Archive | July 31, 2015

Clementine Rose and the Movie Magic

Clementine Rose and the Movie Magic

Clementine Rose and the Movie Magic











Clementine Rose and the Movie Magic

Jacqueline Harvey

Random House 2015

pbk, 144pp., RRP $A12.99


The adorable Clementine Rose is gaining more fans every day – in fact I read a review of another title the other day where someone wrote “Ain has created a character that reads like an older Clementine”, just assuming the readers would automatically know who the “Clementine” is.  So those who already know this remarkable young lady (and that’s so many in the newly independent reader population) will be delighted to know she’s back in another adventure, and those who have not yet met her are in for a treat as they enjoy this title and discover there are several others to feed their hunger for her.

In this episode, a documentary is being made about Penberthy House and Clementine has the starring role.  But of course things do not run smoothly and the arrival of two unexpected guests turns things upside-down and Clementine finds herself trying to sort out the problems and restore the reputation of her home.

Miss 8 has been a fan of Clementine since she read her first adventure and she is going to be delighted to discover this among her birthday presents on Friday.  But she will be even more delighted to know that there are even more adventures on their way, including Clementine Rose and the Birthday Emergency due for release on July 1! 

Each week the postman delivers new books for review and I’m always delighted to find new series in the collection as publishers cater for those who are moving into “early chapter books” and providing the stepping stone that will hook kids on reading so they keep reading for pleasure.  It’s been three years since we first met this delightful young lady and she is now established as a firm favourite with the girls I know and they are introducing her to their younger sisters.  Excitement plus.

Where’s the Elephant?

Where's the Elephant?

Where’s the Elephant?











Where’s the Elephant?


Egmont UK, 2015

32pp., hbk., RRP $A23.95


It starts as a simple hide-and-seek book with the reader encouraged to find the elephant, the parrot and the snake amongst a forest of trees of all shapes and sizes and colours.  Turn the page and the same challenge applies – but this time it’s a little easier because some of the trees have been chopped down.  And on the next double-spread it is easier again as even more trees have disappeared.  And then, where the trees were a house appears and then another and another.  And so it continues until there so many houses and buildings that there is just one tree, and the elephant, the parrot and the snake are clearly visible enclosed in a fence with Zoo on it.  Until they take matters into their own hands…

Stunningly illustrated by this award-winning French illustrator and inspired by a visit to Brazil where he saw the forest set alight to provide space to plant soy beans as well as the concept of Where’s Wally?, in some ways the theme of this wordless text is akin to that of Jeannie Baker’s Window. The encroaching of civilisation and its impact on the environment and the creatures within it is explored in a way that not only the youngest reader will understand but which will serve as a springboard for more mature readers to investigate. 

The colours and shapes of the lush forest evoke positive emotions but as the white of the cleared land and the muted tones of the houses and buildings take over the pages a sense of sadness takes over.  There are no words – they are not needed.

This is the perfect adjunct to a theme of Change, particularly if the focus is on how humans have an impact on the environment and the needs of creatures that dwell there.  Given Australia’s poor record of stopping species becoming endangered or even extinct, this is a focus area that demands attention and where better to start the appreciation of what we have than with the very young?