Welcome to Children's Corner book reviews from 4MBS Classic Radio FM in Brisbane. Here you will find short annotations of the children's books reviewed by Kerry Neary in Children's Corner on 4MBS, together with the details you need to find them at your favourite bookstore. Any prices shown are the publisher's Australian recommended price and may vary depending on where you shop. You are welcome to use these reviews for newsletters and the like with appropriate acknowledgement.

Apr 19, 2014

Books reviewed 20.03.14

One of the most appealing themes of children’s picture books is family humour. Children think the stories are just plain funny – like laughing at yourself.
The Brothers Quibble

Aaron Blabey
Penguin Viking
ISBN: 9780670076000           RRP: $24.99

In this book with its cleverly allusive title, Spalding has ruled the roost for some time it seems. Then his parents bring home a small surprise – brand new baby brother Bunny. Immediately Spalding begins to plot his resistance to this readjustment of family balance. Much mischief only gets him more time out. When Bunny starts to talk and calls his brother by his name, mayhem melts away. The ruler of the roost now has a brother in arms – though brotherly love is never too far away from another punch-up. The cartooned expressiveness of the artwork reveals a devilishly astute awareness of human nature. Sibling rivalry? It’s nothing serious. If they were chickens we would call it sorting out the pecking order.

Apr 15, 2014

Books reviewed 6.03.14

A common view of picture books is that they are lightweight fare that entertain and amuse children. This could be called the Little Golden Books view. More serious topics appear in the modern picture book.

Jackie French, illustrated by Bruce Whatley
Scholastic Australia
ISBN: 9781742838175           RRP: $24.99

Following on from the success of Flood here is another book by this partnership on natural disaster, about the bushfires that plague much of our land. The text is a powerful poem of staccato rhythm that attests to the power and unpredictability of the rage of bushfires. The words give the fire its own life, not the embodiment of a monster choosing its way on a path of destruction, bringing pain to landscape and people alike. The illustrations are rendered in watercolours, capturing the fluidity of moving fire; quickly changing shapes that last for just a moment in time; and later the grey curtain that hangs after the fire is gone. The mesmerizing impact heightens the realisation that we can all be in danger.