Cat Spies Mouse, a book review

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Title: Cat Spies Mouse
by: Rina A Foti
illustrated by: Dave Atze
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

What happens when an impatient and arrogant cat spies a humble and patient mouse?
An exciting read-aloud story about how a small mouse who asks BIG questions changes the world.

Author, Rina A Foti has written a story that has a theme that young children are familiar with in the animal world – mouse vs cat and cat vs dog. Kids will totally get it. They will also understand the repeated words, “That’s not fair!”

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Illustrator, Dave Atze has created colourful, likeable characters that leap off the page,  showing their personality through facial expressions, poses and humour that will attract children’s interest and make them giggle, but also help to develop empathy for the under-dog character in each situation.

There is no doubt that this story will open up discussion on the topic of fairness – at school, as well as at home, and question the notion about doing things without thinking, just because “that is what is expected”, or “that is the way it has always been done”. But why? And is it reasonable, or fair?

There are two outstanding take-aways from this tale: one is the courage and bravery of the mouse to question what cat is doing, and the other is that the cat can absolutely not understand how mouse feels, until what he is doing to mouse, happens to him. It’s kind of satisfying to see him get a taste of his own medicine, plus being covered in dog-stomach-goop at the end.

Purchase a copy: Cat Spies Mouse picture book

Title: Cat Spies Mouse
by: Rina A Foti
illustrated by: Dave Atze
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925675344
Category: Children, Fiction, Humour, Inspiration, Social Issues
Pages: 32

This book was given to Julieann by Big Sky Publishing for review.

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
https://www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:

Slowly! Slowly! a book review

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Title: Slowly! Slowly!
by: T. M. Clark
illustrated by: Helene Magisson
Publisher: Wombat Books

Slowly, slowly, you catch a monkey …

Bongani wants to go to school but he is too young. To prove to his family that he is big and strong just like his cousins, he tries to catch a monkey.
Slowly, slowly, he must go.
Luckily his family is there to school him in the lessons of patience and compassion.

I love the very first sentence of Slowly! Slowly! written by author, T. M. Clark:

Bongani stood tall.

It is brimming with anticipation. And as you read on, you can feel the blanket of peace and love that surrounds the main character. The words of the story also whisper that same blanket to you, gently, gently, like the singing of a lullaby.

Slowly! Slowly! is a clever story. Imbued into the tale is the unfolding guidance of how to catch a monkey with the kind encouragement of the father, the calm teaching of the grandfather, and the insightful way of looking at a problem from a different point of view, which is a way of teaching resilience.

Inside the story, we follow a young child named Bongani, while he tries to catch a monkey. His failed attempts are followed by guidance from his grandfather, revealed layer by layer, teaching Bongani patience; a virtue that is sometimes lost in the busy-ness of our lives today.

I particularly enjoyed the way Bongani’s family would work out whether he was ready for school …

‘Dad, am I big enough?
Am I higher than the hyena?
Can I go to school?’

Mathematically, the act of measuring your height against an animal to see if you are tall enough to go to school is full of imagination and excitement. This comparison would make an interesting discussion in families and schools.

Illustrator, Helene Magisson, has once again shown her extraordinary artistic talent in the pages of Slowly! Slowly! and has created a visual space where a variety of thoughts and ideas coexist in addition to the text, telling a story where the words don’t, or where the words imply particular ideas or feelings. Helene’s choice of gentle tones wraps around the mind of the reader, encouraging a connection and deep understanding of the character of Bongani.

Parents and teachers will love Slowly! Slowly! as author, T.M. Clark, deploys with sparkling effect, the use of alliteration, repetition, word rhythm and story building. The tale naturally lends itself to variance of voice as you read, from gentle words to the shouting of “GO AWAY!”

Slowly! Slowly! is an engaging and heart-warming story that is a must for children to read. Patience, compassion and resilience speak a gentle heart-song through the story, gifting children with mind tools to use through their lifetime.

(Slowly! Slowly! is adapted as a South African story, this variation of ‘Softly, softly, catchee monkey’ was originally an Ashanti (Ghana) proverb quoted by Lord Robert Baden-Powell, Founder of the Boy Scouts)

Purchase a copy: Slowly! Slowly!

Title: Slowly! Slowly!
Author: T. M. Clark
Illustrator: Helene Magisson
Publisher: Wombat Books
Format: 9781925563221
ISBN: Hard cover
For ages: 3+

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords
www.julieannwallaceauthor.com

Julieann is a member of:

Circle, a book review

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Title: Circle
by: Jeannie Baker
Publisher: Walker Books

‘In a place where mud and sand become sea,
a godwit with white wing patches flies up with his flock.
The moment is right for the long journey north.’

