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Laugh Your Head off Again

(PanMacmillan)

I am not sure how but I just found this title sitting on my desk. It popped out last year and it is well worth adding to the book reading list especially if the reader likes funny stories! These nine short stories from nine terrific authors like Andy Griffiths, Morris Gleitzman, Sally Rippin and Jaclyn Moriarty and they are full of laughter and giggles and fun.

Opening with Andy Griffiths’ story about a boy in a supermarket in very desperate need of finding a toilet – yes he is busting – and the craziness that follows; as well as Sally Rippin’s story about Momo, a very mischievous little brother, who just happens to be a monkey (the dad is a scientist at a very experimental laboratory) and whose favourite food is spaghetti which can be a problem when string is discovered, and other stories about the perfect pie, a strange corn chip and more make these nine stories into one hilarious book.

The sequel to Laugh your Head Off.

Bring Me the Head of Ivy Pocket

(Allen & Unwin/Bloomsbury)
Caleb Krisp

All good things must come to an end … and so it is with Ivy Pocket in this the third and final instalment of the Ivy Pocket journey.

Ivy is infuriating, hilarious, zany, incorrigible, unreliable, irrepressible … and this time she is journeying to Prospa House. There are people to save, families to reunite, the Locks to battle and the people who are trying to lock her away!! How will the Clock Diamond impact Ivy’s adventure, now that it doesn’t work? Where will Ivy be transported? Who is the person full of nastiness who has such an impact on Ivy this time around? Veiled ladies, evil stepsisters, missing friends, carriage rides and other worlds … it’s all a terrible journey but never too burdensome for the amazing Ivy Pocket. But remember, as with all Ivy books, not everything is at it seems!

Readers will love the twists and turn in this book and if anything like me will find it difficult to put down.

Do check out the wild antics at the Ivy Pocket website http://www.ivypocketbooks.com/ including the author (Caleb Crisp) interviewing Ivy. It is well worth a look and the eventual giggle that will follow.

Polly and Buster

The Wayward Witch and the Feelings Monster (HardieGrantEgmont)
Sally Rippin

This is just a wonderful book. I couldn’t put it down and my young neighbour was very disappointed when he had to go to school this morning instead of finishing the book.

This new title features Polly, a young witch, and Buster, a young monster with feelings and a bunch of family and school members.  Polly and Buster have been best friends right from the moment they were born, playing in each others houses and backyards, or conversing while sitting in tree branches. But there comes an age when witches and monsters can no longer play together – witches just don’t play with monsters – at least that is what everyone tells Polly. Soon the secret friendship is sorely tested when their two very different schools meet at the National Gallery. Polly discovers a new best friend (for a few moments) and a very witchy skill that no one had any idea she had. Thankfully Polly’s teacher Miss Spinnaker can make sense of all that is unravelling and real friendships do get restored.

“Me and you,
you and me.
That’s the way it will
always be.”
– Buster.

This hardcover book for younger readers about friendships and differences, the first in a series of Polly and Buster adventures, is accompanied by Sally’s delicate illustrations and will be devoured repeatedly.

Och Aye the G’Nu

Jimmy Barnes & Kat Chadwick

How exciting was it to discover a children’s collection of verse created by the legendary Australian rock singer Jimmy Barnes? Extremely exciting! And even more so when it is a collaboration with The Wiggles. This is is wonderful, fun to read and just as much fun to listen to.

This collection of rhythmical and rhyming poems –  there are 7 and they are cleverly numbered Poem G’Number 1 etc – was inspired by his grandchildren and especially his grandson. They all feature Och Aye, a G’nu from a zoo, some with his best friend Kangaroo. There are poems about new shoes, and catching the flu, singing the Blues, and a Happy Birthday to you. It’s amazing how there are so many G’nu rhyming links. The poems are witty and catchy, relevant to many youngsters, and I am quite sure will be enjoyed by kids of very many ages. The accompanying CD makes this great for simply listening to the recordings being presented by Jimmy (most of us can’t sound like Jimmy but listening to him on the accompanying CD is superb), or for younger readers to engage with the printed text while listening to the recording. And of course the younger readers are also listening to parents and care givers reading the poems as well!!

Kat Chadwick has also created delightful line illustrations which are liberally placed throughout this tartan covered book. This creation will be shared again and again and enjoyed for longtime.

 

 

 

A Different Dog

Paul Jennings (Allen&Unwin)

This is a wonderful story, powerfully written with more than a touch of suspense throughout. It is the story of a boy and the rescue of a dog.

A nameless boy is walking to a race when a vehicle speeds by, misses a bend in the road, and hurtles over the side leaving tell-tale marks scarring the landscape. The driver is killed and his dog remains unconscious. The boy discovers the damaged landscape and unconscious dog, and remains there waiting by his side till the dog recovers. But it’s not an easy venture out of the forest for the dog and the boy. There are overgrown paths and a bridge to cross in a forest that has its own hidden terrors. When thy finally make it back to the boy’s home (after missing the race) he claims the dog for his own but it is then that the boy realises that this dog, is no ordinary dog. This is a performing dog and this dog belongs in a circus. And eventually, the circus arrives. They want their dog returned.

In seven short chapters the tale evolves. There are black and white illustrations throughout in this book that I could NOT put down.

Flapper, VC

Mark Wilson (Lothian)

Based on the true story of an Australian carrier pigeon during World War II, Flapper VC (a terrific title) is the tale of an Australian born and raised carrier pigeon. It is the story of the training of the pigeon in Australia, the training of this pigeon for military duties and then what happens when the bird is sent to war. His first mission was a failure, the message strapped to his foot was lost in flight, but then came the mission to save his patrol who were surrounded by enemy fighters. Flapper was their last hope for rescue. Facing bullets, explosions, and pounding rain deep in the jungle Flapper flew to his loft.

Flapper (carrier pigeon D D43 Q879) was awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross (the Dickin Medal) for his actions that day, and his medal is proudly displayed at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Mark Wilson creates these moving books of wartime animals and their true stories so wonderfully well. They reach out to readers of so many ages with the intricate art and well crafted narrative. A perfect Anzac Day read. Uncover more about Mark at http://www.marklwilson.com.au and especially for the coming Anzac Day, his military themed picture books.