Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Cirque

CIRQUE by Elizabeth, 9, NSW

Photo shows the ladder-like framework with long colourful circus silks tied to the top of the framework and hanging loose for circus performers to climb and swing on. There's a girl twisting herself into the silks, upside down. She has red hair in pigtails, a pink leotard and white leggings. Photo by Paulo Henrique Macedo Dias at pexels.com.

Silks! Purple and red awaited me to climb! It was my first class of cirque and I was so delighted. The teacher’s assistant was there but the teacher was late.

My teacher was called Miss Maria. She was thoughtful, kind and generous. She had an assistant called Emily, who was sixteen. I love when they helped me.

Next, we did stretching and I practised planks. Emily helped me when I did a plank. We carried the blocks and I practised the splits. Then the teacher called me to climb the silks. I felt joyful and thrilled. I made a knot on my foot with the silks to stand on. Our teacher said a saying, “Outside, inside, pull up, and around,” to teach us how to do a knot for us to stand on. It was hard to climb the silks because it had a difficult technique.

At my class I met two new friends. Their names are Scarlet and Sienna. They are younger than me but they are good at the knot for the silks.

Excited for my next class because this class was so enjoyable and fun, I ran to my mum and hugged her. I was so glad to do cirque because it was so fun to go on the silks and play with my new friends.


Elizabeth is a regular contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read her earlier writing and book reviews here. To send us your writing or book review, check out our submission guidelines.

Posted in Book reviews by Elizabeth, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Bella and the Voyaging House

Bella and the Voyaging House by Meg McKinlay illust. Nicholas Schafer

REVIEWED BY ELIZABETH, 8, NSW

Bella and the Voyaging House by Meg McKinlay, illustrated by Nicholas Schafer, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781760990695

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

The book I am reviewing is Bella and the Voyaging House. The author is Meg McKinlay and the illustrator is Nicholas Schafer.

In the book, I love how Bella’s grandad made the house so it is like a boat. Merry Annie is a statue which the grandad moulded and polished. Then he tied it on the front of the  house boat but it fell off when they were sailing. So Bella decided to sail with the house and look for Merry Annie. Will they find Merry Annie? Will the house go back home? 

I recommend seven year olds and up to read this book because it is funny and emotional.

I give this 10 out of 10.

Read our interview with the author of Bella and the Voyaging House


Elizabeth is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read more of her reviews here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Elizabeth, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Fish Kid and the Turtle Torpedo

REVIEWED BY ELIZABETH, 8, NSW

Fish Kid and the Turtle Torpedo by Kylie Howarth

Fish Kid and the Turtle Torpedo by Kylie Howarth, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781760652548

Elizabeth received a review copy of this book.

‘Go, Hermie! go’ I whispered.

‘No, mine is going to win,’ said my best friend Emely.

This is Fish Kid and the Turtle Torpedo and it is about Bodhi and Emely. They are on a vacation in the Maldives and they find a turtle that is sick because it can’t swim underwater or dive.

Bodhi (Fish Kid) cannot carry Emely and the turtle back to their island to show Bodhi’s dad who could help. So Bodhi just takes the turtle and leaves Emely behind at the beach island. 

Is the turtle going to survive? Will Emely get home?

I love this book! That is why I give this book 10/10! I love when they help the turtle.  I like that the author introduced real animals in Fish Kid Fact pages such as the spinner dolphins and black tip reef sharks.

Read an interview with the author-illustrator of the Fish Kid series.


Elizabeth is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read more of her reviews here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Elizabeth

Book review: Beneath the Trees

REVIEWED BY ELIZABETH, 8, NSW

Beneath the Trees by Cristy Burne and illustrated by Amanda BurnettBeneath the Trees by Cristy Burne, illustrated by Amanda Burnett, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781760990411

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

The book Beneath the Trees is by Cristy Burne and it is very entertaining. 

Cam and Sophie want to see a platypus. They go with their cousins Jack and Liv to try and find a platypus in the rain forest. Jack tells Cam and Sophie that if they wear the bright yellow ponchos the platypus won’t come to them, but then one tiny platypus does appear! 

The platypus is in trouble because something is stuck around its neck. Then Jack tries to save the platypus but then he gets into trouble because he falls into the river, and Sophie falls in, too. Cam tries to help Sophie, but they all get stuck in the river and need to be saved. Liv tries to save them by going to find the parents. 

I give this book five stars out of five because this is a realistic and amazing story. I like the section when the leeches crawl up the legs of the cousins and they had to try to get them off to survive! I recommend this book for ages 8 and up. 

Read our interview with the author.

Read the first chapter of Beneath the Trees on the publisher’s website. 


