Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Awful Auntie

Awful Auntie by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony RossREVIEWED BY AMELIA, YR 5, QLD

Awful Auntie by David Williams, illustrated by Tony Ross, HarperCollins, ISBN 9780007453627

Amelia reviewed her own copy of this book. This review was shortlisted in Alphabet Soup’s 2020 Young Book Reviewers’ competition. 

Awful Auntie is a great book with funny pictures that, despite being black and white, are very detailed and vivid. You also get to see Saxby Hall and drawings of the characters so that you know who they are if they’re in a picture throughout the book. I loved the family tree – once I tried to copy it with my own family, but it didn’t work too well.

Awful Auntie has a touch of fantasy, a touch of nonsense, a touch of mystery, and lots of funniness. I have read it lots of times since last year when I first got it. David Walliams makes it funny and mesmerising, and you just want to read it again and again and again. I love Awful Auntie.


During May and June Alphabet Soup will be posting all the book reviews by those longlisted in our 2020 Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Magic Beach

Magic Beach by Alison LesterREVIEWED BY KADE, 6, QLD

Magic Beach by Alison Lester, A&U Children’s, ISBN 9781741144888

Kade reviewed his own copy of the book. This was the winning book review in the Junior Category of Alphabet Soup’s 2020 Young Book Reviewers’ Competition.  

I like this book, it made me feel calm.  Every grade, including the Kindy kids, at my school would like this book.

The words are exciting and the watercolour drawings are awesome. The main characters are kids playing at their beach. Belinda and James build sandcastles and find sticks, rocks and feathers. They’re pretending their beach is all different things like they found treasure, they’re sailing all over the world and they caught a shark.

I like the pictures and the family’s cute dog is found on almost every page. I liked the words on the last page “adrift on the evening tide”. There are parts of the story that are confusing and the picture didn’t help me.

4/5 stars


During May and June Alphabet Soup will be posting all the book reviews by the winners and longlisters from our 2020 Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Beast of Buckingham Palace

The Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams and illustrated by Tony RossREVIEWED BY HARPER, YEAR 5, NSW

The Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams, illustrated by Tony Ross, HarperCollins Children’s Books, ISBN 9780008385644

Harper reviewed her own copy of this book, and was the Primary Category winner in our 2020 Young Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Imagine the year 2120, one hundred years into the future. Evil has come knocking and Britain will never be the same. With the majority of Britain under the control of evil, it will take Prince Alfred to find the good in people. But in these times, it seems you can only trust yourself. The King’s beasts will soon be controlled by the Lord Protector, including the monstrous Griffin. Will the sickly Prince Alfred, who has never seen the world outside Buckingham Palace be able to save Britain?

David Williams has a knack of transporting his readers to thrilling new places with excitement and mystery around every corner. Even the Royal Family gets a new adventure! Readers love an unexpected hero, and Prince Alfred is just that. Sickly, small and rejected by the Lord Protector, he is proven unworthy by his Father. But he shows us that by displaying courage and making sacrifices anyone can be a hero.

I love learning about the Royal Family, so this book was exciting. This was my favourite David Williams book; I couldn’t put it down! The characters had a lot of personality and the story was very eventful. The thing I love most about this book is the different fonts that were used to show how each character felt or the mood of the scene.  For example, if the character was frightened then the words the character said would be fuzzy. It was such a fun read!


During May and June Alphabet Soup will be posting all the book reviews by the winners and longlisters from our 2020 Book Reviewers’ Competition. 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: My Place (Younger Readers Edition)

REVIEWED BY SASKIA, 10, WA

My Place (Younger Readers Edition) by Sally Morgan, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925816761

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

This book is about Sally Morgan’s life. It is an autobiography but it also has some information about her family history. It has four different people’s perspectives: Sally, Sally’s nan (Daisy Corunna), Sally’s mum (Gladys Corunna) and Sally’s great uncle (Arthur Corruna). Sally’s family history is rather secret and unknown, which makes the book very interesting. I learnt a lot about Australian history through her family’s stories.

I also like Sally’s writing style and the way that in the perspective of the other people she used their real speech instead of modifying it to fit her own style.

I would recommend this book to 6th to 9th grade children. There is also an adult version of the book.

Read a sample of My Place on the publisher’s website.

Click here for Teachers’ Notes


This is Saskia’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: WeirDo 13

Kobe recommends WEIRDO 13: WEIRDOMANIA by Anh Do & Jules FaberREVIEWED BY KOBE, 9, WA

WeirDo 13: Weirdomania by Anh Do, ill. by Jules Faber, Scholastic Australia, ISBN 9781742997933

Kobe reviewed her own copy of this book. 

Thinking of a book to read in May? WeirDo 13: Weirdomania is the right book for you.

This action packed book is filled with funny pictures and amusing jokes. In this book you’ll learn who’s the famous wrestler in the Do family and you’ll be surprised to find out who it really is! I hope you like the battle between the unbeatable Block and the mystery Do wrestler.

