Archive | March 9, 2022

Arabella’s Alphabet Adventure

Arabella's Alphabet Adventure

Arabella’s Alphabet Adventure











Arabella’s Alphabet Adventure

Suzy Zail

Christopher Nielsen

Walker Books, 2022

32pp., hbk., RRP $A25.99


On the library shelf marked “Especially for Children”, sits Arabella’s Alphabet Adventure, a book with just 26 letters, one to a page yet not one single word.

“I’m an ABC book and that’s all I’ll ever be,” Arabella complained to her capital C.  How she wished she was filled with words and stuffed with stories like the other books even though she has flaps to lift and levers to pull and is the most beautiful and most borrowed book in the library – but only ever by children. Tired of having her pages torn by sticky fingers, Arabella slips into the Very Serious Book section of the library and takes an adventure within the pages of an African travel guide. But will Arabella realise that where she belongs is closer than she thinks?

As well as the strong message about being careful what you wish for, Arabella offers young readers the opportunity to explore the different sorts of books in the library – there are so many more than just the story books they are probably familiar with providing a pathway to exploring fiction and non fiction, picture books and novels, and all the other variations and their characteristics,  Astute teachers might even touch on how Arabella had an impact on others’ lives even though she wasn’t aware of it and how that can happen with people too.  “If someone has lost their smile, give them one of yours” is as necessary today as it was when I first heard it as a child myself. 

There are other themes to explore too and these can be found on the free  Read to Us! Story Time Kit , a new initiative from the publishers offering ideas and activities for some of their new publications providing the opportunity to make them more than just a single read.  

This is one of those splendid picture books that offer something new to explore every time you share it – it’s no wonder it was the most popular book in the library!

Spike Surfs

Spike Surfs

Spike Surfs











Spike Surfs

Robert Lorenzon

Wild Dog Books, 2022

32pp., hbk., RRP $A19.99


This book is subtitled “From Lost Dog’s Home to Surfing Champ” and that is exactly the story it tells.  Spike was at the Lost Dogs’ Home, waiting in vain for someone to love him enough to take him home – and along came Rob!

But Rob loved to surf and the ocean terrified Spike but with friendship and patience, amazing things began to happen culminating in a spectacular ride at the championships in Noosa!

Told by Spike and illustrated with real photos, this is a heart-warming story of how hope and devotion can blossom when the chemistry is right. And the author is putting his money where his mouth is by donating 50% of the royalties to the Lost Dogs’ Home so they can continue helping other surrendered dogs whose numbers have increased by 70% in the last 12 months.

Teachers’ notes are available.