Archive for July, 2016

Life according to Dani

By Rose Lagercrantz

Illustrated by Eva Eriksson

ISBN 9781776570713

Gecko Press

LifeAccordingToDani_Cover

I loved the first three books about Dani and book number four is no exception. As first chapter books go for new readers, this is perfect. Great line drawings once again, from illustrator Eva Eriksson break up the text and the font is just the right size, as are the short chapters.

Dani and her father have almost always been on their own ever since mum died. Their relationship is tight and loving.

While this is a stand-alone it does follow on from the previous book When I am happiest where dad had had a terrible accident and was in hospital recovering. While in hospital Dani is sent to stay with her best friend in the world, Ella. Their relationship is also one of enduring love and friendship despite being separated when Ella moved away.  Now together they are having fun fishing and exploring and just enjoying each others company.

Dad rings Dani every night just to chat until one night the phone doesn’t ring. Dani begins to worry and as a character I have grown to adore, I can’t help but feel for her and her concerns that maybe Dad has forgotten her.

Of course he hasn’t but soon after he turns up on the island accompanied by his nurse. His nurse however, is now an important person in his life and Dani has much to deal with and it is a struggle for all concerned.

I love how Ella jumps to Dani’s defense when Dani begins to sulk and gets cross with her father. The honesty of  friendships is so important and I know readers will recognize their own best friends when reading about Dani and Ella.

Another sweet adventure in the life of Dani and her best friend Ella. If you have read the others, you will definitely want the latest. If you haven’t met Dani and Ella, check out this new story and you will be wanting to find the rest.

 

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How to hang a witch

By Adriana Mather

ISBN 9780553539479

 

It has been sometime since I posted a YA trailer. Not sure if they are not being made as often but seeing this one, I am glad there are some people out there who still believe in the power of a good trailer. After watching this one I am very keen to get hold of a copy of the book when it comes out next month. Will be down to the bookshops for sure.

Sam  Mather is a descendent of Cotton Mather who was one of the men responsible for the famous witch trials of Salem. When Sam ends up moving to Salem and attending the high school, she is confronted by descendents on the other side who see her as trouble. Being an outsider is never easy and the folks here are not keen to help her. There is also a ghost and a centuries old curse to deal with. Sounds intriguing and one to look out for. Ghosts, witches and curses is striaght up my alley!

 

 

 

Yours Sincerely, Giraffe

By Megumi Iwasa

Illustrated by Jun Takabatake

ISBN 9781927271872

Gecko Press

 

GIraffe_cover-PAPERBACK-IB.indd

Giraffe is bored, as usual. He’d love a friend to share things with. So he writes a letter and sends it as far as possible across the other side of the horizon. There he finds a pen pal—Penguin.

Giraffe knows nothing about penguins and his letters are full of questions. What does a penguin look like? Where is a penguin’s neck?

And so the letters begin to fly from horizon to horizon. (Gecko Press)

 

In his loneliness Giraffe enlists the help of Pelican to deliver letters past the horizon to the unknown other side. When Pelican eventually arrives back with a letter in return, Giraffe is excited and happy but also curious. With wonderful whimsical yet matter of fact, albeit incorrect logic, Giraffe comes up with some strange ideas of what his letter writer Penguin, would look like. The comical line drawings and easy to read text and short chapters make this a perfect read for newly independent readers. So often today, books stretch the boundaries for children so it is lovely to see a sweet feel-good story about friendship that leaves you smiling.  I love the chapter headings too. Just a couple to share.

A bored Giraffe writes his first letter

or

Is the horizon near or far

Letter writing might be on the endangered list but Yours Sincerely, Giraffe show us how wonderful this tradition is and how we need to keep it alive. This will make a good tool for teachers to use when looking at writing. Besides, who could not resist a letter headed Dear Giraffe who is trying to look like a penguin.

Published in August, this is one to look out for.

 

Tangaroa’s Gift

by Mere Whaanga

Te Koha ā Tangaroa

Nā Ngawini Kereru Whakamāori

ISBN 9781775434122

Scholastic NZ

6

I am delighted to see this book is available again, all spruced up and ready for a new audience. It is a bilingual book which is especially important as we celebrate Te Reo this week.

This is a simple but lovely pourquoi tale. It is the myth-like telling of how Paua got his beautiful shiny colours and why they happen to be on the inside of his shell.

Lovely use of language adds to the sense of storytelling and the oral traditions of years goneby. This is ideal to read out loud.

                    And he fashioned for Paua a wonderful coat that sparkled and dazzled with its beauty.

I also adore the beautiful purples, pinks, deep-sea blues and forest greens as images swirl across each page creating movement and mood.

It is more than a simple tale though as it can be used to discuss jealousy, and even bullying but maintaining its under lying message that each of us has beauty within. We all have something that makes us special. That in itself makes this a special book to add to any collection.

 

 

 

 

 

Gus’s Garage

By Leo Timmers

ISBN 9781776570935

Gecko Press

Gus's Garage_Cover_med

This book stands out with its bright bold colours. I love the birds with their cheeky faces as they sit either side of Gus’s garage on the cover of the book. They each have an eye on Gus making him the real focus of this fun picture book.

Gus is a great thinker and knows just how to solve his friends mechanical problems. All sorts of bits and bobs are used to fix problems as one by one they come to Gus in need of his help. After working hard all day helping others Gus finds he has his own problem to solve which he does just perfectly.

Leo Timmers is a writer and illustrator I follow. His work is bright and quirky with so much appeal that it is so easy to become a fan. You will certainly want to check out his other works. A great book to read again and again. I know wee ones will love pointing out the birds as they appear on each page. A delight to read and enjoy.