Book reviews by Iona Presentation College, Book reviews by kids

Book review: The Wizard in my Shed


The Wizard in My Shed The MIsadvendtures of Merdyn the Wild by Simon Farnaby and illustrated by Claire Powell

The Wizard in My Shed: The Misadventures of Merdyn the Wild by Simon Farnaby, illustrated by Claire Powell, Hachette Australia, ISBN 9781444954388

Alphabet Soup provided a review copy of this book.

The Wizard in my Shed is entertaining and takes you on a whimsical journey through the Dark Ages to the 21st century, meeting unique characters with different personalities. All the illustrations enhance and bring to life the story in a funny way.

In the book, Rose meets new friends and gets to know her family better, and though I love all the characters, my favourite is Bubbles (Rose’s guinea pig), and all the unexpected surprises!

 I think this book is perfect for 8–10 year olds who want a hilarious and meaningful novel with a moral to read.

Indi is a member of Iona Presentation College’s student reviewers’ team. This is her first review for Alphabet Soup. To send us YOUR story, poem, artwork or book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Book reviews by kids, Book reviews by Rory

Book review: Order in the Court


Toffle Towers Order in the Court by Tim Harris and James Foley

Toffle Towers: Order in the Court by Tim Harris, illustrated by James Foley, Penguin Australia Pty Ltd, ISBN 9780143795445

The publisher provided a review copy of this book.

Toffle Towers: Order in the Court is the third book in the Toffle Towers series. It is about a young manager for a hotel and his name is Chegwin. It is set in a place called Alandale where there are two hotels – Toffle Towers and Braxton Hotel. Chegwin Toffle is the young manager of the hotel Toffle Towers. Chegwin has to figure out what to do when some of the guests’ belongings … disappear! To catch the thief Chegwin makes a talent show and lets everyone know that there is $2,000 to win at the back of the room! Chegwin and his friends go to the back of the room, tie a string to Chegwin’s finger and then tie the string to the prize money (Chegwin will feel a tug on the string when the thief tries to steal the money). But what will Chegwin find out in the end … ?

I like all the funny pictures and strange things in this book. For example there are these funny conversations where there are lots of spelling mistakes (put there on purpose!).

I think this is a good book for you if you are 7–10 years of age and like funny things. I rate this book 10 out of 10.

Read a sample chapter on the publisher’s website. 

Rory is a regular reviewer for Alphabet Soup. Read his previous review of The Australia Survival Guide by George Ivanoff. 

authors, Pass the Book Baton

Pass the book baton: Catherine Carvell


Catherine CarvellIt’s Friday! And that means it’s time for Pass the Book Baton. Alphabet Soup features a book creator every Friday who will answer one question before throwing a new question to the next Friday visitor. (It’s kind of like a book relay in slow motion.)

Catherine Carvell takes the book baton today. Catherine is an Australian author living in Singapore (but soon heading back to WA!). Her first book is Darcy Moon and the Deep-Fried Frogs, a humorous adventure story about a girl with a mission to save the swamp.

If you like the sound of Darcy Moon you can read a sample chapter of the book.


Last week Oliver Phommavanh asked:
What is one thing you’d like kids to walk away with after they’ve read your book?

Catherine answers:
I tried to make Darcy Moon and the Deep-fried Frogs as funny as possible, with lots of disgusting and embarrassing situations to make kids cringe and laugh. So the one thing I’d like kids to walk away with after reading this book is … a smile!

Darcy Moon and the deep fried frogs.

The Smugger's CurseAnd now Catherine Carvell passes the baton to the next Friday visitor — Norman Jorgensen. Norman is the author of many books including The Last Viking, and The Last Viking Returns. His latest book is The Smuggler’s Curse.

Catherine asks:
Your latest book was released in October and what an adventure!
My question to you is, have you based any of  The Smugglers Curse on real life? And if so, which bits are real?
Check in every Friday for questions and answers from children’s authors and illustrators.
See you next week!