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In Reviews


Bandoola: The Great Elephant Rescue

The latest of William Grill’s big book explorations of environmental stories from the past is about the exploits of a remarkable elephant in Myanmar in the early twentieth century. This was a time when logging companies used thousands of elephants to drag teak logs from the felling sites to the rivers to be carried downstream […]


Moose’s Book Bus

Moose loves telling stories to his family.  But what happens when he has told them all the stories he knows? ‘Read us a story’ suggests Mrs Moose. This entails a visit to the local library and the borrowing of not just one book but several. The story reading is such a success the news spreads […]


Ghost Bird

Fuller has won several awards for her work, both in Australia and elsewhere, including the David Unaipon Award for an Unpublished Indigenous Writer with Ghost Bird in 2017. The book has at its centre the 5-day disappearance of Laney – the mirror twin of Stacey – and the frantic race to find her. Fuller has […]



This brightly coloured picture book is literally just what it says in the title.  It’s about choices: little ones (like which ice cream to have), big ones (such as whether to go on the super-duper giant slide), whether to stand out from the crowd or become part of it, whether to be always active or […]


Loki: A Bad God’s Guide to Being Good

Your reviewer wonders whether Louie Stowell has come across the hilarious series of books by Jamie Thompson about a Dark Lord who accidentally comes to earth and, becoming a weedy schoolboy known as Dirk Lloyd, attempts to cope with life on Earth before returning to his true form?  There are indeed some similarities, as the […]


My Beautiful Voice

This bright, uplifting book is full of things that really matter – stories to fire the heart, quiet moments of empathy and perception, the power of poetry to express our feelings and the joy of finding one’s own voice.  ‘We all have songs to sing and we will sing them when we choose…’ When you’re […]



Isaac and Ivy Ramey are American brother and sister, late teenagers. Isaac has the ambition to enter aeronautical engineering and aircraft design. He is also a gifted soccer player. Ivy is a troubled soul who may have set out on the wrong path. Her ambition is simply to graduate from high school and to escape […]


The Biggest Footprint

This is a book based on a very unusual premise – imagine if the eight billion people on earth could be combined to create one giant being – a mega human. Enter the smooshing machine which squishes together the people of the world (conveniently for this purpose made of plasticine) to make a giant human. […]


Beetles for Breakfast

The title tells readers the gist of the information here: insects are eaten and enjoyed by many nations in the world, and we are close to using them in many more countries, as long as they can be suitably disguised. Dog food is likely to include crushed larvae sooner than food for humans, but we’re […]


Arthur, The Always King

How to tell the stories of King Arthur? What of the stories to tell? Most people will know the story of the sword in the stone, of how Arthur received the sword Excalibur and of his death – but what about the stories in between? There doesn’t seem to be an easy narrative path. Indeed, […]


Crock o’ Clock

No wonder the big Croc is getting bigger and bigger. In this accumulating tale, keepers at the zoo feed Croc an astonishing amount, on the hour, from one through till twelve o’clock, all foods which will be recognizable to any small reader. One o’clock begins with a mountain of macaroni, and follows swiftly with three […]


Frankie’s World

In this graphic novel Frankie is a girl aged 11. She feels out of place, partly because she is unusually small for her age and is obliged to take remedial growth hormones. Sometimes she also says the wrong thing. Frankie lives with her mother, her stepfather and her younger sister. Frankie’s father has been missing […]


The Girl Who Talked to Trees

Natasha Farrant follows her acclaimed fairy tale collection Eight Princesses and a Magic Mirror with this companion volume of magical, intertwined stories about trees. The stories are framed by the character of Olive, a shy 11-year-old girl whose best friend is a 400-year-old oak tree. When Olive tries to defend the parkland trees of her […]