Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids, Ringwood Heights Primary School

Book review: My New Best Friend

My New Best Friend by Meredith Costain, illustrated by Danielle McDonald (book cover)REVIEWED BY MIA, 8,

Olivia’s Secret Scribbles: My New Best Friend
by Meredith Costain, ill. Danielle McDonald,
Scholastic Australia, ISBN 9781760277062

My New Best Friend is part of the Olivia’s Secret Scribbles series. These books are fiction, written by Meredith Costain and illustrated by Danielle McDonald. I think this book and series would suit girls between 6–9 and there is another series for older girls called Ella Diaries, which is written like a diary by Olivia’s older sister.

My New Best Friend is my favourite book, written like a journal, full of special private secrets. Olivia is always up to something and even has her own experiment cupboard. This book is about school, getting a new bedroom, making a new BFF, inventions, soccer, mysteries to be solved, an annoying older sister, a cat that needs more training, a spider, setting traps and lots more.

I love this series because I especially like experiments and new inventions and I can’t wait for more. I always read the whole book in one go because I need to know what’s going to happen. I give this book 5 stars.

This is Mia’s first book review for Alphabet Soup. If YOU would like to send us a book review, check out our submission guidelines. Happy reading!

Posted in illustrator, Pass the Book Baton

Pass the Book Baton: Gabriel Evans


Gabriel EvansIt’s Friday! And that means it’s time for Pass the Book Baton. Every week Alphabet Soup features a book creator 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.)

Today the book baton is passed to Gabriel Evans. He has illustrated over twenty books and designed over a hundred greeting cards, painted large gallery artwork, and travelled across Australia presenting illustration workshops and seminars in schools and festivals.

Here are some of the books he’s illustrated:

Last week Sue Whiting asked:
What would you do differently in terms of the development of your career as an illustrator if you had your time over again?

Gabriel answers:
It has been an absolute pleasure working with Sue during her time at Walker Books.

If I was to have my time again I would definitely experiment more with my art. I was always trying to make perfect, beautiful pictures that limited my experimentation.

It’s only in recent years I take enormous pleasure and satisfaction from making risks and discovering new, creative systems. That means using BIG brushes, spray bottles, palette knives, goose feathers, cardboard, fingers, sticks and anything else I can think of.

It’s all about learning through creative, messy fun!

Find out more about Gabriel Evans and his books and art — visit his website!

Meet MarlyAnd now Gabriel passes the book baton to the next Friday visitor — Alice Pung. Alice writes books for a range of ages. You might have read her Marly books from the Our Australian Girl series.

Gabriel asks:
“You’re both a solicitor and author. How do you balance these two jobs? Is there a connection between the two?”

Check in every Friday for mini interviews with children’s authors and illustrators. 

See you next week!

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

Book review: Summer in Enchantia


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!