Posted in Book reviews by Anwen, Book reviews by kids

Book review: What Snail Knows

Image shows the cover of a children's verse novel: What Snail Knows by Kathryn Apel and illustrations by Mandy Foot. The cover illustration shows a small girl in a blue pinafore dress over a yellow tshirt. She's sitting on a swing, holding up a tiny snail in her left hand. She has messy hair pulled back into a loose ponytail. There's a flowerbed underneath the swing.

REVIEWED BY ANWEN, 8, WA

What Snail Knows by Kathryn Apel, illustrated by Mandy Foot, UQP, ISBN 9780702265464

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

I really enjoyed this book. I recommend it for 7 and older. It is a chapter book and has the loveliest illustrations. The artworks are beautiful and detailed. It is a verse novel which means it is a novel but it is like a poem. The words are sometimes in shapes. 

Lucy is the main character. She is kind, calm and lonely. Lucy only has her dad and moves to different places a lot. Lucy asks questions about her family, but her dad doesn’t like to talk about it. Her mum, grandparents and other family are a mystery to her.

Snail is Lucy`s pet and only friend. He means a lot to Lucy. Snail lives in a box in Lucy`s caravan. Lucy only has Snail and her dad until she meets Tahnee. She finally finds a place she likes. But the question is will she stay?

Read our interview with the author of What Snail Knows


Anwen is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read more of her reviews here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Book reviews by Anwen, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Great White Shark

Great White Shark by Claire Saxby and Cindy Lane

REVIEWED BY ANWEN, 8, WA

Great White Shark by Claire Saxby, illustrated by Cindy Lane, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781760651848

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

This book has a nice story that follows a shark’s day and shows facts about Great Whites. I learnt more about this species of shark from this book. Did you know that female Great Whites grow about as long as a giraffe is tall and may weigh more than a large car?

Great White Shark has amazingly good illustrations. They are so detailed and beautiful. It looks realistic because Cindy Lane used seawater, watercolours, pencil, found natural pigments, digital drawing and digital collage to make different textures. She’s done wonderful blending and she has used lots of colours in her art. It shows underwater scenes with other sea creatures and beautiful coral.

Overall, Great White Shark is a spectacular book and is suitable for all ages over four.

Check out Alphabet Soup’s interview with the illustrator, Cindy Lane.


This is Anwen’s second book review for Alphabet Soup. You can read her review of No! Never! here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: No! Never!

No! Never! by Libby Hathorn, Lisa Hathorn-Jarman and Mel PearceREVIEWED BY ANWEN, 6, WA

No! Never! by Libby Hathorn & Lisa Hathorn-Jarman, illustrated by Mel Pearce, Hachette Australia, ISBN 9780734418906

Anwen received a review copy of this book from Alphabet Soup.

This book is about a little girl called Georgie who used to be nice and helpful but then turned into a very annoying person who never helped.

I liked this book because of the illustrations. I loved how Mel Pearce did all of the lines in one place because it made the pictures look more real.

Read an interview with the illustrator and get a sneak peek inside the book.


This is Anwen’s first review for Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!