Thursday, 21 August 2014

The soldier's gift

In a year when we commemorate the 100th year since World War 1,  Viking has released a touching picture book titled, The soldier's gift. Written by Tony Palmer and illustrated by Jane Tanner, this publication is an incredibly moving narrative of one family's story during the horrors of Gallipoli.

Tony Palmer has long been interested in Australian history and it shows in the extensive research and resultant realism in his story.

Jane Tanner is a much loved Australian illustrator whose work is evocative and poignant. Together they have produced a collectable item in this centenary year.

Written from the perspective of a child, the harsh reality of family and war come alive in the pages of this book. End papers provide non-fiction background and photos to the book's setting. The story of the pine seeds brought home by diggers brings a real sense of reality to this publication.

Highly recommended for 6+ years. Whilst presented as a picture book, the word count is quite high. Older readers would find the end papers quite interesting.

Viking publishing (Penguin Group)
RRP $26.99

Wednesday, 20 August 2014

One Sunday

The prolific Pamela Allen has penned another heart warming picture book, 'One Sunday'.  

A little old man and a little old woman live in a tiny wooden house. They take comfort in routine and ritual, but sometimes things can come out of the blue. This delightful story is about the warmth and love that surround family and home. 

Great use of onomatopoeia and text incorporated in the illustrations, Pamela is a master of writing with musicality and vivid imagery. Sure to become a favourite.

Pamela Allen, author/illustrator
RRP $24.99
Recommended for 3 years +

I wanna be a pretty princess

Every little girl dreams of being a pretty princess. But what happens if your dreams come true and a fairy princess turns up and takes you through a princess makeover?

With the princess rule book in hand, anything is possible.

Learn how to dress like a princess.
Learn how to get your hair and makeup done like a princess.
Learn how to eat politely and dance gracefully like a princess. 
And even learn how to sit around and wait for your handsome prince to turn up.

Meet this modern girl who takes the whole princess rule book and re-writes it, her way!

Great fun and perfectly illustrated  - I wanna be a pretty princess by Heath McKenzie will appeal to many young modern princesses in the making.

NB The title of this book did provide a challenge for me in terms of the spelling of 'wanna'. If I was to use this book in the classroom, or even at home, I would use this opportunity to talk about the word and why perhaps the author chose that spelling. Turn it into a teachable moment, rather than let it go!

Author/illustrator - Heath McKenzie
Scholastic Press
$16.99 RRP