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/
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Melanie and Me, book review

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Title: Melanie and Me
written by: Shaelie, Emma, Charlotte, Georgia, Oliver, Simon, London & Eve-Anneke, with Dr Tarn McLean & Emma Mactaggart
illustrated by: Shaelie, Emma, Charlotte, Georgia, Oliver, Simon, London & Eve-Anneke
Publisher: Child Writes

Melanie is happily oblivious to the effects of harmful UV rays as she plays outside all day – until it is too late and she gets burnt. Will Melanie spend her waking hours inside, or will she come up with an awesome strategy for playing outside – demonstrating her own resilience, her healthy respect for the sun and how it is her responsibility to be sun safe.

Melanie adores her best friend, the sun. Every day they play outside together.
‘Oh Melanie, Melanie – won’t you come and play with me?’ chants the sun.
But one day, the sun drops UV rays on her and Melanie’s skin is burnt. Her skin is achy and feels as though it is on fire. The sun starts to cry; his tears dripping and turning the sky different shades of grey.

After a while, Melanie is reunited with her best friend, but from now on she has sunscreen and clothing to keep her body protected.

Melanie and Me is a beautiful story where the words flow like a melody. It has been written by a group of talented young authors under the guidance of Dr Tarn McLean and Emma Mactaggart. It is a story you will want to read over again and again. But more importantly, is the message it contains – to keep your skin protected from the sun.

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This book is endorsed by the Melanoma Awareness Foundation, Queensland, Australia, and 100% of sales are donated to them. The foundation is dedicated to saving lives from this potentially deadly disease, a disease that sadly takes the lives of almost twice as many Queenslanders as road fatalities.

Purchase a copy: https://www.melanomaawareness.org.au/product/melanie-book/

Title: Melanie and ME
written and illustrated by: Shaelie, Emma, Charlotte, Georgia, Oliver, Simon, London & Eve-Anneke, with Dr Tarn McLean & Emma Mactaggart
Publisher: Child Writes
ISBN: 9780646961620
Category: children’s picture books
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/

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Where is the True Ewe?, book review

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Title: Where is the True Ewe?
by: Emma Mactaggart
illustrated by: Mary-Kate Khoo
Publisher: Boogie Books

The little green sheep has finally grown up and now she has a family of her own
In a bid to remind us to be fully present as parents, Where is the True Ewe is our collective memoir.

Where is the True Ewe? pays homage to ‘Where is the Green Sheep’ by Mem Fox.
It is a book of busy-ness, a book of motherhood, a book of being lost in the daily chaos that never seems to quieten until…

Author, Emma Mactaggart, has entwined into the story the different roles of motherhood, as well as the person before the hectic lifestyle with children, as well as dreams of what else could be, like an escapism from the stresses of raising children.

At the end of the rush of the story of this crazy, fast-paced life, comes that time of day every parent treasures … the peacefulness of reading a book to their child at bedtime, and the feeling that all is right with the world.

Teaming up with Emma is illustrator, Mary-Kate Khoo, who has captured the everyday stresses of parenthood to a T.

Where is the True Ewe? is a book every mother can relate to. Whether is it a book you read to your kids, or just keep it to yourself as a reminder of how normal you are, is your choice. Whatever you do, it’s a nice memoir of how busy motherhood is, and that day to day, you are a survivor!

Purchase a copy: http://www.boogiebooks.com.au/Store/where-is-the-true-ewe

Title: Where is the True Ewe?
by: Emma Mactaggart
illustrated by: Mary-Kate Khoo
Publisher: Bookgie Books
ISBN: 9781925255966
Category: parody
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:

Imagine, book review

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Title: Imagine
by: Emma Mactaggart
illustrated by: Ester De Boer
Publisher: Boogie Books

The gloriously creative indulgence of simply sitting and day-dreaming has given rise to the greatest creations in human history! We have to give ourselves permission to do so, and to Imagine what will be. Of course, sometimes, ‘what will be’ may be very silly indeed!

Imagination. Where would the world be if we couldn’t imagine?

Author, Emma Mactaggart, has written a wonderfully inspiring picture book encouraging children to use their imagination.

The rhyming tale will have children in laughter as the story topsy-turvies common household objects with animals.

Imagine is filled will brilliant illustrations by Ester De Boer. Her use of colour and action propels the story along with energy.

I love the words at the ending of the story –

Now promise me, open you mind and let your thoughts soar.
It’s your imagination, let it rip, let it roar!

What a wonderful challenge for children, and a perfect book for use in the school setting to introduce a creative writing lesson.

Purchase a copy: http://www.childwrites.com.au/Store/imagine

Title: Imagine
by: Emma Mactaggart
illustrated by: Ester De Boer
Publisher: Boogie Books
ISBN: 9781922224040
Category: childrens
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/

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Shiver Me Timbers!, book review

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Title: Shiver Me Timbers!
by: Oakley Graham
illustrated by: Nina Caniac
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

This is the tale of a fearsome pirate crew,
They’ll shiver your timbers with the things they do!

