Tag Archives: Tim Harris

Total Quack Up Again! – Edited by Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck. Illustrated by Jules Faber.

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9781760893583

Penguin Australia

October 2019

ISBN: 9781760893583

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $14.99

Get quacking if you haven’t already and grab this second edition of hilarious stories from some of our most celebrated authors as well as one young newcomer!

The first TQU was a great success not only providing children with some super funny stories but raising funds for Dymocks Children’s Charities. At this critical moment Dymocks are well and truly focused on providing valuable support for children affected by the catastrophic bushfires which are still burning.

Featuring stories from Nat Amoore, Felice Arena, Adam Cece, Jules Faber, Tim Harris, Kim Kane, Belinda Murrell, A.L. Tait, Shelley Ware, Michael Wagner and Nova Weetman as well as young Coby Sanchez whose story The Duck Pond was determined the winner of the story-writing competition, this collection will have kids everywhere chuckling with gusto.

With all the aspects young readers are looking for including ridiculous situations, ‘smelly’ stories and weird characters this will be a welcome addition to any primary library.

Be sure to tell children how this book (and its predecessor) represents a special and generous initiative by not only the Dymocks group but the talented authors/artists who so generously give of their time and talent.

Highly recommended for readers from around 7 years upwards.

Toffle Towers #1: Fully Booked – Tim Harris/James Foley

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Penguin

August 2019

ISBN: 9780143795421

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $14.99

Tim Harris, creator of the remarkable Mr Bambuckle, presents an equally daffy protagonist in this new series. Chegwin Toffle may be only ten years old but he is one very determined entrepreneur albeit prone to wild imaginings and daydreams. Chegwin is the sole beneficiary of his hitherto unknown great-uncle Terrence Toffle’s estate which turns out to be an extremely run-down and unprofitable hotel on the other side of the country. As one would expect Chegwin knows nothing about running a hotel and his parents know less if possible but being a caring child Chegwin is determined to give it a go if only to save the jobs of those loyal employees still in place at Toffle Towers.

It’s a tough gig in many ways not the least of which is the rival and wildly successful hotel nearby but Chegwin is not a dreamer for nothing. His imaginative strategies and the support of new friends and eccentric staff see a real turn-around in the hotel’s fortunes. Things just keep growing and growing and flying buses, milkshake baths and star-gazing dining rooms are just part of the process.

In a success story filled with laughs, odd characters (including Chegwin’s eccentric parents) and hilarious adventures Tim Harris has created a hotel to rival even the legendary Fawlty establishment. James Foley has completely captured the essence of the story and characters in his humorous illustrations and all in all this is bound to be a real hit with young readers.

Highly recommended for readers from around Year 3 upwards who will eagerly be looking forward to the next instalment!

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables On the Lookout: #3 – Tim Harris

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9780143793144

February 5, 2019

Puffin

RRP: $14.99

 

Even those who have not been privileged enough to sip Himalayan tea with Mr Bambuckle are completely taken with the adventures of his class 12B. The continual struggle to defeat the pressures put upon them by short-sighted school admin individuals and to foster each child blossoming into their full potential is real.

When 12B goes to camp they are eagerly anticipating a real adventure, particularly when it appears that their campsite is ‘off the radar’ so to speak. Even though there are the usual hiccups with students not completely in sync with each other, it’s shaping up well. That is until, Miss Frost turns up. The snarky new deputy seems intent to find fault with every little thing.

Still, 12B with Mr Bambuckle’s backing and natural flair seem determined to prove Miss Frost’s dire prognostications wrong and equally committed to supporting their much loved teacher.

 

But when Vex goes missing it seems that all is doomed to become a swan song for Mr Bambuckle. It’s up to 12B to save the day and their teacher.

 

Tim Harris’ recounts of the adventures of Mr B and 12B are not only highly amusing but have much to offer young readers about loyalty, friendship, empathy and honesty.

 

If your kidlets have not yet caught onto the Bambuckle  phenomenon make sure you buy this and the first two in the series and watch them roll in the aisles laughing.

 

Highly recommended for readers from around eight years upwards.

 

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables #3: Go Wild – Tim Harris

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9780143789024

Penguin Random House

9780143789024

September 3, 2018

Random House Australia Children’s

RRP : $14.99

 

Being curled up and cosy with a steaming cup of Himalayan tea – what could be better? If you have the new adventure of Mr B and 12B to make you laugh, of course.

The class camp is going to be super-fun with Mr Bambuckle’s feathered friend Dodger having carefully chosen the right location and Mr B’s own unique style of doing things which means it’s not going to be your average school camp. However, it looks as though plans are going to be thwarted when the heinous new deputy-principal Miss Frost (think Tilda Swinton as the White Witch from Narnia) turns up to throw cold water over any proposed activities.

