Author: Admin

Zadie Smith and Nick Laird (text) and Magenta Fox (illustrator), Weirdo, Penguin Random House, April 2021, 32 pp., RRP $27.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780241449608 Who is Kit’s soft, sleepy birthday surprise? A judo loving guinea pig wakes up to find herself surrounded by Kit’s other pets. The pets snigger at her and call her weirdo. Not sure who she is or what her purpose might be, she bravely attempts to fit in but finds herself on an afternoon adventure with Kit’s eccentric neighbour Emily and discovers it is okay to be yourself. When Kit returns from school, she gives her surprise a huge…

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Rosanne Hawke, Fozia and the Quest of Prince Zal, University of Queensland Press, March 2021, 176 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9780702263071 Fozia is a twelve-year-old Pakistani girl who has survived a massive flood in her village but in the process has lost her parents and younger sister. Fortunately, she and her surviving dog Lali are ‘adopted’ by a caring family with two young sons who adore their new ‘sister’. However, Fozia is torn between feeling grateful for her new ‘family’ and not forgetting her own family, holding onto the hope that her missing parents may still be alive. The…

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Jonathan Stroud, The Outlaws Scarlett & Browne, Walker Books, April 2021, 400 pp., RRP $18.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781406394818 Jane Oakley, Jenny Blackwood, and Alice Cardew, three false names for one fierce, redheaded, outlaw. Scarlett McCain doesn’t need anyone else. She survives in the chaotic Seven Kingdoms via her wits, and pistol, and doesn’t look back. And everything had been going just fine too, that is until she saves the weak and naïve Albert Browne, who in return pulls her into the wake of a tsunami of trouble. Albert has a dark past and a power inside him that he can’t…

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Susan Hayes (text) and Sam Rennocks (illustrator), Zoom: Ocean Adventure, Walker Books, April 2021, 36 pp., RRP $25.99 (board), ISBN 9781999967994 Susan Hayes (text) and Susanna Rumiz (illustrator), Zoom: Space Adventure, Walker Books, October 2020, 36 pp., RRP $26.95 (board), ISBN 9781999967987 These introductory adventure books for the very young plunge the child into fascinating worlds. In Space Adventure Ava and her cat visit an International Space Station to bring urgent supplies, fix a broken solar panel, land on the moon, visit the eight planets and witness a supernova all before super. When Noah goes on his Ocean Adventure, he…

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John Michael (text) and Dave Atze (illustrator), Googol Boy and the peculiar incident of the Great Quiz Trophy, Big Sky Publishing, March 2021, 300 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781922387141 A sure-fire way to get kids to read is to make them laugh and Googol Boy certainly delivers. When under-achiever Howie is zapped by lightning while working on his computer, his brain absorbs and stores all the information on the Internet. But how will he control this unexpected power … and find the Great Quiz Trophy, which has mysteriously disappeared? This action-packed book has everything a young reader could want:…

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Kate Gordon, The Ballad of Melodie Rose, University of Queensland Press, June 2021, 182 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9780702263217 As I was reading The Ballad of Melodie Rose by Kate Gordon, an uncomfortable feeling began to grow in the pit of my stomach. This feeling intensified the more I read. Why? Because when I have to review books such as The Ballad of Melodie Rose, I always have a nagging sense that I am not doing the work justice. That nothing I write will perfectly capture the wonder, the depth, the lyrical beauty of this book. Anyway, I guess all I can…

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Christopher Cheng (text) and Liz Duthie (illustrator), Wombat, Walker Books Australia, April 2021, 32 pp., RRP $26.99 (hbk), 9781760651374 “Far underground, where dirt and tree roots mesh, are tunnels that lead to a burrow, and in this burrow Wombat’s day begins.” Wombats are generally nocturnal marsupials, spending most of the daytime in burrows. Author Christopher Cheng brings us another book in the Walker’s Nature book series focussing on Australian native fauna. Each book is written in a narrative style with sections of facts on each spread in different fonts. The reader is introduced to Wombat tunnelling in burrows, bulldozing through…

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Tanya Hennessy (text) and Leigh Hedstrom (illustrator), Drum Roll Please, It’s Stevie Louise, Allen & Unwin, May 2021, 184 pp., RRP $14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760526412 Drum Roll Please … It’s Stevie Louise is a funny, light-hearted junior fiction title from comedy sensation, Tanya Hennessy. It will appeal to readers who love humorous fiction by writers such as Peter Helliar and Anh Do. Stevie Louise is a lovable 12-year-old with entrepreneurial aspirations. She’s confident, funny and the leader of the pack. She’s got a lot of attitude and she always wears her gold boots (because that’s where her confidence comes from…

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Narisa Togo, When the Sakura Bloom, Berbay Publishing, March 2021, 32pp., RRP $26.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780648953319 This delicately illustrated picture book shares a glimpse in time with people who live in Japan when the cherry blossoms bloom. We see them in March hurrying past the trees on their way to the station to get to work or school, but as the days get longer and warmer, buds and then flowers bloom to everyone’s delight. First the birds discover the blossoms and then people stop in their rush and then, suddenly the Sakura Festival begins, and everyone celebrates. This story is…

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Sean E Avery, Happy as a Hog out of Mud, Larrikin House, March 2021, 36 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781922503008 Warthogs love to play in mud. But not Charlie—It’s Charlesworth actually—Oinkington. Charlesworth isn’t a common hog. He is a sophisticated hog who enjoys poetry, English Breakfast tea and bird watching. Charlesworth is so enlightened that, after a muddy mishap, he sets out to find new friends—sophisticated associates—who share his love of the finer things in life. When he spots the flamingos, Charlesworth feels, at last, he’s found some worthy friends. But it turns out they have less in common…

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