Archive for June, 2019

Song of the River

By Joy Cowley

Illustrated by Kimberly Andrews

ISBN 9781776572535

Gecko Press

Cam is a young child living in the mountains where the snow is thick and the air cold. He often wonders what it would be like to see the ocean. One spring morning, Cam begins to follow the voice of the snow. It calls to him, a trickle at first.

“Come with me. Come with me. I will take you to the sea.”

He journeys in and out of the forest, through tiny villages, following the trickle of water that grows into creeks and rivers. Cam continues following the water till he finally reaches the sea.  He stands in awe of the sea and its wild beauty. For the first time in his life he splashes in the waves and feels the sand between his toes. It is a circular story and Cam ends up safe back home with his grandfather.

Beautifully written, with earthy coloured illustrations, this book provides the story of many rivers and their journey to the sea. The wildlife includes, deer, bears, leaping trout, and numerous others that children will recognise. The end pages provide a map overview of the river’s journey, from the mountains, through the valleys and small towns and all the way to the sea.

A beautiful book with heaps to look at and enjoy as well as insight to our world.

Malamander

By Thomas Taylor

ISBN: 9781406386288

Walker Books

 

 

 

Nobody visits Eerie-on-Sea in the winter. Especially not when darkness falls and the wind howls around Maw Rocks and the wreck of the battleship Leviathan, where even now some swear they have seen the unctuous malamander creep…

The trailer for this book is suitably creepy. I love how in the beginning the reader is being spoken to directly. Keeps you hooked.

I love hearing about new books coming out and find myself very excited at the prospect of reading new adventures and falling in love with different characters.

Wolf Girl 

By Ahn Do

ISBN 9781760525095

AllenandUnwin

 

This sounds so good. Love the cover and love that this is a series. So much to look forward to.

I crawled onto the bank and collapsed, exhausted.
From the dirt, I looked up in amazement at four dogs staring down at me.
Was I dreaming? Had I gone mad? It all seemed very real.
‘You guys saved me!’ I said, as I sat up in my dripping clothes. ‘I owe you.’

When disaster separates Gwen from her family, she must fend for herself, all alone in the wilderness.

Luckily, she’s not alone for long… When a wolf puppy, a Labrador, a Chihuahua, and a greyhound want to make friends, Gwen discovers talents she didn’t know she possessed.

Louisiana’s way home

By Kate DiCamillo

ISBN 9781406385588

Walker Books

 

In this world there are the rescuers and the rescued. I have always fallen into the second category.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two covers for this heartbreaking yet heartwarming story about Louisiana Elefante who is suddenly uprooted in the middle of the night by her Granny. They leave everything behind, even her cat Archie. No time either, to say goodbye to her best friends, Raymie Nightingale and Beverly Tapinski. Which is your favourite cover?

Set in the 1970’s where life was simpler than today and told in the first-person point of view, we see everything from Louisiana’s understanding. We feel her frustration at being forced to travel with her eccentric granny who tells her they have to flee an ancient curse. The journey ends in heartache for Louisiana and she is left to deal with issues way beyond what is expected of a 12 year old. Home for Louisiana is where her friends are but sometimes in life, we learn that home is where you make it.

There is humour, especially with Granny and her teeth. I adore how confident Louisiana is when she takes control of driving the car while her Granny moans in pain from toothache, in the backseat. However, her confidence is driven by fear for her Granny’s situation, which she declares is “dire”.

Louisiana is both strong yet vulnerable. Cynical and untrusting, determined and brave. It is much credit to an author that leaves you worrying or thinking about a character long after you have finished a book. I know in my heart Louisiana will be happy but I would love to give her a hug of reassurance that she knows she is loved and wanted.

I am looking forward to the next novel where Beverly Tapinski will tell her story and I hope there is a big reunion for these three best friends.

 

The World’s Worst Teachers

By David Walliams

ISBN 9780008364007

HarperCollinsUK

 

 

The World’s Worst Teachers follows on from the series The World’s Worst Children which continues to be a huge success and despite having multiple copies in the library, are still in high demand. This book, I think, will be even more in demand as children love the idea of horrible teachers.

David Walliams stories are great for everyone, children to read alone, parents and teachers to read aloud but they are also ideal for reluctant readers which is always a big plus for me.

Due in just two weeks and I will be in the shop straight after work to get my copies. Can’t wait!

