What a legacy Roald Dahl left to us! His books still remain some of the most heavily borrowed in the library, they are a staple of read-alouds in the classroom and the fun just keeps on coming to one generation after another.
While the long holidays might be over there are bound to be moments when your kiddos are going to moan that they are bored – whether it’s wet weather or some other circumstance – and this scrumdiddlyumptious collection of 365 wondrous activities will be so popular that no one will want to share.
Join Willy Wonka for a tour around the fabulous Chocolate Factory with games, quizzes, puzzles, characters and of course recipes to try out on the family or friends. Just saying, the strawberry-flavoured chocolate-coated fudge sounds like it would truly be worth a go – of course, you might need to fight for your piece!
Thank you Roald Dahl for the richness you bequeathed to us and may the joy just keep on rippling through the years!
Highly recommended for readers from around 8 years upwards.
Harper Collins Australia
ISBN 10: 0008132496
Imprint: HarperCollins – GB
List Price: 4.99 AUD
Girl detectives seem to be quite the popular trend of late and you will perhaps have some younger readers who want to get in on this but are not quite ready for some of the books on offer.
This new series will be just perfect for them as Dorothy Constance Mae Louise, known as Dot, is a younger girl as well. Written in diary style Dot gives the reader the low down on her situation. She’s just moved to a new house with her mum and little twins, Alf and Maisie, and of course is starting a new school. She’s pretty excited about all this but also a wee bit nervous. Not to worry, she makes two great new friends, Beans and Amy. As it happens Beans is also a fan of TV super sleuth Fred Fantastic – Ace Detective. Dot is very good at puzzles and codes and Beans is a good foil for her investigating as he is good at making gadgets.
When the teacher announces a school talent quest Amy, who is rather shy but a really good singer, is keen to perform but classmate Laura who thinks she is the superstar plans to sabotage her. Will Dot and Beans be able to help Amy overcome her nerves and thwart Laura’s sneaky plan?
This is a really cute story and already three more to come so a great little series to start off some independent readers. Girls will enjoy seeing Dot’s new bedroom become her own special place and also getting to know her family.
Lots to explore around friendship, adjusting to new situations and of course, codes, puzzles and mysteries!
Highly recommended for readers from around 7 upwards.
By the way, the author Clara Vulliamy is the daughter of Shirley Hughes!
Imprint: Bloomsbury USA Childrens
Series: Secrets of the Seven
If you’ve ever watched Nic Cage in the National Treasure movies (and who hasn’t?) I would liken this to those – except for youngsters.
While I think our Australian readers will be at a slight disadvantage not knowing a great deal if anything about the Founding Fathers, Benjamin Franklin or Benedict Arnold, I think they will still enjoy the adventure and the tricky puzzles.
Sam Solomon is a clever boy with a penchant for all things cryptic. He also has a real talent for mischief which does not endear him to his middle school teachers. When Sam unexpectedly wins a trip exploring the breadth of the United States, including national landmarks and amazing natural wonders, he is wildly excited.
From the outset Sam is truly baffled by the experience when it turns out that it is just Sam and a very nerdy girl of the same age who were the winners. Accompanied by a strange woman, Evangeline, and an almost silent boy named Theo, the American Dream Contest seems more like a nightmare. It turns out Sam and Martina were the only contestants capable of solving the complex puzzles of the competition and this is exactly what is required to track down the hidden historical artefacts, concealed by the Founding Fathers to protect Benjamin Franklin’s greatest invention – a powerful weapon.
Naturally it is not just the ‘good guys’ trying to locate the ‘keys’ and the children soon themselves embroiled in a dangerous treasure hunt caught between opposite ideologies.
This is an exciting read with a great pace – creative thinkers will particularly enjoy it.
Recommended for readers from around 10 upwards.