by Lakota, 7, WA

Tom was scared of ping pong. He was five years old and was in Year One. His hobbies were soccer, football, ice hockey, hockey, rugby but not ping pong. When Tom was eight he got into sea creatures. He liked killer whales the best!

Tom also loved surfing with his dad.

For Tom’s birthday he had an underwater party. People dressed up as underwater animals. Tom invited six friends, their names were: OLLY, SAM, GUS, FINN AND FRANKIE. Tom’s best presents were a bike, bow and arrow, Lego plane and a magic book.

One day Tom was at the beach surfing with his dad when he saw a ping pong ball in the water. He screamed until the lifesavers came to save him and ask what made him scream. So Tom told the lifesavers that he had been screaming because there was a ping pong ball in the water and that he was scared of everything to do with ping pong.

Tom also had to tell his mum and twin sisters, Myla and Lakota, and got into lots of trouble for just a simple thing to be scared of. One of his punishments was to tell everyone in his family on his mum’s and dad’s sides on the phone, with his twin sisters, mum and dad looking him in the eye. Another one of his punishments was no sweets for seven days. The last one was to tidy up the house instead of the cleaner doing it, without getting money for it.

When Tom was ten, his favourite colours were white, black and orange. It’s quite funny because those are the colours of ping pong balls and Tom still didn’t like ping pong.

When Tom was 12, all his friends played ping pong but not Tom of course. One day, Tom was walking in the games room in the apartment building where he lives when he bumped his thigh on the corner of the ping pong table, but he didn’t notice. He went to pick up the ping pong ball and bat, but he didn’t notice. Then a guy came in with a ping pong bat and started playing with Tom but Tom still didn’t notice. When Tom finally noticed that he was playing, he got quite a big shock but in the end it became his favourite game and he was the best at it in his whole school.

This is Lakota’s first story published with Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy writing!


Mrs Frisby and the rats of NIMH

Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH by Robert C O’Brian, Penguin UK (Puffin Modern Classics), 9780141333335

Matilda found this book on the bookshelves at a holiday house.

When we were on holidays this book was on a bookshelf, so I read it. When I picked it up I thought that Mrs Frisby was a person, but she is actually a mouse and she lives at a farm with her children. The rats of NIMH are a group of rats with a secret, and they also live at the farm. Soon Mrs Frisby knows that it’s time to move their house again because the humans are coming with ploughs — but she has a big problem. One of her children is very sick and can’t get out of bed. The mice mostly stay out of the rats’ way. Will Mrs Frisby be brave enough to ask the rats to help before the ploughs arrive?

You can’t put this book down because it’s so exciting and you’ll need to find out what happens next. I recommend Mrs Frisby and the Rats of NIMH for children aged 7 to 12.

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

Books with Monkeys

We’re very happy to be back from our break! Happy New Year! (And Happy Year of the Monkey, too!)

Later this week we’ll be sharing some book reviews and stories by young writers. But today we’re thinking about monkeys in books. Here are some of our editor’s favourite books featuring monkeys:


What are your favourite books with or about monkeys? Let us know — we’ll add them to this post! (You can leave us a comment or email our editor, Rebecca.)

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 …


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!


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.


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!


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