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

Book review: Finding François

Finding François by Gus GordonREVIEWED BY KOBE, 9, WA

Finding François by Gus Gordon, Penguin Australia Pty Ltd, ISBN 9780143794141

Kobe received a review copy of this picture book.

Can’t find a book that’s full of love and happiness? Why not jump into a cozy little nook and read this one! Finding François is a brilliant book for everyone to enjoy, you can’t doubt that! A little peek inside this book  will lead to you being stuck to this book for a long time.

To give a tiny clue on what this unbelievable book has inside, this might help a bit: Alice wishes she had someone her own size to talk with. Then one day her wish comes true … Through hope and chance, love and loss, two little ones who need each other, find each other.

Gus Gordon is an award winning author from Sydney, Australia who has written many books like Herman and Rosie, Wendy and many more! In total, he’s written 70 books! That’s amazing!

My favourite part about Finding François was that there was a sad moment where Alice loses something really important, but later meets François. I liked it because it reminded me of when my favourite fish died, until we got a new fish that I loved as much as my old one.

Now you’ve got a brief idea about the book, you can read it! Next, you’ll probably share it with everyone! Have fun sailing a boat with Alice, exploring a lighthouse with François and, finally: reading with your beloved family! Enjoy!


Finding François by Gus Gordon

Read Alphabet Soup’s interview with the author-illustrator.

Take a sneak peek inside the book!

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

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

Book review: Order in the Court

REVIEWED BY RORY, 8, WA

Toffle Towers Order in the Court by Tim Harris and James Foley

Toffle Towers: Order in the Court by Tim Harris, illustrated by James Foley, Penguin Australia Pty Ltd, ISBN 9780143795445

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Toffle Towers: Order in the Court is the third book in the Toffle Towers series. It is about a young manager for a hotel and his name is Chegwin. It is set in a place called Alandale where there are two hotels – Toffle Towers and Braxton Hotel. Chegwin Toffle is the young manager of the hotel Toffle Towers. Chegwin has to figure out what to do when some of the guests’ belongings … disappear! To catch the thief Chegwin makes a talent show and lets everyone know that there is $2,000 to win at the back of the room! Chegwin and his friends go to the back of the room, tie a string to Chegwin’s finger and then tie the string to the prize money (Chegwin will feel a tug on the string when the thief tries to steal the money). But what will Chegwin find out in the end … ?

I like all the funny pictures and strange things in this book. For example there are these funny conversations where there are lots of spelling mistakes (put there on purpose!).

I think this is a good book for you if you are 7–10 years of age and like funny things. I rate this book 10 out of 10.

Read a sample chapter on the publisher’s website. 


Rory is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. Read his previous review of The Australia Survival Guide by George Ivanoff. 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Nit Boy

Henry recommends NIT BOY by Tristan Bancks and illustrated by Heath McKenzieREVIEWED BY HENRY, 7, WA 

Nit Boy by Tristan Bancks, illustrated by Heath McKenzie, Penguin Australia, ISBN 9781760896300

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Nit Boy was about a boy called Lewis who had lots of nits. He had a teacher called Mrs Horrock. He was never allowed to go to school because of his nits, because the kids in his class caught them from him. Lewis loved his nits, though. They were his pets. Mrs Horrock made up the nit buster to make the nits jump away.

Ned was one of Lewis’s nits. Ned was a jumping nit. Sheena also lived on Lewis’s head and was his friend.

My favourite part of the book was when Lewis played a prank on Mrs Horrock and took his Dad’s insects to school. The bit I didn’t like about the book was how it changed between Lewis speaking and Ned speaking. I thought it was tricky to read when this happened. I give the story 4 out of 5 and would recommend it though.

Check out our interview with the (itchy) author of Nit Boy


This is Henry’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, Book reviews by Sanuki

Book review: Songbird

Songbird by Ingrid LagunaREVIEWED BY SANUKI, 11, VIC

Songbird by Ingrid Laguna, Text Publishing, ISBN 9781925773538

Sanuki reviewed her own copy of this book. 

Songbird is about a girl called Jamila, she migrated to Australia as a refugee, with her mother and baby brother. She migrated to Australia from Iraq, because in Iraq there was bomb attacks at that time and it wasn’t safe to live there anymore. Her dad was still in Iraq hiding from the constant attacks.

She had to adapt to new changes such as a new house, a new school and learning a new language. All Jamila wanted was to make new friends at her school, but it was very tough for her until she joined the school choir, which made her feel liked she belonged somewhere.

I would recommend this book to someone who would like to experience the life of learning a new language, meeting new friends and many other changes.

Read a sample chapter on the publisher’s website.


Sanuki is a regular contributor to Alphabet Soup, you can read an earlier book review (The Shark Caller) hereIf 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 kids

Book review: WORSE THINGS

REVIEWED BY JOSHUA, 11, NSW

Worse Things by Sally Murphy with illustrations by Sarah Davis

Worse Things by Sally Murphy, illustrations by Sarah Davis, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781760651657

Joshua received a review copy of this book. 

Sally Murphy is the imaginative author of the book, Worse Things. Based in Australia, this non-rhyming book depicts three different views Amed, Blake and Jolene. Amed is new to the school and watches the two other children from a distance – Blake, the Footy Boy and Jolene, the Hockey Girl. Meanwhile, Blake breaks his arm and now observes his football mates play without him. Jolene hates playing hockey because her other teammates dislike her and think that she is too selfish. Her mother urges her on anyway. All Jolene wants is for her dad to come back from saving people and save her from being forced to play hockey. ’How do these three characters’ different situations become one story?’ you may ask yourself …

This is a touching book, which anyone older than the age of 9 would enjoy reading. I appreciate this book because the author uses different techniques, such as if she wants to emphasise a word she would use a short poem to describe it like it is from a dictionary.

