There’s some really lovely children’s books reviewed over the past few months, looking at diverse topics including bullying, nature, princesses war and fly-in, fly-out families. It’s wonderful to read such thoughtful reviews.
Louise from A Strong Belief in Wicker has been the most prolific reviewer of children’s books for this round up. She was particularly pleased to have the chance to review I am Jack by Susanne Gervay, which she’d been meaning to read for some time. This book, which was written in 2000 and has been touring as a theatrical production since 2008, deals with bullying and the isolation which can come with it.
Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars by Martine Murray was also reviewed by Louise. She describes it as a quirky read, about a girl who lives with her somewhat eccentric mother and sometimes wishes she could be from a more ‘normal’ family.
“Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars is eccentric and a bit hippy too, illustrated with Molly’s drawings of herbs. It is however an enchanting, beguiling and whimsical story that is certain to delight young readers.”
Margaret Wild often pops up in these round ups – usually with a different book each time. This time, Louise looks at the prolific author’s The Stone Lion, which was an Honour book in the 2015 CBCA awards.
“The Stone Lion is a beautiful picture book. A story of sadness and joy, despair and hope. The stone lion sits atop a pedestal outside a library. He longs to be alive so he can stroll through the city streets and run through the park opposite his library.”
Finally, Louise looked at Photographs in the Mud by Dianne Wolfer which takes a really interesting (and surprisingly unusual) approach to looking at the Kokada Track. Louise talks about how this book fell into her hands and how she was very happy it did.
Robin wrote a lovely review of Princess Betony and the Unicorn by Pamela Freeman.
“These books are gorgeous. They’re the perfect size for tiny hands, have beautiful covers and even have a satin ribbon sewn in for a bookmark. They have all the elements any Disney Princess fan could possibly want but they’re so much more. These books takes the princess mythos and subvert it. Yes, there is a princess, yes there are beautiful dresses, yes there is a castle BUT then when the day needs to be saved Princess Betony puts on her adventure clothes and gets down to business. She’s tough, she’s smart and she knows that there is more to life than finery and materialism.”
The final book reviewed for this round up was Fly-In, Fly-Out Dad by Sally Murphy which was reviewed by Jess. This is a book which tells the story about a boy and his father who works away at the mines. We learn about what his dad does when he’s away and what the family does when he’s back home again. Jess was especially struck by the illustrations by Janine Dawson:
“The book itself features stunning full double page illustrations with easily recognisable Australian features and landscapes – Qantas Planes, outback Australia, mine safety gear etc … – that bring the story to life just the little bit more. Janine Dawson has done an amazing job illustrating this book with its bright colours and easily accessibly drawings that feel larger than life in so many ways.”
I’ve had a strong interest in children’s fiction since Grade 1 when a fabulous teacher bribed me with Famous Five novels. I continued reading children’s and YA books long after I was supposed to ‘grow up’ – something which served me very well when I became a teacher and was known all over the school as ‘the teacher with all the books’. I’m currently exploring the incredibly rich world of picture books with my toddler and blogging my book reviews over at Subversive Reader