Archive for the ‘Dimity Powell’ Category

Review – Dragonfly Song

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Wendy Orr’s latest novel has the sweeping majesty of an epic novel and the thrill of a mid-grade fantasy that will win leagues of young new fans. Powerful, eloquent and moving, Dragonfly Song is a story you will never want to leave. At first glance, Dragonfly Song is not for the faint hearted, weighing in […]

DOODLES AND DRAFTS with Wendy Orr on the inspiration behind Dragonfly Song

Tuesday, June 28th, 2016

Hang onto to your bronze daggers as you are in for ‘a riveting, mythic Bronze Age adventure’ –  we have the remarkable Wendy Orr at the draft table today, escorting us on her Blog Tour for her stunning new novel, Dragonfly Song. And like all terrific stories, there is usually an even more fascinating story […]

Being You is Best – Picture book reviews about Self

Tuesday, June 21st, 2016

It is sheer coincidence that the following picture books lie on my desk at a time when the tenets of tolerance, acceptance and being yourself are being so brutally questioned again, (when are they not). However, it is heartening to know that equally powerful positive messages are available and as accessible as picking up one […]

Review – One Would Think the Deep

Monday, June 13th, 2016

If you thought Claire Zorn’s first two YA novels, The Sky So Heavy and The Protected, were brilliant, you’re going to need double tinted Ray Burns for her latest masterpiece, One Would Think the Deep. Zorn manages to mould rough edged, grit-encrusted reality into exquisite accomplished prose with the mere flick of her fingers. One […]

Curious Concepts – Concept picture book reviews

Monday, June 6th, 2016

Concept picture books play a huge part in shaping a young person’s perceptions. They are capable of unlocking an inquisitiveness that hopefully sticks around for life and are crucial for developing critical thinking, reasoning, and logic. However, important educational concepts need not be strictly didactic and dull as these entertaining picture books clearly display. Garden […]

Spinning Tales – Cricket inspired Young Fiction

Wednesday, June 1st, 2016

I realise it’s brass-monkey weather already and for many a young sportsperson, rugby jerseys are in preference to baggy greens. However, the warming image of red leather cracking against willow against a burnished summer sky is one I am in dire need of right now. Therefore, here are a few of some recent favourite cricket […]

Australian Story – Stories with a love of Country

Tuesday, May 17th, 2016

Wednesday the 25th May marks the 16th National Simultaneous Storytime event. Aimed at promoting the value of reading and enjoying stories inspired and produced by Australians this campaign sits neatly alongside the 2016 CBCA Book Week Theme – Australia! Story Country. Story telling expeditiously fosters an appreciation and understanding of our unique Australian humour, environment, […]

Packing it on – Dog titles with a Difference

Tuesday, May 10th, 2016

I can’t help it, but my shelves seemed littered (pardon the pun) with delightful doggie-inspired titles lately. Just what makes animal tales, namely those featuring cute and courageous canines so attractive for young readers? Is it that dogs and cats are real, free of pretension and judgement and brimming with pure joie de vivre? Is […]

Review – The Pause

Tuesday, May 3rd, 2016

This book is remarkable. John Larkin cleaves a mighty wedge into our suspension of belief with the consummate precision and delicacy of a brain surgeon. The Pause doesn’t just tell the story of emotionally damaged Declan O’Malley poised to leap in front of a train and end it all; it entertains the reader in a […]

Mums are Super! – Small reads, big on Heart

Tuesday, April 26th, 2016

Mums come in all shapes and sizes and deserve adulations, which match their boundless love, tireless efforts, and quiet achievements. To fit them all into one day – Mother’s Day – is a mission impossible so shower your mother with gratitude (and great reads) year round! Or, if you are like me and prefer to […]

Marching Forward – Remembering Bravery Reviews

Monday, April 18th, 2016

Remembering, honouring, commiserating, – learning. When recently reading ANZAC titles to my maturing primary schooler, she asked, ‘Are there still wars, going on?’ I had to reply that yes, sadly there were. However, by sharing the past and gradually exposing children to the realities of it, hopefully they become better equipped to care enough to […]

Getting Serious about Series # 4 – Ripper Reads for Girls

Tuesday, April 12th, 2016

I don’t usually like to categorise reads into which gender they might appeal to better. I believe every child is individual and will find a story to fit their unique reading tastes no matter how pink the cover or how boyish the hero. To say that boys should be directed to sports orientated titles and […]

