Here we are at the end of the month again, and most of you are now on school holidays (hooray!). That means it’s time for some book recommendations from our Top Reading team:

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

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


Adam Spencer's big book of numbers

Adam Spencer’s Big Book of Numbers: Everything you wanted to know about the numbers 1 to 100 by Adam Spencer, Xoum Publishing, ISBN 9781921134326.

Joseph reviewed his own copy of this book.

Do you know what a narcissistic number is? Or a Leyland Prime? Or a Cunningham Chain? These are three number concepts that you’ve probably never heard about before and they are explained in this book.

When I first saw this book I thought it would be way too complicated and I wouldn’t be able to understand any of it but Adam Spencer turns out to be a very chatty writer. And so this book is very easy to enjoy and it is not like a textbook.

Inside you will find detailed facts about the numbers 1 to 100 with some quiz questions/activities along the way. The 5X5 magic squares were my favourite because I found them challenging but do-able and satisfying to finish.

Anybody aged 10+ would love this book. It doesn’t matter if you are good at maths or not, it’s informative and interesting.

If you can’t sleep at night, reading this book is better than counting sheep.

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

A Bird on the Loose by Bailey, 6, QLD

Bailey’s story

Today we have a talented young writer from The Glennie School in QLD visiting Alphabet Soup. Bailey is the author of a picture book about minibeasts in peril. To read Bailey’s picture book (PDF) click here:


by Shristuti Srirapu, 8, India
I stepped through the pink and purple magic
And found myself in the land of beauty
Where fairies splash in crystal water
And unicorns play above.
I stare at playing pixies
Among blooming flowers
And gleaming red apples
Along orchids of blazing color.
As I plunge into water
Where dolphins shriek for food
And mermaids dive deeper
Into rays of colourful fish.
I step out and the world is dark
And look through iron bars
Where dragons breath fire
And watch with piercing eyes.
As witches cackle mercilessly
Giants come storming in
Throwing whatever is in their way
Dragging giant clubs.
I touch the floor and murmur
And then it disappears
I fall from the magical world 
of differences.

It’s time for some spring book launches — here are a few to get the season started:


My Dead Bunny

This is a hilarious rhyming tale about a zombie bunny who comes back to visit his owner. Sketches and illustrations will be exhibited at the WA launch and The Dead Bunny will also be in attendance at all three launches.

WA Launch

When: 6pm for 6.30pm start, Wednesday 30 September 2015.

Where: The Place”, Mezzanine Level, State Library of WA.

RSVP essential: email James Foley.

VIC Launch

When: 12–3pm, 10 October 2015.

Where: Federation Square Markets (Books Illustrated Stall), VIC

NSW Launch

When: 3.30pm–3.55pm, 27 September 2015.

Where: Illustration Annex at Writers in the Park Festival (Free entry!) at Centennial Park, Sydney.

Includes ‘illustrators duel’ with three illustrators.


Forest Wonder

Forest Wonder is a rhyming picture book for 0 to 6 year olds and celebrates nature, magic and imagination. Come along for a storytime session and meet the author and illustrator.

When: 10.30am, Wednesday 9 September 2015.

Where: Snowprint Bookshop, Shop 6–8, 141 Snowy River Ave, Jindabyne NSW.


Meet Sidney Nolan

Come along to the launch of picture book Meet Sidney Nolan. There will be kids’ craft and art activities, too.

When: 10am, Sunday 4 October 2015.

Where: The Mad Hatters Bookshop, Shop 3, 7 Day Markets, 50 Cambridge Pde, Manly Harbour Village, QLD.

RSVP: (07) 33935130

Why go to a book launch? Here are ten reasons why you should!


Bella and the Wandering House

Bella and the Wandering House by Meg McKinlay, ill. Nicholas Schafer, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925162301

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

This is another book by Meg McKinlay. I have also read Duck for a Day, Definitely No Ducks, and Ten Tiny Things. This is a novel with occasional pictures in black and white.

Bella is a girl who lives in a house that seems to be moving at night and then stops at different places. It’s hard for her mum and dad to get to work every day from a different place. But then things really get out of hand when Bella finds out the movers will cut her house in half to move it back to where it belongs.

A house that wanders around reminds me of Baby Yaga’s house with chicken legs from folktales.

It was a very imaginative book. I wouldn’t like it if my house walked away at night. I recommend this book for ages 6 and up.

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

It’s spring here in Perth and it even feels spring-ish — warm days, blue skies (mostly!) and birds singing or twittering outside the windows at Alphabet Soup. A change of season (and a change of month) means it’s time to change those books stacked up by your bed. Here are some brilliant books recommended by our Top Reading team.*

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

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


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