Review: In the Bush Book and Jigsaw Puzzle – Roland Harvey

In the Bush Book and Jigsaw Puzzle

Roland Harvey

Allen & Unwin

                ISBN: 9781760878429

RRP $19.99

Ages 5-10

 

Description:

A fabulously entertaining book and jigsaw gift set from one of Australia’s favourite illustrators.

 

Wombat Flat’s the best!

We camped out near the Cascades, stayed up all night to see the sunrise, nearly got snowed in at Mt Misery … and rode across the Razorback.

And a squillion other things that you’ll find out when you come with us to Wombat Flat.

 

A delightful book and puzzle gift set of an Australian classic for the whole family to enjoy. The 400mm x 490mm jigsaw comprises 150 pieces.

 

https://www.allenandunwin.com/browse/books/childrens/In-the-Bush-Book-and-Jigsaw-Puzzle-Roland-Harvey-9781760878429

 

 

My View:

This book and puzzle combination were something I was very excited to receive; previous to this I have only discovered one other similar combination, this is such a rare and wonderful find. Puzzles for this age group (150 pieces) are rare, it seems there are plenty of toddler age-appropriate puzzles everywhere you look; floor puzzles, wooden peg puzzles, children’s’ tv character related puzzles, puzzles of a maximum of about 20 pieces but puzzles that are suitable for the next age group – pre-schoolers are a hidden gem and I am glad I have discovered one more to add to the collection.

 

The puzzle component of this combination gift pack (excellent for Christmas – you still have time to order) has 150 pieces – perfect for those inquisitive minds; perhaps read the hilariously funny hardback book first then work on the puzzle together, discussing sections as you complete. This is a great resource – such a fun way to develop those comprehension, language and fine motor skills.

 

Review: Christmas Tales – Willaim McInnes

William McInnes

Christmas Tales

Hachette Australia

ISBN: 9780733644733

RRP $32.99

Description:

‘Tis the season to be jolly! One of Australia’s favourite storytellers is back with a collection of stories about everyone’s favourite family holiday.

 

I can’t help it if I’m a boring conservative dag, but I love Christmas, always have and hopefully always will. Whatever brand of faith you fly under, even if you proclaim you don’t have one, Christmas is a time of generosity, good citizenship and decency.

It’s the holiday where shopping centres become a sea of dazed shoppers bearing checklists as long as your arm, lunch is a never-ending buffet of prawns and ham and your electricity bill is doubly struck by having to run the fan all day and keep those decorative lights blinking through the night.

William McInnes, bestselling author of FATHERHOOD, WORSE THINGS HAPPEN AT SEA, and A MAN’S GOT TO HAVE A HOBBY tackles the silly season in a way only he can – telling stories brimming with good humour and nostalgia, to remind us what Christmas is all about: family.

 

My View:

One-part cheekiness, one-part fun and one-part memoir, this read is entertaining, hilarious, poignant at times and so relatable.

I really enjoy William McInnes writing style; a mix of witty storytelling (I do wish I could be one of your dinner guests one day, it would be so fun to hear you reminisce), stream of consciousness insights into the life, escapades and thoughts of this popular Australian actor and writer as he recounts Christmas past.

 

There is wonderful recounting of childhood innocence as Christmas is explored; the gift giving, the myths of Santa (in his many guises), family fun and rituals and then we are privileged to hear more anecdotes, more memories, sweet and bitter sweet.

 

William McInnes is a natural writer and I enjoy his “tell all” style and humour.

Review: Grumbelina – Esther Krogdahl and Aleksandra Szmidt (illustrator)

Grumbelina

Esther Krogdahl

Aleksandra Szmidt (illustrator)

Hachette Children’s’ Books

ISBN: 9781869714291

RRP $16.99

 

Description:

Hazel Spratt was an agreeable child. Never impatient, unruly or wild. But when Hazel turns three-and-a-half, her parents notice a change. She is no longer their polite and pleasant daughter, Hazel, she is now Grumbelina, ‘a grumpy child, so disgruntled yet small, with a list of complaints that could cover a wall.’ Settle down and relax for a moment, this humorous and delightfully illustrated picture book takes a tongue-in-cheek look at tantrums – perfect for every home.

 

My View:

Grumbelina is a book that anyone who cares for young children, actually let’s reframe that – anyone who cares for any child/toddler, pre-schooler/teen will relate to this book😊

This book is a tongue in cheek look at the multiple personalities that make a complete child; happy, sad, engaging, enchanting… grumbly.  Those incredulous moments – when the peas touched the carrots on the plate, the cup was the wrong colour, you didn’t mind read the situation correctly, you should have known…you know the list 😊

 

Delightfully illustrated, a humorous exploration of childhood, this book is sure to put a smile on your and your toddlers face.

 

 

 

Review: Dinner at Rose’s – Danielle Hawkins

Diner at Rose’s

Danielle Hawkins

Allen & Unwin

ISBN: 9781742379395

 

Description:

After Jo Donnelly finds her best friend having sex with her boyfriend in a chair, she flees city life to take up a temporary job at the physiotherapy clinic in her small home town. Honorary Aunty Rose takes it upon herself to act as cupid.

 

My View:

Do not be put off by the brief description that reads as chick lit/romance – Danielle Hawkins writes fiction with humour and depth and portrays rural life in a vibrant reality. There is always a very human, poignant narrative thread in Danielle’s books – and Aunt Rose is the pivotal poignant character in this read.  We all need an Aunt Rose in our life.