Artemis Fowl

By Eoin Colfer

Artemis Fowl is a 12-year-old genius. His family has been part of the criminal world for years and the time is now right for a major battle with powerful fairies who live underground. And they are angry! Artemis Fowl and his many adventures were hugely popular a wee while ago but I bet that with the release of the movie later this year, these fantasy novels will be back in high demand.

It goes without saying that reading the book first will enhance your viewing of the movie.

Magic, fantasy, adventure, thriller, fight for survival. Everything is included in this series of books. Check out your local library or shout yourself a copy of the book. You won’t be disappointed as it is an excellent read. Or you can read the graphic novel versions of this series too. I still have a signed copy of the original book tucked away safe on my bookshelf. Really looking forward to this movie.

The day the plants fought back

By Belinda O’Keefe

Illustrated by Richard Holt

ISBN 9781775435686

 

There is mayhem in the garden when two boys get carried away with their over-zealous playfulness. They have a total lack of respect for everything. They leave the inside of the house in a huge mess and then start out in the backyard by uprooting vegetables and using them as weapons. The plants are not happy and together, they stand up for themselves and decide to teach the boys a lesson. Funny, mischievous and it is good to see the boys come to the realisation that their behaviour has consequences. The illustrations are brightly coloured and playful, very suited to the story.

A fun story for children, particularly aimed at three to seven year old readers. I do like the rather angry expressions on the faces of the different vegetables. The are certainly not very impressed with the boys and their behaviour. Yes, there is a moral to the story but the fun also stands out. And yes, the boys learn their lesson, so all is good in the neighbourhood.

Two boisterous boys who made lots of noise, found it dreadfully hard to be good;
always charging and barging, fighting and biting, and not acting quite as they should.

Patrick and Wayne drove their parents insane, but they could be good if they tried.
Still, they’d roar and they’d claw, they’d scoot and they’d shoot until someone eventually cried.

 

 

 

Flit the Fantail and the Mystery Eggs

By Kat Merewether

ISBN 9781775435112

I am delighted to say that Flit the fantail is back for a whole new adventure. He is just as charming and curious as he was in Flit the Fantail and the flying flop.

This time Flit finds eight rubbery eggs all on their own. He asks all the forest birds if the eggs belong to them but they all say no. Their eggs are different. Their eggs are not rubbery and white. Flit becomes more anxious as he searches for their owner. There is a happy ending and after the eggs hatch, the babies are reunited with their mother. Who is their mother? I’m not saying as that would ruin the surprise but it is definitely a mystery for younger readers to investigate.

This is a great picture book for schools and families learning about many of our native New Zealand birds. The illustrations are adorable, with wide-eyed birds and their very expressive faces. I love the colour spread where they are all suddenly frightened. It is a talented illustrator who can show fear in their characters eyes, even when the characters are just so cute. Love it.  Reassures us all that we are all different but we all belong together and that teamwork will help solve most problems. I hope Flit and his friends come back for more adventures. I’m very happy the friendly ladybird is also back with Flit. You can look out for it on almost every page. 

There is also a Te Reo version of this gorgeous picture book.

To trap a thief

By Des Hunt

ISBN 9781775435648

Scholastic NZ

 

Des Hunt always manages to capture the essence of what it is to be young and conflicted. His latest book is another example of a rollicking good read, full of adventure, conflict, mystery and in this case, a good quest as well.

In To trap a thief  we have Connor, a 12 year old boy who is still struggling with the death of his father and facing the reality that his mother is ready to remarry. The man she wants to marry is Morgan but Morgan’s own parents are not so keen on the idea of their son marrying either.  Tensions are high when everyone meets for the first time and go badly.  Connor and Morgan’s father go off for a walk leaving the others behind to discuss things. On their walk they run into one of the town’s bullies and this is just the beginning of a heap of things that go wrong. To try and get to know each other, Morgan’s parents take Connor and his best friend, Harvey, on holiday with them in a newly bought camper van.  While on holiday Connor is sent clues to missions via his phone but he has no idea who is sending them. The boys begin the quest but run into a stranger, Frank Brown who seems too good to be true, especially as he starts handing out $100 notes.  Indeed, Frank has an agenda of his own and it leads to danger for everyone and an actual fight for survival.

Fast-paced, believable characters, and a good solid read from one of New Zealand’s much-loved and award winning authors. I love how Des Hunt incorporates a little bit of science into his novels and he does it seamlessly.

Great read for 10 plus.