Roses are Blue by Sally Murphy, ill. Gabriel Evans, ISBN 9781922244376, Walker Books Australia

roses are blue


A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

This is a book about a girl called Amber who loves her mother but her mother has changed after an accident. Amber doesn’t want her mum coming to the Mothers Day party at school because she’s very embarrassed about her.

I really liked this book because at the start it made me feel very sad and then at the end I was happier. It was quite quick to read and had some interesting words.

The style of the drawings was the sort I like. They were black and white and there were lots of them. When you look at the pictures you can understand what’s happening in the story even better.

I would recommend Roses are Blue to my friends because it’s a change from the other sorts of books we read and it could be a true story.

This book would be good for ages 6 and older.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Meet Nellie. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Matilda (8) reviewed Roses are Blue as part of Sally Murphy’s blog tour launching the book. We have one copy of this book to give away to an eager reader (yay! yay!).


Roses are Blue is Sally Murphy’s third verse novel. As well as nonfiction and fiction, Sally has had many poems published. You can read some of her recent poetry on the Poetry Tag blog.

1. Visit the Poetry Tag blog and check out the poems there.
2. Choose your favourite poem by Sally on the Poetry Tag site.
3. Email us and in 50 words or fewer let us know the poem you’ve chosen and why. Include your name and postal address. (If under 18 ask a parent or teacher to email your entry to us.)

Some fine print:

  • Entries are open to adults and children. Children will need to ask a parent or teacher to email their entry to us.
  • Entrants outside Australia welcome — but we will only post the book to an Australian address, so you’ll need to nominate an Australian address for us to post it to if you win.
  • You may only enter this giveaway once.
  • This giveaway ends 10am WST (that’s when it’s 10am in Perth, Western Australia) on Wednesday 6 August 2014.
  • All entrants’ names will be put into a soup bowl and one name will be drawn out to be the winner.
  • We will announce the winner on the blog within a week of notifying the winner.
  • This competition is not open to immediate family members of Alphabet Soup employees.
  • The prize includes one copy of Roses are Blue by Sally Murphy — mailed to one winner.
  • The winner will be notified via email.

This giveaway is part of a blog tour to celebrate the launch of Roses are Blue. For more about Sally Murphy, verse novels and Roses are Blue, check out the other stops on the blog tour:

Tuesday, July 22nd Karen Tyrrell (includes a giveaway)
Wednesday, July 23 Alphabet Soup (includes a giveaway)
Thursday, July 24 Kids’ Book Review
Friday, July 25 Write and read with Dale
Saturday, July 26 Diva Booknerd
Sunday, July 27 Children’s Books Daily
Monday, July 28 Boomerang Books Blog
Tuesday, July 29 Australian Children’s Poetry
Wednesday, July 30 Sally Murphy

The Secret Abyss by Darrell Pitt, ISBN 9781922147967, Text Publishing

The Secret Abyss


A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Imagine living in a world where an infamous villain could be around the corner. One of your long lost friends comes bleeding and gives you a message but because he is dying the messages are shuffled. Jack Mason and his allies are on a mission to capture the Chameleon, a dangerous assassin, who has escaped from prison. Somebody else, however, is involved in the case. Charles Ashgrove, who is apparently linked to an infamous terrorist group, helped the Chameleon escape to achieve numerous crimes. The first on their list is to kill the president. They have already captured an ingenious inventor to build their deadly weapon “The Whip of Fire”.

Will Jack and his allies be able to save the president? Can they catch the Chameleon and punish Charles Ashgrove in time?

Second in the series to The Firebird Mystery, The Secret Abyss was an enjoyable book with hilarious jokes, and scary villains. I was tied to the book from start to finish, experiencing the same story as the characters.

I would recommend this book to hungry bookworms who love a twist of dare and mystery. This book ended surprisingly, and I was both sad for the characters, yet happy for them as well. I would rate it a perfect score: 10/10.

Celine is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Shadow Sister. If YOU would like to send us a book review,check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

poster for book event wendy orr

You are invited to celebrate the publication of Rescue on Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr!

