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Posts from the ‘Fantasy Fiction’ Category

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.

 

Wonderful Fiction

These books – I just couldn’t put down.

rescue-on-nim-s-islandRescue on Nim’s Island, Wendy Orr & Geoff Kelly (Allen&Unwin)

When I first read Nim’s Island yolks ago i loved it and that has continued through to this the third instalment.

This time Nim is not being rescued. This time a group of scientists are visiting “Nim’s Island” invited there by her father Jack to study the algae with the view to creating a new fuel that will power any motor without polluting the earth or sky or sea. But the scientists who arrive are not all they seem and place the island and its inhabitants in grave danger – especially after the discovery of opal from a completely fossilised sea turtle. Alex Rover is creating her next great work in this secluded island getaway and Nim’s friend Edmund has come for as well.

Fast paced, and with wonderful crafted memorable characters readers (young and older) are going to be thrilled that Nim is back and stronger than ever.

 

spirite animals blood-tiesBlood Ties, Spirit Animals Series : Book 3, Garth Nix & Sean Williams (Scholastic)

In the world of Erdas, every child who comes of age must discover if they have a spirit animal. This rare bond can unlock incredible power. A dark force has risen from the past, and now the fate of Erdas depends on four brave kids, Conor, Abeke, Meilin and Rollan. They each have the gift – the spirit animal bond that bridges the human and animal worlds and together they have to battle the Conquerors, an ancient threat that has returned, destroying all the cities in its path as it searches for the legendary talismans. But the children are first to Dinesh, who has to be convinced to give up his talisman, and an enormous battle begins which the children must defeat the approaching army if they are to take hold of the Slate Elephant – Dinesh’s talisman.

There is a dedicated website: http://spiritanimals.scholastic.com where readers can join in the fun and create their own spirit animal, watch the trailer, play games and a whole lot more.

 

the-big-book-of-old-tomThe Big Book of Old Tom, Leigh Hobbs (Allen&Unwin)

Oh this was sooooo much fun revisiting the Old Tom books. It’s a big book, with the five Old Tom books Old Tom, Old Tom at the Beach, Old Tom Goes to Mars, Old Tom’s Guide to Being Good, and A Friend for Old Tom, combined into one.

For those unfamiliar with the Old Tom books, the tells begin when Angela Throgmorton, who lives a very secluded life, finds an unusual bundle on her doorstep. That bundle is Old Tom, (a very unusual baby) and Angela brought up Old Tom even through she had never fed a baby before. And Angela’s life is never the same again.

Heavily illustrated with only a few lines of text for each page, the Old Tom books are a great read, full of humour and craziness and impossibilities.

Fiction Delights

Here are some delightful fiction reads.

The Golden Door (The Three Doors Series: Book 1); Emily Rodda (Scholastic)
A new series from Emily Rodda will always be devoured and this one is no different. I couldn’t put this book down and just HAD to finish reading it!
This is another richly created classic fantasy delight that the author creates so well with hideous creatures, magical objects, a quest to be endured, villainous villains and a very unlikely hero.
Weld is a city surrounded by protective walls. These walls must be maintained but this season the deadly Skimmers are getting more and more resourceful and getting over the walls in their nightly search for food. The city warden has called for more young men – 18 and over – to go forth and defeat the Skimmers and be forever rewarded. Rye is too young and is waiting for his brothers to return but after they fail to do so, young Rye takes matters into his own hands and ventures forth. But first he has to choose the correct door to leave the city.
See more at :
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hZY5yme7Nfw&feature=player_embedded
http://scholastic.com.au/minisites/threedoors/

Harry’s War John Heffernan (Scholastic)
Harry loves spending time with his grandfather. They build model planes together and Harry loves listening to the stories about his grandfather’s heroic World War 2 adventures. Harry even tapes the stories. He beams when he gets to share his grandfather with his class at school when he is asked to visit the school. They also build model planes and share time together, which is very important because Harry doesn’t know his own dad and the adults in his life wont talk about him. He too was a soldier but in a different war.
Harry’s own adventures start to cause problems and soon his grandfather’s war stories begin to unravel revealing that not all is quite as it seems.

