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The Odds: Run, Odds, Run

Run, Odds, Run

Run, Odds, Run

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Run, Odds, Run

Matt Stanton

ABC Books, 2021

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

 9780733340642

Kip is a quiet kid in a loud city. Living with her father after her mum died, she prefers to keep a low profile and her home is her sanctuary. She’s easy to miss and that’s the way she likes it. School, with its hustle and bustle and noise is overwhelming and she is dreading the day the spotlight falls on her and she has to tell the rest of the class why she is special.

Then, one day, Kip’s quiet life is suddenly interrupted. Ten of her favourite characters have stepped out of their worlds of her imagination and memories and into hers as real-life beings.

But what happens when a dragon-hunting rabbit leaves his comic strip? When an old man leaves his picture book? When a ninja leaves her TV show, a race-car driver leaves their video game, and a dinosaur turns up from Kip’s nightmares? But while Kip just wants the creatures to hide and be invisible as she wishes to be, her father tells her , “If you start running away from hard things you never stop running” and Kip (and the reader) learn a significant life lesson.

In this addition to this series, The Woman in the Suit is here. She wants to know about the ten odd characters who escaped Kip’s imagination and now live with Kip and her dad in their two-bedroom apartment and she’s asking questions Kip doesn’t want to answer.

NOW THE ODDS ARE ON THE RUN!

The problem is … Lance the rabbit and Ninja-Nina are duelling, Racer’s trying to drive, Booster the rooster wants to leave and Unicorn and the family cat are not getting along. Kip is hiding secrets from her dad, Diana the dinosaur keeps giving her a fright and the Woman in the Suit seems to know their every move.

Fans will be delighted that this is a series that is going to continue and even moreso with the news that Stanton has signed a new 13-book deal with his publisher – his popularity with his audience proven by becoming one of just a handful of Australian authors to reach the million book-sale mark – and that there is a new series coming in March. Much fun and laughter (with serious, solid undertones) to look forward to. 

Space Detectives (series)

Space Detectives (series)

Space Detectives (series)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Space Detectives

9781526603180

Extra Weird Creatures

9781526603203

Mark Powers

Dapo Adeola

Bloomsbury, 2021

160pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

Connor and Ethan are spending their summer holidays aboard the world’s first orbiting city, Starville , a gigantic space station sailing silently as it orbits Earth and home to over a million humans and aliens. This single city,  brimming with skyscrapers, parks and even an artificial sea is enclosed by a huge, strong glass dome  like a vast snow globe, and is bursting with celebrities and the mega-rich. But Connor and Ethan are too busy selling ice cream to see the sights.

However, neither of our heroes can resist a mystery -they had solved many back home on Earth – and when they discover the space station is overrun with cosmic chaos! Boys have two heads, dogs have three tails and even aliens who normally have six arms are growing extra ones!  What is going on? Can Connor and Ethan get to the bottom of this intergalactic mystery?

This is the second in this  series  for young, newly independent readers who like the idea of a mystery mixed with science fiction so anything can happen. With the third episode, Cosmic Pet Puzzle,  coming in August 2022, the beginning of the new school year is the perfect time to entice those emerging readers into continuing their reading with series written and formatted just for them.  This is one to recommend. 

 

Curious About Crocodiles

Curious About Crocodiles

Curious About Crocodiles

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Curious About Crocodiles

Owen Davey

Flying Eye, 2021

40pp., hbk., RRP $A29.99

9781838740375

“The term ‘crocodile’ or ‘crocodilian’ is used to describe the roughly 26 species of the order Crocodilia. This order includes species known as ‘true crocodiles’ as well as alligators, gharials and caimans.” And to demonstrate the difference the first page of this fascinating book shows profiles of the differing heads of each species so before a page is turned something new has been learned.

Did you know that crocodiles can live to be over 100 years old, and can climb trees to sunbathe? They can even sense the vibrations from a single drop of water falling from the mouth of a drinking wildebeest over twenty metres away.

This is the seventh book in Owen Davey’s fascinating series which includes Bonkers About Beetles and Crazy About Cats  as well as Fanatical About FrogsMad About Monkeys , Obsessive About Octopuses, and  Smart About Sharks.   

While crocodiles traditionally evoke some degree of fear, the likes of Steve Irwin and Matt Wright, and perhaps even the early Crocodile Dundee, have taken them out of the swamps and the estuaries and given them a profile which means young readers are fascinated by them.  So this book with its clear explanations and multitude of diagrams is a great starting point for answering all those questions that little ones invariably have. 

