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

Book review: The Lion in Our Living Room

The Lion in Our Living Room by Emma Middleton and Briony StewartREVIEWED BY MATILDA, 11, WA

The Lion in our Living Room by Emma Middleton, ill. Briony Stewart, Affirm Press, ISBN 9781925584226

Matilda reviews her own copy of this book.

Tom and Tilly want to play lion games with their dad. The story is told poetically — it rhymes and it’s very rhythmical. The phrasing allows you to use lots of expression so it’s good to read out loud, like this:

Will he come? Won’t he come? Will he come and play?
Will the mighty lion come and play with us today?

The illustrations are by Briony Stewart who has written and illustrated other books like the Kumiko series and The Red Wheelbarrow. The illustrations are done in colour pencils and I like how you can see the pencil strokes because you can see that it’s not computer done. I was lucky to meet Briony Stewart at the Fremantle book launch, where there were also fun activities related to the book like making lion masks, lion face painting, and making paper lions.

This picture book will be great for kids aged 6 and under who love playing and being imaginative.


Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. You can read Matilda’s other reviews here. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in authors, Events, teachers' resources, what we're reading

My Dad Thinks He’s Funny by Katrina Germein

Some of you probably remember me posting before about when I was growing up and listening to my dad’s terrible jokes and bad puns. I recently read a new picture book by Katrina Germein—and she could have been talking about MY DAD! So I invited Katrina to visit our blog today to talk about  My Dad Thinks He’s Funny (illustrated by Tom Jellett). Here’s a taste:

"My Dad Thinks He's Funny"
Katrina Germein is celebrating her new book My Dad Thinks He's Funny.

My dad doesn’t like babysitting.

He says no one should sit on babies.

My dad doesn’t eat seafood.

He says there’s something fishy about it.

My dad doesn’t lie in bed.

He says you should always tell the truth.

My dad thinks he’s funny.

Congratulations on your new book, Katrina! When you were growing up, did your dad make all the jokes in My Dad Thinks He’s Funny?

"Inside My Dad Thinks He's Funny"
A peek inside the book!

I’m lucky because I grew up with two dads, my father and my step father. My dad likes to tell long stories and my step dad likes to recite silly poems. Mainly, the jokes in My Dad Thinks He’s Funny came from lots of other people.

Once I had the idea for the book I started listening out for jokes and every time I heard one I would write it down. My father-in-law probably contributed the most but there are also jokes from my sister-in-law, my brother and my husband. I was looking for the kind of jokes that make us roll our eyes and also make us laugh.

Once I had a collection of ‘dadisms’ I decided to write the book from the point of view of a child. I wanted to create a story that was warm and humorous, rather than just a collection of jokes.

What does your family think about you using their best jokes in your book?

I think my father-in-law is quite proud to see some of his best material in print! He jokes that I should share the royalties from the book with him.

Now you have your own kids—do they hear these jokes from their dad (or your dad or stepdad)?

Yes! Unfortunately it runs in the family and my husband tells jokes just like his dad.

What’s your favourite joke from the book?

My favourite page is the one where the little boy asks, “Dad, do you know what?” and Dad answers, “I don’t know What, but I know his brother.” That makes me laugh every time. It’s one of the hardest jokes for very small kids to understand but children who are seven or over really like it.

What is the best way to deal with a ‘dad joke’? (Do you roll your eyes?)

Usually I just laugh. I actually think they’re funny!

Katrina Germein is the author of many children’s books, including My Dad Thinks He’s Funny, Little Dog and Big Rain Coming.

"My Dad Thinks He's Funny""Big Rain Coming""Little Dog"

You can find out more about Katrina Germein and her books by visiting her website, her blogTwitter, and her Facebook page.


~ Rebecca Newman, Alphabet Soup magazine