Posted in authors, Pass the Book Baton

Pass the book baton: Oliver Phommavanh


Oliver PhommavanhIt’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.)

We’re pleased to feature author Oliver Phommavanh as he takes the baton today. Oliver writes funny novels and short stories, he’s also a comedian and primary school teacher. Oliver’s first book — Thai-riffic — was published in 2010.

Here are some of his book covers:

Last week Deborah Abela left a question for Oliver to answer.

Deborah asks:
In your writing, you have this wonderful ability to create characters that feel real and who I very quickly feel I know and like. Do you know your characters really well before you write or do they come to life as you rewrite each draft?
Oliver Phommavanh:
It depends on each story that I write. Sometimes it comes to me straight away like in Thai-riffic or Con-nerd and then I just write the draft with the voices of each character fully in my head. Other books, I have a faint voice of what the characters could be like and then I write the draft to build that voice. A lot of my characters are drawn from my own childhood friends and family, but more recently just from observing kids in schools when I visit them. I have a fair idea of what my characters will sound like, so I let them roam around in my head awhile, but some shout louder than others, haha!

Darcy Moon and the deep fried frogs.

And now Oliver passes the book baton to the next author — Catherine Carvell. Catherine is the author of Darcy Moon and the Deep Fried Frogs.

Oliver asks Catherine Carvell:
What is one thing you’d like kids to walk away with after they’ve read your book?

Check in every Friday for a Q&A with children’s authors and illustrators. See you next week!

For other posts featuring Oliver Phommavanh at Alphabet Soup check out:

What’s Funny?

3 Quick Questions and

Meet Oliver Phommavanh




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


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!