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

Book review: How to make small things with Violet Mackerel

How to make small things with Violet Mackerel by Anna Branford, ill. Sarah Davis, photography by Cath Muscat, ISBN 9781922179401, Walker Books Australia

how to make small things

 

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 8, WA

Matilda borrowed this book from her local library.

When I saw this book I got really, really excited because it’s based on the small things that Violet Mackerel likes to make and it tells you how to make them yourself. My favourite thing in the book is the leaf necklace with a secret pocket.

It gives you very good instructions for how to make everything. I wanted to make the shining sun ring except I don’t have a darning needle yet. But I made some of the other things like a wrist warmer and I made my Mum one of the pouches for a Mother’s Day present and she loved it. I also made one of the matchbox drawers, it was really cool. I also made a seasonal pencil topper, dangling day-counter using butterflies, and the notebook.

My favourite thing I made from the book was the pouch.

Ages 6+ will like this book. You should read it if you like small things and if you’d like to know more things about Violet Mackerel.

Matilda is one of our regular book reviewers. Her most recent review (if you don’t count this one) was of Violet Mackerel’s Helpful Suggestion. 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: Violet Mackerel’s Helpful Suggestion

Violet Mackerel’s Helpful Suggestion by Anna Branford, ill. Sarah Davis, ISBN 9781 922244369, Walker Books Australia

Violet Mackerel's Helpful suggestion

 

REVIEWED BY MATILDA, 8, WA

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

Do you know Rose from Violet Mackerel’s Possible Friend and Violet Mackerel’s Pocket Protest? Rose is going to go to Japan for six weeks. Violet is excited as well as Rose but it’s a particular sort of excited. Violet has a bad feeling. What if Rose forgets about her?

I think this is a very good book to lead on from Violet Mackerel’s Pocket Protest. I learned some Japanese words and at the back the activity is ‘How to make your own set of flashcards’ and I think I might try to do that for my spelling words.

My favourite part about this book is that Violet learns the Japanese word for smile (egau) and then she uses the Japanese word instead of the English word when she is talking about smiles after that.

I really like the illustrations in the Violet Mackerel books because I like the style of drawing. There was one thing I was thinking about: it is interesting how on the front cover Violet looks older than she does in the illustrations inside the book.

This book is recommended by me for ages 6 to 9.

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

Posted in school holidays

July School Holiday activities (NSW)

Here are some fabulous-looking workshops for young writers and illustrators in NSW. (We wish we could go!)

1.       Writing with Deborah Abela

A Transylvanian Tale by Deborah Abela
Ghost Club: A Transylvanian Tale by Deborah Abela

Author Deborah Abela will be leading a writing workshop for students in Years 3-6  at The Children’s Bookshop as their Writer in Residence.

Explore the writing process, focusing on creating charismatic characters and sensational settings!

Activities will be hands-on and fun!

When: Thursday 11 July 2013,  9–12.30pm

Where: The Children’s Bookshop, 6 Hannah St, Beecroft NSW

Cost: check with the bookshop—by email or phone 9481 8811

 

2.       Creating Spooking Houses with Sarah Davis

Sounds Spooky (cover)
Sounds Spooky: illustrated by Sarah Davis

In this hands-on workshop for children in grades 3–6, you will make a paper diorama of a haunted house with Sarah Davis, illustrator of Sounds Spooky. Design character cutouts and set up and photograph little dioramas with spooky lighting. Go home with a photo print, and your house and characters.

When: Tuesday 9 July 2013, 9–12.30pm

Cost: $50 per student. All materials provided. Book early!

Where: The Children’s Bookshop, 6 Hannah St, Beecroft NSW

How to Book: check with the bookshop—by email or phone 9481 8811

3.       Let’s Go to the Circus

Share the stories and adventures of the world of the Circus, enjoying craft and art activities based around this theme. And there is a prize for the best dressed Circus participant!

Workshop Leader : Jocelyn Shute is a talented Infants Teacher and a great friend of The Children’s Bookshop.

 When: Wednesday, 10 July 10 2013 , 9–11am For Children Ages 5-7

Where: The Children’s Bookshop, 6 Hannah St, Beecroft NSW

Cost: $30 per student. All materials provided. Book early!

How to Book: check with the bookshop—by email or phone 9481 8811

Posted in book reviews, Book reviews by kids

Book Review: Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat

Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat, by Anna Branford, ill. Sarah Davis, ISBN 9781921529191, Walker Books Australia

Reviewed by Eliza, 8,  QLD

 

Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat (cover)

This is the third book in the Violet Mackerel series.  In this book Violet explores her theory of Helping Small Things and helps her sister with her natural science project.

I enjoyed reading about how Violet and her sister Nicola worked together. The illustrations by Sarah Davis are very detailed and help to make sense of the story.

I would recommend this book to girls aged 6+ who enjoy reading stories about children their own age and science.

The hardcover makes it a good present to give friends who also enjoy reading.

I am looking forward to reading more Violet Mackerel books in the future.

 

"Undercover Readers Club logo"* Eliza is a member of our Undercover Readers Club. A review copy of this book was provided by the publisher.

Posted in book reviews, teachers' resources

Picture book review: Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, by Sue Whiting, illustrated by Sarah Davis.

CD (included)* narrated by Antonia Kidman. Published by New Frontier Publishing.

"Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, book cover"

REVIEWED BY OLIVIA, 7, NSW

It’s a fairy tale book with a CD, about two adults that work as candy makers, their names were Marcus and  Mary.

The King comes and tastes the lollies, he loves them so much he says he’ll take fifty jars.

Marcus was worried how they would make them in time and a fairy overheard.

But will the fairy come to save the day?

I liked the book because I liked the happy ending and the colourful pictures.

[If you’d like to take a peek at a few pages of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, then visit the illustrator’s website. *CD includes the music of Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy, from The Nutcracker Ballet by Tchaikovsky. ]

"Undercover Readers Club logo"Olivia is a member of our Undercover Readers Club, a book reviewers’ club for kids. (The book was provided by the publisher, New Frontier Publishing.) If you or your class would like to join the club, you can download an information pack (PDF) from the magazine’s website. Membership is free!