Naturally the imperturbable Mr Bambuckle is more than equal to dealing with a rigidly frigid administrator and the class seems well able to follow his lead and their own initiative to survive any obstacle put in their way. The whole class – except Vex who sleeps the entire duration of the camp – are triumphant in their successes but it does not escape their notice that Mr B seems just a little too friendly to the dreaded Miss Frost. What next for the intrepid class? Well, as Vex has disappeared mysteriously when the camp is struck – it could be almost anything!

Kids in my readership have been gobbling up the first two in this series and I can guarantee they will be grabbing this one as quickly as they can as well!

Highly recommended for kids (ok yes and grownups) who love to laugh at complete absurdity!

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables:  Fight Back – Tim Harris

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9780143785873

January 29, 2018

Random House Australia Children’s

RRP : $14.99

The kids in 12B are pretty despondent.  Mr Bambuckle has been sent packing by Principal Sternblast and their replacement teacher Miss Frost is as icy as her name.  Every day is a complete nightmare with dreary worksheets and stony silences.  However, there is some hope when mysterious messages from Mr Bambuckle appear randomly. Scarlett discovers the wonders of PhotoCrop and the meaning of Mr B’s message about her having magic fingers becomes clear as she realises she can displace things – even people. Goodbye Miss Frost!

It’s not Scarlett alone who has brought about the good-riddance of their snarly teacher nor is it her doing that the school board reinstates Mr Bambuckle. This is a class who can, when needed, work together to achieve great things.

With Mr B back, on his unicycle with bacon and eggs and Himalayan tea, the class is ready to fire up their imaginations and their self belief.

The text is interspersed with lists and other bits and pieces which makes for some relief for those kidlets who struggle a little with large amounts of print.

Tim Harris kicks another goal with this continuation of the hilarity of Mr Bambuckle’s remarkable class. If you missed my previous review and the lunatic Q&A with Mr B and Tim look back – it’s definitely worth the giggle!

 

Highly recommended for readers from around 8 years upwards – I believe this is one series that will really grab those reluctant readers.

 

Mr Bambuckle’s Remarkables – Tim Harris….and Mr Bambuckle himself!!!

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Tim Harris, illus by James Hart
Random House
Released September 2017
Paperback
ISBN 9780143785859
RRP $14.99

Tim Harris exploded onto the children’s literature scene quite literally with his Exploding Endings books. Now he brings us a true hero of the classroom, Mr Bambuckle. The children of Room 12 B are wary of their expected new teacher, given their previous one was a po-faced relic who stood no nonsense. Their astonishment when they enter the classroom to find Mr Bambuckle balancing on the teacher’s desk on a unicycle is off the radar. And that’s just the start!

What other teacher do you know can produce soup from their pockets or cook bacon in the classroom? Indeed, is there one you can think of who provides Himalayan tea to anyone in need?

Or even more importantly, a teacher who realises their kids’ insecurities such as killer washing machines and builds a scaffold to overcome these?

Of course, not everyone appreciates Mr Bambuckle’s unique talents e.g. Principal Sternblast (thank goodness, I’ve only known one of those!) but the kids in 12B know that nothing will ever be the same and that Mr Bambuckle must stay despite all obstacles being presented!

This is a tremendously fun read and is chockfull of memorable characters aside from Mr B. Readers from around 8 years upwards will fall in love with this teacher and want to be in his class forever!

Check out a teaser here.

 

And now, the moment you’ve all been waiting for – Q&A with Mr Bambuckle himself! – oh and Tim Harris. Ta dah!!!!

Q&A with Mr Bambuckle and Tim Harris

 

How excited am I to welcome to Just So Stories Mr Bambuckle himself! And of course, Tim Harris.

Mr Bambuckle, I am SO excited to have the opportunity to speak with you – I feel a little flustered really! – but let’s get started.

Q1: Mr Bambuckle, I’d love for you to give my readers a little insight into the young you – the baby, the kid, what sort of student were you, hobbies, family – well you get the picture! We want to hear about the making of Mr Bambuckle!

Did you know that Himalayan tea is a most wonderful calmer if you’re feeling flustered? Dear Sue, please take this cup and let me know what you think. I brewed it myself.

Ah, yes, my parents … Well, it’s difficult to know where to start with such remarkable people. Put it this way – I learned to abseil before I could walk. I learned to use chopsticks before I could hold a fork. I learned how to scuba dive before I could say the word ‘fish’. My childhood was saturated with rich learning experiences and, being mostly home-schooled, I was able to enjoy it with those I loved best. I suppose my love of learning directed me into teaching.

Q2:  Mr Bambuckle, can you expand a little on your philosophy when it comes to teaching/pedagogy? Children are remarkable little people.

Life would certainly be dull without remarkable little people. I have fifteen of them in my current class in room 12B. We have an awful lot of fun together. Of course, the children themselves often don’t know they’re learning. It’s amazing what can be achieved with a sense of excitement. My philosophy is simple: children will learn a great deal if want to be taught.

Q3: What was it that brought you to the children in 12B?

I’m beginning to learn it was fate. Well, that and a gut feeling when I stumbled across the ad online. There’s something about the children in room 12B that not many others I’ve taught have possessed. I’m yet to work out exactly what it is, but I sense they’re building up to something extraordinary.