Join Captain Black and his pirate crew as they go looking for treasure in a swashbuckling, sea shanty adventure on the high seas.

Pirates never go out of favour. Oakley Graham has written Shiver Me Timbers! in rhyme, telling the tale of Captain Black and his fierce pirate crew. The story has all the lashings of the pirate life—a typhoon, treasure, sail mending, scrubbing the deck, walking the plank, sharks, mermaids, the poop deck, surfing and an angry octopus.

Illustrator, Nina Caniac has used a world of colour depicting the ongoing story of the captain and the pirate crew, drawing eager eyes to the pages of the story.

Children will enjoy chanting along to the repeated four line chorus, which appears on each double spread throughout the book. An added bonus to the story are the pirate facts, which can be found at the back of the book.

Purchase a copy: big sky publishing – Shiver-Me-Timbers

Title: Shiver Me Timbers!
by: Oakley Graham
illustrated by: Nina Caniac
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925520002
Category: children’s
Pages: 32

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

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Beowulf The Brave, book review

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Title: Beowulf the Brave
retold by: Oakley Graham
illustrated by: Emi Ordás
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

A brave little boy steps into the big boots of his hero, Beowulf the Brave, in this retelling of the epic poem. But will he defeat the scary monsters that threaten the land?

Children love stories that begin with ‘once upon a time’. Beowulf the Brave, retold by author, Oakley Graham, starts with these exciting words and continues as a rhyming poem, telling the story of Grendel, who was an unstoppable beast that hated laughter. No swords or spears could defeat the foul creature, not even an army of men.

But then there was Beowulf. He was brave. He launched an attack and knocked the monster down flat and sent him to the grave. The act set off a revenge attack by Grendel’s mother, who then was defeated by Beowulf with a giant’s sword. Beowulf becomes a hero of course, and is crowned as the new king.

All is peaceful in the kingdom until a cruel fiery dragon’s great hoard of treasure is disturbed, and King Beowulf the Brave must fight a new battle in his armour…

Illustrator, Emi Ordás, has created appealing pictures that fit the era of the original poem, which was set in Scandinavia, 6th century. The illustrations will have children wishing they could become a character in the story to join in the adventure.

Children will enjoy Beowulf the Brave and want it read over again. It is a fast paced rhyming poem that is based on the longest poem in Old English. The original poem was more than 3,000 lines long!

Purchase a copy: http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Children/Beowulf-The-Brave/1159/productview.aspx

Title: Beowulf the Brave
retold by: Oakley Graham
illustrated by: Emi Ordás
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925275933
Category: children’s
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/

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Clover’s BIG Ideas, book review

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Title: Clover’s BIG Ideas
by: Georgie Donaghey
illustrated by: Emma Middleton
Publisher: Little Pink Dog Books

Being the smallest in the paddock isn’t easy. Clover is always being teased. When three naughty lambs go too far, Clover and her big ideas step in. Discover how Clover shows being little makes her more determined and clever than they could ever imagine.

Spring is an exciting time of the year. Particularly on farms where spring means babies. And that is where the adorable Clover comes into the story, written by author, Georgie Donaghey. Clover is clearly loved by her mother, who tells her to stay on this side of the fence where it is safer. When Clover sees the bull in the next paddock and giggles, it is a clear indicator of her positive outlook on life and her sweet disposition. But you also get that bumbly feeling in your tummy that something is going to happen … so you turn the page with caution …

Enter Duncan, Stu and Shadow, the villains of the story. They tease Clover about being small and you instantly want to protect her from them. Clover bravely speaks up, ‘I may be small, but I have BIG ideas,’ before she turns her head away so they can’t see her tears.

Duncan, Stu and Shadow don’t just tease Clover. It seems anyone can be a target of their bullying. So they approach the bull and tease him (the bullies bully the bull…), Angus the bull is justifiably angry, and will have the readers cheering him on.

When Shadow gets stuck in the fence, there is only one small lamb who can help. Enter the heroine of the story, Clover, who also cleverly plans a stunt with Angus the bull for a little bit of light hearted revenge that will have kids sniggering and smiling.

Illustrator (and author), Emma Middleton, has gifted the readers will spectacular pictures using oil paints. You will fall in love with her painting technique that creates a visual softness for the wool and fur of the animals, that will make you want to reach out and touch the pages. Sometimes I have a favourite illustration or two in books, but with Clover’s BIG Ideas, I have twelve favourite double page spreads that draw my eyes, due to the variety and use of colour, or the love visually pouring from the pages.

Clover’s BIG Ideas is a beautiful, heartfelt story, written by author, Georgie Donaghey,  that has all the ingredients to make it a successful and popular story, and it certainly makes a positive impact with its message. There is no doubt that Clover’s BIG Ideas will become an ‘anytime’ favourite story to be read and reread, not just for bedtime.

