Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Book Review: Swimming On The Lawn by Yasmin Hamid (For Middle Readers) 

Swimming On The Lawn offers a lovely glimpse into what life would be like growing up in the 1960's in the town of Khartoun, in Sudan.
The main character is a young girl named Farida, who lives with her parents and siblings, Amir, Sami, and Selma.
During the summertime, Farida enjoys spending time with her family as they experience many different adventures together, including attending a Mawlid festival.
The author describes the culture, foods, and celebrations very well. 
The reader gets to discover that this is a very close-knit family who enjoy each other's company immensely. 
I really enjoyed this story, however, I felt that the ending was too abrupt. I would've liked to find out a bit more about what I'd consider to be a major part of the story that happens right before the end. 
I would recommend this story for readers aged 9+ years.

Swimming On The Lawn is available now through Fremantle Press, and has an RRP of $16.99 

Friday, 22 September 2017

Children's Book Review: Reena's Rainbow, written by Dee White, Illustrated by Tracie Grimwood

Young Reena is deaf and whilst she loves to play with her friends at the park, she often feels as though she is the odd one out. 
One day she notices a stray dog in the park, and it isn't long before he forms a very special bond with Reena. 
But Reena still feels different at times. Then Reena's mother explains that we are all like the colours in a rainbow, each one special and different in their own way, and when they are put together, they make one.
Gradually, Reena learns to accept her differences just as Dog and her friends do.

This book is recommended for children aged between 4-8 years old. It is a fantastic book with the important message of acceptance and diversity.
The book is available from www.ekbooks.org and wherever good books are sold. The book has an RRP of $19.99
For further information on Reena's Rainbow, head here

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Recent Release Children's Picture Books from Penguin Random House Australia

Froggy Green by Anna Walker

Joe's favourite colour is froggy green, but what about his friends? What colours do they like most? Sky blue, sunshine yellow, or fireman red?
This adorable board book is aimed at children  up to 5 years old, and helps to develop an understanding of different colours and preferences in young readers. It is a lovely way to introduce teaching colours to your child. 
RRP $14.99 

A Bag And A Bird by Pamela Allen 

I have read many of Pamela Allen's books to my children over the years; she is one of our favourites.
Her latest book is A Bag And A Bird, which tells the story of a young boy named John who lives in Kirribilli, Sydney. 
One day, he organises a trip to the Botanic Gardens with his mum. As they make their journey to the gardens, they pass many of Sydney's famous landmarks and attractions, including Circular Quay, Harbour Bridge, and the Opera House. 
When they arrive at the Botanic Gardens, a plastic bag containing John's lunch drifts away, and a flock of birds scrabble over it, devouring the contents. The plastic bag continues to fly away and ends up caught on a bird's wings, creating a parachute effect, and landing the bird in water. The bag rapidly fills with water, and the gathering crowd anxiously look on as the bird struggles to break free. An elderly passer-by bravely takes on the task of rescuing the bird.
This is a fantastic picture book with an important message about littering, told in Pamela's original writing style.
RRP $24.99

What's Up Top? by Marc Martin 

What's Up Top is a book that will allow your child's imagination to run wild at the possibilities of just what could be up top of the ladder!
Is it a moon, or a yellow balloon? 
Or perhaps it's a hat, or a black-and-white cat?
This simple picture book explores creativity in young readers.
RRP $24.99

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

Children's Picture Book Review: Finn And Puss by Robert Vescio & Melissa Mackie 

Finn is a young boy who is quite lonely. One day, he comes across a cat named Puss, who is lost.
Her takes her in and looks after her, and the two become very attached to each other.
Then, shortly after, Finn notices a sign put up by Puss's owner, and he needs to make a difficult decision..

Will Finn be able to part with Puss, or is their bond too strong to break? 

This is a book that is suitable for early readers as it doesn't have a lot of words, and the story is quite simple to follow.
It teaches children the importance of decision-making, and also shows that doing things that are right even if it doesn't seem like it at the time, can have it's own rewards. 

Finn And Puss is released this October through EK Books.
It has an RRP of $19.99
For further information on this title, head here

Friday, 15 September 2017

DK Find Out! Series

DK have a range of books that aim to provide children with amazing facts about topics that they would like to know more about.
Topics include: Science, Volcanoes, Sharks, Engineering, Coding, and Bugs.
The books have a lot of information which is explained in a simple format, and there are many  detailed illustrations and photographs included aswell.
I was given two of the latest books in the DK Find Out series - Human Body and Earth, which were both released recently.


What I really like about these books are how child- friendly they are. There is a quiz included to test your child's knowledge and to allow them to find out even more facts.
There is a detailed glossary which makes it easy for your child to find out the definition of a term they may not have heard of before, and there is a blank page towards the end of the book where your child can write down facts that may be of particular interest to them. 

