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Patty Hits the Court: Game Day! #1

Patty Mills & Jared Thomas (Allen&Unwin)

This new series should be well consumed by young readers who love basketball. Co-authored by Patty Mills, the Australian Olympic and NBA basketballer, Patty Hits the Court stars, none other than Patty, a sports mad character, who like the author also lives in Canberra … there are a few other similarities as well.

Patty is sports mad. He excels at every sport he puts his hands, or his feet too, so nasketball is expected to be another. His favourite sport though is AFL. He has one goal to kick to break his season goal kicking record but when the relieving coach (who is the basketball coach) drops Patty to the backs that opportunity is missed. Still, the end of season approaches and Patty is convinced by the coach to give basketball a go. The rules are very different to those of other sports that Patty excels at. The field positions aren’t the same as AFL, Patty is a little shorter than many players, and there are other players who seem much better at this sport. Patty also has to do well in his studies and when his parents insist that he has to practise his spelling instead of getting to football practise Patty thinks his word is falling apart.

The Patty Hits the Court series are short chapter books, but not too brief, great for newly independent readers – especially if they like baseball. The text is slightly larger and it is well sprinkled with black and white illustrations.

Giggling Gertie & Dramatic Don










(Sally Rippin Presents: the Super Moopers series)

Fiona Harris, Sally Rippin & Scott Edgar, FiveMile Press

SuperMoopers is a new series, presented by Sally Rippin, for younger readers – perfect for those who are transitioning from picture books to text based titles. The titles are a solid format, with strong card covers and pages which are adorned with full coloured illustrations. The text is short and well spaced with a generous allowance of uncluttered space.

It is super finding these transitional titles for those voracious young readers. Adults will not be bored with exploring these titles with their readers, and those readers will be giggling and excited reading them.

Everyone in Moopertown is different. Everyone is individual. Everyone in Moopertown has their own special quirkiness, although everyone’s difference is not always appreciated. Giggling Gertie giggles at everything, even the things that are not funny which happens when the choir is struggling to prepare for the arrival of the Baron, and to Dramatic Don, everything is a drama and some of the residents of Moopertown find it annoying … at least for a while. Moopertown is a community and the differences are what make them Super!

… also available now, Nervous Nellie and Musical Marcus.

Dr Karl’s Little Books ….










Dr Karl’s Little Book of SpaceDr Karl’s Little Book of Dino’s, Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (Pan)

Anytime a book crosses the desk from Dr Karl I know that it is going to be accurate, fun and totally engaging for readers young and old … and these titles, even though they are children’s activity books, are no different. In between all the activities, like drawing your own planet, writing a planet poem, or …. there are fascinating facts – like in 11.5 seconds, the Sun dumps enough energy on our planet to satisfy all our energy needs for a whole day. And then a great comparative graphic (a stopwatch with speed indicators) is shown that crystallises the time period. And if you want to know why no one can hear you scream in space … then check out the pages of this book for light-years of astronomical fun!

Likewise,  Dr Karl’s Little Book of Dino’s is filled with activities, dot-to-dots, matching features and of course pages of facts: like dinosaur poo is called coprolites, and that the biggest T. rex poo ever was found in Canada and weighed 7.1kgs. Of course it is a prehistoric world of fun!

These books will be scribbled throughout and searched again and again for the facts. And do look for the smattering of jokes throughout the pages.

Laugh Your Head off Again


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 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.