Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Demon Dentist

REVIEWED BY CADENCE, 8, QLD

Demon Dentist by David Walliams (book cover)

Demon Dentist by David Walliams, HarperCollins Publishers, ISBN 9780007453580

Cadence reviewed her own copy of this book.

David Walliams’ fascinating chapter book Demon Dentist combines horrific details, very cheerful endings with parts that would make you desperate to cry in an instant! Demon Dentist is a very emotional book. It includes petrifying moments, depressing chapters and pages that would blow your socks off by the way the mood changed from paranoid to like the way you just ate your favourite food! The interesting characters will dazzle you.

Alfie has already had an appalling time since he has lost his mother and now his father has been put in a wheelchair due to his shallow breathing. Now his extremely shy principal allows some new dentist — Miss Root — into their school. Ever since Miss Root arrived, the shortest girl in the school ‘Gabz’ has been stating that a witch had been flying around town stealing teeth and returning them with revolting items like ‘bats wings, fresh eyeballs’ and so on.

The first thing you noticed about Miss Root were her sparkling white teeth, and then to her black eyes that were as black as the darkest hour of midnight. With Alfie’s awesome eyes he even spotted a splat of red blood on Miss Root’s blinding white shoes. Although Miss Root sounds as nice as ever, why would she give away ‘MUMMY’S’ toothpaste that burned through stone and give free lollies that looked as if they were loaded with tons and tons of sugar.

This novel is really well written. This narrative gives you a bit of shock, happiness, and is yet very intriguing. David Walliams’ Demon Dentist should make you feel like you’re in the story. I would highly recommend this to people of all ages and even people who don’t like reading, because this fantastic book would definitely hook you in, make you want to just read and find out what’s going to happen and even want to read this whole novel over and over again.


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

Happy reading!

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

Book review: The Spectacular Spencer Gray

BOOK REVIEWED BY KAILANI, 11, QLD

The Spectacular Spencer Gray by Deb Fitzpatrick

The Spectacular Spencer Gray by Deb Fitzpatrick, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925164671

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

Spencer Gray is just an ordinary kid, he lives in a family of four, goes to school at his local high school, hangs out with his mates and plays football at break time. But one day, while retrieving a football from the bush behind the oval he sees a man run off, almost like he had been disturbed and then the sound of a motorbike. Spencer is suspicious so he decides to figure out what is going on.

From that day on, Spencer’s life changes — secret rescue missions, midnight bike rides and dangerous situations. All to save one of Australia’s most endangered marsupials.

I don’t normally read books with strong male characters, but this book was different. It combined the element of adventure with the Australian bush and caring for animals and nature. I also really liked the vivid description that the author used in the book, it really painted a picture in my mind of every scene, helped to build the tension and made me want to read on.

I recommend this book for boys and girls aged 10–14, especially if you enjoy mystery, adventure and looking after Australian wildlife.

[You can read a sample chapter from the book via the publisher.]

We are pleased to welcome Kailani back as a reviewer at Alphabet Soup. Check out Kailani’s earlier reviews here. Kailani also has her own blog!

If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading …

 


The Amazing Spencer Gray (cover)Read a review of the first book in the series — The Amazing Spencer Gray — in a post from 2013.

 

 

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

Book review: One Thousand Trees

One Thousand TreesREVIEWED BY MATILDA, 11, WA

One Thousand Trees,
by Kyle Hughes-Odgers,
Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925164725

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

This is about living the city with polluted air, and how Frankie wishes there were trees. And then Frankie starts to imagine …

I’ve seen some of Kyle Hughes-Odgers artwork before, in Ten Tiny Things (written by Meg McKinlay), and also on walls and murals around Perth.

One Thousand Trees is reflective and shows you what happens in Frankie’s head as Frankie imagines a forest of trees. The story is told mostly through the illustrations, with not many words, and the words that are there are mostly prepositions. I like the shapes used for the trees and leaves, and the range of greens in the forest pages. (At the beginning of the book you see mostly greys and dark colours). The endpapers are good to look at — they change from the front of the book to the ones at the back of the book because of the story.

This picture book would suit children who live in the city, and kids who would like more trees in their environment. This book suits ages 4 to 8.


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other 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 reviews by Matilda, poetry

Book review: Firefly July

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 11, WA

Firefly JulyFirefly July by Paul Janeczko (editor), ill. Melissa Sweet, Candlewick, ISBN 9780763648428

Matilda reviews her own copy of this book.

This is a book of VERY short poems all about different subjects.

I like the way the book progresses from spring, then through all the seasons, and ends at winter. My favourite poem was called ‘Window’ by Carl Sandburg. It’s only 3 lines long and it’s about the dark night having slashes of light. I really liked the choice of words and I’d like to read more by this poet.

Melissa Sweet’s illustration style definitely suits the poems. It’s interesting that in many of the illustrations she uses a sort of collage.

I recommend this book for ages 7+ and for people who like short poems!


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other reviews here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

 

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

Book review: Amazing animals of Australia’s national parks

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 11, WA

Amazing animals of Australia's national parks.Amazing Animals of Australia’s National Parks by Gina M Newton, National Library of Australia, ISBN 9780642278883

Matilda received a copy of this book from the publisher.

In this nonfiction book about Australian animals, there is one page for each animal with the headings:

What is it?

Where does it live? and

What is its life like?

I like the way the book is split up into the climates that the animals live in and the photographs are extremely professional. There is a ‘how to use this book’ page, which is really helpful for understanding certain symbols used in the book.

My favourite animal in this book was the Rufous Bettong (Aepyprymnus rufescens). This animal lives in woodlands, grasslands and forests.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves animals and wants to know more about Australian animals.


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: To the Lighthouse

To the lighthouse (book cover)REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 11, WA

To the Lighthouse by Cristy Burne,
ill. Amanda Burnett, 
Fremantle Press,
ISBN 9781925164619

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

Isaac and Emmy are two very different kids. They meet on Rottnest Island when their families are on holiday. Isaac is a shy, nervous boy, but Emmy is an extravagant daredevil. Emmy wants Isaac to begin a game of Dare — involving jumping into icy cold water, riding all the way to the lighthouse, and riding there at night by themselves. It’s dark, and it’s miles and miles away. Isaac’s Mum is very overprotective and she worries a lot. Luckily she doesn’t know they’re planning to go to the lighthouse at night …

It’s great to read a book that is set in WA, instead of the usual places in kids’ books (like England or Sydney). The illustrations are in black and white and appear about once in every chapter. They suit the story — they’re a bit quirky, like the characters in the book.

To the Lighthouse would be a good book for 7 to 10 year olds.


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Magic Fish Dreaming

Magic Fish Dreaming (book cover)REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 11, WA

Magic Fish Dreaming by June Perkins,
ill. Helene Magisson, Gumbootspearlz Press, ISBN 9780980731187

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

This book has poems mostly based around nature and families in the environment in Queensland. My favourite poem in the collection is called ‘Rain song,’ about the rain moving across the land and affecting banana towns, cassowaries, and fields of sugar cane. I liked the sense of movement.

The illustrations are floaty and dreamy (not bright and shabam!) and they suit the style of the poems. I really like the illustration for the poem ‘Tawny’ — you can almost feel the fluffiness of the bird.

The book is divided into two sections — ‘Hunting for Giggle Poems’, and ‘Magic Fish Dreaming’. I didn’t think that the poems’ themes in each of these sections really matched their section titles and so I thought it would have been more effective just to have the poems all in together, without dividing the book into sections.

This is a poetry book with a really Australian feel to it. I would recommend these poems to children ages 7 to 10.


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read all of Matilda’s reviews here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!