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

Book review: Song Bird Superhero

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Song Bird Superhero

Song Bird Superhero by Karen Tyrell, Digital Future Press, ISBN 9780994302168

Matilda received a review copy of this book from the author.

This book is about a girl called Rosella Ava Bird whose big dream is to fly. In her nightmares she is trying to save people while she’s flying and in those nightmares she always fails. She also lives next door to Frank Furter the school bully. Rosella’s singing shatters windows, she can’t fly, and she has been banned from the science fair. What can she do?

When I started reading Song Bird Superhero I thought it would be an adventure story. It turned out not to be my style of book but readers who love science fiction and fantasy might enjoy this book. The overall theme is friendship and family and finding what you are good at. It would suit 6 to 11 year olds best.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Steve Goes to Carnival. 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Steve Goes to Carnival

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Steve goes to carnival

Steve Goes to Carnival by Joshua Button and Robyn Wells, Magabala Books, ISBN 9781925360219

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

This is a picture book set in Rio — and that’s one reason I was interested in reading this book, because the Olympics are in  Rio this year.

Steve is a gorilla who lives at the zoo and he is lonely when Antonio leaves at the end of the day. (Antonio is the zoo keeper and Steve’s best friend. Antonio is also a jazz band member.) Steve escapes from his cage and catches a tram to the city. He travels ‘past the favelas’ and through the carnival streets until he reaches the Blue Jaguar Jazz Club. I liked that the story includes some words in Portuguese. There’s a mini glossary at the back of the book.

The illustrations are very bright and splotchy, which gives the story an energetic feel. As the story moves from the zoo into the streets, the pages get more busy and more colourful to show the carnival mood. My favourite page is the last page, which shows a new day starting in the zoo grounds. I like the illustration style of the animals, and the details on that page.

When I first read Steve Goes to Carnival I was a bit confused, because could a gorilla really take a bus? And why did no-one notice he was a gorilla? Then I thought the adventure might be in Steve’s imagination. Maybe he was imagining joining Antonio at the jazz club because he was lonely in his cage at the zoo. It’s an interesting book to read whether you believe Steve really goes to carnival, or whether you think it’s just in his imagination.

I recommend this book to readers who like books about places that are different, and to children who want to be artists (because of the style of the illustrations).

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Raymie Nightingale. 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Raymie Nightingale

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Raymie Nightingale

Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo, Walker Hardback, ISBN 9781406363135

Matilda borrowed this book from her local library.

Raymie’s father has run away with a dental hygienist. Raymie can think of only one way to get him back … she has to win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire Competition so he can see her picture in the paper. She thinks that will make him come home. To win the competition she has to learn to twirl a baton, and she has to do good deeds.

Now she has a problem — how can she complete these good deeds? And her new friends Louisiana Elefante and Beverly Tapinski are also entering the competition. Louisiana really wants to win. And Beverly is planning to sabotage the competition.

Louisiana’s grandma is my favourite character, and I love the part where she yells, ‘Quick, get in the car, Marsha Jean is hot on our trail!’

This is the third book of Kate DiCamillo’s that I have read — I also enjoyed Because of Winn-Dixie, and The Tale of Despereaux. I recommend Raymie Nightingale for ages 8+. It shows that to have a good friendship you need to be a good friend.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Lily in the Mirror. 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Lily in the Mirror

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Lily in the Mirror by Paula Hayes

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

Lily in the Mirror by Paula Hayes, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925163872

Lily likes visiting her grandpa because her annoying big brother isn’t around, and there is always cake. Then she makes a big discovery in her grandparents’ rosy room: there is a mirror that has a girl in it (a girl who is also called Lily) and her grandpa doesn’t know. When Lily goes with her grandpa to visit Grandma in the hospital, her grandma is sick and losing her memory. But her grandma does remember Other Lily — the Lily that’s in the mirror.

This is a chapter book fantasy story. It’s a a weird story in parts. As well as the strange mirror with Other Lily in it, Lily finds a fresh finger and a fresh toe in the rosy room … and they’re not attached to anybody! You want to keep reading.

I recommend Lily in the Mirror for ages 7+. It’s creepy but good.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Riddle Gully Secrets. 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Riddle Gully Secrets

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Riddle Gully Secrets

Riddle Gully Secrets by Jen Banyard, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925163957

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

This is the third book in the Riddle Gully series about a girl called Pollo and a boy called Will. Pollo runs her own newspaper and she’s always looking for things to write about in her newspaper.

