Posted in Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: Lord of the Fleas

Image shows the cover of a children's graphic novel: Dog Man, Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey. The cover illustration shows a cartoon-style illustration of a dog in a blue shirt and trousers standing in front of a giant cat-head cave, holding the hand of a small kitten.

REVIEWED BY NATE, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas by Dav Pilkey, Graphix, ISBN 9781338741070

Have you ever read a book that’s hilarious? Then I think you should read Dog Man: Lord of the Fleas because it is so hilarious. It started when Lil Petey and 80-HD were working and making a clubhouse and Dogman came downstairs. Lil Petey is a kitten and 80-HD is a robot. Dogman is a dog who is half man. Lil Petey told Dogman that they were going to be in a club. Lil Petey said, “We will call ourselves the Super Buddies.”

One reason I like this book is because Lil Petey is so funny. In the story Lil Petey says, “Hi, bad guys.” Two of the bad guys say, “Hi” and the boss of the bad guys does not. Another reason I like this book is because Dogman and Lil Petey work together. For example when Dogman is huge, Lil Petey wakes him up. A third reason I like this book is because Petey is sneaky. In the story the guard asks Petey if he was building a giant robot. Petey said, “no” when he actually was. These are some of the reasons why you should read this book.

I hope you get this book and read it right away! Do you want to find out more about this book? Visit your local library.

I recommend this book for kids ages 5 and up. I give this book 10 out of 10 stars.


Second grade students at Glenridge Elementary School (Missouri, USA) are guest reviewers at Alphabet Soup. Click here if you’d like to read more book reviews by Glenridge Elementary School. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: The Bad Guys

Image shows the cover of a children's graphic novel: The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey. The cover's background is bright orange. At the bottom of the book's cover are cartoon illustrations in black and white and grey showing a snake, a wolf wearing a suit and tie, a shark wearing a suit and tie and a piranha.

REVIEWED BY CHIAGOZIEM, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

The Bad Guys by Aaron Blabey, Scholastic Inc, ISBN 9780545912402

Chiagoziem reviewed the school’s copy of this book.

Do you like books with talking animals? Then you should read The Bad Guys! because it is silly and funny. The characters’ names are Mr Wolf, Mr Shark, Mr Piranha, and Mr Snake. Mr Shark and Mr Piranha don’t need water to survive. Also Mr Piranha is Hispanic. There is a Guinea pig named Marmalade. Marmalade has a mum and dad.

One reason I like this book is because of the silly parts. For example, one time Mr Shark dressed up as an old lady. The bad guys aren’t bad, they’re good guys, in fact. The second reason I like this book is because sometimes what they say is funny. For example, Mr Piranha always says “Chico’s”. A third reason I like this book is because the characters are hilarious. In the story, they act like they’re mad all the time.

I think you should read this book because it has funny characters. I recommend this book for kids aged eight. I’ll give this book 10 out of 10 stars.


Second grade students at Glenridge Elementary School (Missouri, USA) are guest reviewers at Alphabet Soup. Click here if you’d like to read more book reviews by Glenridge Elementary School. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: The Dragon of Fortune

Image shows the cover of a children's book: The Dragon of Fortune in the Geronimo Stilton series. The cover illustration shows a cartoon-style mouse dressed in armour astride a blue dragon. the mouse is holding up a gold key which is nearly as big as the mouse.

REVIEWED BY AKSHAY, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

Geronimo Stilton: The Dragon of Fortune, Scholastic Inc, ISBN 9781338159394

Akshay reviewed his own copy of this book.

Do you like dragons, wizards, and talking lizards? Then you should read Geronimo Stilton: Dragon of Fortune. It is very funny. It is so interesting you want to read more!

In the story Geronimo goes with his friends to find the winged ring but people try to stop him. All the witches and also the cat tried to stop him. She disguised herself to go to the witch council in the Kingdom of Fantasy. Geronimo is scared of the cat but the wizard comes with him. Also in the story they call him Sir Geronimo of Stilton. Isn’t that funny?

One reason I like this book is because it has lots of adventures. What happens in the story is there is an enchanted book they use to fly to the witch castle. Pretty adventurous, huh? The second reason I like this book is because, for example, it has lots of pages. If you finish a hundred pages you have a lot more! My last reason I love this book is because the characters from the other books stay in the new book. For example, Geronimo, Scribblehopper, Blue Rider and others are in this book and different books in the series too.

I hope you get this book and read it right away! I recommend this book for ages 8 and above. I give this book 10 stars.


