Archive | March 5, 2022

Cat & Cat Adventures: The Quest for Snacks

Cat & Cat Adventures: The Quest for Snacks

Cat & Cat Adventures: The Quest for Snacks













Cat & Cat Adventures: The Quest for Snacks

Susie Yi

HarperCollins, 2022

96pp., graphic novel, RRP $A14.99


One day when their human leaves for work, Squash and Ginny find themselves in the most unfortunate predicament: without snacks. With a little help from a magical portal, the two cats embark on a quest to find ingredients for a potion that will produce unlimited goodies.

At first, their mission doesn’t seem so tough. It takes them on a boat race across Mewmaid Ocean and a hot air balloon ride over Mount Lava. But when the cats reach the Enchanted Rain Forest to gather enchanted rainwater, the last item on their list, their mission runs dry. . . It turns out it hasn’t rained in the Enchanted Rain Forest in weeks! 

Can Squash and Ginny get to the bottom of what’s causing this dry spell and secure the final ingredient they need Or have Squash and Ginny taken their last bite . . . for good?

Ever since comics, and their more sophisticated cousins, graphic novels, have been readily available there has been debate about their validity as reading material, particularly in schools.  Despite their popularity with students, there is controversy over whether they are “real reading” and so to offer a story in graphic novel format that is clearly aimed at young readers may spark discussion, if not debate.  While I, as teacher, reviewer, parent and grandparent, have no qualms about the format being one who believes that anything that includes text is available to read, the dichotomy is whether those who have the skills to bring all that is necessary to reading this story, will be engaged by a plot most suited for young readers.  Obviously, there are those who are very young who will be able to manage it, but to me, there is a disconnect between the target audience of the narrative and those with the wherewithal to get the most out of it.  So while there is clearly a demand for graphic novels, could the story have been presented in a different format and thus reach more readers?

For those faced with the dilemma of the inclusion of this format in general into their collections, the following articles were shared in a recent discussion on a forum for teacher librarians…

Understanding Comics

Why Graphic Novels Are Storytelling Quicksand for Reluctant Readers (In a Good Way)

Graphic Novels for Kids: Classroom Ideas, Booklists, and More

The Mysteries of the Universe

The Mysteries of the Universe

The Mysteries of the Universe











The Mysteries of the Universe

Will Gater

Angela Rizza & Daniel Long

DK, 2020

224pp., hbk., RRP $A39.99


With the intense interest in science fiction lately, both in literature and film. our young readers are probably more knowledgeable about the mysteries of the universe than any previous generation of a similar age.  Yet, for every answer they discover, there is always another question because there is so much more than meets the eye.  “Why is the sky blue?” is just the beginning…

In the past, civilisations created stories about that lay beyond that thin veil that is the Earth’s atmosphere to explain the changes that were observed, but in the 400 years since Galileo Galilei first used the telescope to systematically study the night sky more and more of its mysteries have been revealed and even explained.  And in this book newly independent readers can dip and delve to discover more about what interests them. From planets and asteroids to black holes and galaxies and beyond, there are explanations and illustrations of 100 different phenomena, both common like the changing shape of the moon and the not-so like the ancient snowman known as Arrokoth, a 2014 discovery by the Hubble Space Telescope. The narrative is targeted at those who want to know the basics so they have a solid platform on which to go further and the graphics are photographs and clear diagrams as true-to-real as possible.


So many of our students are fascinated by what is beyond our planet and imagine themselves as astronauts in the future, that this is a must-have in any school or family library so questions can be answered when they are asked.