Elizabeth is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read another of her reviews here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Elizabeth, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Elizabella breaks a leg

REVIEWED BY ELIZABETH, 7, NSW

Elizabella Breaks a Leg by Zoë Norton Lodge and illustrated by Georgia Norton Lodge

Elizabeth received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

Elizabella Breaks a Leg by Zoë Norton Lodge, illustrated by Georgia Norton Lodge, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781760652555. 

The story starts when Elizabella goes to a theatre where she watched Rapunzel. She adored the show. Now she wants to put on a show in her school, but Mr Gobblefrump said no, unless she could make the entire play free. Elizabella was not discouraged and she decided to do the play. The other problem she faced was that her best friend Minnie was going to New York for good. Elizabella was thinking how to stop Minnie’s parents. 

I like when Elizabella and her class went to  the Rapunzel play because they talked about it and she wanted to do the play. Also, I like how Elizabella likes to do pranks such as putting undies on the flag pole. Another funny part was when Elizabella caught her brother kissing a girl. Elizabella also has a cousin called Isabeth who helps her by encouraging her. 

I give this book 4.5 stars. I recommend this book for 8 and up. 

Elizabeth is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read another of her reviews here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Meet Eve in the Outback

Meet Eve in the Outback (book cover)REVIEWED BY ELIZABETH, 7, NSW

Meet Eve in the Outback by Raewyn Caisley, illustrated by Karen Blair, Puffin, ISBN 9781760894108

Elizabeth received a review copy of this book.

Aussie Kids: Meet Eve in the Outback is a book written by Raewyn Caisley and illustrated by Karen Blair. The book is about Eve who lives in Western Australia at Nowhere Roadhouse in the Nullarbor Plain. Last year Nan came to visit Eve. But this year her cousin Will will come. Eve feels happy but she is afraid that Will won’t have fun. Will might think blue-tongue lizards and mudlarks are less exciting than dolphins.

The thing I like about the book is that the author mentioned a lot of ‘bush magic’. I also learnt about Western Australia including the camels and gum leaf tea. I like the pictures because it is interesting and helps me to understand.
I give this book 5 stars and I think 6 years old and up should read it!
*

This is Elizabeth’s first book review for Alphabet Soup and she is a regular contributor of creative writing pieces. You can read her most recent story here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!
Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Pancake

PANCAKE
by Elizabeth, 7, NSW

Gold house photo courtesy of pixabay.comBeth and Pancake are best friends in the world.

They live in a gold cubbyhouse. Pancake is an excellent and smart dog. She is a beautiful black dog. Beth is a loving, gentle and kind girl.

One day, Pancake was watering the yard and suddenly, there was a bang! The door slammed.

Beth said, “I am sorry for slamming the door. It is locked!”

Pancake said, “Do not worry. I can fix it.”

Pancake tried to open the front door but it did not work. Pancake tried to open the back door but it did not work.

Pancake climbed up to the big window and went into the cubbyhouse and got the key. Then she let her friend back in the house.

Beth said, “Thank you.” She gave her best friend a hug.


Elizabeth is a regular contributor to Alphabet Soup. You can read more of her work here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Diary of a Gramophone

DIARY OF A GRAMOPHONE
by Elizabeth, 6, NSW

Gramophone photo by Skitterphoto at pexels.comTom carried me like a baby. He wiped my big pipe mouth. I felt clean.
Then Tom put the record on to my tummy. He spun my hand really fast. Then the family was happy when I was singing. They sang a song with me. I was delighted. It was lovely.

Read other work from Elizabeth hereTo send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!
Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: The Feather

The Feather by Margaret Wild and Freya BlackwoodREVIEWED BY ELIZABETH, 9, VIC

The Feather by Margaret Wild and Freya Blackwood, Hardie Grant Egmont, ISBN 9781760124212

Elizabeth reviewed a school copy of this book. 

The Feather, written by Margaret Wild, is a story about compassion, kindness and more importantly, about having freedom to be yourself. The characters, Maria and Nico, discover an extraordinarily bright feather floating through the gloomy sky. It brightened up everything it went near. It was such a precious treasure that all the village people wanted to keep it behind glass. Suddenly it started turning a muddy brown and the folk turned their back on it, except for Maria and Nico.

Freya Blackwood has used rough black pencil outlines and water colours to blend and capture the mood of this story. I recommend this book for 5-year-olds and above.

A wondrous book!


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 Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Monkey Island in Cat Ba, Vietnam

Monkey Island in Cat Ba, Vietnam
Elizabeth, 6, NSW

We went swimming, kayaking and visited Monkey Island. Dad and I kayaked into a tunnel. We could see the other side, so we went straight through.

There at Monkey Island my brother was standing on the beach and a monkey ran up behind him and bit him on the ankle!

My brother was okay. It was a good day.


Read other work from Elizabeth here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!