Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: I Would Dangle the Moon


I would dangle the moon by Amber MoffatI Would Dangle the Moon, written and illustrated by Amber Moffat, MidnightSun Publishing,
ISBN 9781925227529

Anishka received a review copy of this book.

I Would Dangle the Moon is written by Amber Moffat. A mother and daughter explore the moon and relate it to normal events in life. The daughter imagines she could keep the moon forever. Little things matter in this book. Every page is mysterious, for example, what would she do if she was a jeweler? The mother and daughter talk about what they would do with the moon if they were different people.

This book was a perfect blend of imagination and creativity. The pictures in this book are wonderfully illustrated for younger readers.

I think this book would be suitable for younger kids of ages 3 to 5, who have just started to build their imagination. It is a good bedtime story book that younger readers would prefer with their parents or grand parents.

This is Anishka’s first book review for Alphabet Soup, but you can read posts with her writing here. If YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines. 

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

Book review: One Careless Night


One Careless Night by Christina BoothOne Careless Night, written and illustrated by Christina Booth, Black Dog Books, ISBN 9781925381856

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

“They hunt, but they are also hunted. Carted away. Sold for bounty. And then, one careless night – the last thylacine is gone.”

This beautiful picture book portrays the story of the last known living thylacine. The thylacine has been an endangered species since the year 1936. It begins with the basic life of the featured young thylacine and her mother, listening to the whispers of the night and running to keep up with them. Hunting, playing, growing. They are living a normal life, that is until they become the hunted. She’s kept captive in an unknown forest, one of concrete and cold floors.

The illustrations in the book are absolutely stunning. They perfectly show the expression of pain and agony of the two thylacines, as well as the pure elegance and beauty of the wild and silent nights that they are sharing together. The writing of the book is also wonderful. It makes you feel like you’re right in the moment, running with the thylacines, amongst the mist of the mountains and the cold night air.

It is definitely a good book to read to older children, aged 10 to 12. It didn’t seem to be a book aimed at smaller children as the overall themes were quite dark and scary. I believe smaller children (aged 4 to 9) may find the book overwhelming, so I do not recommend the book for that age group.

Get excited for the release of One Careless Night, written and illustrated by Christina Booth, this month!

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

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: My Coonawarra Farm Resort Camp Experience

My Coonawarra Farm Resort Camp Experience (May 2019)
by Jessie, 11, VIC

This was my first camp experience and I will never forget it!
The lead up to camp made me both excited and a little bit nervous. I got to buy some new items for camp, which was great and our teddies were also invited to come. I brought my pink bear, who wore her handmade colourful scarf and my friends brought their stuffed toys too.

It was a cold start to our first day, but only the adults noticed that. The kids were all too excited to care and just wanted to get on the bus and go. The weather soon warmed up and the bus trip there and back was heaps of fun and we stopped for lunch at a park. I was very lucky to get to sit with Sarah on the way up, who was my designated bus buddy and then on the way back I got to sit in the prestigious back row with Bianca, Milly and Emma. On the bus there was lots of talking, laughing and singing and on the way back many of the boys sang ‘Let It Go’, redefining how NOT to sing in tune and why not everyone should try to reach the high notes.

The camp I went to (Coonawarra Farm Resort) is located in East Gippsland on approximately 140 ha. It is surrounded by bush, with a huge lake and beautiful views and home to a variety of wildlife, including kangaroos.

Our rooms were terrific, warm and had bunk beds. I shared a room with Milly, Emma, Sarah, Jemima and Lila. We all took turns getting the top bunks, as they were the most sought-after location, with the best views. We had a lot of crazy fun in our rooms including singing, dancing and way too much laughing and not a lot of sleeping.

The food was great, all cooked and prepared for us and the only jobs the kids had to do was help with setting the tables. The only thing that I didn’t really like about camp was that I couldn’t get the shower water temperature as warm as I liked.

We got to do lots of activities such as red faces, trivia night, movie night, night walk, high ropes, hut building, rock climbing, damper making, visiting Den of Nargun, etc, but my favourites were horse riding, the flying fox and the big swing.

I got to go horse riding in a large group, luckily which included my friends Emma, Bianca and Sarah. My horse was called Buzz. He was white and patchy and was a really nice, calm horse. The only thing is that he did those things no one wants to talk about, as he walked along, not even trying to wait until he got back to the paddock.

The Big Swing, what a rush! The adrenaline you get just as you pull the rope was great. Your life flashes before your eyes. Then you just have to do it again and again. I chose the very top level both times, but I would have gone even higher if I could and I could have done it all day.

The Flying Fox was so much fun, though the hill we had to walk up to get there was very steep. The Flying Fox was very high, with incredible views and you could hear the air rushing past as you travelled along the line.