A boy lies on his bed, a wheelchair beside him. His only wish is to fly. His mother wheels him to the beach, where the mud and sea become sand, and with his binoculars, he observes a flock of godwits.

One particular godwit with white wing patches catches his eye, and we leave the boy on the beach and follow the godwit on the long journey north, following an ancient invisible pathway. The journey is not all smooth going as the birds discover that their usual landscape has changed into a human-scape concrete jungle of buildings and roads, and they are forced to find another place to refuel before they take flight again toward their northerly destination.

There, the godwit with white wing patches finds a mate, and soon they have four perfect eggs, and then four newly hatched chicks until the hungry fox appears. Only one chick survives by disappearing into the colours of the land…

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The days grow cold and finding food is harder. The time is right, and the flock of godwits leave as one, following an ancient invisible pathway high above the clouds back to the place where mud and sand become sea. A boy chases a dog on the beach, his crutches left on the sand. He still has one wish, and that is to fly.

Circle, written and illustrated by Jeannie Baker, is a feast of visual colour and art that is graced with her distinctive illustrating style of genius. Her story flows like the gentle movement of a bird’s wings and glides with smoothness and peace, filling the reader with wonder at how godwits continue to follow the ancient visible pathway, generation after generation, even as their landmarks disappear in our ever changing world. The Author’s Note and Godwit Migration Map are valuable additions at the end of the book, and feed hungry minds of those who want to know more about these amazing birds that make the longest unbroken journey of any animal in the world.

Format: Hardback
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: 24 May 2016
Pages: 48
For Ages: 8 – 12 years
ISBN: 978-1-4063-3801-0

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
for CKT Book Reviews

Julieann is a member of:

 

 

Ballerina Monkey, book review

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Title: Ballerina Monkey
by: Nicole Madigan
illustrated by: Joe M Ruiz
Publisher: blOOturtle Publishing

Malik is a typical little monkey – he loves to swing through the jungle trees with his friends. But unlike the other monkeys Malik also wants to dance – if only he knew how! In fact, Malik loves nothing more than watching the beautiful flamingos dance their special ballet dance. But monkeys aren’t supposed to dance – they’re supposed to swing like acrobats through the trees. So when Malik plucks up the courage to ask the flamingos for dancing lessons, the other monkeys laugh and make fun of him. Determined to do what he loves, Malik soon learns the importance of staying true to himself and the joy of following his dreams.

Ballerina Monkey, by author Nicole Madigan, will capture the hearts of children. The story revolves around a monkey named Malik. He loves to roam the jungle on mischievous pursuits like the other monkeys, but he has his heart set on bigger dreams. He wants to dance, just like the flamingos. Malik is ridiculed by the other monkeys who try to break his dream by calling him names and laughing at him. Monkeys just simply don’t dance. But after some imparted wisdom from his mother, Malik doesn’t give up. He digs deep for courage and joins a flamboyance of flamingos to learn to dance with grace and beauty, still to the taunts of the other monkeys.

However, they soon change their tune when the King of the Jungle arrives. The King of the Jungle has never seen a dancing monkey and is most impressed with Malik’s spectacular moves. The troop of monkeys now love Malik’s dancing, and stop teasing him.

Illustrator, Joe Ruiz, has created pictures rich in the colours of the jungle that will have children’s eyes focussed on each of the pages as the story is shared or read independently. Children will easily empathize with Malik’s emotions as they perceive his facial expressions as events occur in the story.

Ballerina Monkey is a wonderful story about never giving up and seeking your dreams, even when your friends don’t support you. It is also a story about the power of the bystander, who, in this story is the King of the Jungle. Just because he approves of Malik’s dancing, the other teasing monkeys then decide that they do too.

Purchase a copy: http://blooturtle.com/product/ballerina-monkey/ 

Eco-friendly, Carbon Neutral, Vegan Ink, 100% Recycling paper: trOOblOO

Title: Ballerina Monkey
by: Nicole Madigan
illustrated by: Joe M Ruiz
Publisher: blOOturtle publishing
ISBN: 9780995410640
Category: children 4 – 8
Pages: 32

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:

Truly Foul & Cheesy Animal Jokes & Facts, book review

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Title: Truly Foul & Cheesy Animal Jokes & Facts
by: John Townsend
illustrated by: David Antram
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

This hilarious, fact-packed joke book will have young readers laughing as they’re learning. It features dozens of gut-busting gags that children can share with their friends, themed around the gross and gruesome aspects of the animal kingdom, along with bite-sized information about the topics covered. Hold onto your sides and dive in!