Purchase a copy: https://littlepinkdogbooks.com/our-publication-list/clovers-big-ideas/

Title: Clover’s BIG Ideas
by: Georgie Donaghey
illustrated by: Emma Middleton
Publisher: Little Pink Dog Books 
ISBN: 978-0-9946269-6-7
Category: 4 to 9 years
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:

 

The Silent Owl, book review

 

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Title: The Silent Owl
by: Sam McPhillips
illustrated by: Clemency Pearce
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

In the deep, dark forest lives a silent owl.
The forest animals are worried about Owl, but he has a few surprises up his sleeve!

I have a new favourite book to add to my list of “picture book favourites” – The Silent Owl, written by Sam McPhillips. The story is simple, with a flowing rhyming text, and filled with caring forest animals. Somehow it makes the world feel like a better place.

The main character is an owl who is silent, by choice or not is up to the reader to decide. The owl remains silent, even as a string of animals visit and ask him a question to encourage him to speak … but he never does. You have to admire the owl for not bowing down to peer pressure and staying calm throughout the series of events. He is not only a silent owl, but a strong owl, or perhaps even a stubborn owl…

Illustrator, Clemency Pearce, has created delightful collage illustrations with backdrops of paint in amazing hues. Her art style would be ideal to emulate as part of an art activity to accompany the story.

I highly recommend The Silent Owl. It’s a story where the owl has an untold story, and one that would lead to interesting discussions with readers, and perhaps creating understanding of other personalities. The Silent Owl is an important story, as it is about acceptance, about differences, and celebrating individuality.

Purchase a copy: http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Children/The-Silent-Owl/1156/productview.aspx

Title: The Silent Owl
by: Sam McPhillips
illustrated by: Clemency Pearce
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925520019
Category: children’s
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:

Mo, The Daring Dingo, book review

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Title: Mo, The Daring Dingo
by: Diane Evans
illustrated by: Ian Faulkner
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Mo is a daring little dingo with an adventurous spirit that is always getting him into trouble.

Author, Diane Evans, has written a story about Mo, a dingo pup who has bitten off more than he can chew. His mother recognises his excessive energy and fearlessness and tries as she might, to calm him down and keep him safe. However, the dingo pup is determined to explore the world and dreams of great adventures. He has set a stunning waterfall in his sights for a quest, and along the journey he meets other animals who stop him and ask him where he is going. They all give him a warning about a crocodile at the waterfall. But Mo thinks he is faster, smarter and stronger than the crocodile. Until he meets the crocodile…

Illustrator, Ian Faulkner, has created colourful images to depict the story. There are even a couple of fairies who make a regular appearance on the pages, which may lead to discussion about what they represent in the story.

Mo, The Daring Dingo is a fun book about a dingo pup with excess energy who thinks he is invincible. It’s a book about experience, which is the best teacher.

Purchase a copy: http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Children/Mo–the-Daring-Dingo/1131/productview.aspx

Title: Mo, The Daring Dingo
by: Diane Evans
illustrated by: Ian Faulkner
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781922132833
Category: children’s
Pages: 42

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

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Granny’s Place, book review

 

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Title: Granny’s Place
by: Allison Paterson
illustrated by: Shane McGrath
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing

Granny and Pa’s farm was the best place in the world, brimming with treasures of the past and endless adventures to be had … but time brings change.

I have a confession. I never read the book blurb on the back cover. I like to read a story without pre-conceived ideas. The title ‘Granny’s Place’ had me dreaming of what visiting a grandmother at her home would be like, as I never had that privilege. As I read the story out loud, I joined in the lovely memories of the main character. But this story has an unexpected turn. I was sure it was going to be about all things wonderful at Granny’s and Pa’s place, and the magical yesteryear memories of uncomplicated times. Until Pa gets sick. Then the story takes a different path.

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Author, Allison Paterson, has captured the era of the grandparents well, with descriptive words of what the main character could see, feel and hear that made you feel like you are right there at Granny’s place too. The author’s words read with a calm fluency, impressing upon the reader that Granny’s place was filled with love, as well as the exciting adventures that come with farm life.

Illustrator, Shane McGrath, has nailed all the details of the grandparents’ era in his illustrations, from the style of the house on the farm and the interior design with all the knick-knacks, to the colour schemes used at the time. He then changes the colour scheme and architectural elements in the new house in keeping with the era when Granny moves from the farm to town, showing the stark contrast in ways of life.

Granny’s Place is a beautiful story showing three generations of family and the love that binds them. It is also a story about loss, dealt with in a caring and sensitive manner, reminding us of the preciousness of family and memories that live on.

Purchase a copy of Granny’s Place:
http://www.bigskypublishing.com.au/Books/Children/Granny-s-Place-PB/1142/productview.aspx

Title: Granny’s Place
by: Allison Paterson
illustrated by: Shane McGrath
Publisher: Big Sky Publishing
ISBN: 9781925275636
Category: children’s
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: