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Merry Christmas!

We will be taking a break until late January 2016.

Merry Christmas to all our readers! We hope you have some good books waiting for you on your holiday reading pile …

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 9, WA

An artist once said

An Artist Once Said: An inspiration book by Hannah Rollings, Michael O’Mara Books Ltd, 9781449472290

Matilda reviews her own copy of this book.

Have you ever got frustrated because you don’t know what to draw? This book will cure you.

A picture and a quote from all different artists leads you to drawing something you might never have thought of before. I love the idea of this book and it did lead me to drawing lots more pictures, right inside the book.

There are different types of pictures and this book will inspire you in different ways, from reading quotes by artists like Picasso and Kahlo, to looking at yourself in the mirror.

I recommend this book for people who would like to draw more often — kids and adults too.

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

AUSTRALIA WILD

By Klara, 10, NSW

 

Where the weather is humid, hot and dry,
And the birds there just love to fly.

Where the bushland sways,
And where all the creatures have their own ways.

And where the sun beats down endlessly on the red, bushy desert.

And the koalas in the gum trees are always alert,
For the brown, wild dog, the dingo, that’s him,
prowls around the gum tree while koalas don’t want to lose a limb.

The crocodile is snapping fish,
And serving them up for a bliss summer dish.

The kangaroo hops around the place,
Chasing the hum of busy flies, like a wild goose chase.

The wallabies always avoid the hot sun,
They lie down under a rock away from all fun.

The platypus is in the water feasting on worms and yabbies,
He eats as much as he does weigh, every single day.

And the emu is running across the charred plains,
Kicking up dust for the hope of everlasting rain.

The echidna is around snuffling and looking for ants,
Burying his nose in the overgrown plants.

Old man wombat is in his burrow taking a nap,
And all the creatures know he is a tired old chap.

The Tasmanian devil roars to the sky,
And then he sits and waits for a thundering reply.

Australia is beautiful, unique and wild,
And each animal here is the bushland’s native child.

The kookaburra tilts his head back and laughs “hoo ha ha, hoo ha ha”,
To let all the creatures know that Australia is their home.


This is Klara’s first poem posted to Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a book review, story or poem —  check out our submission guidelines.

REVIEWED BY JOSEPH, 11, WA

Mister Cassowary

Mister Cassowary by Samantha Wheeler, UQP, ISBN 9780702253881

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

Mister Cassowary is a fantastic children’s novel about a boy named Flynn and his dad visiting the farm where Flynn’s grandfather had a terrible accident and died. They’re trying to fix up the farm so it can be sold in two weeks. Flynn doesn’t know much about cassowaries (lots live around the farm) or why his dad is so scared of them.

With the help of local girl Abby, Flynn tries to discover the mystery around his grandfather’s death, about his grandfather’s own cassowary — Big Blue — and why two baby cassowaries don’t seem to have a dad.

Although I didn’t find the opening scenes intriguing, if you continue further in then you will find yourself staying up at night to find out more about the mystery of Grandad Barney.

Throughout the book you learn more and more about cassowaries and how they are a beautiful and endangered species. At the end of the book it tells you more facts about cassowaries so you can deepen your understanding of those birds.

This book is definitely worth reading for children aged 7+ — it does deal with some tough topics (like death, and facing your fears, and family relationships) in in easy-to-read novel.

Joseph is one of our regular book reviewers. His most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Australian Kids Through the Years. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

REVIEWED BY JOSEPH, 11, WA

Australian Kids Through the Years

Australian Kids Through the Years by Tania McCartney, ill. Andrew Joyner, NLA Publishing, ISBN 9780642278593

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

Australian Kids Through the Years is an easy-to-read, informative, and beautifully illustrated picture book about Australia’s history. It is taken from the point of view of kids from different time periods.

The book has a different era every four pages — the first two include a brief description, and the next two are a setting from the era.

This book feels light in mood. The illustrations are much like colourful cartoons, with clear yet complex pictures. You might recognise the illustrator from Too Many Elephants in This House (a picture book written by Ursula Dubosarsky). My favourite pages in the book are the 1990s — everything seems modern but it’s still different from how things are now.

At the end of the book there is a summary of each time period, including photographs and paintings from each time.

I like that you can extract lots of information really easily. This is a great book for kids aged 7+ because of the easy language and because it’s fun to read.

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

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 9, WA

At My Door by Deb Fitzpatrick

At My Door by Deb Fitzpatrick, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925162707

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

This book is set at Poppy’s house. When the doorbell rings and a car speeds away, her family discovers that a baby has been left on the doorstep. What will they do? Where are the baby’s parents?

I really liked the creativity and the language in this book. I liked how it was about a situation that doesn’t happen every day. My favourite character was Mei because she was funny and cute. I was surprised when she turned up because I didn’t expect what was left on the doorstep to be her.

This story is realistic and you feel like it could happen to you. What would you do if a baby turned up on your doorstep?

I would recommend it for kids aged 7+ and people who wonder about these sorts of things.

You can read a sample chapter of At My Door on the publisher’s website.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  The Cleo Stories: A Friend and, A Pet. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

This will be the final TOP READS post for 2015 (can you believe the school year is almost over?). Here are some great reads recommended by our Top Reads team* — get yourself to a library, a book store, or a friend’s well-stocked bookshelf and stock up that reading pile for the summer holidays!

You’ll find a recommended list from our Top Reads Team on the last day of every month. If you missed last month’s, don’t forget to check out the October  2015 Top Reads.

*All our Top Readers are kids aged 13 and under. No grownups allowed!

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