Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: I Would Dangle the Moon

REVIEWED BY ANISHKA, 9, QLD

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

REVIEWED BY HANNAH, 12, QLD

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 book reviews, Book reviews by Hannah, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Wreckers’ Revenge

REVIEWED BY HANNAH, 12, QLD

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 book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: My New Best Friend

My New Best Friend by Meredith Costain, illustrated by Danielle McDonald (book cover)REVIEWED BY MIA, 8, VIC

Olivia’s Secret Scribbles: My New Best Friend
by Meredith Costain, ill. Danielle McDonald,
Scholastic Australia, ISBN 9781760277062

My New Best Friend is part of the Olivia’s Secret Scribbles series. These books are fiction, written by Meredith Costain and illustrated by Danielle McDonald. I think this book and series would suit girls between 6–9 and there is another series for older girls called Ella Diaries, which is written like a diary by Olivia’s older sister.

My New Best Friend is my favourite book, written like a journal, full of special private secrets. Olivia is always up to something and even has her own experiment cupboard. This book is about school, getting a new bedroom, making a new BFF, inventions, soccer, mysteries to be solved, an annoying older sister, a cat that needs more training, a spider, setting traps and lots more.

I love this series because I especially like experiments and new inventions and I can’t wait for more. I always read the whole book in one go because I need to know what’s going to happen. I give this book 5 stars.


This is Mia’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 review: Worst Camp Ever

Worst Camp ever by Meredith Costain and Danielle McDonald (book cover is yellow and shows Ella as a girl with long brown hair wearing a pink baseball cap)REVIEWED BY JESSIE, 10, VIC

Ella Diaries: Worst Camp Ever by Meredith Costain, ill. Danielle McDonald,
Scholastic Australia, ISBN 9781760157180

Worst Camp Ever is part of the Ella Diaries series. The book is a fiction book written by Meredith Costain in a diary style form, through the eyes of an Australian girl named Ella. This book and series would suit girls between 8–12. There is another series for girls a bit younger called Olivia’s Secret Scribbles, which is written through the eyes of Ella’s younger sister. The books are illustrated by Danielle McDonald, in simple but very funny and effective drawings, that often make me laugh out loud.
The books are fun, a bit naughty, focus a lot on school friendships and are filled with adventure, mostly set at school, gymnastics and at home. They also contain some new and fantastic words like ‘fantabulous’ and always have some funny poems or songs.
Worst Camp Ever is one of my favourites, as it is about going on school camp, the excitement of bunk beds, activities like the big swing and kayaking, also fears, personal challenges, enemies, playing pranks, noises at night and scary stories. There is also crazy boys, food fights, potatoes that have to be peeled, points to be earned and lost and so much more.
I have read and own all the books of this series that have been released and my sister is reading the younger version. Every time I come home with a new book I’m so excited to find out what happens next, I need to read it from start to finish in one night. I just can’t wait for more books to be released and I know you will enjoy them too.  5/5

This is Jessie’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 Hannah, Book reviews by kids

Book review: This is home

This is home, poems selected by Jackie French, illustrated by Tania McCartney (book cover)REVIEWED BY HANNAH, 12, QLD

This is home: Essential Australian Poems for Children, selected by Jackie French, ill. Tania McCartney, NewSouth Books, ISBN 9780642279385

Hannah received a review copy of this book from Alphabet Soup.

This is Home – a book of poetry selected for children by Jackie French and vibrantly illustrated by Tania McCartney – is our story of Australia told through verse over real time. There are different sections in the book and each section describes a different part of Australian history. This gives you the freedom to only read what section you like or of reading the whole book from the start to enjoy the progression of events that have formed the country that we call home.

The anthology just radiates pure elegance. The poems are tender and beautiful and most have gorgeous illustrations to match them. The illustrations were really powerful and calming, often playing with the words and a poem’s title.

It was so impossible to choose when my mother asked me for my favourite poem. I have to admit that the ‘Laughter’ section was the one I enjoyed the most. The selection of verse throughout the book doesn’t feel the least bit rushed. The artwork and the storylines are calming and seem to encourage the reader to take time to breathe in the words and pictures. I loved that Jackie French placed the poems in chronological order as I haven’t really seen that done before in an anthology.

I do really love this book and I recommend it to all school aged kids as it is aimed at children. This one is really worth checking out.


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