Romi’s Best of 2016


Reviewer Romi shares her best reads of 2016…

Middle Grade

Olive of Groves and the Great Slurp of Time (Olive of Groves #2), Katrina Nannestad (text), Lucia Masciullo (illus.)

Reminding me of my childhood love for Enid Blyton stories, this exciting book is full of quirky and charming language, eccentric characters and wondrously imaginative adventures to far off lands and eras. My favourite aspects of Nannestad’s storytelling is her ability to enliven your senses and her range of authentic emotions. Unputdownable!

Picture Books

Australia Illustrated, Tania McCartney

This book is a festive visual celebration, containing marvellous snippets of our beautiful land. Although her first illustrated book, McCartney has a knack for encapsulating a glorious amount of detail and design to take us on this wonderful journey around the country. My kids and I loved exploring each State in Australia; from spotting familiar sites to discovering new mysteries of the unknown, and giggling along at the cute and quirky nuances.

Clarrie’s Pig Day Out, Jen Storer (author), Sue DeGennaro (illus.)

This is one of the funniest, most inventive books, with brilliant word play and twists of language. Reading this with my girls always ended in fits of giggles, shouts and wiggling bottoms! A sweet and hilarious story of the eccentric Clarrie and his dog Bert in a mixed-up, bothersome day out, is an absolutely cracking read-aloud experience for preschoolers and beyond. And the simple colour palette and details in the illustrations are lots of fun, too. Highly recommended.

Pandora, Victoria Turnbull

This book is simply exquisite. The flow of the words and the sensual illustrations are equally as silky and smooth as its gorgeous silky cover. This memorable fable reminds me of a combination between Bob Graham’s How to Heal a Broken Wing, Glenda Millard’s The Duck and the Darklings, and a touch of Elise Hurst’s Adelaide’s Secret World. In a lonely, derelict land of broken things, Pandora longs for someone to love. I just adored the unexpected elements of beauty, life, colour and magic that eventuate because of her compassion and yearning for connection. A beautiful book with a beautiful message of hope and generating change for the better.

A bit about reviewer Romi Sharp…

Romi Sharp taught in a range of roles in early childhood and primary school settings for almost 10 years before becoming a mum, writer and avid participant in the world of children’s literature.  Her reviews appear in several literary publications, and she very much enjoys reviewing for Reading Time.  Romi is also the founder of the Australian online support group for writers and illustrators; Just Write For Kids.

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