I hope you enjoy this amazing book and once you read it you’ll be attached to this best selling book written by Anh Do. Enjoy your reading journey!


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: Hit for Six

Hit for Six by David Warner with JS Black and illustrated by Jules FaberREVIEWED BY MEKAEEL, 7, NSW

The Kaboom Kid: Hit for Six by David Warner with JS Black, ill. by Jules Faber, Simon & Schuster Australia, ISBN 9781925030846

Mekaeel reviewed his own copy of this book.

Kaboom Kid: Hit for Six is a fiction book. This book is suitable for primary school kids. It is easy to read and understand. The plot is gripping and the story is interesting.

The story is about an 11-year-old child, David Warner, who is in year 6 and loves cricket. He plays for Sandhill Sluggers. A boy named Mo bets that he’ll treat the team if Warner hits six 6s in a match. But when Warner opens the treat box given to him by Mo, he learns a shocking secret.

Because Warner is always dreaming about cricket, he sometimes gets in trouble as well. Mr Mudge (the teacher) also banned him from playing cricket until he brings back his completed essay.

Most of the characters in this book are kind but some like Mo, are a bit rude.

I liked the excitement of finding out if David Warner hits six 6s in one match or not. Would he submit his homework essay on time? Would he get the big win for Sandhill Sluggers?

I really like this book but it could have been better — if David Warner hadn’t been banned from playing cricket.

Rating: ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡ ⚡


This is Mekaeel’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. (OR you might like to enter our 2020 book review competition! Happy reading.

Posted in activities, book reviews, competitions

Alphabet Soup’s Young Book Reviewers’ Competition

Boy reading. Photo by Tanya Gorelova via pexels.com.Alphabet Soup’s Young Book Reviewers’ Competition (Entries close 2 May 2020)

Announcing our book reviewing competition. This comp is open to Australian residents aged 12 or younger.

To enter: Review a children’s book from any genre, fiction or nonfiction. You can choose to review any book you own or borrow, but you cannot enter a review of a book if that book was provided to you or a family member as a review copy.

There is no word limit for reviews.

ENTRY: FREE

PRIZES: 

All longlisted reviews will be published at Alphabet Soup’s website: http://www.alphabetsoup.net.au.

Junior category (Kindy, Preprimary and Year 1): Winner will receive 6 postcards from various children’s authors and illustrators (one postcard per month for 6 months)

Primary category (Year 2 to Year 6): Winner will receive 6 postcards from various children’s authors and illustrators (one postcard per month for 6 months)

Check out these awesome authors and illustrators who could be sending you a postcard!

James Foley

Wendy Binks

Amber Moffat

Kylie Howarth

Briony Stewart

Michael Speechley

Caz Goodwin

HM Waugh

Cristy Burne

Norman Jorgensen

Deb Fitzpatrick

Gabrielle Wang

Find out HOW TO ENTER here.

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

Book review: KID ARTISTS

KID ARTISTS: TRUE TALES OF CHILDHOOD FROM CREATIVE LEGENDS by David Stabler and Doogie HornerREVIEWED BY KOBE, 9, WA

Kid Artists: True tales of childhood from creative legends by David Stabler, ill. by Doogie Horner, ISBN 9781594748967, Quirk Books

Kobe reviewed her own copy of this book

This book is my favourite book in March because you can learn about famous artists’ lives from childhood to adulthood, even Leonardo da Vinci! The most important part is that it tells you how they work hard to become famous artists.

In the book you can learn how Frida survived polio in her right leg, how Dr Seuss made super funny books and how Leonardo da Vinci made such a scary shield. It’s so interesting reading this FABULOUS book.

I am certain that you should at least take a look at this picture-filled book and your mind will be lost in time and the past. It was a very interesting inspiration. I hope you’ll enjoy reading this amazing 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 review: The Tyrant’s Tomb

REVIEWED BY ISAAC, 13, WA

The Tyrant’s Tomb (The Trials of Apollo Book 4) by Rick Riordan, Puffin, ISBN 9780141364049

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

The Trials of Apollo: The Tyrant’s Tomb is a fascinating book. It is a fiction novel about mythological creatures, gods and other beliefs. Rick Riordan writes every one of his books with care. The initial storylines of these books are all set in the same world, but his stories and plots get more sophisticated as they continue on from the other stories within the series.

I really enjoyed this book, as it plays along with the main storyline of the series and refers to mythological elements from Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome. 

Overall, Rick Riordan’s books are all highly recommended! 


This is Isaac’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: Moonfish

Moonfish by Graeme BaseREVIEWED BY LUCAS, 9, WA

Moonfish by Graeme Base, Puffin, ISBN 9780143791409

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Moonfish is about a fish who wants to know more about his life and why he is different.

I like Moonfish because the drawings are very realistic. I especially like pages 5 and 6 when the main character appears. The story is sad to begin with but the ending is very good.


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