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

Book review: Arabella and the Magic Pencil

Arabella and the Magic PencilREVIEWED BY
KOBE, 9, WA

Arabella and the Magic Pencil by Stephanie Ward, illustrated by
Shaney Hyde,
EK Books,
ISBN 9781925820010

Kobe received a copy of this book from the publisher.

This AMAZING AND INCREDIBLE picture book is the most wonderful picture book that I have ever seen! So the story is mainly about a girl who was born from a duke and duchess who doted on their delightful child Arabella until … her new born baby brother, Master Archibald Vermillion Remington XV or Avery for short. He just destroyed everything, so she used her magic pencil from her wish to erase him! But does that make Arabella’s freedom? You have to read this book to find out!

The words might not be much but they are very important to learn from.

I admit Stephanie Ward is a great writer and that Shaney Hyde is a great illustrator! WOW! GREAT BOOK! I’m going to read it to myself every day!

This should be a popular book soon and be an award winning  book too! THIS BOOK IS THE BEST EXAMPLE OF A PICTURE BOOK!


Kobe is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read all her reviews here. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Total Quack Up Again

Total Quack up AgainREVIEWED BY JANE, 7, WA

Total Quack Up Again, Edited by Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck, illustrated by Jules Faber, Penguin Australia, ISBN 9781760893583

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

Total Quack Up Again is a collection of funny short stories. I really like it. It makes me laugh. It was hard to pick a favourite story, they are all so good. One of my favourites was ‘Clean The Car’ by Kim Kane — it’s hard for me to read it out loud because I’m laughing so hard. This is one of my favourite parts (pp 111-112) in ‘Clean The Car’:

‘What’s that?’ (Mumma-Sue) pointed to a small tree, which had sprouted in the leaves composting under Tom’s booster seat.

Mumma-Jacq bent down to pick it up. ‘It’s a small tree,’ she said.

‘I can see that.’ Mumma-Sue rolled her eyes.

‘Possibly a fig or a plum.’ Mumma-Jacq examined a tiny green leaf.

‘Well, that’s terrific. But what’s it doing sprouting in the back seat of the car?’ Mumma-Sue tried not to yell. She was not successful.

I think lots of people will like this book, including adults.


This is Jane’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 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 book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: The Mediterranean

The Mediterranean by Armin GrederREVIEWED BY RACHEL, 9, VIC

The Mediterranean by Armin Greder, Allen and Unwin, ISBN 9781760630959

****NB: The publisher recommends this book for readers aged 12 to 16.*****

Rachel reviewed a school copy of this book. 

Armid Greder found it necessary to write a historical fiction about the plight of refugees. The Mediterranean is the sea between Libya and Sicily. Over twenty years ago, three hundred Pakistani and Sri Lankan refugees tried to make it across. They were all trying to get away from the war, a tough time for all.

This story is emotive with only seventeen words and pictures that tell it all! Even though this is a picture book I totally recommend it for twelve years and above because of the powerful and confronting topic and illustrations. We saw only parts of the book with our teacher, it was very sad but when we learn about the past we can learn from it for the future.


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 book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: Cicada

Cicada by Shaun TanREVIEWED BY CINDY (8) and WEYLEN (9), VIC

Cicada by Shaun TanHachette Australia,
ISBN 9780734418630

Cindy and Weylen reviewed a school copy of this book. 

This riveting story by award winning author, Shaun Tan is about an office worker as a cicada, wearing a business suit! This makes the reader feel a little puzzled and surprised. A cicada in real life is an insect that goes unnoticed for two to seventeen years when it burrows underground and actively feeds on roots below. It comes out only when it decides to change into an adult and fly away.

It is set in a big city with offices where some workers don’t feel they are getting treated fairly like everyone else. They work tirelessly. It’s only until retirement that they can relax and start fresh with freedom to do what they want, whenever they want! Tok. Tok. Tok.

This book is for 6-year-olds to adults. It’s a must-read because the detailed pictures tell about how Cicada feels. We felt heart-warmed by this spectacular 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 book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: Girl on Wire

Girl on Wire by Lucy Estela and Elise HurstREVIEWED BY JONATHAN (9) &
OLIVIA (9), VIC

Girl on Wire by Lucy Estela, illustrated by Elise Hurst, Penguin Books Australia,
ISBN 9780143787167

Jonathan & Olivia reviewed a school copy of this book. 

Girl on Wire, written by Lucy Estela and illustrated by Elise Hurst, is a simple but encouraging story. It’s about a troubled girl that has obstacles before her. The tension builds and her fear grows and grows in her mind. She is urged to move forward and to be courageous on her own. Will she make it?

The illustrations are beautiful and expressive. Look closer at the vibrant paintings for they have hidden images that add a deeper meaning. A must-read for anybody who thinks they need courage and can’t do things. Age appropriate for 6-year-olds and above.


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 book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Oxley Christian College

Book review: The All New Must Have Orange 430

The All New Must Have Orange 430 by Michael SpeechleyREVIEWED BY ELVIN, 9, VIC

The All New Must Have Orange 430 by Michael Speechley, Penguin Books Australia, ISBN 9780143788973

Elvin reviewed a school copy of this book.

Yes! It’s finally here! This is a story about Harvey, like every other boy and girl, that wanted the all new Orange 430. Unfortunately, when he tore open the box, he realises that it was actually USELESS. He was ripped off!

A message for children out there to be very careful of what you buy and why you buy it. The illustrations are packed with humour and it’s hard to see everything when you first read it. Recommended for 7+.

Make sure you don’t miss reading this 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!