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 9, 2016

Some catch-up reviews

Occasionally some individual reviews have escaped this blog. Maybe they didn’t fit the theme exactly; sometimes I have second thoughts. Here are a couple of escapees from recent times.

Reviewed 17.12.15


Nadia Wheatley, illustrated by Armin Greder
Windy Hollow Books
ISBN: 9781922081483
RRP: $25.99

A family is in danger under threat from the authorities; they must leave quickly and set off without possessions across the desert with their loyal donkey. The soldiers are near; loud rumbling fills the dark and the dust. Narrowly they avoid the dangers to find humble refuge in another land. Are they yet safe? It’s an ancient story; and a story for our times. Flight is a provocative story to be shared with discerning 7 to 8 year olds and more mature readers; one of the most extraordinary Australian books published this year.

Reviewed 21.01.16

Hello from Nowhere

Raewyn Caisley, illustrated by Karen Blair
Penguin Viking
ISBN: 9780670075003
RRP: $24.99

Eve lives in Nowhere, far out in the emptiness of the earthen-coloured Outback. She patiently fills in the day in the open spaces waiting for her Nan to visit. Then Nan arrives and it’s amazing how many things are everywhere when you have someone to share them with. This is a lovely family story set in a different Australian place, with sunlight-limp colours that splash and sketch across the countryside. Isolation may not be such a good thing but this story shows it can create unique responses to unfamiliar challenges and affirm family bonds.

Apr 2, 2016

Books reviewed 7.01.16

The Big Names and best loved of Australian picture book creators always have something to offer as a new year begins. No doubt they work hard all the time and it’s their publishers who take care of the timing.
Wombat wins

Jackie French, illustrated by Bruce Whatley
ISBN: 9780732299576
RRP: $24.99

What bigger Australian name is there than Jackie French. She instinctively understands what children want to read. This is the fifth Mothball the Wombat story, in which Mothball gets tied up with people again, this time on a school sports day. She does very well in the events she ‘enters’, but whatever the event her aim is to get to the carrots first, have a scratch then sleep. One hilarious situation follows another. The contradictions between Mothball’s world and the little human’s world are delightfully amplified by the boldly funny illustrations. Yes, another Mothball winner!

Danny Parker, illustrated by Freya Blackwood
Little Hare Books [HGE]
ISBN: 9781921894848
RRP: $24.99

Australian children’s illustrator of the moment, gathering multiple awards into her CV, including the prestigious Kate Greenway Medal. This is a very spare text written as a short verse with lines that open out to the possibilities of sharing a perfect day: the space to play, fresh air and sunshine, places to go. The illustrations fulfil those possibilities with three children and a pet (never mentioned in the text) enjoying their time at simple pleasures during a languorous day. The delicate colours are splashed with sunshine and family warmth. This is the kind of day all children should be able to share. Perfect is just that.
Eye to eye

Graeme Base
Penguin Viking
ISBN: 9780670078592
RRP: $26.99

Arguably Australia’s best known picture book creator on an international scale. In his latest wonder-filled book readers encounter some of the world’s most intriguing creatures through richly detailed realistic illustrations. In an amazing journey of the imagination, the protagonist soars high in the sky and dives deep into the ocean, climbs tall trees or scrambles in the leaf litter, for close up meetings with these animals, many of which are pre-empted in the cover illustration. A single eye predicts the animal on the following page. The thrill is in the mesmerising illustration that illuminates the page. A wonder-filled experience for young and old.