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

Book review: Bella and the Wandering House

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 9, WA

Bella and the Wandering House

Bella and the Wandering House by Meg McKinlay, ill. Nicholas Schafer, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925162301

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

This is another book by Meg McKinlay. I have also read Duck for a Day, Definitely No Ducks, and Ten Tiny Things. This is a novel with occasional pictures in black and white.

Bella is a girl who lives in a house that seems to be moving at night and then stops at different places. It’s hard for her mum and dad to get to work every day from a different place. But then things really get out of hand when Bella finds out the movers will cut her house in half to move it back to where it belongs.

A house that wanders around reminds me of Baby Yaga’s house with chicken legs from folktales.

It was a very imaginative book. I wouldn’t like it if my house walked away at night. I recommend this book for ages 6 and up.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars. 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 Matilda

Book review: Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 9, WA

Molly and Pim and the millions of stars (cover)

Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray, Text Publishing, ISBN 9781925240085

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

This is a story about working together and going and going at it and not stopping. I liked how it’s a book about magic. Molly and a boy called Pim are trying to fix the shocking accident that happens to Molly’s Mama early in the book. (Before he starts helping, Molly thinks that Pim is weird because he does all this weird stuff at school.)

The cover looked kind of gentle with the hat and the girl and the dog and I liked how they used glittery bits for the stars. But I didn’t think the title was the best title for this book. I would have called it ‘Molly and Pim and the Mama Tree’.

I liked how this book made me laugh out loud and how it was short and sharp. My favourite character is Prudence Grimshaw. She’s mean and she’s a really picky lady. I can really imagine her voice in my head as I read.

Girls from ages 9 to 11 would enjoy this book most.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Summer in Enchantia. 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 Matilda

Book review: Summer in Enchantia

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 9, WA

Summer in Enchantia (Cover)

Magic Ballerina: Summer in Enchantia by Darcey Bussell, ill. Dynamo Limited, HarperCollins Children’s Books, ISBN 9780007317219

Matilda borrowed a copy of this book from her local library.

This is about a girl called Rosa who has magic ballet shoes. Whenever there is trouble in Enchantia the ballet shoes whisk her off there so she can help solve the problem. This time the king and queen of Enchantia want to have a garden party but pirates are stealing everything they need for the party.

I found out about this series (about Rosa) when I read a Delphie book (another girl in the Magic Ballerina series.) I like this book because it’s about working together to solve a problem. There are seven books in the Rosa series.

I’d recommend this book for ages 6 to 10 and for people who like ballet.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Tales of Wisdom and Wonder. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: Sophie Saves the Day

SOPHIE SAVES THE DAY

by Natasha, 7, ACT

 “Wake up, wake up” screeched Harry. Sophie rolled out of bed and laughed until she cried, for her little brother had just started to talk. Sophie had a wonderful dream about painting. She was going to be an artist!

 Sophie painted (without hesitating) an amazing painting. All it had was plants, but hidden in the plants were animals. Sophie liked it so much she jumped into the picture!

 When Sophie was safely in the painting, she noticed she had different clothes on and in her new pocket she found an object that said in sparkling letters: ice freezer: this can freeze your enemy. After a talk with nature for an hour, Sophie caught a glimpse of a gust of flame. She was alarmed because it was killing all the animals and plants! Suddenly, a tall figure appeared in front of Sophie.

 “Well, who have we got here?” he rumbled. Sophie gasped in horror. The tall figure was spikey, it was dressed in red robes. It had fire coming out of its ears. It felt hot and it had a badge that said ‘Jim Burning, The King of Fire’. Sophie was angry about him, so she got out her ice freezer. With perfect aim, she froze him. Jim Burning fell to the ground, for he was dead.

Sophie climbed out of the painting and lived happily ever after.

This is Natasha’s first story posted to Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a book review, story or poem —  check out our submission guidelines.

Posted in Young Writers in Action

Young writers in action: There are aliens in my backyard!

THERE ARE ALIENS IN MY BACKYARD!
by Shristuti Srirapu, 8, India
 

…..It was a stormy night. Ralph was doing his homework. He was writing an essay on UFOs.

