Guinness World Records 2021 (+ giveaway)

We know many of our readers are fans of the Guinness World Records books and with the release of the 2021 edition we’re excited to share a peek at one of the records – a record that’s bookish, and speedy … and involves knocking things down! We’re also thrilled to be collaborating with the publisher for a Guinness World Records 2021 giveaway. *** THIS GIVEAWAY HAS NOW CLOSED***

From the publisher:

– Travel through the Solar System and see the planets come to life with a free augmented-reality feature
– Encounter the cutest, weirdest, most dangerous and exotic creatures on our home planet
– Meet the world’s tallest, shortest, hairiest and heaviest humans
– Marvel at the latest high scores, speed runs and players at the top of their game in eSports and beyond
– Get the lowdown on the world’s most successful and prolific actors, musicians, TV stars and influencers
– Review the greatest sports achievements from the past year and celebrate today’s top athletes

Check out this bookish record, featured in Guinness World Records 2021:

Most books toppled in a domino fashion: Kmart Australia took an hour to set up 3000 copies of Guinness World Records — before knocking them all over — at their annual conference on 31 October 2018 in Queenstown, New Zealand. A total of 334 employees took part, beating the previous best of 2500, set by Aconex (AUS) set on 20 July 2017.
Extracted from Guinness World Records 2021, published by Pan Macmillan Australia (available now!)

Want to win a copy of Guinness World Records 2021? We have three copies of the book to giveaway, thanks to Pan MacMillan Australia. Here’s how to enter:

  • Email with GWR2021 in the subject line. In the body of the email state your name.
  • Entries close 11.59pm (AWST) on 28 September 2020.
  • The winners will be contacted by email and we will request a postal address at that time. Winners’ names and Australian states will be announced on Alphabet Soup’s blog on Tuesday 29 September 2021.
  • Entrants must be aged 18 or over (children can ask an adult to enter on their behalf).
  • The prize will only be posted to an Australian address.
  • See Terms & conditions for more information.

Good luck!


Winner of the Home Imaginarium Competition

Our inbox was overflowing with entries for this competition and we read through some amazing action-packed, scary, mysterious and funny stories. You are wonderful creative writers.

We are pleased to announce that the winner of the Home Imaginarium Competition is:

MIRA CORRY, 11, Tasmania 

Judge’s comment:
‘Dinosaur in a Supermarket’ tells the (mis)adventures of two friends who find themselves in an unexpected situation. The story was well-structured, with effective use of imagery and language. I was particularly impressed with the story’s pacing, and Mira keeps the reader laughing from beginning to end.

Mira wins a 6-month Home Imaginarium subscription from Paper Bird Books, Fremantle, and an Australian children’s book creator will read this story live on Instagram.

Thank you to all the young writers who entered. We enjoyed reading your masterpieces! Please note that we cannot provide feedback on all your entries. (If you love entering writing competitions, check out the Comps for Kids page on Alphabet Soup’s website. Good luck!)


Winners of the Young Book Reviewers’ Competition

Confetti (image courtesy

Junior section:
Kade Ennis, QLD.
Review: Magic Beach by Alison Lester

Primary section:
Harper Klein, NSW.
Review: The Beast of Buckingham Palace by David Walliams, with illustrations by Tony Ross.


Kade Ennis, QLD

Harper Klein, NSW

Amelia Davis, QLD.

Lissy Dermody, WA

Kate Nicholas Edgar, VIC

Anya Arora, ACT

Molly Phillips, NSW


Those listed above and:

Mahlie Bond, VIC

Joshua Campbell, NSW

Kala Petronijevic, VIC

Kobe Wu, WA

Mira Nguyen, NSW

All these entrants’ reviews will be published here at Alphabet Soup over the coming weeks. If you are one of the longlisted or shortlisted reviewers above, we will be in touch soon to let you know the date that your review will appear. 



The Home Imaginarium Writing Competition

Photo of child writing in a notebook with a pen. Photo courtesy pexels.comWe’re excited to announce our second big competition for 2020! Alphabet Soup is partnering with Paper Bird Children’s Books and Arts to bring you:

The Home Imaginarium Writing Competition (Entries close 5 May 2020)

This writing competition is open to Australian residents aged 7 to 12. Write a short story up to 800 words long (shorter is fine). Your story can be on any subject but you must include the words PAPER and BIRD (separately or together) somewhere in your story. 

