Welcome to the Children’s Round-Up for March, 2018.
This month I came across an interesting interview in The Guardian with celebrated Australian author, Jackie French. I particularly this quote of Jackie’s:
By the time your child is 18 hopefully they will have lived 10,000 lives in the books that they have read. They will have met 100,000 people with all of those outlooks, all of those differing outlooks as well. They’ll all have gained empathy, they’ll have gained understanding, and they will have gained the ability to cope with complexity in a way that television and daily life can’t.
It’s great to see many AWW children’s book reviews are read by, and to, the children of the reviewers. They are well on their way to living those 10,000 fascinating lives!
And on that note, a diverse range of children’s books have been linked to the AWW blog this past month. From learning to navigate the internet safely, to a hatch and release program of the Western Water Swamp Tortoise, to a collection of stories set in Australia’s North, written by Indigenous Australian authors, there’s something here to suit all interests. Please click on the highlighted links if you’d like to read more about a particular book:
Cyclones and Shadows by Dudgeon and Oxenham is aimed at readers aged 6-10. It is a collection of stories based around the north of Australia, including one in a cyclone. It comes with a hats-off, stupendous-clapping level of recommendation by HM Waugh. She says the stories are full of humour, empathy, insight and adventure, with vibrant themes of family and friendship. The enticing illustrations are mainly of Indigenous Australians, and the stories are written by Indigeous Australians.
Also reviewed by HM Waugh, was Olivia’s Secret Scribbles: My New Best Friend, by Meredith Costain and Danielle McDonald. Suitable for early, independent readers, Heather says that her daughter didn’t just read the book, she devoured it. Written in a diary format with pictures, comics and notes, it has a couple of mysteries to solve, with subtle messages and ‘awesome behaviour modelling’.
The Internet is Like a Puddle by Shona Innes was reviewed by Amy @ Lost in A Good Book. Aimed at 6-12 year olds, it is nonfiction that reads like a story. Amy believes it is a great introduction to the joys and pitfalls of using the internet; comparing the internet to a puddle, fun to play in, but it can be deceptive and tricky. Amy says it is a great educational book, and points out that the author doesn’t want to deter children from playing on the internet. Instead, she’s trying to teach about safety in terms kids can understand.
Westy the Western Swamp Tortoise by Cathy Levett was reviewed by Sandi Parsons, who says that primary school children will love this picture book with a nonfiction narrative. It details the journey of a Western Swamp Tortoise from birth at the Perth Zoo, to his release into wetlands at Ellenbrook (a northeastern suburb, 21kms from Perth’s CBD). The book features stunning photography, and has multiple links to the Western Australian Curriculum. Proceeds from the sale of the book will go towards education programs.
What is Fear? By Casey L Pyne was reviewed by Michelle @ Beauty and Lace. A short book – only 13 pages – it aims to teach children to approach fear from a different perspective. Octavia and her class are given an assignment to write about what fear is, but Octavia soon discovers that this question doesn’t have an easy answer. Michelle says the author approaches the emotion of fear in a way that is easy to grasp and engaging for younger readers.
Ashleigh @ The Book Muse reviewed Surf Riders Club #2: Bronte’s Big Sister Problem by Mary Van Reyk. Aimed at upper primary/early secondary readers, the story focuses on the problems Bronte faces by having a big sister, Carrie, who is seventeen and obsessed with boys, parties and being social. While Bronte’s love of surfing is a main theme, the story is complex, and written in an accessible way for all readers; both reluctant and confident. Ashleigh enjoyed the themes of friendship and family the most, and loved the diversity of the characters.
The next children’s round-up will be published on 30 April 2018, so don’t forget to link your children’s book reviews before then! Books don’t need to be new releases – just written by an Australian Woman Writer.
If you’re not already signed up but you’d like to help showcase the excellent talent of Australia’s women authors (across any genre), you can sign up here.
In awe of words from an early age, reading, writing and banter have become an obsession of mine. As a mother of two (who are growing up faster than I’d like), I am passionate about instilling a long-lasting love of reading in children. I am excited about joining the AWW team and sharing my love of children’s literature with you.