The material on this page is available to AustLit subscribers. If you are a subscriber or are from a subscribing organisation, please log in to gain full access. To explore options for subscribing to this unique teaching, research, and publishing resource for Australian culture and storytelling, please contact us or find out more.
'The countdown to Book Week is on and parents and students are already planning their costumes for the annual parade. It’s great fun. The kids love to dress up as their favourite book characters (or superheroes and fairies…) and it’s an opportunity to promote and celebrate reading. ...'
'This eclectic collection of creative pieces is a treasure trove of tales. With 52 contributors, there is something for every middle to YA reader, even if not all readers will love all the stories. Short stories are divided into contemporary, adventure, crime, fantasy, science fiction, romance, ghost, horror, historical and humour. There are also illustrations, poetry and a graphic story. Styles range from the philosophical (Sofie Laguna’s Hope Cannot be Photographed) to the wry (Lorraine Marwood’s The Frog Diaries). At the back, there’s an interesting paragraph about each of the contributors. ...'
'Counting Through the Day is an attractive picture book, from the colourful front cover and interesting endpapers, to the engaging content. It takes counting beyond the usual 1 to 10, stimulating interest in the unlimited possibilities of number and challenging the child. ...'
'Stripes in the Forest is a thought-provoking and memorable picture book suitable for all ages. The messages about endangered animals are strong and powerful and leave a lasting impression on the reader as the text and illustrations work together to create a moving experience. ...'
'Barnaby the bunny wants to plant seeds and grow fruit rather than just dig in the ground. When the Mayor of Bunnyville hears of this he scoffs that “Bunnies dig” and forbids any rabbit to grow anything. To overcome this edict, Barnaby devises a scheme involving a fake treasure map to encourage all the rabbits into digging and then he uses the abandoned holes to plant his seeds and trees. ...'
'When Summerlee, older sister of sixteen year old Jamie, wins seven and half million dollars in a lottery their younger sister, eight year old Phoebe, is kidnapped and held to ransom. The kidnapper will only make contact with Jamie who, with his keen mathematical brain and a penchant for logical analysis, tries to out think and out manoeuvre the kidnapper using some of the principles of Game Theory. ...'
'Second book in this exciting series, Olive of Groves and the Great Slurp of Time, took me back to my childhood love of The Folk of the Faraway Tree series. Here lies a modern day Enid Blyton classic brimming with quirky and charming language, eccentric characters and wonderfully imaginative adventures to far off lands (and eras). ...'
'A wombat travels through an Australian alpine landscape, making his way past sheep, the stockman’s hut, children with horses, and many Australian animals. After trudging through the snow he eventually makes it home to his warm burrow. Throughout the narrative the wombat passes many animals. ...'
'This picture book is a celebration of differences. Two unnamed girls are the main characters, both very different to each other in what and how they do things. Not only are the girls different to each other, their fathers are also different, with each father very much like the other girl. ...'
'This sweeping fantasy filled with magical worlds, eccentric characters and ripping adventures is anchored by plucky young heroine Tuesday McGillycuddy. Young fantasy fans will be swept up in this tale that imagines the worlds created in the minds of writers exist in a kind of parallel universe, and that writers can travel into these worlds and meet the characters of their own creation. ...'
'What could be worse than living a lie? This is the burden thirteen year old Yong must carry as he lives the life of a dutiful son when his heart wishes to defy his father. He is tormented by this realisation and hopes his ancestors cannot see his honour is a farce. Yong’s Father and other villagers have borrowed a great deal of money from a moneylender for their passage from the poverty of China to the promised wealth of the Australian goldfields. ...'
'Dash isn’t a very well behaved pet— he doesn’t behave at puppy school, he chews books and wrecks the garden, he’s not very good at playing fetch and he takes absolutely ages to go for a walk. He dribbles, leaves puddles and makes a mess which makes mum mad. What a naughty puppy! Dash’s owner, and we the reader, believe Dash is a dog, but after exploring their world, we discover that Dash isn’t a dog at all but a misunderstood snail! ...'
'I read Sally Morgan’s wonderful book My Place many years ago and it left a lasting impression, so I was very excited to review her picture book The Midnight Possum. It tells the story of a possum who helps reunite a mother possum with one of her twin babies through a dangerous mission that involves falling down a chimney into a house. ...'
'Anyone who has had to put a reluctant toddler to bed will smile at this book’s storyline. Mum is trying to put ‘sleepy head’ to bed, but he resists and offers multiple alternatives instead from his cat to his goldfish to his elderly neighbour (whose names all rhyme with sleepy head). ...'
'I took this book with me to read while the dentist put braces onto my daughter’s teeth, and was laughing so much that I had to read paragraphs out to the dentist to justify my outbursts. That’s because the humour in this book is of the wonderful ‘laugh-out-loud’ variety. ...'
'Little Georgie is trailing her older siblings on a walk on a windy day. Vainly trying to keep up as they run ahead, she makes her own adventure using the imaginative powers that have been sparked by the beauty of nature around her. Leaves, flowers, clouds and a web fire her elfin mind to create anew game, Incredibilia. Naturally Harriet and Max eventually join in. ...'
'A joyous romp of a story where the rules of an freshly minted club are tested and refined to include Poppy who proves herself to be more than worthy of membership of a club that began with an unfair and biased premise that boys could rule. Max and Ollie after taking advantage of Poppy’s eagerness to please, acknowledge her spirit and bravery and make her an equal partner and seal the deal with their “silly Ricker Racker” dance. ...'