Little Book Reviews by Little People

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Wombat - Reviewed by Ben

Christmas Wombat by Jackie French 
Illustrated by Bruce Whatley
Reviewed by Ben (aged 7)
The wombat was trying to get all the carrots. The wombat hopped on the back of Santa's sleigh every time he went somewhere and challenged the animals for the carrots. The carrots had been left for the reindeer but the wombat ate them. The wombat got back home and fell asleep and Santa brought him more carrots. I like the book. It was easy to read.
Mum's comments
Another lovely Australian book from author (Jackie French) and illustrator (Bruce Whatley) of the Diary of a Wombat book that has been very popular in this household. My boys had a chuckle reading about the Christmas Wombat who goes around eating the carrots left out for the reindeer. I love books that feature Australian animals and this cheeky but adorable wombat is very easy to fall in love with. The writing is easy for early readers to attempt by themselves.  It is a hard cover book with lovely simple and bright drawings. 
Perfect for ages 3-6

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Give Me A Home Among The Gum Trees - Reviewed by Tom

Give Me a Home Among the Gum Trees by Bob Brown & Wally Johnson
Illustrated  By Ben Wood
Reviewed by Tom (age 9)
This book is about a song about Australia. In the pictures there are a lot of Australian animals that make a house among the gum trees and have a lot of plum trees.  I really like the pictures and the funny thing the animals are doing. I really like how they are making vegemite toast.
I would read it again.
I rate it 7.5/10

Mum's comments
This is a picture book featuring part of the Australian song 'Give Me a Home among the Gum Trees'.  I feel like a bad Aussie parent as my children didn't know the song or even the tune. I am surprised that they have never heard it at school. I am now going to try find a CD version of the song for them to listen too. After reading and singing the song we came back and discussed the pictures. Tom identified most of the Australian animals but thought the possum was a squirrel. This reinforces for me the need to find more Australian books to educate them about our unique Australian culture, flora and fauna. They are too exposed to American content on television and as a proud Aussie I need to be more pro-active in exposing them to Australian content.
The pictures in the book are lovely and have a very Australian feel.

I Love Christmas - Reviewed by Ben

I Love Christmas by Anna Walker
Reviewed by Ben (age 7)

This book is about Ollie and what Ollie likes about Christmas. I like this book because it is easy to read. I like the same things about Christmas. This is a good book to read at Christmas time. At the end Ollie sits on the bed waiting for Santa, but he falls asleep and then Santa comes.

Mum's comments
This is a very short but sweet book about the joys of Christmas. These things include decorating the tree, doing crafts, helping to make the cake, and looking at the twinkly Christmas lights. These are such lovely delights that having nothing to do with buying up big at the shops or getting a haul of toys for Christmas day.  Most of the pages only have a few words on them so it is good for early readers but I think the book is more aimed for Kindy aged children. On most pages there is a little Christmas reindeer to find.

Thursday, 20 December 2012

What the Ladybird Heard - reviewed by Ben

What the Ladybird Heard by Julia Donaldson
Illustrated by Lydia Monks 
Reviewed by Ben (aged 7)
There are animals living on a farm. Two bad men come to try steal the prize winning cow. The Ladybird hears their plan and comes to warn the animals. The animals then make a plan to stop the bad men. They pretend to be different animals to trick the bad men. The men then walk into the pond. The police then catch them.

I like this book. 

