Archive | January 8, 2016

Awesome Animal Stories for Kids

Awesome Animal Stories for Kids

Awesome Animal Stories for Kids

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Awesome Animal Stories for Kids

Aleesah Darlinson

Penguin Random House, 2015

208pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

9780857989680

Author Aleesah Darlinson’s lifelong love of animals shines through in this collection of short stories that is just perfect for the newly independent reader to curl up and enjoy. 

There are twelve delightful stories that embrace animals of all kinds from the real to the fantastic, the large to the small – each unique and for the lover of the animal story genre, a treasure trove for the imagination.  Each story is complete and long and detailed enough to make a great stand-alone read for those few minutes that can only be filled by a story.

My personal favourite is that of Swoop, the story of Kasey’s care for a baby magpie who has fallen out of its nest.  Living in the bush and with a couple of Mother Magpies who bring their new babies to visit each day and care for them for months, it is a heart-warming story that has many a lesson to learn.  Kasey wants to keep Swoop as her personal pet rather than letting be the wild bird she is and so she puts her in a cage.  Some days she would forget to let her out and poor Swoop would stay imprisoned just listening to the call of the other wild magpies.  When Swoop doesn’t return home one night, Kasey is heart-broken but her mother is wise. 

“You have to learn to let go, Kasey…Sometimes that’s what being a mum means… You’ll always be her mum. But she’s grown up now.  It’s best to let her come and go as she pleases, otherwise she won’t want to come home at all.” 

It’s a hard lesson for a little girl to learn but nevertheless Kasey has to learn it.  And she is rewarded in the end.

Other stories include the legend of Alvorado, King of Cats; Sea Sprites and Rock Pools (perfect for those having a beach adventure this holiday); Orphan Foal which is a heart-wrenching story of survival and the hilarious Pig-napped.

I love Aleesah’s writing.  Not only does she always tell an engaging story but each one has a depth and integrity to it that means it lingers in the mind of the reader well after the last page is turned. Miss 9 stuck her nose in this on Christmas Day and that was pretty much the last we saw of her!  No greater recommendation can be made.

 

Silver Shoes (series)

Silver Shoes

Silver Shoes

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rhythm and Blues

9780857989079

 

Studio Showdown

9780857989093

 

Samantha-Ellen Bound

Random House, 2016

pbk., 144pp., RRP $A14.99

 

Three or four times a week, Eleanor Irvin and her friends attend the Silver Shoes Dance Academy to learn to dance. Jazz, tap, ballet, hip-hop, ballroom, lyrical – whatever the style it’s on offer and each girl has her favourite genre although they are also challenged to go beyond their comfort zone and take on new challenges.

This is particularly true for Riley in Rhythm and Blues when Riley takes on the role of being Miss Caroline’s personal assistant.  Having sprained her ankle playing tennis and forced to take a break from dance, Riley finds sitting at home on the couch really frustrating so this new position will at least get her back into that realm again.  But trouble is brewing because she finds she has access to private information and power to use it that threatens her friendships. On top of that, she is so determined to get back to dancing that she risks making her injury worse and causing permanent damage.

Similarly, Paige is challenged in Studio Showdown when she is asked to choreograph the Under8/9s’  item for the end-of-year concert with her friend Ellie.  The theme is ‘Hollywood glamour” and while Paige is intent on it being jive-based, Ellie has different ideas.  Rather than letting the younger dancers shine, she wants to be able to be the star with a support group.  It looks like the team is going to be 90% Ellie and 10% Paige and Paige has to dig deep to find the confidence to have her voice heard.

As usual each book has information about the featured genre and a full glossary and because the author is a dancer, dance teacher and choreographer herself you know they have authority.

Miss 9 was especially excited that Santa had managed to get his hands on some advance copies of these two new additions  and it is certainly a series that never stays on the shelves.  The reserve list for new titles is always long. Even though dance of some sort is the second most popular sport in Australia with over 4 000 000 participants, not all who would like to get the opportunity to dance, so this series continues to fuel their dreams. 

Click here for a review of the first two in the series

Click here for a review of the first two in the series

Click here for a review of others in the series

Click here for a review of others in the series

Click here for others in the series

Click here for others in the series