In my opinion, Worse Things is rated 4.5 out of 5. I loved reading this highly engaging, captivating and also heart-felt book! 

Read our interview with the author of Worse Things, Sally Murphy. 


This is Joshua’s first 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

Book review: The Theory of Hummingbirds

The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle KadarusmanREVIEWED BY GABRIEL, 9, NSW

The Theory of Hummingbirds by Michelle Kadarusman, UQP, ISBN 9780702262920

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

The Theory Of Hummingbirds is written by Michelle Kadarusam. The book is about a determined girl called Alba who wants to run a two kilometre annual cross-country race. But Cleo is holding her back. Cleo is what she calls her turned-in left foot that she has had since her birth. It had always been in a brace but it recently got changed to a cast. Alba is over-excited because soon the cast will be taken off. She only has two weeks to strengthen her skinny weak left foot before the race is on. Will she be able to run the race? Meanwhile, her best friend Levi who loves science and hides in the library because he has asthma and is afraid of air, thinks the school librarian has a wormhole in her office. Is there truly a wormhole? Alba is not sure whether to believe her friend or not.

I liked the book because I learned a lot about hummingbirds such as how far they migrate. I also learnt how difficult it must have been for someone like Alba who was physically-challenged. I like this book because I am in some ways similar to Levi.

This touching book is great for ages 8+ and for people who love science. I rate this book 10 out of 10. I recommend that you read this book!

Read our interview with the author of The Theory of Hummingbirds.


This is Gabriel’s first 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

Book review: The Lost Stone of SkyCity

REVIEWED BY EVA, 11, WA

The Lost Stone of SkyCity by HM WaughThe Lost Stone of SkyCity by HM Waugh, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925815948

Eva received a review copy of this book.

The Lost Stone of Skycity is written from the main character, Sunaya’s, point of view. Sunaya and her friend Danam discover the land of where the ice people live. In the beginning of the book they think it is just a legend but they discover that the ice people are real! The ice people find Danam and he gets taken away to take the dragon tests. The dragon tests are tests to see if he is strong and powerful enough to defend the Queen from anything bad, and if he passes the tests, he would become the cloud dragon. There is a really cool twist, that you won’t see coming!

This book is awesome because it was exciting! I’ve got a favourite part of the book but I can’t tell you about it as it will spoil it for you – but believe me you have to read this book!

I think the author is very talented. I liked imagining the pictures in my head. It had lots of action in it which was exhilarating! My favourite character was Sunaya. It was a joy to read!

I think other people should read it because there is no other book like it. It is really unique – I like the gotals. The book encourages people to be strong, never give up, and to trust their instincts.

I hope there is a second book soon! I loved the book so much I might dress up as the character, Sunaya, for book week at school!

Read a sample chapter from The Lost Stone of SkyCity.

Read Alphabet Soup’s interview with the author.


This is Eva’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, Book reviews by Kobe

Book review: The Poison Jungle

THE POISON JUNGLE by Tui T SutherlandREVIEWED BY KOBE, 9, WA

Wings of Fire: The Poison Jungle by Tui T Sutherland, Scholastic Inc, ISBN 9781743835241

Kobe reviewed her own copy of this book.

This month I review a really funny book by Tui T. Sutherland, the New York Times best-selling author and famous writer of the Wings of Fire series. This book may look a bit too fat for young children to read! But NO, this book is completely fine for keen readers like me to read. Also, by the way, this book doesn’t contain loads of violence or anything, so it’s completely OK!

I smartly chose this outstanding book because the characters are all extremely hilarious like the little HiveWing dragonet, Bumblebee, who always shouts “SNUDOO!” Instead of “SUNDEW!” who is a LeafWing that lives in the only bit of trees on the lost continent Pantala, The Poison Jungle. The SilkWing, Blue is a flamesilk, which means he produces silk from his silk glands, but it produces silk to look like flame, like his sister Luna. Cricket, the HiveWing, is like me and always tries to ask lots and lots of questions.

I really hope you’ll take my word and read this magical adventure and be sucked in with the characters and fight the evil of Pantala off the surface of this mysterious lost continent, join the Chrysalis, a group of SilkWings who want to stop the evil HiveWing queen, Queen Wasp from taking over and remember that the power of Wings of Fire is always with you no matter what.

Now come on! Lets go into that book and go save the fantastic world!


Kobe is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read all her reviews hereTo send us YOUR 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!
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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 book reviews, Book reviews by Anishka, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Friendly Games

REVIEWED BY ANISHKA, 10, QLD

The Friendly Games by Kaye Baillie, illustrated by Fiona Burrows, MidnightSun Publishing, ISBN 9781925227642

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Have you ever wondered why the Olympic traditions are like the way they are now? The Friendly Games, by Kaye Baillie and Fiona Burrows, explains it all! The Friendly Games was published in 2020 by MidnightSun Publishing. It is a great way to make a point to young readers about how a young student changed the original tradition of the Olympics (lowering of the Olympic flag, a small speech then the extinguishing of the of the flame) to what it is now!

I would recommend this to young readers, where the colours and pictures and young characters will catch their attention. The amazing figurative language and words, immediately transported me to 1956 at the Melbourne Cricket Ground. I would give it nine out of ten. The words were placed on the pictures, that made it hard to read. But, overall I think this is a marvellous book that would be enjoyable to young children.


Anishka is a regular contributor to Alphabet Soup, you can read an earlier book review (I Would Dangle the Moon) hereIf YOU would like to send us a story, drawing, poem, or book review, check out our submission guidelines.