Tag Archives: Tony Flowers

Small Town – Phillip Gwynne and Tony Flowers

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Penguin AustraliaAugust 2020

ISBN: 9781760893484

Imprint: Puffin

RRP: $24.99

This is just a delightful and heart-warming picture book which is based on the true story of how small rural towns with dwindling populations have opened their community and hearts to welcome refugees and re-invigorate their townships.

The narrator is Milly who loves her town and her netball team but is sad that her team is shrinking as her friends’ families move to seek life in the city. After learning about refugees at school resourceful Milly comes up with an idea – she’ll write a letter inviting refugees to come to her lovely town to settle and help it survive. Her supportive family go one better and they all create a promotional video invitation – jobs and houses, country life and a great community.

And the plan works! What a thrill to see your endangered community not only rejuvenated but enriched with a diverse and vibrant influx of newcomers!

Gwynne’s text is simple but highly effective as it emphasises Milly’s passion for her home and Tony Flowers brings Gong Gong to life in rich detail with his fabulous illustrations – including in-jokes like including his own motorbikes and VW beetle as well as his family’s bakery! The end papers are just gorgeous (my kiddos know my love of great endpapers so well!) and fully realise the complete journey of Milly’s plan.

This would be a terrific read-aloud and one which will generate much rich discussion and inspire deep learning around the complex issue of small-town Australia’s plight as well as that of refugees struggling to find their place in our wonderful country.

Highly recommended for readers from around 7 years upwards.

MoonFish  [Poems to make you & Think] – Harry Laing. Various Illustrators

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moon-fish

Ford St Publishing

May 2019

9781925804256

RRP: $16.95

Sharing poetry with kiddos is one of my favourite things to do – and even the ones who kind of screw their noses up at first really get into it with the right selection. This will definitely be one of those and I know that many teachers will want to get their hands on it to add some pep to their poetry units.

Harry Laing has compiled a fabulous collection that is fun-filled with catchy rhythm and rhymes, chants, raps, word play, shape poems and more. The illustrators are a stellar cast of our best and brightest in the business, eighteen in all, making this a feast for the eye as well as the ear.

Whether it’s a yummy food poem about cheese or pizza or a city of chocolate or an introduction to some insect life like ants or termites or even a flea this has something to appeal to all children.

There will be many opportunities for kids to get up and use their hands or feet to clap to the beat and no doubt will quickly decide on their personal favourites.

If you are looking to give your poetry collection some updating or purely for the joy of it, this will make a valuable addition and is highly recommended for children from around 7 years upwards.

 

Shortlisted 2019 – Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year

Series-ly Super Stocking Stuffers

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superstocking

We all know that there are many of our children who absolutely eat up their favourite series. And what a way to keep them hooked on reading!

I’ve had a stack of new episodes come in recently so thought I would run through them all for your stocking filling information.

Not in any particular order (more like how I grabbed them from the various piles!):

Rangers’ Apprentice The Early Years 2 : The Battle of Hackham Heath

rangers

Penguin

ISBN 9781742759326

October 31, 2016

Random House Australia Children’s

RRP $18.99

 

I’m actually only halfway through this but definitely need to put it top of the list.  Like so many others I love this series and was worried when the ‘final’ was published that we would have no more of the adventures.  Whew! Thank goodness John decided to provide us all with more of our fix with The Early Years.

 

Readers are discovering how Halt becomes the most successful of the rangers, despite the fact that he has not had the arduous long official apprenticeship and training of others. We are also privy to the growing romantic attachment between Halt and the beautiful Lady Rosalind.

More importantly we follow Halt’s dangerous and stealthy mission to track down and report on Morgarath’s mountain hideout and his recruitment of fearsome beings known as Wargals to form a new army. Araluen’s peace is not an easy one but more an anxious lull and it is up to Halt to learn exactly what the kingdom faces.  At the same time there is tension around the Queen’s much-anticipated pregnancy and Crowley is charged with keeping her safe as she undertakes a dangerous journey to ensure the baby’s delivery.

 

As always the reader is fully engaged in the world of the Rangers and their commitment to the kingdom.