On Orchard Road Elsbeth Edgar (Walker)
After living as the only child for 13 years Jane has a brand-new sister. As well, her mother has to stay in the city with the prematurely born sibling while Jane and her father, who has just lost his job, live in the country.
As the tale unwinds Jane is bullied at her new school, she strikes up a friendship with a boy who assists her when she gets stranded after twisting her ankle, and they meet a mysterious and lonely old woman with a rambling garden who becomes entwined in Jane’s and Michael’s lives.
A story of friendship, hope and healing, growing up and coming of age, and families.

Unputdownable Fiction

All these novels are new and I couldn’t put them down.

The Red Wind Isobelle Carmody (Viking)
This is the first title in the Kingdom of the Lost series, a delightful fantasy series written for younger readers.
Two brothers live in the middle of a vast bare plain in their simple stone cottage, with gardens and household items crafted with their own hands. In autumn every year the elder brother Zluty travels to the northern forests to gather supplies of mushrooms, tree sap and honey that the two will need to endure the long hard winter on the plain. The younger brother Bily meanwhile nervously waits at home for his brother to return. But this trip a devastating Red Wind sweeps across the land being with it much destruction and torment, destroying everything in its path, including the brother’s cottage on the plains. Bily survives by hiding with his animal friends in the cellar, along with a terrifying monster, while Zluty endures the torrential rain and fights to survive! United the two, with their cottage destroyed and little to no food for them to survive the coming winter, must decide what to do.

Get a Grip Cooper Jones Sue Whiting (Walker Books)
Cooper Jones has never known his dad. He lives with his mum (who is mad keen on joining the Women’s circus aerial troupe (no matter how embarrassing that is to Cooper) in a small coastal town near the bush close to the beach (and the surf which he wont swim in). and things are changing. He constantly thinks of the father he has never known, he even starts searching the internet for his father, and now things seem different between him and his mother … especially now that he’s taller then her. Life is getting complicated and is no longer simple. Then Abeba arrives, his neighbour’s niece and soon Cooper realises that he is not the only one whose life is getting complicated as Abeba has problems of her own with her mother about her heritage. And when the bushfire approaches and Abeba is bitten by a snake, it is Cooper who has to realise that when life is spinning out of control, sometimes you just need to get a grip.
A wonderful story of families and relationships and growing up!

The Wildkin’s Curse Kate Forsyth (Pan)
This is the companion book to the earlier novel, The Starthorn Tree, but it most definitely can be read as a standalone novel. The characters are wonderful created in this fantasy world.
Three children who are time-honoured enemies, Merry (a heathkin boy and son of a rebel), Zedrin (a starkin lord and heir) and Liliana (a wildkin girl developing uncanny magical powers) are on a perilous quest to the palace of Zarissa to rescue the wildkin Princess Rozalina (who is also muzzled for she has the power to enchant with her words) from her lifelong imprisonment in a tower in a palace built of glass. But to do so the three must work together and endure family treachery, discover their real heritage and their destinies become clear.

Grimsdon Deborah Abela (Random House)
What a wonderful environmental tale is this novel.
The once modern and grand city of Grimsdon is in ruins much of it submerged having been devastated by a massive flood that broke the barriers. Most survivors have left, while a few remain behind surviving on whatever they can scrounge from the remains, including the children Isabella and Griffin and the three other smaller children they care for. they live in the remains of an opulent mansion and into this world enters Another child, Xavier who has an Aerotrope, a flying bicycle, that can take the children even further into the ruins in search of what they require. But Xavier, should he join the gang, endanger all their lives with his risks – and his past.
As well there are also bounty hunters and pirates, sneaker waves that could cause more damage, as well as something that lies deep beneath the waters.

These are terrific reads.