When: Saturday 26 July 2014 at 2pm
Where: Petersen’s Bookshop, 103 High St, Hastings VIC 3915
RSVP: info@teachersresource.com.au by Wednesday 23 July 2014



poster hasel and rose book launches

Three cities, three book launches for Hasel and Rose by Carline Magerl!

Caroline Magerl will be demonstrate her watercolour technique, accompanied by clarinetist Janet Brewer. (And you could win the demonstration watercolour as a door prize!)

Here’s where to go.

Thursday, August 7 at 6 pm
Books Kinokuniya,
level 2, The Galleries,
500 George St, Sydney

Saturday August 9 at 3 pm
Little Book Room
759 Nicholson Street, Carlton North

Friday, August 22 at 6 pm
Black Cat Books
179 Latrobe Terrace, Paddington

Meet Nellie by Penny Matthews, ill. Lucia Masciullo, ISBN 9780143306238, Puffin

Meet Nellie


Matilda borrowed this book from her school library.

This book is set in 1849. An Irish girl (Nellie) and her friend (Mary) are on their way to South Australia from a workhouse in Ireland and they have to look for jobs. If Nellie does get a job, will she ever see Mary again?

I borrowed this book from the library because my friend is from Ireland and she said she really liked it. I learned that in 1849 it was really hard to find jobs and that even kids had to find jobs or they’d starve. Also, it was very easy to get ill and there was no-one to help you if you did and lots of people died.

Meet Nellie is a mixture of happy and sad. There are four books in this series and this is the first book. I want to read the others because this one was so interesting.

I recommend this book for ages 8 to 14.


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of How to Make Small Things with Violet Mackerel. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!


Who played with a Dangerous Toy and suffered a Catastrophe of considerable Dimensions

by Hilaire Belloc

When George’s Grandmamma was told
That George had been as good as gold,
She promised in the afternoon
To buy him an Immense BALLOON.
And so she did; but when it came,
It got into the candle flame,
And being of a dangerous sort
Exploded with a loud report!
The lights went out! The windows broke!
The room was filled with reeking smoke.
And in the darkness shrieks and yells
Were mingled with electric bells,
And falling masonry and groans,
And crunching, as of broken bones,
And dreadful shrieks, when, worst of all,
The house itself began to fall!
It tottered, shuddering to and fro,
Then crashed into the street below —
Which happened to be Savile Row.

When help arrived, among the dead
Were Cousin Mary, Little Fred,
The Footmen (both of them), the Groom,
The man that cleaned the Billiard-Room,
The Chaplain, and the Still-Room Maid.
And I am dreadfully afraid
That Monsieur Champignon, the Chef,
Will now be permanently deaf —
And both his aides are much the same;
While George, who was in part to blame,
Received, you will regret to hear,
A nasty lump behind the ear.

The moral is that little boys
Should not be given dangerous toys.

How to make small things with Violet Mackerel by Anna Branford, ill. Sarah Davis, photography by Cath Muscat, ISBN 9781922179401, Walker Books Australia

how to make small things



Matilda borrowed this book from her local library.

When I saw this book I got really, really excited because it’s based on the small things that Violet Mackerel likes to make and it tells you how to make them yourself. My favourite thing in the book is the leaf necklace with a secret pocket.

It gives you very good instructions for how to make everything. I wanted to make the shining sun ring except I don’t have a darning needle yet. But I made some of the other things like a wrist warmer and I made my Mum one of the pouches for a Mother’s Day present and she loved it. I also made one of the matchbox drawers, it was really cool. I also made a seasonal pencil topper, dangling day-counter using butterflies, and the notebook.

My favourite thing I made from the book was the pouch.

Ages 6+ will like this book. You should read it if you like small things and if you’d like to know more things about Violet Mackerel.


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Violet Mackerel’s Helpful Suggestion. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

It’s time for our team of keen readers* to share their TOP READS for the month — the best book each of them read during June 2014. If you’re after a good book, they recommend the following titles!

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* A special welcome to Veronica! 


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