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

Book review: Mister Cassowary

REVIEWED BY JOSEPH, 11, WA

Mister Cassowary

Mister Cassowary by Samantha Wheeler, UQP, ISBN 9780702253881

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

Mister Cassowary is a fantastic children’s novel about a boy named Flynn and his dad visiting the farm where Flynn’s grandfather had a terrible accident and died. They’re trying to fix up the farm so it can be sold in two weeks. Flynn doesn’t know much about cassowaries (lots live around the farm) or why his dad is so scared of them.

With the help of local girl Abby, Flynn tries to discover the mystery around his grandfather’s death, about his grandfather’s own cassowary — Big Blue — and why two baby cassowaries don’t seem to have a dad.

Although I didn’t find the opening scenes intriguing, if you continue further in then you will find yourself staying up at night to find out more about the mystery of Grandad Barney.

Throughout the book you learn more and more about cassowaries and how they are a beautiful and endangered species. At the end of the book it tells you more facts about cassowaries so you can deepen your understanding of those birds.

This book is definitely worth reading for children aged 7+ — it does deal with some tough topics (like death, and facing your fears, and family relationships) in in easy-to-read novel.

Joseph is one of our regular book reviewers. His most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Australian Kids Through the Years. 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: At My Door

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 9, WA

At My Door by Deb Fitzpatrick

At My Door by Deb Fitzpatrick, Fremantle Press, ISBN 9781925162707

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

This book is set at Poppy’s house. When the doorbell rings and a car speeds away, her family discovers that a baby has been left on the doorstep. What will they do? Where are the baby’s parents?

I really liked the creativity and the language in this book. I liked how it was about a situation that doesn’t happen every day. My favourite character was Mei because she was funny and cute. I was surprised when she turned up because I didn’t expect what was left on the doorstep to be her.

This story is realistic and you feel like it could happen to you. What would you do if a baby turned up on your doorstep?

I would recommend it for kids aged 7+ and people who wonder about these sorts of things.

You can read a sample chapter of At My Door on the publisher’s website. And you can listen to the author read from the book, too.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of  The Cleo Stories: A Friend and, A Pet. 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: 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 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 reviews by Matilda

Book review: Nim at Sea

Nim at Sea by Wendy Orr, pictures by Kerry Millard, Allen & Unwin, ISBN 9781741148619

Nim at sea

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 8, WA

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

I’ve watched the movie Nim’s Island and I saw this book in the library, so I borrowed it. Now I’ve read Nim at Sea, I will have to read Nim’s Island.

In this book, Nim tells Alex in a really angry way that it would be better if she was off the island. So Alex goes. Jack still thinks Alex is on the island and Nim is going to get into really big trouble. Then Selkie (a sea lion friend) gets captured by the Troppo Tourists — can Nim get Selkie back? Can they all be together as a group again?

I really like the bits when Fred (the marine iguana) sneezes and everyone says “Yuck, Fred!” and I like feeling inside the story and wanting to encourage Nim.

Kids that like books with lots of adventure should read Nim at Sea. (So should kids who love Nim’s Island.) This book is great for kids aged 8+.

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

Posted in authors

Totally Twins, an interview with Portia

 

"Musical Mayhem cover"
The first book in the Totally Twins series

 

Totally Twins is a new series for girls. The first book in the series, Musical Mayhem, was released in September 2010. The author, Aleesah Darlison, is taking Musical Mayhem on a blog tour to celebrate the launch of the book, and she arranged for us to interview a character from the series—Portia. You can get to know Portia’s twin, Persephone, on another stop on the tour.

But now, let’s meet Portia.

Your twin sister, Persephone, keeps a diary. Do you keep a diary too?

No. Not yet, but seeing Perse have so much fun with her diary sure makes me want one too! I’m usually kept pretty busy with school and ballet practice but maybe I’ll ask Mum to splurge on a new diary for me. I can’t let Perse have all the fun!

What’s the best thing about having a twin sister?

Having someone you can always, always rely on.

What’s the worst thing about having a twin sister?

Having to share a birthday—every year. But at least Mum lets us have our own cakes.

Describe yourself in 5 words.

Fun, friendly, fabulous, fashionable and … FUNKY!

Perse is a sensible, sensitive, shy, serious and super sister! But don’t tell her I said that, it might go to her head.

If you found $20 lying on the ground, how would you spend it?

I’d buy some pink-iced cupcakes for Perse and me (chocolate for her, vanilla for me)—but don’t tell Mum because she’s dead against high sugar food. I’d also buy some new jewellery and magazines.

"Aleesah Darlison"

You can find out more about Aleesah Darlison at: www.aleesahdarlison.com. (There are some Totally Twins colouring-in pages you can download from her website.)

Persephone (Portia’s twin sister) also has her own blog where you can send her messages and download Totally Twins material. Visit Perse at: http://totally-twins.blogspot.com.