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. 

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

Book review: Littlelight

Littlelight by Kelly CanbyREVIEWED BY KOBE, 9, WA

Littlelight by Kelly Canby, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925815764 

Kobe received a review copy of this book.

Littlelight is a very enjoyable book for everyone to read. Although it’s a picture book, it’s still good to read because it has a valuable lesson in it. This book is also a great way to teach kids to use their imagination, like you don’t have to be scared of being yourself because you are yourself, and this book shows exactly that.

The story is about town that is called Littlelight that lost some bricks from the walls, which the mayor was really mad about. So Littlelight’s people started looking for the culprit. After that, all the towns people lived together happily. The rest of the details are in the unique book.

In my opinion, the moral of this story is that different people have different opinions. (A moral is something in a book that teaches you a lesson or good tip.) In the story, the Littlelight  people agreed with the mayor’s choices until the end, where they disagreed.

Some people may think that picture books are just for babies, but they can be for anyone. Even for adults. So please read this absolutely charming book.

Take a sneak peek inside Littlelight.


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: No! Never!

No! Never! by Libby Hathorn, Lisa Hathorn-Jarman and Mel PearceREVIEWED BY ANWEN, 6, WA

No! Never! by Libby Hathorn & Lisa Hathorn-Jarman, illustrated by Mel Pearce, Hachette Australia, ISBN 9780734418906

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

This book is about a little girl called Georgie who used to be nice and helpful but then turned into a very annoying person who never helped.

I liked this book because of the illustrations. I loved how Mel Pearce did all of the lines in one place because it made the pictures look more real.

Read an interview with the illustrator and get a sneak peek inside the book.


This is Anwen’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 review by Jane, book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Eloise & the Bucket of Stars

Eloise and the Bucket of Stars by Janeen BrianREVIEWED BY JANE, 8, WA

Eloise & the Bucket of Stars by Janeen Brian, Walker Books Australia, ISBN 9781760651879

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Eloise Pail has to do almost all the work at the orphanage. A friendly blacksmith helps her make an amazing discovery, which means she and her friend Janie have to break the rules to save the town.

This is a fantasy book set in the past. I really loved this book, because it is magical. The thing I liked best was when Janie and Eloise became friends. I liked Sister Genevieve because she was always nice.

I think that if you like unicorns or mysteries and are over 7 you would love this book.


Jane is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. Her previous review was of Total Quack Up Again. 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: Alice-Miranda in the Outback

Alice Miranda in the Outback by Jacqueline HarveyREVIEWED BY KOBE, 9, WA

Alice-Miranda in the Outback by Jacqueline Harvey, Puffin, ISBN 9781760891039

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Alice-Miranda is an unforgettable fantastic series of outstanding books that is fabulously written by the amazing author Jaqueline Harvey, who is the great writer of the Clementine Rose series as well as Kensy and Max. This book is so utterly amazing because it is filled to the brim with funny characters and weird animal friendships. Think about what it would be like to see a big, giant, fat cat sleeping undisturbed with a teeny weeny, wet, floppy goldfish, that’s exactly what type of crazy action she exclusively includes in this exciting book!

The overall story is that Alice-Miranda and her friends are off to the Australian outback! They’re going to help an old family friend who’s found himself short-staffed during cattle mustering season. The landscape is like nothing else — wide open and dusty red as far as the eye can see. It’s also full of quirky characters, like eccentric opal miner Sprocket McGinty and the enigmatic Taipan Dan. As the gang settles in at Hope Springs Station, mysteries start piling up. A strange map indicates treasure beneath the paddocks, a young girl is missing and there are unexplained water shortages.

My most favourite part of this book is that Alice-Miranda and her friends and family go on lots and lots and lots of mysterious and exciting travelling in this book which brings me to the last stage of explaining why this awesome book is so unbelievable! Lastly, this book has the funniest characters in the world’s history! It is so because Jacqueline Harvey has made funny names and hilarious characters like Muz and Col. That is the most convincing thing I can say to you that you have to buy this glorious book right now! Now you have to!

Read a sample chapter of the book on the publisher’s website.

Check out Alphabet Soup’s Q&A with the author, Jacqueline Harvey.


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: The Shark Caller

The Shark Caller by Dianne WolferREVIEWED BY SANUKI, 10, VIC

The Shark Caller by Dianne Wolfer, Random House Australia, ISBN 9780143780557

Sanuki reviewed her own copy of this book.

This story is about a girl (Isabel), who just lost her twin brother (Ray) while diving in the open ocean. Isabel is a lovely girl, who is kind to everyone but her heart is feeling down because of the tragic loss.

Isabel only lives with her mum because her parents were divorced, but she gets to see her dad often. She travels to Papua New Guinea which was where she was born with her brother. The main point of going to Papua New Guinea is to have a death ceremony to lay her brother’s ashes.