 

I’m quite disappointed that the girls at my current college don’t seem to care for the series (though hoping to promote it next year) as I have always found that both boys and girls relish this fantasy fiction and eagerly wait for more instalments.

Highly recommended for adventure lovers from around 10 years upwards.

 

Dork Diaries: Frenemies Forever –  Rachel Renee Russell

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Simon & Schuster

Simon & Schuster Children’s UK |

ISBN 9781471158018 |

November 2016

RRP

AU$ 19.99

NZ$ 22.99

 

On the other hand this is a series that our girls go crazy for! This is the 11th instalment and the troubles for Queen of the Dorks, Nikki Maxwell just keep rolling on.

 

The very exciting news is that Nikki has been accepted (as part of the ‘school transfer’ program at her own school) to spend a week at prestigious North Hampton Hills. This is the way cool school – very ‘preppy’ and she is suitably thrilled to be spending her week there.

 

Except for one teeny problem, her arch-nemesis Mackenzie started at the school just recently and she will have to deal with her on a daily basis.

 

But that issues pales into insignificance when the ruling queen bee of NHH, Tiffany, decides to make things very unpleasant indeed.

 

Ouch! It seems as though Nikki and Mackenzie may need to sign a truce to deal with this horrible girl and survive her week of preppy school life.

 

Girls from 10 years upwards just adore this series and no doubt will pounce on this latest one as well.

 

 

Double Down: Diary of a Wimpy Kid #11 – Jeff Kinney

wimpy
Penguin Australia

9780143309338

November 1, 2016

Puffin (AU YR)

 

Without a doubt one of the most popular series for kids, this one appeals to both boys and girls and I know in my libraries, the copies become as dog-eared and tatty as can be as they are read and re-read. It is a continual mission keeping copies up to scratch!

 

I could pretend I’m all highbrow and find them beneath my reading contempt but the truth is they make me laugh out loud (have had some weird looks given me when reading them in public and snorting into my coffee).

 

Poor old Greg is the ultimate in anti-heroes. His mum (always good value) is on a mission. She thinks Greg is spending far too much time on (video) games and that his brain will soon turn to jelly and dribble out of his ears.  She thinks it’s high time that he begins to explore his ‘creative side’.  Oh dear.

 

Add some Halloween into the mix with scary things coming at Greg from all angles and there’s a recipe for hilarity right there.

 

When Greg comes up with a plan to quell his mother’s nagging – and possibly become rich and famous – by making his own movie, you just know it’s going to be a complete disaster!

 

Boys and girls from around 8 years upwards will go crazy for this latest.

 

How to Beat Genghis Khan in an Arm Wrestle – Nick Falk/Tony Flowers

genghis

Penguin Australia

ISBN 9780143780342

August 29, 2016

Random House Australia Children’s

RRP $14.99

 

This is the second in the latest crazy series from this equally crazy pair of creators. (Having seen them in action earlier this year, I can definitely verify their madness!)

Sid has spent literally hours working on his own comic – we all know his drawings skills are legendary – and when Zac, the biggest bully ever, steals it Sid is determined to get it back.  The problem is that Zac will only return it if Sid beats him in an arm wrestle.

 

Time to call in reinforcements in the shape of Sid’s neighbour Professor Skeletron who uses his super-powers to calculate that Sid’s chances of beating Zac are pretty abysmal but with his usual cunning skills comes up with a plan. All they need is a Time Rescrambler so that Sid can ‘rewind’ and take on Zac ten times, eventually winning.

 

Sounds simple – until the rewind button jams and the pair, along with Sid’s little sister, find themselves in their new predicament – back in the time of the Mongol Empire’s most feared leader, Genghis Khan. Worse – the mighty Khan gets his hand on their gadget.

 

Hilarity ensues as usual. Recommended for girls and boys from around 8 years upwards.

 

Danny Best #2 Never Wrong – Jen Storer/Mitch Vane

dannybest

Harper Collins

ISBN: 9780733333347

ISBN 10: 0733333346

Imprint: ABC Books – AU

On Sale: 01/11/2016

List Price: 17.99 AUD

Here’s my recommendation for this second in the Danny Best series. I read it aloud to a very tough Year 4 class while doing a relief teaching day and it was the ONLY time during the day that they were all quiet with no shenanigans happening.

