Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by Rebecca

Book review: The Pup’s Tale

The Pup’s Tale by Darrel and Sally Odgers, ill. Janine Dawson, Scholastic Press ISBN 9781741697254"The Pup's Tale (cover)"
A review copy of this book was sent to us by the publisher.

Trump is an animal liaison officer at Pet Vet clinic. (He’s a Jack Russell terrier.) This is book 6 in the Pet Vet series.

When Dr Jeanie (the vet) checks on a mother labrador and her 15 newborn puppies, she discovers that the mother dog isn’t able to look after the smallest puppy, Tiny. Trump and Dr Jeanie have to try to find a foster-mother for Tiny, and keep an eye on him.

Before you get into the story, there are some sketches of the important people in the book. Throughout the book there are grey info boxes to help with interesting words (like ‘Runt—the smallest pup or piglet in a litter.’)

If you like books about animals (and especially dogs!), you’ll love The Pup’s Tale.

© July  2011 “Review of The Pup’s Tale by Darrel and Sally Odgers, ill. Janine Dawson”, reviewed by Rebecca Newman (Alphabet Soup magazine)
Posted in authors, Events, illustrator, teachers' resources

WA book event: BOOKWIZ 2011

28/6/2011 notice: We have been advised that this event has been cancelled.

The Children’s Book Council of Australia (WA branch) runs an annual book-based quiz in the style of ABC TV show, Spicks ‘n’ Specks. It’s called BOOKWIZ! Bring your family and friends along for a fun afternoon and meet local authors and illustrators.

"bookwiz 2011"

Sunday 3 July, 2-4 pm

MC: MEG MCKINLAY (author of Duck for a Day and The Truth About Penguins
Where: Boulevard Centre, Floreat [beneath Cambridge Library], Western Australia
Cost: $12 adults   $6 school students [includes refreshments]
Bookings: Chloe Mauger –cmauger@iinet.net.au–  phone: 9295 1328

Posted in authors

Totally Twins, an interview with Portia

 

"Musical Mayhem cover"
The first book in the Totally Twins series

 

Totally Twins is a new series for girls. The first book in the series, Musical Mayhem, was released in September 2010. The author, Aleesah Darlison, is taking Musical Mayhem on a blog tour to celebrate the launch of the book, and she arranged for us to interview a character from the series—Portia. You can get to know Portia’s twin, Persephone, on another stop on the tour.

But now, let’s meet Portia.

Your twin sister, Persephone, keeps a diary. Do you keep a diary too?

No. Not yet, but seeing Perse have so much fun with her diary sure makes me want one too! I’m usually kept pretty busy with school and ballet practice but maybe I’ll ask Mum to splurge on a new diary for me. I can’t let Perse have all the fun!

What’s the best thing about having a twin sister?

Having someone you can always, always rely on.

What’s the worst thing about having a twin sister?

Having to share a birthday—every year. But at least Mum lets us have our own cakes.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Fun, friendly, fabulous, fashionable and … FUNKY!

Perse is a sensible, sensitive, shy, serious and super sister! But don’t tell her I said that, it might go to her head.

If you found $20 lying on the ground, how would you spend it?

I’d buy some pink-iced cupcakes for Perse and me (chocolate for her, vanilla for me)—but don’t tell Mum because she’s dead against high sugar food. I’d also buy some new jewellery and magazines.

"Aleesah Darlison"

You can find out more about Aleesah Darlison at: www.aleesahdarlison.com. (There are some Totally Twins colouring-in pages you can download from her website.)

Persephone (Portia’s twin sister) also has her own blog where you can send her messages and download Totally Twins material. Visit Perse at: http://totally-twins.blogspot.com.

Posted in authors, Events, illustrator, teachers' resources

Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre- Open Day 30 May 2010

If you’re looking for a free family outing on Sunday, why not visit the Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre for their Open Day?

Running with the Horses (cover)You can admire or purchase books and artwork, attend free storytelling sessions and meet Alison Lester (and hear her talk about the techniques she used in the illustrations of her latest picture book, Running with the Horses. She’ll also be answering questions).

For more info, visit the Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre website. (Scroll down – info about the Open Day is the third item from the bottom.)

Alison Lester and WA writers and illustrators will be available to sign copies of their books.
Posted in authors, Events, teachers' resources

Author event: Meet Rachel Spratt

Meet the author of the Nanny Piggins books at the launch of the third book – Nanny Piggins and the Runaway Lion!