Second grade students at Glenridge Elementary School (Missouri, USA) are guest reviewers at Alphabet Soup. Click here if you’d like to read more book reviews by Glenridge Elementary School. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Book reviews by kids, Glenridge Elementary School

Book review: Fox and Rabbit Celebrate

Image shows the cover of a children's graphic novel: Fox and Rabbit Celebrate by Beth Ferry and Gergely Dudás. The cover illustration shows a giant cake with pink icing and a fox in a blue pointy party hat and two balloons, a tiny sparrow in a purple pointy party hat and a rabbit in a yellow pointy party hat and holding balloons. The sky is filled with confetti.

REVIEWED BY LUCCA, SECOND GRADE, MISSOURI, USA

Fox & Rabbit Celebrate by Beth Ferry and Gergely Dudás, Amulet Books ISBN 9781419751837

Lucca read the school’s copy of this book.

Do you like books with celebration? Then Fox & Rabbit Celebrate by Beth Ferry and illustrated by Gergely Dudás is the book for you because it’s fun.

In this graphic novel, Fox and Rabbit want to make the world’s biggest, yummiest pizza for Sparrow’s birthday. But they can’t cook it until Rabbit reveals a sizzling secret that there’s a dragon close by that can help.

One reason I like this book is because Fox and Rabbit are best friends even though they are different, like how Fox likes swimming and Rabbit doesn’t. Another reason I like this book is because it has extra side stories. For example “Wonder, Wish, and Wow” is about making a rock garden. A third reason I like this book is because I like the graphic novel’s way of telling a story. For example I like how they use dialogue.

I hope you get this book and read it right away. I recommend this book for kids ages three and over. I give this book 10 out of 10 stars.


Second grade students at Glenridge Elementary School (Missouri, USA) are guest reviewers at Alphabet Soup. Click here if you’d like to read more book reviews by Glenridge Elementary School. To send us YOUR book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Book reviews by kids, Book reviews by Reuben

Book review: Pow Pow Pig

Pow Pow Pig: An Unexpected Hero by Anh Do and Peter Cheong

REVIEWED BY REUBEN, 8, WA

Pow Pow Pig: An Unexpected Hero by Anh Do, illustrated by Peter Cheong, Allen and Unwin, ISBN 9781760526405

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Pow Pow Pig is about a pig named Piccolo who joins an organisation called CHOC because he wants to help animals in need, but he ends up always on kitchen duty …

My favourite character is Piccolo. Books about pigs always seem like funny books. This is a hilarious book. I even love the cover. The size of the title makes me laugh. The illustrations suit the story and are also hilarious. There are also stickers inside, at the back of the book.

Pow Pow Pig is similar to the Captain Underpants books and The Bad Guys series. Kids who like pigs, funny books, exciting books and novels (there are nine chapters in this book) will love this too.

I think 7 to 10-year-olds would enjoy this book most. Kids older than 10 would still enjoy it though, and kids who are younger than 7 would enjoy it if someone reads it to them.

I give it 5 out of 5 stars!

Pow Pow Pig: An Unexpected Hero is out now! Ask for it at your favourite bookshop or local library!


Reuben is a regular book reviewer for Alphabet Soup. Check out his earlier reviews here. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in authors, illustrator, interviews

James Foley on Chickensaurus

MEET THE AUTHOR

James Foley. Photo by Jessica Wyld Photography.
James Foley (photo by Jessica Wyld Photography)

Chickensaurus by James FoleyJames Foley is a Western Australian author, illustrator and graphic novelist. James uses a variety of materials and tools to create his books: pen and ink, pencil, charcoal and watercolour. He also uses digital tools: Adobe Photoshop, a Wacom graphics tablet, an iPad Pro and the Procreate app. His latest book is the fourth instalment in the hilarious S. Tinker Inc series: Chickensaurus.

From the publisher:

Sally Tinker, the world’s foremost inventor under the age of 12, is back with a new adventure in invention. When Sally’s nemesis hatches a fowl and poultry plot, there’s no room for the lily-livered. Sally and co will need all their pluck to return the world to its rightful pecking order.

On with the questions!


Assuming you’ve never seen a real chickensaurus, how did you design your dinosauric creatures in Chickensaurus?
I started off with some of the dinosaurs that everyone is most familiar with – T-Rex, velociraptor, stegosaurus, triceratops and pteranodon (though technically that last one is a pterosaur, not a dinosaur). I drew them normal to start with, then added chicken-y details on and gave them silly names. Sometimes the bits I added were suggested by the silly name I gave them – for example, the stegosaurus became an eggosaurus, so it’s basically a giant walking egg. Some of them just started out as a silly drawing and then I found an even sillier name for them – for example, the velociroosters turned up in my sketchbook in 2016, and there were other versions of lizardy chickens in my sketchbooks as far back as 2012.

