It’s Children’s Book Week and in between the competitions where you can win an iPad mini – Book Hunt and Word Scramble, we are also holding wonderful dress-up Storytimes, amazing Pram Jams and just generally being amazing.
As most of your know, we’ve been reviewing a range of the shortlisted books – you can check them out here.
But, unforunately, we just haven’t had time to review them all. And they are all amazing. So, I’m taking this opportunity to share a few of the ones I’ve read with a short review. Plus, we have a regular craft and photos at the bottom. Not all of the books I’m going to review are suitable for the Storytime age group but you parents might enjoy them instead.
Intruder by Christine Bongers
This book was shortlisted for Book of the Year: Older Readers. I thoroughly enjoyed this. I read the first few chapters intending to write about this in a full review and simply lost track of time. Then one Saturday I picked it up and finished the rest of the book in one sitting. The book starts when the main character Kat wakes one night to find a stranger standing over her. It’s terrifying. But the really wonderful thing about this book is the great use of suspense and the little bits of information that are given. It takes until almost the end to find out all of the things that are hinted at in the beginning of the book but it is so worth it when you get to the end, and it is a pretty happy one overall, and everything is resolved perfectly. I would recommend this book for people 14/15+. 4 stars.
Withering-by-Sea: a Stella Montgomery Intrigue by Judith Rossell
This book was shortlisted for Book of the Year: Younger Readers. I found this to be another great mystery. Our main character, Stella, lives at the Hotel Majestic where people come to have treatments. She lives there with three rather strict (though this is set in the Victorian era) aunts named: Condolence, Temperance, Deliverance. I won’t tell you too much but the mystery is great and Stella is a very likable character. I was lucky enough to have gone to a judge’s talk this year and she noted that there are a large number of orphans/children who have lost their mother in this set of books and this is one of them. I’m looking forward to seeing the next book in this series. I would recommend this book for people 7/8+. 4 stars.
This book had received quite a few awards including the 2015 Australian Book Industry Awards, Book of the Year: Older Children and was listed as an Honour Book by the CBCA for this years Book of the Year awards.
Pig the Pug by Aaron Blabey
This book was shortlisted for Book of the Year: Early Childhood and can been seen in our Dog Storytime blog. It’s a great story about Pig who is not a nice dog. And he is especially not nice to Trevor who he constantly blames for his own naughty actions. It’s a delightful book with some needed comeuppance for Pig at the end. It has also got a follow up book – Pig the Fibber.
With Aaron Blabey rather familiar bug-eyed illustrations and sense of humour I would recommend this for all ages. 5 stars.
We’ve reviewed all of the books in this category since it’s one near and dear to us and would recommend all of them for a Storytime age.
Scary Night by Lesley Gibbes. Review here – available Friday.
Go to Sleep, Jessie! by Libby Gleeson. Review here.
A House of Her Own by Jenny Hughes. Review here.
Snail and Turtle are Friends by Stephen Michael King. Review here.
Noni the Pony Goes to the Beach by Alison Lester. Review here.
One Minute’s Silence by Michael Camilleri with words by David Metzenthen
This book was shortlisted for Picture Book of the Year and won the Crichton Award for New Illustrators. One of several this year that deals with the topic of war which isn’t surprising as we’re in the four year long 100th anniversary of WWI. This book is done entirely in black and white with a simple message about what the minute of silence is, and should be. It’s a powerful book that I would encourage all children 9/10 years and over to read. As you can see with the cover the Turkish and Australian soldiers are both drawn as though they are the same person and that is the message of the book – no matter what side of war you are on there are more similarities than differences. 4 stars.
The Stone Line by Ritva Voutila with words by Margaret Wild
This book was shortlisted for Picture Book of the Year. I love this book. I read it when I was doing outreach at a primary school in the area a week ago and this garnered the most interesting questions. This is a great book about a stone lion who wants nothing more than to be alive…if only for long enough to go and run in the
jungle park. And if he wants it enough he can. Except, one freezing cold night, a small girl and her smaller brother collapse at his feet. He feels such sorrow for them that he finds the emotion to move for them. At the expense of his own dreams. And yet this book is not sad. And the illustrations are amazing! I would encourage sharing this book with children 8+. 5 stars.
The Lost Girl by Leanne Tobin with words by Ambelin Kwaymullina
This book was shortlisted for the Crichton Award for New Illustrators. It tells the story of a young girl who gets lost and how she finds her way back to her family by listening to the world around her. It has a simple text with wonderful illustrations and I would recommend it for children over 5 years. 3.5 stars.
No specific rhyme today after all those books but we have a firefly craft for you since the theme of this year is Books Light Up Our World
What you need:
– large pop stick
– pipe cleaners
– pom pom
– coloured paper
– googly eyes
How to make it:
There are no hard and fast rules. You need a big yellow bottom for the firefly to glow with. And you need six arms, two antennae, wings, and some eyes but you can make your firefly anyway you like.
Here are some of the photos from Children’s Book Week celebrations so far. Check them all out here.