When: 3pm – 4.30pm, Saturday 6th March
Where: St Johns little church hall, opposite St Johns Church, St Johns Road, Glebe, NSW.
Cost: Free!

You can chat with the author, Rachel Spratt, and hear a reading from the book. And there’ll be refreshments and activities including a chocolate treasure hunt.

Head to the launch for a snorting good time!

RSVP essential! Please email louise@gleebooks.com.au

Posted in Events, library, school holidays, teachers' resources

Meet storyteller Glenn B Swift

Tall Tales and True of Brave Knights and Fair Maidens (WA event)

Storyteller Glenn B Swift will let you in on what Sleeping Beauty, Rapunzel and Sir Lancelot had in common and what lessons they had to learn to live happily ever after. For ages four to 12. (This event is part of the WA Premier’s Summer Reading Challenge.)

Tuesday, 12 January from 11.00am to noon at Willagee Library and 2.00pm to 3.00pm at Canning Bridge Library.

Wednesday, 13 January from 1.00pm to 2.00pm at A.H. Bracks Library and 3.00pm to 4.00pm at Civic Square Library.

Cost: $2.00 per child (bookings essential).

For more information,  phone the City of Melville on 1300 635 845.

Posted in teachers' resources

Win a copy of Bush Secrets by Tjalaminu Mia and Jessica Lister!

Thanks to everyone who entered our Wombat Divine giveaway. (Refer to the comments at that post to see who won, if you haven’t already!)

We thought we could squeeze in one last book giveaway before Christmas is upon us. A while back we reviewed Bush Secrets, by Tjalaminu Mia and Jessica Lister, about a granddaughter sharing a secret with her grandfather, and then Grandpa sharing a special place in the bush with her.

We have one review copy to give away! To enter, leave a comment at any post on Soup blog, telling us the title of a children’s book you love (0r loved as a child!) that has a Christmas theme.

This giveaway has been extended and entries close on Thursday 24 December 2009 at 5 pm Perth time (that’s Perth in Western Australia!).

Posted in book reviews, Christmas, school holidays, teachers' resources, what we're reading

Even more Christmas books!

Well, there are only 7 sleeps left until Christmas day!

At this time of year, when I’m reading books to my children at bedtime, we always have at least one Christmas-themed book and (as we’re running out of days to talk about them) I thought I’d list a few all in one post!

One book that we continue to pull out since my eldest daughter was little is The Nativity, illustrated by Julie Vivas. It uses text from the Authorised King James Version of the Bible to tell the Christmas story and the illustrations really glow and make this a wonderful book. (You might know her illustrations from other books, like Possum Magic, Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge and Our Granny, or many others!)

We also love Twelve Days of Christmas by Rachel Griffin. It comes with a CD of the song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ and each double-page spread in the book covers one day of the twelve days. Each page has photographs of brightly-coloured embroidery showing scenes from that particular day – our favourites: the Five Gold Rings worn by an elephant, and the Pipers Piping, who are snake charmers. We love this book and we never get tired of the fun CD, and of course, the twelve days of Christmas aren’t over until Epiphany, so we can keep listening until well after Christmas! (This was published in the UK and my children seem to think that the twelfth day should be ‘Drummers drumming’ and not ‘Lords-a-leaping’, but I don’t know if this is an Australian preference or a Newman-children preference. If we’re singing it along with a piano we go with my children’s preference, but we respect the CD version when we’ve got that on!)

I believe Twelve Days of Christmas is currently out of print, which is A TERRIBLE THING! But I’ve seen it at several public libraries, so you could add it to your ‘must borrow’ list.

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas by Kevin Whitlark arrived in our house just before December and (you guessed it) is a silly version of ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ and full of all kinds of dogs doing doggy things. We like to sing ‘Three French Poodles, Two chewed up slippers, and a fat cat in a fur treeeeeee’ very loudly. If you love dogs (and Christmas carols), you will love this picture book. It really is very silly but it’s good fun and has been read quite a few times since it first arrived.

What about your holiday reading? Do you have any Christmas books that you just love and you think we should know about?

~ Rebecca Newman (Editor, Alphabet Soup magazine)

The Nativity, illustrated by Julie Vivas, Omnibus Books, ISBN 1862910529. This book was selected for review from the Editor’s own collection.
Twelve Days of Christmas, by Rachel Griffin, Barefoot Books, ISBN 9781841489407. This book was selected for review from the Editor’s own collection.
The Twelve Dogs of Christmas, by Kevin Whitlark, Scholastic Australia, ISBN 9781741694451. A review copy of  this book was sent to us by  Scholastic Australia.