…..“Ralph! Go to bed. It is already 10:30. You can finish your essay tomorrow” screamed his mum.

…..Ralph changed into his pjs, brushed his teeth and climbed into his comfy bed. Ralph was just drifting off to sleep when an unfamiliar buzzing noise rang through his ears. Ralph looked outside the window. He could not believe his eyes. He was seeing a UFO along with an UWP (Unidentified Wierd People a.k.a aliens). He pinched himself. “Ouch,” he thought.

…..The aliens were purple with four legs, one eye and no ears and a small antenna.

…..“What are they doing?” Ralph thought. He squinted. They were playing in his play structure. Finally they left. Ralph fell back into his sleep.

…..“Ugh, morning already?” Suddenly he remembered about the aliens.

…..“MUM, Mum, Mum, Mum, Mum!” he called running down the stairs. “Last night I saw the aliens,” he said.

…..“Honey, I think you are imagining things. Maybe you got stressed about your essay and started imagining about aliens,” said his mum.

…..“I was not imagining things. They were purple with one eye and four legs and a little antenna and they were playing in our play structure and, and, and, and … ” His voice trailed off.

…..“Hmmmmmmmm,” sighed Ralph’s mum. “Anyway, eat your breakfast or you are going to be late for school,” his mother told him.

…..At school all Ralph could think was aliens, aliens, aliens.

 

…..That night the same thing happened. The aliens got out of their spaceship, played in his playstructure and left.

…..“Tuesday, that means PHYSICAL EDUCATION,” thought Ralph waking up. The ALIENS!!! They had come last night.

…..“MUM, Mum, Mum, Mum!” Ralph called running down. “The aliens came again, the aliens came again!”

…..“Honey I better take you to a doctor. You finished that yesterday,” said his mum.

…..“I DONT NEED TO GO TO A DOCTOR!” shouted Ralph.

…..“Anyway, eat up” said his mum.

…..That night Ralph heard a buzz but something heavy dropped on the ground. He looked outside the window. He only saw some paper. No aliens, no spaceship. Ralph slipped into his slippers and tiptoed downstairs and out of the door. There stood some paper and something else.

…..“I will see what the paper says and then I will look at the gadget,” thought Ralph.

…..He picked up the paper and read.

…..Dear, we do not know your name. We found a bigger play structure and would like to play in that. We would not be coming back. Anyway we left you a present.

…..Ralph picked up the gadget. It was a small spaceship. He liked it.

…..“I finally have proof but I do not want anyone looking for them. They will be hunting and searching for them. I won’t show anybody,” he thought.

 

…..The next day he got up.

…..“G’morning, Mum,” he said.

…..“Ralph you did not see any aliens?” asked his mum.

…..“Nope,” Ralph replied.

…..“Get ready, your bus will almost be there,” said his mum.

 

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book review: Rescue on Nim’s Island

Rescue on Nim’s Island by Wendy Orr, pictures by Geoff Kelly, Allen and Unwin, ISBN 9781743316788

rescue on nim's island

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 8, WA

Matilda borrowed a copy of this book from her local library.

I read this book because I like all the other books I’ve read by Wendy Orr so far.

There are scientists coming to the island. So far Nim, Jack and Alex have kept the island a secret but now Jack has discovered something on the island and he wants other scientists to come. One of the scientists brings a daughter called Tiffany and when everyone goes exploring in a cave, Tiffany gets stuck …

Rescue on Nim’s Island is not a follow-on book from Nim at Sea, it follows on from the second Nim film (Return to Nim’s Island) instead. I was surprised that it didn’t follow on from Nim at Sea.

People who like to take risks will like this book because Rescue on Nim’s Island is full of risks. It would suit kids 8+.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Fantastic Mr Fox (audiobook). 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: Fantastic Mr Fox

Fantastic Mr Fox by Roald Dahl (audiobook), read by Lionel Jeffries, BBC Audiobooks UK, ISBN 9781408483770

fantastic mr fox audiobook

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 8, WA

Matilda borrowed this audiobook from her local library.

