered population of 350.

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Children

Dead Good Detectives by Jenny McLachlan

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The chief characters Sidonie (Sid) and Zennor (Zen) are good detectives- but definitely not dead, as the title suggests. It is a clever play on words, where ‘dead’ means, in current vernacular, excellent; but, at the same time, the clients for Sid and Zen are actually dead and fast fading away.

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Children

Paper Boat, Paper Bird by David Almond

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve The title suggests the aspect of the novel that is, like the art of origami, delightfully creative. This Japanese skill is extremely precise and delicate in its essential simplicity. Special papers are carefully folded to create unlimited possibilities. In this book for children, it is a bird and a boat. Mina

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Children

Flipper and Finnegan by Sophie Cunningham

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve People of all ages who value our wildlife will undoubtedly love the story of Flipper and Finnegan. Based on the events following the oil spill off Phillip Island in Victoria in 2001, it focuses on two little penguins who belong to the smallest of this species of bird. Unsuspecting of the

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Children

The Golden Swift by Lev Grossman

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Children’s books perform so many valuable tasks.  They can foster a love of reading, entertain, banish boredom, and sometimes educate and reassure.  The Golden Swift fulfils all of the above.  A delightful mix of fantasy, fact and plot, it will have wide appeal to middle school children. In the second of

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Children

Little Ash by Ash Barty and Jasmin McGaughey

Reviewed by Gail McDonald Ash Barty, after her successful tennis career, joined forces with Jasmin McGaughey in writing a series of books for young readers which were each illustrated by Jade Goodwin. The books focus on Ash’s love of sports trying karate, softball, netball and gymnastics, but none of them gives her that tingly feeling

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Children

Dancing with Memories by Sally Yule

Reviewed by Gail McDonald Dancing with Memories was written by Sally Yule with this being her inaugural book. Sally is Managing Director of Humble Access an organisation focussed on Executive Coaching, governance and consultancy in Health and Aged Care. The book was written in consultation with Professor Ralph Martins and Maggie Beer with a portion

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Children

Neon’s Secret Universe by Sibéal Pounder

Reviewed by Gail McDonald Sibéal Pounder is the author of two previous much-loved and seriously stylish children’s fiction series, Witch Wars and Bad Mermaids. Prior to becoming a full-time writer, she worked for the Financial Times. Sibéal is also a talented illustrator and lives in England. Neon’s Secret Universe takes the reader on a journey

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Children

Backyard Buddies by Andy Geppert

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve This book of backyard buddies, delightfully depicted in just twenty pages, could soon be regarded as an historic document, as grandparents are known to bemoan the changes that have occurred in their lifetimes when their yards were once visited by a great variety of creatures, including grasshoppers, beetles, butterflies and lizards.

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Children

August & Jones by Pip Harry

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve Children’s books are responsible for some of the best writing available today.  Such is their quality that many which were published decades ago (Harry the Dirty Dog is just one example) are still very much loved today.  One that is bound to join the group is the recently published August &

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Children

The World’s Worst Pets by David Walliams

Reviewed by Patricia Simms-Reeve David Walliams never fails to strike an irresistible and funny chord with young children. His latest series of books, including The World’s Worst Parents, The World’s Worst Teachers and The World’s Worst Children, have sold millions of copies and establishes him as one of the most successful children’s writers of all

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