Just how many chicken puns do you have in your archives? (Would Chickensaurus win the record for the most chicken jokes in one book?)
I hope so! (Though is that really a record that I want my name to be on? Should I be proud or ashamed?) I gathered as many silly jokes as I could and then found places for them in the book. There’s one particularly pun-filled part that I’m strangely proud of, where a character gives a long ‘villain speech’ using as many chicken and egg puns as I could fit in. It’s very, VERY silly.
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Chickensaurus is Book 4 in the S. Tinker Inc series of graphic novels. You also write and illustrate picture books. What’s different about the way you go about creating your graphic novels, compared to your picture books?
They’re basically the same process; graphic novels just have A LOT more drawings and A LOT more words. But there is one difference with my writing; when I’m writing a graphic novel I write it out like a movie script. It’s mostly just what the characters say to each other, with a few descriptions of the settings or the action that are basically notes for myself. On the other hand, when I’m writing a picture book the text is usually more than just what the characters say.
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Do you have one tip for young storytellers who’d like to create their own comic books or graphic novels?
Yes, and it’s an easy one – read lots of comics! It doesn’t matter if they’re superhero comics, or funny comic strips, or big fancy graphic novels … just read lots of them. And while you’re reading them, pay attention to the ways that the authors and illustrators tell you the story. Notice the things you like about the comic and maybe have a go at trying some of the same drawing or writing techniques. Notice the things you didn’t like so much about the comic and then ask yourself what you would have done differently. You can learn HEAPS just by reading other people’s work.
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Can you tell us a bit about your next project?
My next two projects are a short Sally Tinker comic adventure that will go into next year’s School Magazine, and a picture book about animals in space!

 

Chickensaurus is out now! You can buy it from the publisher’s website, find it at your favourite book store, or ask for it at your library. 

Chickensaurus by James FoleyAWESOME EXTRAS:
Click here to watch an interview with James Foley for Paper Bird Books Home Club (1/2 hour YouTube video)
Posted in authors, illustrator, interviews

Meet the author: Gavin Aung Than

Gavin Aung Than with some of his charactersMEET THE AUTHOR

Gavin Aung Than is a New York Times bestselling cartoonist. His current project Super Sidekicks is a fun-filled action adventure series. Book 3 in the series, Trial of Heroes hit bookstores in April 2020.

From the publisher:

The Super Sidekicks just saved the world and now they’ve been invited to join H.E.R.O. – the Heroic Earth Righteousness Organisation – an exclusive club for the planet’s most famous superheroes. But before they can become members, the team must pass the hardest challenge in the universe, a test so scary and difficult only the truly heroic can survive.

The Super Sidekicks are back! Prepare for another amazing adventure from New York Times bestselling Australian author, Gavin Aung Than.


Did Super Sidekicks Book 1 start out as a standalone book or did you plan the series before you started?
I always planned it to be a series. So No Adults Allowed is all about how the sidekicks meet each other and become a team. Ocean’s Revenge (Book 2) is their first big adventure together, and Trial of Heroes (Book 3) is another big and exciting challenge for the heroes.

How do you create your comics? Do you draw by hand, or onto a computer?
I use both methods. So I draw all the pictures in black and white on paper first. Then I scan those drawings into my computer and add all the grey colour and words. You can see my full process on my website here: https://aungthan.com/ssprocess

Do you have a favourite sidekick to draw?
Wow that’s a hard question! I love drawing all of them, they’re like my kids. If I had to pick just one, then i’ll say Goo is my favourite. He’s so lovable and can literally be drawn into any shape or size which is always fun!

Trial of Heroes is the latest book in the series. How long did it take you from first draft to final draft?
Each book takes about 6–8 months to complete. It’s a lot of work but I absolutely love it!

Do you have a tip for young comic creators?
Practice, practice, practice! The only way to get good at drawing or making comics is to practice all the time. Start making your own mini-comics. It’s also okay to copy your favourite artists, even to trace their work when you’re just starting. The great cartoonist Chuck Jones said that every artist has 100,000 bad drawings in them, so the quicker you get those done and out of the way, the better!

Three books in the Super Side Kicks series are out now – ask at your bookshop or library.


Super Side Kicks Book 3AWESOME EXTRAS:

Click here to peek inside Book 1

Click here to peek inside Book 2

Click here to peek inside Book 3

Click here to watch Gavin at work in his studio as part of Paper Bird Books Home Club (1/2 hour YouTube video)