Archery was another of our activities. I didn’t find it that much fun, as the target just kept moving and the ground kept jumping in front of my arrow. I think Mrs Harvey had the same problem.

In groups we all had to attempt to make waterproof huts out of branches, logs, bark etc. Then the adults got to throw large buckets of water over the huts, drenching us. Mr Bennett seemed a little bit too happy doing this job. He had a big smile on his face seeing us all wet and listening to us scream. We then got to warm ourselves by the fire and make and eat damper. The damper had the best fruit in it, that made it especially yummy.

I will also give a special mention and thank you to Monty, who we met while building our huts. Only a small group of kids will know who I’m talking about, but he was very special to us and though only with us for a short time, he touched our lives, gave us a huge amount of laughter and will forever be in our hearts.

We also went on a trip to Den Of Nargun which was the best. I really enjoyed the aboriginal stories and the beautiful views on the way.

Overall I think this was a terrific camp.  I had the best fun, I got to have so many new experiences and I left with fantastic memories that will last a lifetime.


Jessie has had work published at Alphabet Soup previously. You can read her book review 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 Hannah, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Wreckers’ Revenge


TThe Wreckers' Revenge by Norman Jorgensen (book cover)he Wreckers’ Revenge by Norman Jorgensen, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925815450

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

The Wreckers’ Revenge, by Norman Jorgensen, is a sequel to the very successful first book in the series The Smuggler’s Curse. The Wreckers Revenge was inspired by two boys from the Cocos Islands who, after hearing one of Jorgensen’s stories, attempted to find William Dampier’s missing treasure. It is not necessary to have read the first book to thoroughly enjoy The Wreckers Revenge, which is set in the early 20th century, beginning with the anticipation of whether Red Read (the main character) is to be expelled from Christian Brothers College. After a series of crazy events – involving the nasty acts of Brother Christian – the infamous Captain Black Bowen, Red’s Guardian, comes to change the day, whisking young Red off to once more become a loyal crew member of the mighty Black Dragon. But don’t get too comfortable on this ship as there is nothing but action and adventure to be had on these decks.

In my opinion, I thought that the book moved at a manageable pace for a wide range of readers and it wasn’t over-complicated. I really enjoyed getting to know the characters as the story developed and it was interesting as each character had their own lovable and different features. Every sentence had a drip of anticipation and I really did find it quite hard to put the book down.

It would be a perfect holiday read and even a great book for adults to read to children as well. I recommend this book to 10–13 year olds as there is quite a lot of violence in it and I believe that these ages would be able to manage that.

In conclusion, it’s a really great book and is worth checking out.

Read a sample chapter of The Wreckers’ Revenge at the publisher’s website.

Download Teachers’ notes for this book from the publisher’s website.

Hannah is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read all her reviews 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: Box Car Racers

Box Car Racers by Meredith Costain and illustrated by Danielle McDonaldREVIEWED BY MIA, 8, VIC

Olivia’s Secret Scribbles: Box Car Racers
by Meredith Costain,

ill. Danielle McDonald,
Scholastic Australia,

ISBN 9781760660031

Box Car Racers is part of the Olivia’s Secret Scribbles series. These books are fiction, written by Meredith Costain and illustrated by Danielle McDonald. This book and series would suit girls between 6-9 who like inventions, experiments and competitions.

Box Car Racers is now my new favourite book, written like a journal, full of special private secrets. The book is filled with drawings that make it so easy to imagine, as if you were there and a part of it.

This story is about Olivia, who is a nice girl who likes to win, but values her friend’s happiness more. This book is about school, recycle week, box car races, the magic of silver stripes, friendships, secrets under the table, older sisters, planes, bat cars, puppet shows, and unicorn carriages, crashes, GLITTER AND MORE GLITTER and so much more.

I love this series because Olivia likes a lot of the things that I do and I have also built and raced a box car:

I read this book from start to finish in one night and I want to read it again tomorrow.

I give this book and all the illustrations 5 plus plus stars.

You can read another book review by Mia here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in poetry, Young Writers in Action

Young Writers in Action: Mamie

by Liora, 9, Manhattan, USA

This woman is nice
This woman is respectful
This woman likes rice
This woman is grateful

This woman is funny
This woman is fancy
This woman is as sweet as honey
This woman likes coffee

This woman likes children
This woman gives to the poor
This woman eats lemon
This woman likes to bring me to the store

This woman is my grandmother
This woman has two brothers
I hope she likes to sip coffee in a cafe
Wishing her a very happy Mother’s Day!Photo of coffee and flowers by Ylanite Koppens via

You can read more of Liora’s poetry here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines.