Skip to content

Posts from the ‘Fantasy Fiction’ Category

The Turners (series)

 

Mick Elliott (Lothian)

This series of three titles is superb. It’s freaky. It’s page turning. It’s fun! The titles are wonderful reads, surely to appeal to a wide range of readers, filled with great humour and a solid storyline flowing through all the books. The Turners will be lapped up by kids who want a good solid read that is not overbearing but thoroughly engaging.

I so did enjoy reading these.

********

The Turners (#1) A thirteenth birthday party is always rather special but for Leo Lenox, the star of this series, it becomes something rather special and very memorable. This is when Leo discovers that he is a TURNER. Most Turners (and they are all over the world) can only turn at nighttime but Leo Turns during the daylight hours and this causes much concern for his father and older sister, both who are also Turners.

While scanning library bookshelves Leo suddenly feels a prickling sensation in the base of his spine. As the itch grows and Leo’s frantic scratching provides no resolution. Then when the itch becomes a twinge and when he feels a lump that turns into something long and grey lashing from side to side, Leo knows that something is not quite right. Suddenly Leo realises he has grown a tail and he has an immediate desire to eat flesh. Leo has become a Komodo dragon … Leo has Turned.

In Camp Freakout (#2) Leo insists on attending school camp without his family around and here there is trouble brewing. Leo’s shape shifting secret is about to be discovered as he gets entwined in an epic battle with a deranged scientist, his crazy assistant, the school bullies and just a few more characters, who want to expose Leo and the rest of the Turners all over the globe.

And finally in Fully Doomed (#3) it’s not just at school, or at camp that Leo finds himself embroiled in all sorts of chaos. This time chaos stretches from one end of the globe to the other and he has a simple task. This time he has to save ALL the Turners scattered all over the world from a deranged scientist – yes him who has been causing the problems from the start – who wants to expose the worldwide Turners for what they are. This crazy person wants to make all Turners Turn-blocked so they remain in their Turned state – permanently!

Integral to all the titles is the fast moving plot and the well-crafted characters including Leo’s friends (some who are also Turners), the crazy villainous henchman and his sidekicks (in their various guises), and Abbie his sister who isn’t such a terrible sister after all.

 

Dino Hunter

D-Bot Squad #1, Mac Park & James Hart (Allen&Unwin)

Hunter Marks is a dinosaur enthusiast. He knows dinosaurs and he loves dinosaurs and for the Book Week parade at school his character is a Dinosaur Hunter. The problem is that a few other kids think that a dinosaur hunter is not a character and definitely no super hero. After a minor confrontation Hunter is looking out the classroom window when he sees a real dinosaur fly past. Alas, his teacher does not believe him and sends him on an errand to the library instead, little knowing that this is the start of Hunter and his joining Dino Corp. But first Hunter has to pass the online test set for him in the dinosaur cave built by the librarian (who is secretly one of the Dino Corp team) for Book Week. Dinosaurs are on the loose and D-Bot Squad must catch them!

Young readers moving from pictures books are going to adore this series if they are lovers of DINOSAUR books … and there are quite a few of them. This is a masterful series by the creators ZacPower, EJ12, Boy vs Beast and a whole heap more. Fast paced, well structured content, appropriate words that young readers can read, and liberally scattered with illustrations including a flip-book animation in the corner of the page, are part of what makes this a terrific series of eight titles.

 

 

The Vampire Knife

Jack Henseleit (HardieGrant)

This is creepy and spooky and oh so much fun. Readers will love this title with its fairy tale references and allusions – there’s even a lolly trail much like a crumb trail from Hansel and Gretel.

Anna tells terrifically scary stories – especially the ones where her brother Max is the her. This is what she is doing as their father, a visiting professor, is driving through a stormy, dark Transylvanian forest. With the father research bound the two children are left with a creepy innkeeper. Thankfully she has a granddaughter, Isabella.

The children decide that it is all too creepy at the Inn and need to get away but there is no phone in the inn and then Max is abducted so in the deep dark of night the two girls set out to find him. Soon they encounter, spells and fairies, a magic knife, an enchanted bear, a vampire … and way much more. A howling storm and huge perils face the children and Max must be found that very night. Thankfully Anna is not afraid of the horrors and she is very resourceful – all of which she will need if the girls are to find Max.

Lots of action, suspense, horror (but too much) and a fast paced tale make this a wonderful, and a little spooky, fantasy. This is the first book in The Witching Hours, a spine-tinglingly spooky new series. It will be rapidly read and enjoyed by many readers – especially if they are needing a little spookiness in their night!

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.

Two Lovely Creations

I adored devouring the words and the illustrations on the pages and both were read over and over again.

the-singing-bonesThe Singing Bones – Inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales Shaun Tan (Allen&Unwin)
Shaun Tan creates amazing works and they never fail to please and this has once again continued with Shaun’s latest creation – The Singing Bones. For this title Shaun has created and photographed 75 clay figurine sculptures – one for each of the fairy tales that he has chosen to feature. Growing out of the 50 sculptures that were originally created as the illustrations for  Grimms Märchen (Grimm Tales), Philip Pullman’s retelling of fifty classic Grimm’s fairy tales but only available in German,  The Singing Bones also includes new sculptures created just for this title.

Each full page photograph of the sculpture is accompanied by a short fragment from the tale. The title includes well known tales such as the Frog King, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin, as well as lesser known tales like Mother Holle, Strong Hans, and The Lettuce Donkey, all of which will send inquisitive readers searching for the original full length tale which are easily available from the public domain. Children will be encouraged to create their own fairy tale sculptures or craft their own tales based on these or other sculptures.

With forward by Phillip Pullman, an introduction by leading fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes and afterword from Shaun, this is a glorious work that will be savoured for years to come.

‘These little figures of clay, with their simplified features, their single attributes, are perfect realisations of the strangeness of the characters they represent.’ – Philip Pullman.

More details about the creation of this work on Shaun’s website at: http://shauntan.net/books.html

 

kidglovzKidGlovz Julie Hunt & Dale Newman (Allen&Unwin)

There is a town in the mountains not far from here where people lock their pianos on the night of the full moon, It makes no difference – the keys move up and down and the air is filled with music ….

… and so begins – and ends – this beautiful book.

This a graphic tale beautifully told and illustrated, telling the story of a musical genius, KidGlovz who is imprisoned by his uncle Dr Spin, only leaving the apartment when a concert is to be performed. While in his 6th floor room, he is visited by Shoestring, a child of very different talents who is not all he seems. He helps KidGlovz to escape and embark on a perilous journey into a mysterious and none to safe world where he will find out more about is extraordinary talent, where he comes from and more about his gloves and the music that is so much a part of his world.

Close examination of the illustrations as well as rereading of the text opens up more of this fantastic world where friendship and freedom are explored. Just delightful.

 

 

 

 

 

Get Scared

Well these books are not really too scary and they are super reads …

 

88-lime-street-the-way-in88 Lime Street – The Way In Denise Kirby (Scholastic)

I couldn’t put this book down. I was hooked into he is right from the word go and i am sure many young readers will be also.

Ellen’s family has moved into an unusually, enormously, ramshackingly nice house that her parents bought at a very good price. The local kids at school say the house is haunted and Ellen can certainly feel something stirring. There is also a tower in the ouse – but there is no door to get into the tower – not until Ellen finds the secret to unlocking it – and the staircase behind the opening doesn’t lead to the expected room. And not only is there this strange room but time seems to alter, mysterious writing appears on walls, and an overgrown dried up garden suddenly has water flowing. what is happening at 88 Lime Street?

 

the-bad-guys-episode-1The Bad Guys – Episode 1 Aaron Blabey (Scholastic)

They sound like the Bad Guys, they look like the Bad Guys . . . and they even smell like the Bad Guys. But Mr Wolf, Mr Piranha, Mr Snake and Mr Shark are about to change all of that! They drive around in a really cool car and perform wonderful heroic deeds, like rescuing a cat in a tree, or their first mission … Operation Dog Pound.

This super graphic novel for younger readers will have them totally absorbed in the Bad Guys’ first heroic mission. Episode 2 (to come) will find them rescuing chickens – although all is not well with the Bad Guys. Totally crazy, humorous and oodles excitement.

 

scream-the-human-flytrapThe Human Flytrap (Scream) Jack Heath (Scholastic)

Just be prepared for the constant opening and closing of the cover as readers listen to the inbuilt scream!

Another family moving into a new house, but this house is spooky, run-down and it is an old ruin. There are a lot of mysterious and unusual events in the town where this house is located. A new third floor appears on the public library when a fog dissipates, there are flickering street lights, and this house where the neighbour yells GET OUT as the family moves in. At school Josh’s best friend Dale’s science experiment with the Venus Fly Trap goes horribly wrong and in pursuit of further plants things go from bad to worse … and soon Josh’s friends are missing.

Strange things are happening in Axe Falls.