I really like this book because it is a story with a sad beginning, but it ends with a happy ending. The feeling changes a lot which is really great for the reader, because it lets them have a different understanding of what the character would do in that type of feeling.

I would rate this book 5/5 because it makes the reader engaged to the book and it makes the reader want to see what will happen next in the book.

Read a sample chapter of The Shark Caller on the publisher’s website.


This is Sanuki’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 Fergus, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Gargantis

Gargantis by Thomas TaylorREVIEWED BY FERGUS, 10, WA

Gargantis by Thomas Taylor, Walker Books, ISBN 9781406386295

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Gargantis is the second book in The Legends of Eerie-On-Sea series by Thomas Taylor. It is set in a seaside village called Eerie-On-Sea that is your average seaside village in summer, but in winter it’s so cold, dark and stormy that the only people who arrive have an important reason for being there. Herbert Lemon (called Herbie by his friend Violet) is the Lost-And-Founder of the Grand Nautilus Hotel. Herbert lives an ordinary life which is suddenly turned upside-down when unusually huge storms rage around Eerie-On-Sea. Then, a shadowy stranger turns up at the hotel and an old bottle washes up on the beach. Herbie and Violet are forced to leap headfirst into a dangerous adventure to stop the storms from destroying the town. What will they find when the storms finally end? What is the thing hiding in the deep cloak with its pinkish tentacles and raspy voice?

This book has great characters and many plotlines that weave together to create an amazing story. I read this book in one night and could not put it down. You will never guess who the man with a boathook for a hand is and then BAM! You find out and it all comes together like a puzzle. Except, a puzzle that puts lives at risk.

I accidentally read Gargantis (book 2) before Malamander (Book 1). Even so, it was easy to understand and there were only a few confusing bits, so you do not need to read them in order. I rate this book 10/10 and think anyone 8 and up would enjoy it.

Gargantis fan art by Fergus


Fergus is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. You can read his earlier review of Malamander (Book 1 in this series) 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 Kobe

Book review: Minecraft Guide to Survival

MINECRAFT GUIDE TO SURVIVAL by MojangREVIEWED BY KOBE, 9, WA

Minecraft Guide to: Survival by Mojang AB, Egmont UK, ISBN 9781405296502

Kobe reviewed her own copy of this book.

ARGH! You just can’t find the right book to guide you through Survival Mode in Minecraft, what should you do? Well, I’ve got the perfect solution for you: read the amazing, fantastic, and spectacular Minecraft Guide to: Survival book! This official book is developed by Mojang, the creators of Minecraft and it is absolutely the unmistakable guide to Survival Mode in Minecraft with every piece of info and tips!

I believe that this book is totally and utterly the most ultimate Survival guide you can wish for! There, solved your problem, but here comes another, how do you use the book? Using the book is quite easy because all you need to do is read the book through and if you come across ANY problems, really look and seek some information to help yourself to any situations you have! How simple is that?

Now imagine you’re playing just fine, hold on! What’s that thing right next to you? Hmm, looks like some sort of creature that swims in water, EEK! It also has some creepy teeth and weird eyes! That’s exactly what happened to me! I was doing amazingly well looking at the stream I was next to behind my tree, then weird tentacles rose out of the water and with circle of teeth! But how could I know that it was only a squid rather than a nerve racking monster without this amazing guide book? If I had that book at that time, I wouldn’t be so creeped out!

Now you can immediately see how your brain is urging you to get that book! I’m just saying, you are not going to survive in Survival Mode for that long if you’re a beginner and you haven’t gotten this book already because when I tried Survival without the book, it was only a matter of time before a creeper exploded right next to me, so I died.

Now I am 100% sure you are going to get this book as soon as possible! Have a good time reading, adventurous reader!


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 Fergus, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Malamander

Malamander by Thomas TaylorREVIEWED BY FERGUS, 10, WA

Malamander by Thomas Taylor, Walker Books, ISBN 9781406386288

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Malamander is the first book in The Legends of Eerie-On-Sea series by Thomas Taylor. It’s about a boy called Herbert Lemon who is the Lost-And-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel. Everything is fine until a strange man comes to the hotel looking for a girl. Herbert hides the girl. He decides to keep her a secret because the man does not feel quite right. Herbert and the girl are then whisked into an adventure filled with monsters, misty nights and moaning noises. They must unearth what really happened to the girl’s parents and uncover the watery secrets of the malamander.

Malamander is a great fast-paced mystery book with many twists and turns. It has good ideas and lots of interesting characters, like the boathook man who is dark and foreboding. The ending is very exciting and the build up of tension is great. The ending hits you with a bang and leaves you stunned and amazed.

I think that if I lived by the beach I would never go out on a misty night again after reading this book. I would rate this book 10/10 and recommend it to anyone aged 8 onwards.


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