After years of experience working with little ones and watching their reading habits, I know that the boys, particularly, like to borrow books about the scariest, fiercest, largest creatures – perhaps as some kind of personal armour – and so this one not only fits perfectly into that category but offers them much to investigate, learn and share in a very accessible format.  

While We Can’t Hug

While We Can't Hug

While We Can’t Hug

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

While We Can’t Hug

Eoin McLaughlin

Polly Dunbar

Faber, 2020

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

9780571365586

Hedgehog and Tortoise are the best of friends. They met when each was trying to find someone to give them a hug but now this nasty disease has hit the world, they are not allowed to hug each other any more. And that makes them sad.  But then Wise Owl shows them that there are many ways to show your love even if you can’t actually touch each other,

This is the sequel to The Hug, and is equally as heart-warming. Even though it was published a year or so ago it is a timely then as it was then with similar social distancing still being in place, although the pandemic is not mentioned because there are many reasons why friends might be separated and unable to hug each other.  And while Hedgehog and Tortoise offer a number of suggestions for connections, no doubt the children can offer more and can have fun doing so, putting them into practice so they can catch up with many different unseen people.  Remember when people put teddies in their windows so little ones could see them on their daily walk?  If not then, why not now? It all goes to telling each other we are seen and loved and thus, protecting and promoting our mental health. 

Rabunzel

Rabunzel

Rabunzel

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Rabunzel

Gareth P. Jones

Loretta Schauer

Egmont, 2021

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

9781405298582

Rabunzel has a teeny tufty tail, a twitchy nose and two wide brown eyes. She also has VERY long ears – so long that her mother worries they will make her easy bait for the hungry creatures of the forest.

The answer? Rabunzel must be kept safe … in towering hutch, high in the sky. Here Rabunzel, bored to bits,  waits grumpily for her mother’s daily visit with carrots and fresh lettuce, letting down her ears so she can climb up the tower.

But one day, it isn’t her mother who climbs up Rabunzel’s very long ears…

Usually I’m wary of these fractured versions of fairytales because they can be a bit silly, but this new series is subtitled Fairy Tales for the Fearless and it has a feminist twist which sits with Neil Gaiman’s message perfectly.

With its rhyming text and lovely pictures, it is an entertaining story in itself and Rabunzel’s solution for dealing with the hungry animals and her rejection of her “saviour” Flash Harry Hare offer lots of discussion points that can initiate some critical thinking of other stories that our girls, particularly, are dished up as essential reading – still! It can also pose some provocative questions to challenge the thinking of some of our boys.

This video clip is the perfect accompaniment and summary…

 

 

And if you’re looking for more in this vein, this is from A Mighty Girl… The Ultimate Guide to the Independent Princess    ‘These princesses are smart, daring, and aren’t waiting around to be rescued – more than likely, they’ll be doing the rescuing themselves! Fans of independent princesses will also appreciate our collection of girl-empowering dolls, which includes several of the princesses depicted in these stories, as well as our collection of dress-up clothing which features several independent princess outfits. Our clothing section also features a Princess Alternative section with shirts depicting both independent princesses and alternative princess themes. For a diverse selection of more empowering fairy tales, visit our Fairy Tale & Folklore Collection.”

 

Our Country: Ancient Wonders

Our Country: Ancient Wonders

Our Country: Ancient Wonders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Our Country: Ancient Wonders

Mark Greenwood

Frané Lessac

Walker Books, 2022

40pp., hbk., RRP $A26.99

 9781760652241

Our country is calling…

There could be no more fitting way to start a new year’s reading journey than with this stunning journey around our ancient land visiting natural wonders that date back 2.5 billion years!

From the front endpage that maps out the route to the wonders gathered in the book – Lark Quarry, Undara Lava Tubes, Lightning Ridge, Great Ocean Road, Cradle Mountain, Franklin River, Naracoorte, Lake Mungo, Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Devils Marbles, Kakadu, Wolfe Creek, Bungle Bungles, Zebedee Springs – to the final one that maps adventures still to undertake we are taken on an expedition in an old tour bus that both explores and explains a handful of the features that make Australia unique. 

Each double page spread introduces a ‘new’ phenomenon in a fascinating way that makes this book so readable.

History hunter Mark Greenwood is in his element with this topic as he combines both geology and geography beginning with  a basic statement such as “Our country had a fiery past” and “Lost worlds are found in our country” which not only set the scene for the basis of the visit but create a deeper appreciation of why our First Nations people feel such a connection to Country. Then there is a broad explanation with language reminiscent of a tourist brochure as well as a brief, fact-filled paragraph about the origins of the particular beauty.  And all set against a backdrop of Frané Lessac’s stunning artwork! 