Given the format (similar to those above) with little text, interesting fonts and ‘inserts’ along with wickedly funny illustrations as well as the raucously funny scenarios in the short stories, this is a real winner.

Danny’s meddling with his mum’s folk art sculpture, his subsequent ‘mending’ of it and his big sister’s ultimate triumph over him is a killer. But the obstacle course is wildly funny as well.  My feral 4s even jumped in to answer the quiz questions at the end of each story.

 

All in all, a great success for the day but also for your readers so why not grab both #1 and #2 to pop into someone’s parcel?

Woot! An arvo with Nick Falk & Tony Flowers

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Megan’s fabulous themed cupcakes – Hostess with the Mostest!

What a blast! Lots of laughing from kids and grown ups alike. So much fun to catch up with Megan Daley  in her delightful library, the amazing Zoe Bechara from Random House Australia and the lovely Louise Brooks!

How to Stop an Alien Invasion Using Shakespeare – Nick Falk & Tony Flowers

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alieninvasion

ISBN: 9780143780328

Published: 28/03/2016

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

 

RRP $14.99

Hast thou ever feared the imminent arrival of strange googly-eyed alien monsters? Dost thou fret over total destruction of the known world by hideous extra-terrestrials of extraordinary ugliness?

You may rest assured that the solution is at hand. Join Sid, his little sister Wendy and evil-genius neighbour aka the Mighty Professor Skeletron as they thwart an alien invasion caused by Sid’s astounding adaptation of Romeo & Juliet for a school assignment.

When Mr Pilchard, Sid’s vile teacher, threatens the class and especially Sid of dire consequences should they not produce their best piece of creative writing ever, Sid seeks inspiration and advice from the evil-genius. Mighty Professor Skeletron’s psychic cat directs Sid’s attention to the works of Shakespeare, greatest writer of all time.

The trouble lies in the fact that Sid makes his story just too similar to the original and mayhem ensues as he reads aloud his prize-winning story instigating a chain of events that sees the intrepid trio travelling in time via potato power to redress the catastrophe. Changing the course of history has never been so simple or so hilarious!

Kids from around 8 and up will love this latest offering from the talented Falk and Flowers duo. Highly recommended for your primary library shelves!

Samurai vs Ninja (#1 & #2) – Nick Falk & Tony Flowers

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Samurai vs Ninja 1: The Battle for the Golden Egg – Nick Falk & Tony Flowers

ISBN: 9780857986054

Published: 01/04/2015

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 96 pages

goldenegg

Samurai vs Ninja 2: The Race for the Shogun’s Treasure

ISBN: 9780857986368

Published: 01/04/2015

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

Extent: 96 pages

shogunstreasure

RRP: $9.99

From the dynamic duo that brought us the Billy is a Dragon and Saurus Street series – much loved by your younger readers no doubt! – comes this hilarious new offering with some extremely loopy characters.

Full of antics and situations which will have huge appeal to those children setting out on their beginning chapter books journey; these stories relate the ongoing skirmishes between the rival ninjas and samurais with laugh-out-loud humour. Readers will relish moments such as ‘It’s raining ninja poo!’ and ‘..so she’d snuck into his room and put wasabi in his undies’.

In volume #1, the crazy warriors are both angling for Japan’s greatest treasure – the fabled Golden Egg. Cheating and revenge tactics abound as neither team play fair.

The #2 episode sees the manic factions facing off again when the Great Bear is stolen from Edo Castle and the shogun promises a great honour to whoever can find his prized possession.

While written in a fashion that will draw in those newly independent readers there is a great opportunity to expand vocabulary including some Japanese language – ably explained in a glossary at the end of each book.

Flowers’ cartoon illustrations are a terrific adjunct to readers  with their speech bubbles adding punch to each punch line delivered.

These are exactly the sorts of stories that could be the basis of some creative writing as students come up with their own wacky adventures for the Japanese crazies.

Highly recommended for younger readers aged around 6 and up.