Q: What do you call an elephant that never washes?
A: A smellyphant!

You have probably heard that laughter is the best medicine. Laughter gets those happy juices flowing through your body retuning you to some kind of normal (we hope). After teaching for twenty-five years, I can tell you there is nothing better than the sound of children’s laughter, and watching those smiles on the kid’s faces.

Author, John Townsend, has created a hybrid book of serious and funny at the same time – something truly unique, and catering for both children’s thirst for knowledge as well as the need for light heartedness. He has logically organised the ‘Truly Foul & Cheesy Animal Jokes & Facts’ book by animals:

Elephants
Hippopotamuses
Poolicious
Skunks
Birds
Bears
Sloths
Big Cats
Reptiles
Monkeys
Giraffes
Camels
Cows
Frogs
Bats
Kangaroos
Rats

 

In each of these animal ‘chapters’ are intriguing facts before the jokes begin. A rumble of laughter will be bubbling inside you with each page turn. There are even limericks splashed here and there to keep you giggling. And for those who love to test their knowledge, there is a quiz at the back of the book.

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Artist, David Antram, has created exceptionally cool illustrations with humour that adds another level of fun to this book.

I can guarantee you that John Townsend’s book, ‘Truly Foul & Cheesy Animal Jokes & Facts’ will have the sound of your child’s laughter echoing on the walls of your house.

Purchase a copy: big sky publishing Truly Foul & Cheesy Animal Jokes & Facts

Title: The Truly Foul & Cheesy Animal Jokes & Facts
by: John Townsend
illustrated by: David Antram
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925520484
Category: children’s
Pages: 128

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:

 

 

Awesome Animals – Cats, Dogs & Horses, three book reviews

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Title: Awesome Animals – Cats – Fun Facts and Amazing Stories
by: Dianne Bates
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

 

Cats are loyal, smart, fun and totally AWESOME!

This fun and informative book is a mix of incredible true stories, amazing acts and packed with joke and illustrations to show you the wonderful world of cats.

From stories about cats in history, celebrity cats and spoilt bats to bizarre facts, jokes and verse, this beautiful illustrated book is full of information and fun.

Featuring images of the adorable cats and kittens from Little Legs Cat Rescue, Queensland.

Purchase a copy: Awesome Animals – Cats

9781925275858

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Title: Awesome Animals – Horses – Fun Facts and Amazing Stories
by: Dianne Bates
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Horses are powerful, intelligent, spirited and totally awesome!
This great mix of interesting facts, true stories and fun stuff will help you discover just how amazing these magnificent creature really are.

From stories about record-breaking race horses, cheeky ponies and brave war horses to bizarre facts and wacky jokes, this beautiful book is packed full of information and fun.

Featuring the gorgeous horses form Horse Shepherd Equine Sanctuary.

Purchase a copy: Awesome Animals – Horses

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Title: Awesome Animals – Dogs – Fun Facts and Amazing Stories
by: Dianne Bates
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Dogs are loyal, smart, fun and totally awesome!
This fun and informative book is a mix of remarkable true stories, interesting facts and lots of fun stuff to help you discover just how incredible out canine friends really are.

From stories about heroic dogs, doggie adventurers and famous dogs to bizarre facts and wacky dog jokes, this delightful book is packed full of information and fun.

Featuring adorable dogs from Best Friends Pet Rescue, Queensland.

Purchase a copy: Awesome Animals – Dogs

Author, Dianne Bates has written three animal books that will keep readers turning the pages. These books aren’t just for children who are animals lovers, they will have adults devouring the information and stories inside them as well. Awesome Animals – Dogs, Cats and Horses are each jam packed with interesting information and fascinating facts, reminding us all about how amazing cats, dogs and horses are.

Title: Awesome Animals – Cats – Fun Facts and Amazing Stories
ISBN: 9781925275407
Pages: 136
Title: Awesome Animals – Dogs – Fun Facts and Amazing Stories
ISBN: 9781925275384
Pages: 152
Title: Awesome Animals – Horses – Fun Facts and Amazing Stories
ISBN: 9781925275858
Pages: 150
written by: Dianne Bates
illustrated by: Sophie Scahill
Published by: Big Sky Publishing
Category: children’s

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Reviewed by Julieann Wallace
(Dip T, B. Ed, Author, Illustrator, Tea Ninja, Cadbury Chocolate Annihilator)
www.facebook.com/julieannwallaceonethousandwords/
https://www.julieannwallaceauthor.com/

Julieann is a member of:
Queensland Writers Centre https://qldwriters.org.au/
Write Links http://www.brisbanewritelinks.com/
Share Your Story Australia  https://sharingyourstory.com.au/

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