At a time when travel remains so tricky, this is a book that is a must-have in both the home and school library.  For the family, it is an opportunity to plan a journey (or two or three) to discover the remarkable land shapes and landscapes that are our own backyard; while in the school setting, a class could go on a new journey every few weeks!  Set teams to investigate each location in greater detail to introduce it to their peers on a year-long journey that not only explores the feature in greater depth but also helps them understand the origins of the planet’s topography and the interplay between it and the environment, again strengthening that understanding of connection to Country. The historians can delve into the land before time, scientists can dig into geology, paleontology and all the other ologies; the mathematicians can plot timelines, distances, routes…; the artists can produce posters and brochures; the storytellers can dig into the legends and retell them (or invent a new one); the environmentalists can examine the interaction between landscape, habitat and inhabitants… there is something for everyone to show and share their strengths. 

Here are some useful links to start – making yourself familiar with what’s available through Geoscience Australia could be your best move this year…

Table of Geological Periods

Geoscience Australia – Education resources

Geoscience Australia classroom resources 

Australia through Time  (map)

Australia Through Time (poster)

Shaping a Nation: A Geology of Australia    this is a book with each chapter available separately

Australia: an ancient land (teacher notes)

And the best news is that this is just the  first book in the Our Country series which will takes readers on even more  journeys across Australia to discover  both our unique geology and geography! A whole year’s worth of lessons sorted!! If ever there were a book that deserved the tag Australia: Story Country or even Dreaming with your eyes open – this is it. 

 

Peppa’s Christmas Unicorn

 

 

 

 

Peppa's Christmas Unicorn

Peppa’s Christmas Unicorn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peppa’s Christmas Unicorn

Peppa Pig

Ladybird, 2021

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

9780241476222

Peppa’s family are decorating the tree and revisiting lots of lovely memories as they add decorations from times and adventures past.  But there is an empty branch left…

On Christmas Eve, and Peppa and her family are off to a Christmas fair. There’s yummy food, fun games . . . and a carousel with a magical Christmas unicorn!
But what other Christmas magic is in store for Peppa? Will there be something to fill the empty branch?

This is another special story for young readers that brings together favourite times that they can relate to and familiar characters, factors that spread the magic of both Christmas and reading as well as any unicorn.

 

Peppa’s Australian Christmas

 

 

 

 

Peppa's Australian Christmas

Peppa’s Australian Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Peppa’s Australian Christmas

Peppa Pig

Ladybird, 2021

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

9780241519240

When Peppa and her family land in Australia for Christmas, Mr and Mrs Kangaroo are surprised to see them – clearly there has been a communication breakdown – but nevertheless they all pile into the Kangaroos’ Kombi and head for the beach.  This is a surprise for Peppa because she is used to a cold Christmas and so are all the activities which are so different to what she is used to.  Santa surfing in on a surfboard is something to behold!

Even though the day is far removed from what Peppa is used to, young readers will recognise and relate to it as we experience summer – although perhaps like Kylie Kangaroo they yearn for snow!

Twelve Little Festive Frogs

 

 

 

 

Twelve Little Festive Frogs

Twelve Little Festive Frogs

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Twelve Little Festive Frogs

Hilary Robinson

Mandy Stanley

Catch A Star, 2021 

32pp., pbk., RRP $A14.99

The twelve little frogs who taught our young readers the initial poses of yoga are back in their version of the traditional Twelve Days of Christmas.  

However, their interpretation involves a giant game of pass the parcel in the woodlands, one that can go on and on even after the first 12 days! Like the song, and its predecessor, this is a counting book with lots of opportunities to predict what might come next as well as counting those who are already there. 

While it is set in the snowy regions of the northern hemisphere, it is an opportunity to talk about why what the frogs do is so different to our little ones’ experiences and perhaps even create an Australian version which would give it a wider audience and a meaningful activity for those last wind-down days!

My First Elmer Christmas

 

 

 

 

My First Elmer Christmas

My First Elmer Christmas

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My First Elmer Christmas

David McKee

Andersen Press, 2021

10pp., board book, RRP $A18.99

9781839130540

It’s two days before Christmas Eve, the night Papa Red visits, and the young elephants are very excited. This year Elmer has a special treat in store for the young elephants, if they can keep quiet and out of sight… 

Elmer the patchwork elephant is an enduring favourite with our youngest readers and this  specially abridged version of the original is shaped like a Christmas tree and designed for little fingers that will add to the anticipation of THE night!  Who knew that elephants and their friends celebrated this special time just like we do?

A classic for the Christmas Countdown collection that will open up a whole world of Elmer stories, activities and fun for a new generation.