 

I very much enjoyed this early read from this author – I have read several of her books including Chocolate Cake for Breakfast, The Pretty Delicious Café, When it All Went to Custard;  her reflections of rural life are always interesting, engaging, poignant and satisfying. Such enjoyable writing!

 

Guest Review: The Reluctant Jillaroo – Kaz Delaney

 

The Reluctant Jillaroo

The Reluctant Jillaroo

Kaz Delaney

Allen & Unwin AU

ISBN: 9781925266061

Description:

Surf-loving Heidi impersonates her horse-mad twin to help Harper get a scholarship to attend the much sought-after agricultural school in this rural romance from Australia’s queen of teen, Kaz Delaney. Suitable for teen readers of Rachael Treasure.

Harper Gage has won the opportunity of a lifetime – ten days at Winmaroo Jillaroo and Jackaroo school. The camp could give her the recommendation she needs to go to the exclusive Agricoll for years 11 and 12. But when an accident leaves Harper hospitalised, her twin sister, Heidi, goes in her place. The only problem is that Heidi is not much of a country girl – not like her sister. And to make life even more complicated, her sister’s biggest rival Trent is going to be there. Will she be able to fool him?

And then the reality of the school hits Heidi hard. It’s all dust, snakes and heat – a million miles away from the surf she loves. When she meets the fun and handsome Chaz, life at the school suddenly doesn’t seem so bad, although with Trent acting up and trouble brewing with the other students, Heidi’s not sure how long she can keep her identity secret. And if her secret is revealed, will Chaz ever be able to trust her again

Brenda’s Review:

When Harper Gage injured herself the night before she was to leave for the ten day agricultural school course, which would hopefully set her up for a scholarship at Agricoll in Tamworth, identical twin sister Heidi didn’t think twice. Heidi would be Harper for the duration, and she hoped she could pull it off. Harper loved horses; anything country – while Heidi was a lover of the surf and city. But she had to try – it was her fault Harper was injured after all.

Winmaroo Jillaroo and Jackaroo school was amazing. But Heidi was terrified. When she met Poppy, her horse for the time she’d be there, she fell in love. Poppy was a delightful girl, quiet and secure; Heidi felt Poppy was the only one who understood her. With Trent at the camp – someone Harper went to school with – and the kind hearted and fun Chaz, Heidi’s stress levels climbed. But it was when things started to go wrong that Heidi was sure her secret would be exposed. What would she do if that happened? Would Harper lose everything she’d worked for?

The Reluctant Jillaroo is my first by Aussie author Kaz Delaney and I loved it! Laugh out loud entertainment, as well as some teary moments, plus the usual teenage angst – all set in the rural countryside of NSW around Scone, horse capital of Australia. And I had no idea who the culprit was until the reveal! A really enjoyable read, The Reluctant Jillaroo is one I highly recommend. 5 stars.

Post Script: Duck Gets A Job – Sonny Ross

Duck Gets A Job

Duck Gets a Job

Sonny Ross

Five Mile Press

ISBN: 9781760405359

 

Description:

Duck wants a job. All his friends work in big city banks, and they never stop going on about how much they love it. Duck doesn’t think a job in a big city bank sounds very exciting, but he picks one out of the paper, gets an interview, and gets the job. It’s not long before he realises that the job is NOT for him. He needs to follow his heart and his dream of being an artist. He quits his job at the bank and makes a decision. He is going to be an artist! He puts all the pictures he has drawn into a portfolio and goes off for another interview. He gets the job! He loves the job!

 

 

My View:

The book will delight both child and the adult reader – the child ( recommended for 4 + years)  will delight in the fabulous illustrations and Duck’s adventure in the big city; Duck wondering what he should wear, getting lost, feeling nervous…finding happiness.  The adult reader will find it hard to contain their laughter as they discover the irony and the humour hidden in plain sight in this read. (See posters on the office walls, thought bubbles, Duck sleeping at his desk…) Duck’s journey of self-awareness and self-discovery will resonate with many adults, young children, will for now, just enjoy this unique narrative and the fun illustrations. For the older child, Duck’s adventures provide plenty of opportunities for the reader to initiate conversations about following your dreams…being yourself.

 

I enjoyed this book 🙂

 

 

 

Wendy James…Welcome Back… Part 2

golden-child

Do you have fun with your characters, inject some humour to counter balance the darkness? Wendy shares how she achieves this in The Golden Child (and by the way – I too really enjoyed reading the blog posts/comments injected in the narrative, they made me smile).

In The Mail 20th February 2017

The wonderful people at  Five Mile Press and Bonnier Publishing sent me this delightful assortment of children’s books this week and I cant wait to share my reviews with you.  These books are gorgeous –  the illustrations are award winning, in some the irony and humour will even have some adults smiling as they read to their little ones and the narratives are charming and educational. Look out for these books when thinking of gifts for the 3 + children in your lives.

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In The Mail This Week 30th October 2016

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Some great reads received in the mail this week -The Barry Maitland’s Slaughter Park is a win from Text Publishers- thank you very much – I am a big fan of the Harry Belltree series.  What would you read next? One of these or is their something else that demands to be read next? What’s on the top of your TBR today?