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.

Jul 30, 2014

Books reviewed 20.06.14

Australian native animals have parochial appeal with authors and illustrators of Australian children’s literature. They also have personality by virtue of their unique characteristics, which is revealed in realistic illustration or caricature alike.
First flight

David Miller
Working Title Press
ISBN: 9781921504570           RRP: $24.99

Do sugar gliders learn to fly by accident? When Little Glider Joey is woken by laughing kookaburras he ventures out for a peek. Suddenly the bark ribbon that supports him breaks; as he falls instinct takes over and he spreads his limbs. His first-ever gliding swoosh is elegant but not so his landing. How will he get back to his nest? The drawing style uses watercolours and watercolour pencils with wonderful effect, the strokes and shading giving a sense of movement.
The Bush Book Club

Margaret Wild, illustrated by Ben Wood
Omnibus Books (Scholastic Australia)
ISBN: 9781742990149           RRP: $24.99

Australian animal characters each have a favourite reading place, in some way related to their real habitats. One non-reading Bilby though makes mischief and bores easily. When he gets locked into the reading room, he finds a book which may be interesting – The terrifying adventures of Big Brave Bilby – and is surprised where it takes him. Now he is a happy reader of the Bush Book Club as well. The charming illustrations in cartoon-style with sunshiny pastel colours show his new-found joy of reading.
Possum’s big surprise

Colin Buchanan, illustrated by Nina Rycroft
Scholastic Australia
ISBN:9781742839271           RRP: $14.99 (pbk)

Surprise, surprise, Possum is going to have a surprise birthday party! With a catchy refrain which children can join in, possum encounters her friends along the way:
Off in a flash and a tumble of grey,
Flossy the possum was up and away!
The rhyming text rollicks along at a jolly pace, with a bold illustrations in a realistic style and a comic line that reflects the rush and rhythm of the story. The illustrations are quite fun in this thoroughly enjoyable bouncing tale.
Karana: the Story of the father emu

Uncle Joe Kirk, illustrated by Sandi Harrold.
Scholastic Australia
ISBN: 9781743623138           RRP: $14.99 (pbk)

This is a story from the Wakka Wakka culture about the role of the male emu in hatching and raising the chicks. The story is told in rhyming text with humour and warmth; after all Karana has 16 eggs to hatch and so 16 chicks to raise and teach about surviving in their land – you would need a sense of humour! No wonder he has a constant state of surprise on his face! Thank you to Uncle Joe Kirk for sharing this story with us.

Jul 20, 2014

Books reviewed 12.06.14

If a child is having difficulty in reading a book, then share it with them. In fact shared reading is seen as one of the more important habits in developing children’s enjoyment in reading.
Thomas the Tank Engine : Story collection

Rev. Wilbert Awdry with various original illustrators
Hardie Grant Egmont
ISBN: 9780603563089           RRP: $24.95

This is a collection of 56 original stories by the from the classic Railway series is arranged into sections according to the main engine character of the story. Hence there is a section on Thomas, and Percy, and Gordon and so on - start with your favourite. The illustrations are the original as well, by various illustrators, each of whom is acknowledged at the beginning of the story. All Thomas fans of any age and gender would be thrilled to receive this as a gift. The price is amazing too.
Giant vehicles

Rod Green, illustrated by Stephen Biesty
Walker Books Australia
ISBN: 9781922244444          RRP: $24.95

Cross-sectional illustrations reveal the insides of huge machines like the Airbus A380, the Saturn V Moon rocket, the Oasis of the Seas floating hotel cruise ship, the Russian Typhoon class submarine and other mighty machines. The text consists mainly of labelling and information panels, not to distract from the illustrations; it is small for under 8 readers so some adult intervention would be desirable. The book has been designed with younger children in mind with a sturdy board construction and rounded corners, just like a board book only much larger. Surprise hidden flaps reveal even deeper information about the vehicle interiors.
The story of buildings

Patrick Dillon, illustrated by Stephen Biesty
Walker Books
ISBN: 9781406335903          RRP: $32.95

The subtitle to this book is World architecture from the Pyramids to the Pompidou Centre which encompasses its scope and purpose – a historical view on the development of public architecture. A text difficult for most under 8 readers but nevertheless directed towards young readers, needs an adult to help out. Each chapter deals with one of 25 famous buildings – including the Sydney Opera House, Notre Dame and the Crystal Palace. The illustrations though are eminently browseable; children will be fascinated by the detail and intrigued by the viewing angles employed here. A handsome addition to the family collection.