I like listening to audiobooks because they make you have an idea of the picture in your head. With this audiobook I could read along with the book while I listened but sometimes I just like listening without the book. I like the voices they have for the characters.

Fantastic Mr Fox is about a family of 6 foxes (4 children and 2 adults). Mr Fox has a very clever brain and every night he makes sure the wind is blowing towards him so he can go out and steal some dinner from the 3 farmers Boggis, Bunce and Bean. The 3 farmers are really mean and they try to catch the foxes because they want to shoot them. I like this story because it’s exciting and the foxes can dig faster than any other animal.

Most kids from 5 and up would love this book but little kids might need a grownup there to help with the scary bits.

I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  Pearl Verses the World. 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: Fortunately, the Milk

Fortunately, the Milk by Neil Gaiman, ill. Chris Riddell, Bloomsbury, ISBN 9781408841792

fortunately, the milk

REVIEWED BY JAKE, 7, VIC

Jake received a review copy of this book from the publisher.

This was a good and funny book. It’s about a dad who needs to get milk because there’s none left in the house, and he goes through a crazy adventure, because when he gets the milk weird things happen. There’s time travel in it, and pirates. There are also dinosaurs.

I liked the characters in it. It wasn’t very suspenseful, but that wasn’t a bad thing. It had excellent pictures, though it’s a chapter book. If you don’t like crazy or funny things you probably wouldn’t enjoy this book.

It’s good for people who are 6 to 9 years old, who like crazy things.

Jake is a member of our Top Reads Team, and this is his first book review on Alphabet Soup’s blog. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

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

Book Review: Shadow Sister

Dragonkeeper5: Shadow Sister by Carole Wilkinson, ISBN 978922179579, Black Dog Books

Dragonkeeper 5: Shadow Sister

REVIEWED BY CELINE, 11, WA

A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Young Tao has been roaming the mountains in search of a cure of dragons’ weakness: iron, when he stumbles across his old colleague/enemy Fo Tu Deng, along with a gang of nomads. When Tao and his dragon Kai finally escape these savages, he is stuck in a dark passage with unknown ghosts prodding him and breathing cold breath on him. After they escape these ghosts, Tao and Kai are turned upon a seven-headed snake monster, whose bite is deadly, and fatal.

When Tao returns to his deserted home, at night, when the moon shines, a ghost appears. Who is this mysterious ghost? What does she seek from Tao?

All is not as it seems. When battle arrives, will Tao and his new-sought allies actually survive? Can Tao find his qi to defeat the opposition? Will Tao and Pema survive?

Full of action and adventure, Shadow Sister is impossible to put down. Reading Shadow Sister was an adventure in itself, I felt like I was Tao being pursued, haunted, and questioned. I recommend it to ages 10 upwards, but it is not suitable to sensitive children (I was haunted by the ghost and couldn’t sleep one night).

This is the best book of the series, but since I am quite sensitive, I thought this book was a little on the scary side.

In all, I rate it 99.9999999999999999%.

Celine is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of The Firebird. 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 Pippa

Book review: Verity Sparks, Lost and Found

Verity Sparks, Lost and Found by Susan Green, ISBN 9781921977886, Walker Books Australia

Verity Sparks, Lost and Found

REVIEWED BY PIPPA, 12, WA

Pippa borrowed a copy of this book from the library.

Melbourne, 1879

Verity Sparks-Savinov has moved to a new country, with a new father and a brand-new mystery to solve. She has taken a new name, and made new friends. But she has lost her gift, her ability to find lost objects.

Her father is eager for her to start at a select school for young ladies, but Verity isn’t so keen. She is more interested in the Ecclethorpe mystery, which seems to be leading them to dead ends. She meets a new friend, Poppy, and tries to find out who Lavinia O’Day is and why she is so sickly and frail.

When her father is missing off a sunken ship in Queensland, will she find her gift before it is too late?

I think this book is as good as the first book (The Truth about Verity Sparks), but you need to read that first. I rate it 9/10.

Pippa is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one!) was The Truth about Verity Sparks.  If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!