Mum's comments
This is a fun little picture book for young children and early readers.  The book presents many farm animals and their individual noises which is great for little children. There is also a glittery ladybird to find on every page. The front cover and the ladybird on every page are made with raised glitter. The colourful pictures and textured parts of the pages are great stimulation for little autistic children.
For the early reader, they will love that each line in the book ends with rhyming words. We play a game to listen for the words that rhyme together. 
The book is a British publication so there are a few words that my boys were unfamiliar with such as a panda car (police car). 
This is a hardcover book which is always my favourite for picture books.
Perfect for ages 3-6

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore - reviewed by Tom

The Fantastic Flying Books of Mr Morris Lessmore by William Joyce
Illustrations by William Joyce and Joe Bluhm.
Reviewed by Tom (age 9)
This book is about Mr Morris Lessmore who loves stories and books. Every day he would write in his own book about his joys and sorrows and everything he hoped for. Then one day there was a big storm and everything was destroyed even the words in his books. He began to wander off and he saw a lady in the sky with a bunch of flying books. She gave Morris her favourite book and the book led him to a building full of books. Morris went inside and began living with the books. He read the books and looked after them. Sometimes he would become lost in a book for days. He would share the books with other people. Every night he would write in his own book of his joys and sorrows and everything he hoped for. The days, months and years passed and Morris became old. The books then looked after Morris. Morris Lessmore filled the last page in his book then he flew away into the sky with the flying books. Morris had left behind his own book. Then a girl came in and saw all the books. Morris Lessmore's book came up to her for her to read. She then starts to read the books.

I like this book because I like the pictures. I am not sure if this is a happy or sad story because Morris Lessmore leaves. It is a good bedtime story. Morris like to read adventures in books and I do too. 
I rate it 8/10

Mum's comments
This is a lovely book which I have to read to Tom's twin every night as he is fascinated by it. My children have some difficulty grasping some of the themes in the book due to their autism but the book provides a platform for later discussion. One of the themes is that you can find comfort in books during difficult times and also concepts of death and change. The first time I read the book I got a little lump in my throat and felt a little emotional but I do love the story and I especially love the writing style. This book has some lovely lines that I love reading out loud such as "Then a happy bit of happenstance came his way". Towards the end of the story Morris Lessmore grows old and decides it is time to leave. We then see that he has turned into a young man again as he gets lifted towards the sky by flying books. I think this is a lovely way of introducing the concept of death. Younger children may miss this reference and just think he is off on another adventure. 
The illustrations are lovely and have been done by William Joyce and Joe Bluhm. The pictures are quirky and match the vintage style of writing used throughout the book. 
This hard cover book will be a keeper for years to come. I would love to eventually find a signed copy of this book for Jack. He requests that I read this book to him every night and I think when he is older that this book will remind him of our happy bedtime reading times.

To find out more about the book, the app or the short story film then visit the book's website.

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Hairy Nose Itchy Butt - Reviewed by Tom

Hairy Nose Itchy Butt by Elizabeth Frankel & Garry Duncan
Reviewed by Tom aged 9
The Story is about a Hairy Nose Wombat who woke up with an itchy butt. So he went looking for his favourite scratch tree but it had disappeared. The tree had been cut down for wood. Then he went looking for his favourite salt bush to scratch on but it had also disappeared. It had been cleared for farming. Everything he goes looking for had disappeared because people had cleared the land to build stuff. He then goes home and finds his home had disappeared. He starts to cry. Another hairy nosed wombat came and invited him to stay with her. They had to cross a very dangerous busy road but then get to a Conservation Park. He finally gets to scratch his butt on a tree and lives with the kind wombat.
I liked the story and I liked how it rhymes. The story teaches us that people hurt the animals' habitat. 
I rate the book 7/10

Mum's comments
Firstly this book is Australian so it already gets bonus points from me for that. Secondly it has won awards including an award from the Speech Pathology Australia giving it 'Book of the Year'. I can certainly see why Speech Pathologists would love it as there is a frequently occurring passage that takes a bit of concentration to pronounce correctly:
With an:
Itchity, scratchity, grumble and groan.
A shudder and shake, a snort and a moan.
A grunt and a huff, and a spitterly splut.
He said:
"I really need to scratch my butt"

The book is an interesting way to explain the impact of human settlement on native flora and fauna. The plight of the poor wombat is quite sad but the need to scratch his butt lightens the story enough so that children will not be traumatized at bedtime. It is a good way to launch a discussion of conservation.

