Contemporary en point junior and
middle grade novels are undeniably making a solid comeback. The variety of
subject matter is virtually infinite yet one element common to the most popular
choices 7 – 13-year-olds make, is humour. These next
few titles expertly embrace funny as a way of relaying serious storylines in
the most entertaining ways.
Frightfully funny, this easy to read junior novel will have 6 - 10-year-olds snickering with delight at Gorski the vampire's dilemma following a run in with the recalcitrant fruit-loving bat, Nectar. After being bitten by Nectar, Gorski's erstwhile vampish traits disappear at an alarming rate. Horrified, his family rally to reverse his transformation before it's too late and he remains a blood-phobic, fruit eating vampire forever.
Cute twists, coffin-loads of pun-some fun (in nearly every paragraph which is choke-causing crazy for adult readers but which the intended audience should fine hilarious) plus plenty of gh…
First impressions count. They are (for me) seldom wrong. However, like a painting on the wall, a second, closer look can often enhance if not alter those first gut reactions. Closer inspection often reveals hitherto unseen beauties secreted among shadows laden with meaning. This is precisely why I adore picture books.
My first impression of Georgie Donaghey’s,In the Shadow of an Elephant was that it was an immense story; a picture book attempting to embrace a life story as boundless as the African Savannah, just as brutal and beautiful. Even the magnificent front cover of Lualani the elephant required a full cover wrap to encompass her complete gorgeous form.
Sometimes, I delay reading a book not because the cover doesn’t grab me (it
did). Not because I was scared of drowning in an emotional whirlpool (I wasn’t,
well perhaps a bit). I often dislike the distracting hype surrounding a new release. I like to wait until
the book calls to me on its own and in this case, Ava finally called loud
enough for me to hear. Which is saying something, for Ava is unable to speak.
Told without froth and bubble, and very little hand waving, this novel
possesses a greatness of heart that will make you weep and chuckle out loud.
Ava is sassy and sharp as a whip. She has the observational skills of a bald
eagle and the heart of a whale. Opinions and thoughts, words and desires bubble
within her without restraint, yet she is unable to express any of them thanks
to Rett syndrome, which dominates her physical abilities. Her greatest desire
is to be heard. But how can she …