The Earth book includes fantastic photographic images our beautiful planet, with up-to-date facts.
Areas covered include: Climate Change. Erosion, Weather, Oceans, and Earthquakes. 

The Human Body book explains emotions, organs, exercise, senses and digestion, to name a few.
There are interesting facts about the body included.

The books are aimed at readers 6-9 years old, and have an RRP of $14.99 each.
For further information about the DK Find Out! range, head here 

Monday, 11 September 2017

Book Review: Maybe by Morris Gletizman

Maybe by Morris Gleitzman was released this August, and follows on from the other books featuring the main character, Felix: Once, Then, Now, After, and Soon.
Morris likes to call these books a 'family' as opposed to a series, one reason being that the books can be read out of order, or as stand alone books.

Both my eldest daughter (aged 13), and I have read the other books in this 'family', and we really enjoyed them. 
The books centre around the effects of World War II, with a lot of harrowing moments told through the voice of young survivor, Felix.
This latest installment is equally as good. 

In Maybe, the year is 1946, and 14-year-old Felix is given the opportunity to be flown to Australia and start a new life far from Poland. His pregnant friend Anya joins him on his journey, but it is far from smooth sailing for either of them as they are faced with challenges of great proportions.

I read this within a couple of days as it is such an interesting story, and Felix is such an endearing character. He has been through so much for someone such a young age, but he is determined, intelligent, and kind. 
I recommend this set of books to both young readers and older readers.
Morris has captured the tragedy of the Holocaust and the effects it had, not only on those trying to survive, but their families and friends, both at the time, as well as in generations to come. 

Maybe is released through Penguin Random House Australia, and has an RRP of $19.99
For further information, head here

Thursday, 7 September 2017

Children's Picture Book Review:  Guff by Aaron Blabey

Aaron Blabey, best-selling author of Thelma The Unicorn, Pig The Pug and Piranhas Don't Eat Bananas (to name a few), is back with this equally awesome book titled Guff.

Guff is an adorable little friend made out of fabric that accompanies a girl everywhere she goes. She has had him since she was very young, and can't bear to part with him (even if Guff is a bit grubby and stinky!)

I adored the illustrations in this book, and Guff reminded me of my youngest daughter's own Guff - hers is a scruffy toy dog named Patch that she has had for years and still sleeps with every night! When she was younger, she would bring him along when we went out, and we may have even turned back on more than one occasion to get him if he was forgotten at home.

So, if your little one has a lovely fabric friend that they adore, just like my daughter does, then they are sure to be entertained by this story.

Guff was released in July through Penguin Random House Australia, and has an RRP of $16.99 

For further information, head here

Monday, 4 September 2017

Book Review: Finding Gobi - Dion Leonard 

I hope that everyone had a lovely weekend, and for those that celebrate Father's Day, I hope it was an enjoyable one, just as ours was. 

I recently read Finding Gobi, as it had been a while since I'd read a non-fiction book, and I'd heard good things about this one. 
Dion Leonard is an ultra marathon runner, originally from Australia, now living in the UK with his wife Lucja.
He competes in marathons in extreme places throughout the world, often in harsh conditions - for example, the Kalahari and Sahara deserts.
In 2016, whilst competing in a 155 mile trek across the Gobi desert, Dion notices a stray little dog, whom he decides to call 'Gobi'.
The dog takes an instant liking to him, and little Gobi runs alongside Dion for almost 80 miles over the Tian Shan mountains. 
By the end of the race, they have formed an unbreakable bond. Dion vows to bring Gobi home with him to the UK, but what follows is a very long and stressful journey for them both.

Finding Gobi is a very sweet, feel-good story and it was so lovely to read about the relationship Dion has with Gobi, and the lengths he would go to to ensure that Gobi was safe and cared for throughout their adventure. 
This book is suitable for both young and older readers, (it's about 240 pages in length) and I'm sure that animal lovers in particular will enjoy this incredibly heartwarming story. 
A movie adaptation is also in the works. 

Finding Gobi is available now, RRP $22.99
For further infomation, head here 

Friday, 1 September 2017

Children's Book Review: Dungzilla by James Foley 

Today is the release day for Dungzilla, starring Sally Tinker, who first made her appearance in James Foley's 'Brobot' (released last Spetember through Fremantle Press).
For those who haven't been introduced to Sally, she's the world's foremost inventor under the age of twelve.  
She's a very creative young girl, and has an adorable baby brother named Joe, and I am glad that he is also back for more fun in this latest release.

In Dungzilla, Sally designs The Resizenator - a machine that has the capability of enlarging any object.
But when she makes the mistake of enlarging a dung beetle instead of a pizza slice, Sally needs to find a way to fix the machine before the dung beetle's dung ball destroys everything in its way!

Just like in Brobot, James' cartoon-like illustrations again capture the character's expressions and antics perfectly. The book is aimed at readers 6-10 years old.
 Dungzilla will certainly give your child a good laugh!

For further information on Dungzilla, head here