At the end of the book the authors have a written a message calling for people to work together to find solutions to help one of our native species. Part proceeds of the book go towards wombat conservation.

Bugs in a blanket - reviewed by Ben

Bugs in a Blanket by Beatrice Alemagna
Reviewed by Ben aged 7
The bugs were invited to a party. They all looked different. They started asking each other questions about why were they all so different. They all realised they were all born different. It didn't matter that they were different. Then they had fun together at the party.  The book tells us it doesn't matter if you are different.

Mum's comments
They is a lovely book to teach children about acceptance. The bugs in the story had never met each other before they all attended a party. They were all shocked to discover that they were all different. Each one expected that the rest would look like themselves. They get a bit cross but then accept that they have all been born differently and then go on to have a lovely party. 
The pictures in the book are very unique and I love them. Each picture is a photo of a mixed textile artwork featuring felts, buttons, ribbons, etc.   If I had a felting machine, some time, and most importantly, some talent then I would love to recreate this story as a quilt. I think it would be great for a classroom.

Sunday, 2 December 2012

Santa's Aussie Holiday - Reviewed by Tom

Santa's Aussie Holiday by Maria Farrer & Anna Walker
Reviewed by Tom aged 9
This story is about Santa taking a holiday in Australia. He travels to lots of different places in Australia such as Tasmania, Sydney and Uluru. On his travels he went diving, surfing, learns about dingo rules and lots of other tourist activities. At the end of his holidays, Santa went back to the North Pole so he could get ready for December 24th.

The story was interesting and unique. I liked how the story rhymed and this made the story stand out more. The pictures looked unique and funny.

I think this is a good story to read before Christmas. I liked this book and would read it again. 
I rate it 8/10.

Mum's comments
This is a great silly book to read in the lead up to Christmas. It is a hard cover book so it will last for many Christmas seasons. I love the Australian flavour within the book. We enjoyed looking at the Australian map on the back to see where Santa had been.

Saturday, 1 December 2012

The Three Little Bush Pigs reviewed by Tom

The Three Little Bush Pigs by Paul Dallimore
Reviewed by Tom aged 9

This story is like the normal three little bears but it is based in Australia. There are lots of Australian words like Mate, Dingrel, and Woop Woop. The story is about three bush pigs who set off to make new homes and have to avoid being eaten by the dingrel. The dingrel is driving around in a ute. 
I like this story as it is funny. I like the funny houses they build, the funny disguises the dingrel wears and the ending which is very funny. 
The pictures are interesting and funny. They are colourful cartoons.
It was easy to read except for the Australian words. I had to ask Mum what they meant. 
I liked the ending as it was funny.
I would read it again. 
I rate it 7.5/10

Mum's Comments
I enjoyed this book. It was funny and had a very Australian feel. There were many Australian terms throughout the story which was a great way to introduce Australian lingo. I think it is sad that our Aussie lingo is slowly disappearing from use. I try to seek out books like this that embrace our unique culture. It would have better though if the book had a glossary of terms at the back to explain the lingo. That way if Tom was reading by himself he could look up the meanings.

Stuck! - Reviewed by Ben

Stuck! by Charlotte Calder & Mark Jackson
Reviewed by Ben aged 7

A Kite gets stuck in the tree. The children throw things up to knock down the kite but everything gets stuck. The cat jumps into the tree to try catch a bird and then it knocks everything down. But then the cat gets stuck in the tree. The cat has to be rescued. 
I like the pictures. It is a good bedtime story. I could read all the words except the names. Mum had to help me with those. 

Mums comments:
I agree with Ben that this is a lovely bedtime story book. The sentences are short simple sentences for early readers to manage on their own. The font is large which also helps little people to read. It is also a hard cover book which is easy for chubby little fingers to hold. 
This book is suitable for early readers and for younger children who like to have a story read to them.