In this book Pollo and Will are searching for newspaper material but unfortunately the town is so boring at the moment nothing is happening that’s newspaper worthy. They think all is lost until they overhear a plot to steal treasure. Is the mayor involved in the plot too? Pollo and Will (along with Dan and Ash) want to find out more …

I like that Pollo has her own newspaper and solves mysteries, Riddle Gully Secrets reminds me a bit of the Encycopedia Brown books. Even though this is book 3 in the series, you don’t have to read the other Riddle Gully books to enjoy this one.

I would recommend this mystery book for readers 6 and older — especially if you like mystery stories.

[You can read a sample chapter of Riddle Gully Secrets on the Fremantle Press website.]

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Nightbird. 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Nightbird

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Nightbird

Matilda reviewed her own copy of this book.

Nightbird by Alice Hoffman, Yearling Books, ISBN 9780385389617

Twig is a young girl with a huge family secret. When an ancient relative of the late Agnes Early moves into the house next door, Twig is forbidden to go there. Can Julia, Twig and Agate help to break a curse?

I love the name Twig, and this was the best book I’ve read this year. Nightbird is a fantasy novel — and I really liked that it was a story that could happen in real life with a few magical tweaks.

If you enjoyed Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars, this is the sort of book you’ll enjoy. (And if you haven’t read Molly and Pim, you should read that too!)

I recommend this book for children ages 7 and up.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Four Children and It. 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Four Children and It

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Four Children and It audiobook

Matilda borrowed this audiobook from her local library.

Four Children and It by Jacqueline Wilson, read by Jacqueline Wilson, Bolinda Audio, ISBN 9781486234127

This book is based on another book called Five Children and It by Edith Nesbitt.

Four Children and It is about four children (Rosalind, her brother Robbie, her step-sister Smash, and half sister Maudie). They meet … something … that grants them a wish a day, which lasts until sunset. But what if something goes wrong?

It was exciting and Smash was selfish and annoying but Maudie was cute. It made me want to read Edith Nesbitt’s original story.

I picked up this audiobook at the library because I’m into Jacqueline Wilson’s books and I’ve read everything else by her in our library. I recommend this book for ages 7 and up. Even grandmas will enjoy it (well, mine did!).

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Figgy and the President. 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Figgy and the President

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Figgy and the President

Matilda reviewed her own copy of this book.

Figgy and the President by Tamsin Janu, Scholastic Australia, ISBN 9781742991559

This is a sequel to Tamsin Janu’s first book, Figgy in the World. Figgy is a determined girl who is good at making friends. One day she is walking through the market when she meets some Obrunis (white people) who ask if she will be in a movie they are making. Soon, Figgy’s whole town asks for her autograph. On top of that, Figgy’s mama has come home — after 10 years — and she is having a baby! Figgy is unsure if she wants her mama to be home because she wants to stay living with Grandma Ama, and she’s secretly worried that her mama will love the new baby more than her (Figgy). Then Nana (who is Figgy’s best friend) goes missing.

Because of the title, you might expect that Figgy meets the president of Ghana. This is an extreme understatement. But she does have to help rescue the future president … (The future president is very good at making speeches.)

I recommend Figgy and the President for ages 7+, and also for people who like an exciting adventure story.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Our Home is Dirt By Sea. 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Our Home is Dirt By Sea

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Our Home is Dirt by Sea

Our Home is Dirt By Sea Selected by Dianne Bates, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781925081190

This is an anthology of poems for children. I recognised some of the poets’ names like Robin Klein, Sally Murphy, and CJ Dennis. There are lots of other Australian poets too.

The book is divided into different sections for themes such as school, family, sport etc. There’s a mix of different types of poems — some poems rhyme and some don’t, some are long and some are short. My favourite poems are rhyming poems and the poems I liked best in this anthology were ‘Advance Australia Fair’ by Elizabeth Honey, ‘Revenge’ by Robin Klein, and ‘Fishermen’ (Anonymous). ‘Advance Australia Fair’ is a retake of the Australian national anthem and it’s full of mondegreens. It’s really funny.

I would recommend this anthology for children ages 7 to 10 who like all sorts of poems.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Meet Alice. 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Meet Alice

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 10, WA

Meet Alice cover

Matilda reviewed her own copy of this book.

Meet Alice by Davina Bell, ill. Lucia Masciullo, Puffin Books, ISBN 9780143306290

This is the first book of four in a series about a girl who likes ballet and dreams to be a professional dancer. When war hits, that dream is proving to be hard, especially when her ballet teacher is taken away because she is part German. Alice has to face the truth that everything is not okay.

I really liked this book because I love ballet too. This is one of the Our Australian Girl series and I’ve been reading books from this series for a long time. This is one of the best series I have read from their range.

I recommend this book for children aged 8+. It’s very educational.

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