Walker Books Australia
Imprint: Walker Books Australia
Australian RRP: $26.99
New Zealand RRP: $28.99
This one had slipped through the cracks and I’m terribly sorry about that because it really should have had its promotion during the summer months. That being said with so many families taking advantage of the ‘stay at home’ situation and exploring their natural world with children it would be a perfect addition in preparation for next cicada season.
What is so delightful about this book is the twinned text of narrative and factual information combined with the amazing and detailed illustrations. Grandad and grandson have a camping adventure every summer purely for the purpose of cicada watching which is a lovely examination of that special relationship between generations. While they keep count of their sightings and observe the cycle of nymphs emerging and their transformation into adulthood, the child is most keen to discover a Black Prince – the rarest of all the cicada types. (In all my years I’ve only seen one!)
The shrill of cicadas is always our first sign that summer has arrived and at times their cacophony is so deafening that it is hard to believe that such small creatures can make such a racket.
Do yourself and your kiddos a favour and seek this one in preparation for those long languid summer days and afternoon walks in the local park or bushland.
Highly recommended for readers from around 8 years upwards.
Penguin Random House
April 2, 2018
Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s
I may have had to wait a while for my review copy to arrive but it was completely worth it. If ever a ‘sea change’ from dull dreary winter normality was needed it was now and this was just the tonic required for that!
Pippa and her Sassy Sister friends are super excited about the 5M class camp to a tropical island two hours from home. It’s a far cry from Pippa’s London experience of school camp sleeping over in the school hall watching movies. This camp is all about building independence, resilience and friendships beginning with learning how to sail the twin-hulled catamaran that delivers them to their island and continuing with cooking, organising, teamwork and initiative.
What a joy to read it is! Of course, there are still some ‘iffy’ relationships to sort out. Pippa and Olivia are still at odds with each other and the boys’ continual pranking of the girls is quite annoying, although the girls’ revenge is sweet when it comes.
Gradually over the five days of camp the children learn not only how to take care of themselves and work with each other but discover hidden (or ignored) positive qualities in their classmates.
From the gorgeous cover that (to me) echoes tropical fruit salad to the eminently believable characters and scenarios this is not just an enjoyable read but would, I think, encourage readers to reflect on their own personal relationships both in and out of school.
This series of Belinda’s has been taken up with huge enthusiasm with my junior readers. I’ve even had one delightful Year 4 girl so excited by them that she’s brought me Cici’s strawberry cupcakes to try out after using the recipe in a previous book! (I can only hope for more treats to come – the perks of the job *wink*).
And on that note I think we will all be eagerly awaiting the next instalment from the Pippa’s Island gang – great stuff Belinda!!
Highly recommended for readers from around Year 3 upwards.
Imprint: Walker Books Australia
October 1, 2016
Australian RRP: $24.99
New Zealand RRP: $27.99
This is another one that had slipped through the cracks and shouldn’t have! It’s a really fabulous read aloud that will have little ones bouncing in their seats and joining in the choruses.
With lots of rhyming and onomatopoeia it is perfect for those beginning to read crowds to switch on their aural perception.
As well as all of that kids who get to go camping will be able to connect and offer up their own experiences, while those who don’t will surely be able to discuss what they would most like about a camping trip.
Cat Chapman’s illustrations are lovely – lots of details and humour abound in each spread.
This author and illustrator pair is from New Zealand, with Sally Sutton being a best seller and award winner.
Can’t go wrong with this as we look forward to warmer weather and the next holidays in September – perfect camping time!
Both boys and girls in middle primary or thereabouts will enjoy this exciting story set on the beach of Seahorse Bay. Camping, fishing, snorkelling and a sunken boat are all the makings of a terrific family adventure.
Jack is making real progress with his snorkelling with his dad, Vince, as a good teacher. He in turn is helping little sister Tanya with her efforts. Jack has seen stingrays and octopus, collected abalone and crayfish but his real moment of astonishment comes when he finds a cleat from a boat, closely followed by an anchor. After some investigation, Vince reckons the wreck can be salvaged and made good again. Imagine their curiosity when upon scuba diving to check out the likelihood of this, Vince and Jack come to the conclusion that the boat was deliberately scuttled.
And it seems the mysterious man dressed in black who has been watching them from on top of the cliffs could be the person responsible. What is the secret of the sunken boat? And why is Jack’s family being threatened for retrieving it? Luckily the police are right on top of things and there is a satisfactory conclusion which might not have been the case given the drug running and murder that haunt the wreck.
Reluctant readers will surely be engaged in this book as the text is very accessible and full of action in less than one hundred pages. There are some wonderful descriptions of the underwater sea life and the wild beach.
Recommended for readers from around Year 3 and up.