Q4: Just excuse me a moment Mr Bambuckle, we’ll be right back with you ……this question is for your friend Tim. Tim, I understand that you have also taught. Perhaps you can tell us a little about your experiences in classrooms as the ‘man in charge’?

Hi there, Sue! Thanks for having me. I’ll pass on the Himalayan tea though, Mr B. Yes, I taught for fifteen years and loved it. I used to play the drums for my first class. If they worked quietly, we’d let out all the noise on the drum kit! I worked with some amazing teachers and taught a bunch of awesome little people.

Q5: And Tim, to continue – leading on from that – what sort of student were you at school? Were you the class clown or the geek or the nerdy suck up?

I was mostly quiet and well-mannered. However, I did have my quirks. A couple of friends and I would write silly skits at lunch and then beg our teacher to let us perform them to the class. I loved the thrill of drawing a laugh from a crowd. I rarely got in trouble, but if I did, it was usually for trying to make someone laugh.

Q6: Now Mr Bambuckle, you brought some interesting strategies to the classroom of 12B, where did you gain your training in these or what prompted you to create them?

Would you like more tea, Sue? You have certainly relaxed a lot during the interview. Though I suggest you stop belly dancing on the table. Now, to your question, I picked up most of my strategies through living life both inside and out of the classroom. If you allow yourself to experience much, eventually you’ll pick up some useful ideas and strategies.

Q7: Mr Bambuckle, you have a real knack, and I would judge a passion, for bringing out the best in a child – for giving a child with perhaps some low self confidence the boost they need to blossom.  Can you elaborate on that aspect?

You simply must have a chat to dear Evie Nightingale. It’s children like her who make me look good. I suppose all it takes to boost confidence is giving each student the voice or platform they require to flourish. That, and a touch of bacon and eggs.

Q8: We have been left in somewhat of a limbo regarding Mr Bambuckle’s future as the continuing teacher for 12B – what can we expect in the near future? And as a rider to that, do you think that that dim-witted apoplectic principal is jealous of your success?

I was deeply saddened after my conversation with Mr Sternblast, as there is much work to be done in room 12B.The dear principal simply needs to drink more Himalayan tea. As you can tell, lovely Sue – and I would suggest climbing down from the bookcase – the tea is a wonderful relaxant. Mr Sternblast has other things on his mind, and I suspect that brings out the worst in him.

Q9: Back to you Tim, what principles do you hold dear in the teaching of our youngsters? How much of your philosophy is based on your real life experience? And how does that translate into bringing us the stories of Mr Bambuckle (*Swoon*)?

The relationships in a classroom were always at the centre of what I tried to do. Healthy relationships tend to remove other stresses, and a stress-free environment is supportive of good learning. I also tried to genuinely value every child I taught and would always look for the positive in them. This, combined with a strong understanding of the content and how to teach it, can make for some excellent learning.

Q10: This question is for both of you. As a teacher-librarian, there are times when I am so dismayed by  the casual attitudes demonstrated by administrative types and also the dive in reading for pleasure that regularly occurs in middle school, I’m interested to hear your thoughts on ways you both think we might tackle this problem?

Tim: Shared reading was highly-prized time in my classroom. I tried to make it so much fun that it eventually become a reward. I remember sitting down with a book in my last class and the students rushed to the floor, cheering. Much depends on the teacher and how they portray what reading time can and should look like. I meet some amazing teacher-librarians and teachers when I visit schools, who celebrate books in their learning spaces. It’s encouraging to know that others are making a literary impact in their rooms. But it has to start at the top.

Mr Bambuckle: Blue Valley School’s teacher-librarian, Mrs Paige, is an excellent example of how we can tackle the problem. She always knows how to get the right book into the right hands, and she even lets some students borrow more than the allowed amount to satisfy their hunger for words. Put simply, her enthusiasm for books is contagious.

Q11: There are many readers keen to find out what next is in store for the excitement generated by you both. What can we share here on Just So Stories to give these kids a ‘teaser’?

Mr Bambuckle: Would you like another top up of tea, dear Sue? I daresay you’ve become quite fond of Himalayan brew during our interview. As a teaser, I can certainly reveal that remarkable things will continue happening in room 12B. Also, if you look closely at the cover of Book 2, you may just notice something on my shoulder – a bird! I can’t wait for you to meet him!

Tim: Lots is planned for 2018. The year kicks off with the release of Book 2 in the series in late January. I’ll be getting out and about, visiting lots of remarkable schools around Australia to chat all things bookish and creative. Book 3 is also underway, and we expect it will be released in September. There are a couple of other exciting things in the pipeline that will be revealed shortly.

Thank you both so much for your time. It has been such a huge pleasure to meet you both! I’d love to host you in my library at any time! Good luck with the next instalment in this wonderful insight into teaching and learning!

Mr Bambuckle: Thank you, lovely Sue. I think you’d rather enjoy the Himalayas.

Tim: Thanks, Sue! We look forward to visiting your library soon!