Sunday 14 July 2013

Book Review: Omar The Strongman, by Gregory Rogers.

Today’s book review is coming to you from Policeman’s Waterhole, which is basically an oasis in the middle of the desert! It is a totally gorgeous spot with lots of shady trees, and a large area which, at this particular time of the year, is relatively full of water. The boys have had a wonderful time splashing, and I have even managed quite a bit of reading. Bonus!

Omar The Strongman is a delightful story about a man named Omar who is new in town. He goes to the local circus looking for a job and becomes the odd jobs man, which sees him doing anything and everything. He is flat out working every day, but he stops to have his lunch and watch the stars practice their performances, dreaming of starring in the circus himself. After an incident on centre stage, he just might get his wish!

Written and illustrated by Kate Greenaway Medal winner Gregory Rogers, this lovely story shows children that dreams really can come true.

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Category: Picture book
Title: Omar The Strongman
Author/Illustrator: Gregory Rogers
Publication date: July 2013
Format: 250 x 240 mm
Extent: 32pp
Age: 4+
Australian RRP: $24.99
Binding: Hardback
Printing: Colour
ISBN: 978 1 74283 436 8


Book Review: The Very Brave Bear, by Nick Bland.

This time I’m coming to you live from Boxhole Meteor Crater, in southern Northern Territory. Ok, so maybe not live, but you get the idea. No Australian animal book this time, but one of Australia’s most loved children’s authors instead.

The Very Brave Bear, written and illustrated by Nick Bland, is the fourth in the ‘bear’ series, and I have to admit, my favourite since the original, The Very Cranky Bear.

Our bear engages in bravery competitions with Boris Buffalo, but a very surprising opponent at the end, allows Boris and Bear to discover that they are both as brave as each other.

A wonderful story which includes a tiny frog hidden in the pages for children to find, Nick Bland has created a story children will love.

Publisher: Scholastic Press
Category: Picture book
Title: The Very Brave Bear
Author/Illustrator: Nick Bland
Publication date: July 2013
Format: 250 x 240 mm
Extent: 24pp
Age: 4+
Australian RRP: $16.99
Binding: Hardback
Printing: Colour
ISBN: 978 1 74283 800 7


Book Review: Koalas, Kites and Kangaroos: An Australian Alphabet Book, by David Ridyard.

Here is another Australian book review from the middle of the Aussie outback. This time I come to you from The Blaze Tree, or Maddigan’s Camp 16, in the south east corner of the Northern Territory.
As I’m sitting here, the sun has just gone down over the sand dune ahead of me, and the air temperature has fallen considerably. It’s definitely time for my jacket and perhaps a nice glass of red before dinner.

Koalas, Kites and Kangaroos is a much loved picture book, originally printed in 1985, that is now back in print. Gorgeous (predominately) Australian animals introduce the alphabet, showing the uppercase and lowercase letters, as well as some words that start with that particular letter. All of the words used are of things included in the pictures and are fun for children to find. There is also a list of words at the back, of other things in the pictures that weren't listed on each page.

Written by David Ridyard, and illustrated by Doreen Gristwood, Koalas, Kites and Kangaroos is a charming educational book for pre-schoolers.

Publisher: Scholastic Australia
Category: Picture book
Title: Koalas, Kites and Kangaroos
Author: David Ridyard
Illustrator: Doreen Gristwood
Publication Date: July 2013
 Format: 280 x 210 mm
Extent: 32 pp
Age: 4+
Australian RRP: $15.99
Binding: Paperback
Printing: Mono
ISBN: 978 1 74283 872 4


Book Review: Possum Magic Animals, by Mem Fox.

As I’m out in the Australian outback at the moment, I can’t think of a more perfect time to talk about Mem Fox’s new book Possum Magic Animals.

A beautifully bound board book, Possum Magic Animals is a gorgeous first book for your special baby, or as a gift.

Introduce your child to our unique Aussie wildlife, and the characters in the timeless classic Possum Magic, with this sturdy companion to Possum Magic Numbers.

Mem Fox has become one of Australia’s best loved children’s authors since the release of Possum Magic in 1983, writing many other much loved titles.

The Possum Magic artwork by Julie Vivas has once again been brought to life, with the stunning illustrations of the possum, kangaroo and dingo, to name a few.

Thanks to Omnibus Books for Scholastic Australia, this book is available to purchase from all good book stores as of this month, so keep a look out for it!

Publisher: Omnibus Books
Category: Board book
Title: Possum Magic Animals
Author: Mem Fox
Illustrator: Julie Vivas
Extent: 16 pages + cover
Format: 160 x 160 mm
Publication Date: July 2013
Age: 1+
Australian RRP: $9.99
ISBN: 978 1 86291 973 0


Thursday 4 July 2013

Starry, Starry Night.

On a freezing cold night, in the town common of Innaminca, I am sitting here typing away on my laptop. The silence is interrupted only by the road works up on the main road, and the peaceful snores of those around me.

I am on my first family holiday in seven years.

When my husband first suggested this trip, I was petrified. And I have worried about it for over a year. But now that we’re actually on our way, it’s not as bad as my mind would have had me believe.

So far.

We’re on our way to Cape York, and I have been told it’s the trip of a lifetime.

But for me it didn't feel that way.

I thought taking someone with panic disorder into the complete isolation of the Aussie bush was sure to be a recipe for disaster.

Someone like me.

But I’m coping.


I didn't expect to.

 I expected to have raging panic attacks, leaving me with shortened breath and wide, crazy eyes, desperate to be anywhere but here.

Yet here I am.

Calmly typing away.

It’s almost kind of a miracle.

But the trip isn't over yet.

I'm sure normality will return at any time.

My kind of normal.

Until then, I'm happy to look at the stars.

They are amazing out here.


See you soon for some more book reviews, and more about our trip.

There's a bit of time in between internet connection, so bear with me!

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