Posted in poetry, Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Ballet

Ballet
by Hannah, 12, QLD

Pointe shoes made of pink satinI love Ballet class, for all the wrong reasons.
It’s like a comedy with varying seasons.
I watch Miss Lavender, all duck face
Boom 1. 2. 3. while watching dancers at fast pace.

There is perfect Darcy strutting around.
Nose in the air, toes pointing to the ground,
Sniffing competition, having beaten everyone.
Leotard sparkling and her hair in the latest bun.

Then there is Porscha running in late,
one ballet shoe on, and that is her fate.
A black jelly bean has stained her leotard.
Her tight bun has stopped Miss from frowning hard.

And Alena is the class clown, cunningly,
waiting for Miss Lavender to turn around.
Pulling faces and not a care in the world.
While putting a smile on every girl.

One time Miss caught Alena in the act,
but she made a quick recovery with tact.
“Sorry I just got something caught in my teeth!”
immediately turning to first position with her feet.

Ava is nowhere to be seen when class starts.
“Where is that child?” Miss Lavender asks.
“Hiding in the dressing room” Darcy tells.
Ava says Pointe class is like going to hell.

Kayla is a beautiful dancer but she is full of doubt.
She sneaks to the back but the teachers still shout.
Always trying her hardest, this girl is strong.
Tears always rolling, she is proving them wrong.

Of course Zoe is still off with the fairies.
“Child, do you even know what a Pas de duex is”?
“Um, er, um…and she trys, landing flat with a… no Miss.”
She always looks away and blushes while saying this.

We have such different lives, personalities and bodies.
But when we dance we come together like sisters at ease.
We compete in the Eisteddfods and win.
Blending together as one, limb within limb.


This is Hannah’s first poem for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: Koala

Koala by Claire Saxby and Julie Vivas. Image: picture book with blue sky background and an illustration of a koala in the crook of a gumtree branch. REVIEWED BY CINDY, 7, VIC
Koala by Claire Saxby,
illustrated by Julie Vivas,
Walker Books,
ISBN 9781925126396

Cindy read a copy of this book in her school library.

A koala mum ignores her own little baby koala and says ‘Climb, little koala, it’s time to find your own way’.

Why can’t Koala jump back into his mother’s pouch now? Will his mother come to save him if he falls off the branches on his way to find his own home?

This book is a story about a young koala and his mother advising him about what he should be able to do as he’s growing up.

The book has the extra features of non-fiction text and a poem on each page.

I recommend this book for kids who love koalas, particularly kids who are 3-7 years old. I give this book a rating of 8 out of 10.


If you’d like to read more book reviews by Oxley Christian College students, you can click on ‘Oxley Christian College’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: Amazing Australians in their Flying machines

Amazing Australians and their flying machines by Prue and Kerry Mason and Tom Jellett. Image: Picture book cover showing a green airplane with people standing in a row along the wings. REVIEWED BY LUCAS, 9, VIC

Amazing Australians in Their Flying Machines by Prue & Kerry Mason, illustrations by Tom Jellett, Walker Books, ISBN 9781922244635

Lucas reviewed a copy of this book in his school library.

Amazing Australians in Their Flying Machines is a book where you can see how courageous people were when flying was new, including during the world wars. You can learn about how pilots sacrificed their lives for us while testing the planes to their limits.

How did these special men and women make flying machines even better?

The illustrations are drawn with great care and detail and have been well researched.

This information book is suitable for children around 8-10 years old who are interested in history and flying.


If you’d like to read more book reviews by Oxley Christian College students, you can click on ‘Oxley Christian College’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: The Great Rabbit Chase

The Great Rabbit Chase by Freya BlackwoodREVIEWED BY SCOTT, 9, VIC

The Great Rabbit Chase,
by Freya Blackwood, Scholastic,
ISBN 9781743811641

Scott borrowed a copy of this book from his school library.

The Great Rabbit Chase is an exciting narrative about a little girl and a mischievous rabbit called Gumboots who creates a wild chase and you never know where he will go next! What happens to Gumboots? Do they catch him?

This is an amazing story because the story’s action stretches across the story. The funny scenes through the story are very entertaining because they are quite surprising. The book starts with a dramatic beginning and ends with a happy ending.

I recommend this book for children aged 3-6 years because it does not have any confusing or scary parts. I rate it 7 out of 10.


If you’d like to read more book reviews by Oxley Christian College students, you can click on ‘Oxley Christian College’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: I just ate my friend

I just ate my friend by Heidi McKinnon. Image: Front cover of picture book. Black background and title of book is in teal. Illustration is a giant yellow alien head with owl like enormous white eyes. REVIEWED BY LEVI, 10, VIC

I Just Ate My Friend by Heidi McKinnon,
Allen and Unwin, ISBN 9871760294232

Levi borrowed this book from the school library

I Just Ate my Friend is about an alien who ate his friend. He tries to find a new friend but they are too big, small or scary. He just can’t find the perfect fit. Is all hope lost or can he find a friend!

The illustrations are great and the colours blend and contrast. The characters in this book are all different and play their own roles in the story. They make the story different and interesting all the way through.

I rate this book as suitable for children 5-8 years old. The will love to read this book because the illustrations are cartoon-like.


If you’d like to read more book reviews by Oxley Christian College students, you can click on ‘Oxley Christian College’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Recommended reading, Top Reads

TOP READS: October 2018

Where did October go? Here we are staring November down, and our Top Reads Team is back with some recommendations for you. Get into these great stories:

You’ll find a recommended list from our Top Reads Team on the last day of every month (February to November). If you’d like even more recommendations, browse all through all our Top Reads ever!

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

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: The Wolf, The Duck and the Mouse

The Wolf The Duck and the mouse by Mac Barnett and Jon Klassen. Image: Picture book with the title in black print on a white banner at the top of the book. Bottom two-thirds of the book shows a tree trunk with a wolf hiding behind it and a duck and mouse sitting against the the front of the tree trunk. REVIEWED BY ISABEL, 8, VIC

The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse by Mac Barnett, illustrated by Jon Klassen, Walker Books, ISBN 9781406377798

Isabel borrowed a copy of this book from her library.

The Wolf, the Duck & the Mouse is about a mouse in the woods unexpectedly swallowed by a wolf.

It is the beginning of the story, but is this the end already? What does the mouse find in the dark tummy of the beast? What is life like on the inside?

This book shows what it feels like for every character in this book.

This book is great for children between 7-10 years old, with remarkable illustrations and some silly nonsense.  The illustrations have been created to give watery paint and collage effects.  Others like the wolf are textured and maybe you might see some splatter paint on every page. This book also tells you a back story about why the wolf howls at the moon.

What challenges must the animals overcome to save their lives?

I give this humorous book a 5-star rating.


If you’d like to read more book reviews by Oxley Christian College students, you can click on ‘Oxley Christian College’ in the grey categories box in the right column of this blog. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!