At the end of your story you must include the following details:

  • Entrant’s full name
  • Entrant’s age (as at 5 May 2020)
  • Australian postal address (for receiving books in the mail)
  • Parent’s email address
  • Parent’s mobile number
  • The statement: “This is my own unaided work, and it has not been published elsewhere.”

Parents/guardians should email entries to:


PRIZES: The winner will:

  1. have their story read aloud by an Australian author or illustrator as part of the Paper Bird Books Home Club videos AND
  2. receive a 6-month subscription to Paper Bird Books’ Home Imaginarium. (This means the winner will receive a new-release children’s book each month, for 6 months.)

Make sure you read the Terms and Conditions before entering! Good luck!


Alphabet Soup’s Young Book Reviewers’ Competition

Boy reading. Photo by Tanya Gorelova via 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.



All longlisted reviews will be published at Alphabet Soup’s website:

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.


Christmas 2019 Giveaway

Thanks to the lovely people at Fremantle Press — and supplemented by our own generosity (Happy Christmas!) — we have some fabulous booky prizes to give away to two lucky Alphabet Soup readers. We have ONE BOOK PACK and ONE PICTURE BOOK to give away. You may enter in both categories, but be sure to read HOW TO ENTER before you do! Terms and conditions are at the end of this post. Be sure to read those too.


The winners are:

Book pack prize: L Barnes (NSW)

Picture book prize: S Giltrow (WA)

competitions, poetry, Soup Blog Poetry Festival

Alphabet Soup’s 2014 poetry comp for kids

Think of something that scares you … or something that scared you when you were younger. (Sometimes ordinary things can seem very scary to someone small.)  Write a poem about it. Your poem should be no longer than 20 lines (shorter is fine!).

You must include an official cover sheet with your entry:




Your poem can be handwritten or typed.

The winning poem will be published on Alphabet Soup’s blog and the winner will receive one $30 bookstore voucher (posted to the address provided on the entry).

Entries (poem + cover sheet) may be posted to Alphabet Soup, PO Box 3099, Broadway Nedlands WA 6009. (Entries must be posted in time to reach us by the closing date.)


Entries (poem + cover sheet) can be scanned and emailed as PDFs or .docx documents only to Entries must be emailed in time to reach us by the closing date.

KEEP A COPY OF YOUR POEM because all entries and contact information will be destroyed after the winner is announced.

Some fine print:

  • The competition opens on Saturday 25 October 2014 and closes at 11.59pm (Perth time) on Tuesday 25 November 2014.
  • This competition is open to children aged 12 or younger on 25 November 2014.
  • This competition is open to residents of Australia only.
  • Immediate family members of Alphabet Soup’s paid employees are not eligible to enter this competition. (Children who contribute book reviews to Alphabet Soup’s website are not considered to be employees.)
  • To enter, you must write a poem about something that scares you, or something that scared you when you were younger. Your poem should be no longer than 20 lines (shorter is fine).
  • The poem must be all your own work. Poems that are copied from someone else (plagiarism) will be disqualified.
  • Entries must include the the official cover sheet with its signed declaration (see above to download).
  • You may enter as many times as you wish, but each entry must include its own completed cover sheet (see above to download).
  • One winner will be chosen and will be notified by email or by telephone as per the info on your cover sheet.
  • The winner’s poem will be published on Alphabet Soup’s website and the winner will receive one $30 bookstore voucher — posted to you in the mail.
  • Entries (poem + cover sheet) may be posted to Alphabet Soup, PO Box 3099, Broadway Nedlands WA 6009. OR Entries (poem + cover sheet) can be scanned and emailed as PDFs or .docx documents to

Privacy statement:

Alphabet Soup will never pass your information on to anyone else, except where required by law. All entries and personal information will be destroyed at the end of the competition.

Happy writing!


An Aussie Year Blog Tour

An Aussie Year

An Aussie Year is a new picture book (out this month!) about what Australian children love to do each month of the year. There’s a Blog Tour to celebrate (we’ll be featuring a book review of the book on our stop of the tour).

Would you like to see one of your stories published? Then DON’T FORGET to enter the ‘An Aussie Year writing competition‘. The winning entry will be published on the Kids’ Book Review site as part of the book launch celebrations! (Entries close 27 October, so get those entries in!)