Showing posts from November, 2020

Review: Pax

‘ What does the fox say?” Well, in the case of Pax, the red fox, it’s more about what he feels, thinks, smells and reacts to that relays his emotions in such a tangible way, you’d swear you understand fox language. That is one of the most magical things about Sara Pennypacker’s , Pax , along with the charming splatters of illustration throughout by Jon Klassen. Peter is a young boy on the cusp of teenage-hood living alone with his father only he is not quite alone. His closest companion is Pax, a young fox he rescued as a kit. They share a relationship closer than the traditional boy / dog connection that endures the occasional dissent of Peter’s father. Virtually inseparable, Pax enjoys a solace and calm in his human boy’s world that engulfs Peter’s heart just as securely. It’s a bond seemingly unbreakable but is dramatically tested one day when Peter’s father enlists and is summoned to war. This story begins with Pax’s jettison from Peter’s car and … his life after his father in

Review: A Dog's Perfect Christmas

I have a dozen or so brilliant books stacked up awaiting words of adoration but this one rose to the top like jersey cream on a fresh pail of milk. Simply glorious. And with its timely release just months before the-Christmas-we-really-all-need this year, A Dog’s Perfect Christmas is, well…the perfect Christmas gift. A Dog’s Perfect Christmas , a novella of sorts by A Dog’s Purpose collection best-selling creator, W Bruce Cameron does not disappoint. This narrative departs from Cameron’s usual delivery from a dog’s point of view relying instead on a delightful collection of third person points of view, including the dogs’. This equates to a novel rich with emotional connection and bristling with exuberance, warmth, humor, tenderness and abject dread, rather like a dog visiting the vet’s. The swings from fraught school yard cliques to boardroom ballsups to doggie destruction are smooth and bright leaving us fully invested with the whole the family. Kind-hearted, Hunter Goss is

Review: The Days Of In Between

Toby and Tara’s story of friendship and finding ones true self exudes the same mellow warmth as a beach sunset. It is at once familiar, comforting and intensely personal. Set in one of Australia’s eastern coastal townships during the last summer of the 1970s, this tale chimes with voices so authentic and true, you’d swear you were 12-years-old again, well if you were my age. Younger readers will not have any trouble relating to Toby and Tara either regardless of a storyline that is void of distracting mobile phones and addictive devices because Peter Valentine Fenton’s characters behave and react in immediately recognisable ways.    Toby is excited to be spending the summer holidays with his father at an old family-favourite holiday haunt by the bay. He’s waited for ages to smell the salty brine of the sea again and reconnect with his recently newly-wed father. Toby’s expectations are sky high and orbit around his choice to move from his mother’s house to live with his dad and new

Review: Countdown To Danger: Choose Your Own Ending!

Wild undiluted adventure is the theme throughout this set of exciting Choose Your Own Ending ! books by the unstoppable, Jack Heath . This series has been around for a few years now but it never grows less thrilling to experience. And that’s exactly what reading the Countdown To Danger series is – an experience, because like most great ‘ you choose’ adventures, YOU are the hero and responsible for everything that happens from the minute you begin your adventure. Similar in fast-paced style to Heath’s Danger … Minutes series for older readers, this collection rewards the reader with heart-stopping multiple ending scenarios that play out in a finite time frame, 30 minutes to be precise. That’s not a lot of time to save the world or your mates but it sure does ramp up the intensity of these stories. I love the multi-ending aspect of this style of storytelling because just like in real life, not every outcome is enjoyable or good or anticipated. I mean who wants to be eaten by a giant

Review: Pierre's Not There

Australian Children’s Laureate for 2020 / 2021, Ursula Dubosarsky , has penned another absorbing junior fiction tale that embraces imagination and compassion. Dubosarsky’s work is generally infused with wonderment and just enough magical conjecture to keep young minds guessing. Pierre’s Not There is no exception.   Fast paced and alluring, Pierre’s Not There begins in a harbour side suburb of Sydney. While Lara’s mother is tasked with cleaning the house, Lara explores the grounds and meets a beguiling little lad named, Pierre. His odd dress and exuberant manner does not dissuade Lara from befriending him especially after he reveals his strange and terrible story to her about his family who were eaten by wolves! Lara is intrigued and moved to help this boy seemingly all alone in the world who proclaims he must find his grandmother. But how? Pierre convinces her to join him in his quest the only way he knows how to, via a beautiful antique puppet theatre. If she agrees to participa

New Publication: Fearless Footsteps

It's been a rotten old year for throwing inhibitions to the wind and embarking on wild new adventures. Just surviving 2020 has been adventure enough for many but if you're like me, having your wings figuratively clipped dampens that vital 'looking forward to something' expectation that travel, planned or impulsive invariably brings. The mere thought of going somewhere different, stumbling upon new treasures, stuffing myself on exotic cuisines (made by someone else) and experiencing sunburn in places other than my backyard stimulates and sustains me like nothing else can (with the exception of ice cream). So, what do you do when these things are no longer accessible in real life? You READ of course, because as all self-respecting lovers of Kids' Lit know, ' The more that you read, the more that you'll know. The more that you learn, the more places you'll go' ...Dr Seuss, Oh, The Places You'll Go! To go someplace  that captures the spirit of adven