Mr Birdsnest and the House Next Door
Scholastic Australia – June 2013 RRP: $9.95
Paperback 74 p. ISBN: 9781742837109
UK Children’s Laureate and author of the much-loved The Gruffalo, Julia Donaldson has produced a terrific read for the newly independent readers of around 5-8 years. When Elmo and his sister have to move house because Granny is moving in with them, they really want their parents to buy the ‘jungle house’ with its wild overgrown garden, lion door knocker, monkey patterned wallpaper and resident big black spider. But sadly their parents choose the much less exciting neighbouring place, which Elmo calls the ‘flowerpot’ house. The children look longingly over the fence at the far more desirable next door residence until the temptation becomes too much and they begin playing in the wild back garden – after all, the house is still empty and nobody cares. When they find a rusty old key in the yard, Elmo and his sister are elated to find it opens the back door of the jungle house and they can roam to their hearts’ content, pretending the house is their very own. But oh oh, when Mr Birdsnest decides to buy their house, they are discovered and banished to their own pristine and boring home – until Granny needs rescuing and they discover that perhaps having a neighbour in the jungle house isn’t so bad after all.
Younger readers growing in their confidence will love this story with its fast pace and short chapters. Hannah Shaw’s amusing illustrations break up the text to present an easy-to-read layout.
Highly recommended for your lower school children, both boys and girls.
The Snake Who Came to Stay
Scholastic Australia – June 2013-06-28 RRP: $9.95
Paperback 76 p. ISBN: 9781742837093
Another fantastic read for the younger students and definitely one to share with Miss Small – who is crazy about all animals but especially reptiles! I can easily imagine her doing exactly the same as Polly, the main character in this delightful story about a very entrepreneurial young lady who opens up a Holiday Home for animals – much to her mum’s consternation. Guinea pigs, a mynah bird and the goldfish next door are all a bit stressful in their own ways, but when Polly takes on her best friend Jack’s snake Doris, Polly’s mum really starts to get agitated. As you can easily imagine, Polly realises that looking after other people’s animals is not always smooth sailing – and when Doris goes silently missing, she has to do some very fast problem-solving. Fortunately, all has a happy ending – with a safe return of all the animals to their owners – plus a few extras in the case of the guinea pigs!
Another great addition to your shelves for your ‘easy reading’ fiction titles – and a very funny read aloud.