Powerfully Poignant – Historical MG reviews

Thursday, April 7th, 2016

Being part of the human species is not always a club I’m proud to belong to. We can be pretty awful to each other sometimes even though most of us, most of the time err on the side of kindness. History allows us to mark the good times and the kind people. More frequently however, […]

Review – Cyclone

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2016

I was but a babe in arms when Cyclone Althea swept across Townsville on the eve of Christmas in 1971 however, I will never forget the noise of it; the warning sirens, the howling winds, the pelting rain. We were hushed into submissive silence by the storm screaming to get through our walls; muted by […]

Gone to the Dogs – Canine reads to relish

Tuesday, March 15th, 2016

Cats v Dogs: me, I’m more of a dog person but there can be little denying the positive impact pets have on small minds and well-being no matter what species they are. The therapeutic effect dogs have on the lives of their humans is well documented. Their cuteness appeal however is much harder to chart. […]

Hippity Hoppity – Easter’s on its way!

Tuesday, March 8th, 2016

You may be surprised as I to learn that Easter is just two and a half weeks away. Well, maybe not with all those buns and eggs on the shop shelves to remind you. If filling your Easter break with more than just chocolate and egg hunts and spiritual appreciation is important to you, then […]

Animals behaving badly – Picture book reviews

Wednesday, March 2nd, 2016

They say animals have been done to death in picture books. Why then does nearly every second illustrated story I pick up feature talking, singing, skydiving critters of every shape and body-covering-skin type? Because kids adore them, that’s why. The funky demeanours of our animal friends serve not only to relay real-life stories and situations […]

Getting Serious about Series # 3 – Word Hunters

Wednesday, February 24th, 2016

All right, so it’s taken me a few years to share these ones but here are three of my favourite books of all time. I can’t even properly explain why but when a tale ticks multiple boxes so satisfyingly and engrosses you so completely whilst doing so, you can’t help but be muted into humble […]

Books with Bite – YA and MG reviews

Tuesday, February 16th, 2016

Young Adult and Mid-grade novels are being gobbled up by kids and young adults almost faster than they can be cooked up. The exhilarating storylines and make-you-laugh-hate-cry predicaments I discover between the covers of YA and junior novels are repeatedly rewarding, and contrary to the views of some of my adult-only reading friends, capable of […]

Finding the Love within – Part 2 – Annabel’s Dance

Tuesday, February 9th, 2016

I mentioned last week the merits of not judging a book (or a person) by its cover. Today my hypocrisy shows for I’m rather partial to the cover of our Part 2 picture book review about dealing with differences, newly released, Annabel’s Dance, by Diane Jackson Hill and Lois Bury. It’s quirky and sweet, exudes […]

Finding the Love within – Part 1 – Elephant Man

Monday, February 1st, 2016

The old proverb ‘you can’t judge a book by its cover’ is a mantra often touted but sadly, sometimes forgotten in our instantaneous summarising of a person’s character based on their outward appearance. In spite of our best efforts to ignore the extraordinary and bypass the bizarre, unusual can equate to different which can persuade […]

Review – New Year Surprise!

Tuesday, January 19th, 2016

You’ve finally found a spot for all those new toys. You’ve organised your post-Christmas reading pile. You’ve dutifully noted your New Year’s resolutions. Time to relax. Well, SURPRISE! There’s more. It’s New Year’s all over again; a time to celebrate, rejoice and welcome new beginnings, this time with the flair of Asia. Stunning new picture […]

Aussies – We salute! Reads to enjoy around the barbie

Thursday, January 14th, 2016

As the mercury level rises and your pool swells with screaming kids, it might be time to reach out for a reason to remember why you love summer, and kids, and Australia! Here is a real mixed swag of reads full of the flavour of Australia Day. Australian’s Let Us Barbecue! I featured this one […]

Winning Pets – Picture Books of Animals

Friday, January 8th, 2016

From egotistical and obnoxious, to intelligent and in desperate need of affection (and food), our furry pals have differing needs and talents but we just love them no matter what! The following picture books are bound to surprise and delight your little ones with their humorous, sweet and heart-warming antics that only our beloved animals […]

It’s a Zoo out there! – Animal inspired picture book reviews

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

I’ve just returned from a farm-animal infested camping holiday, which wasn’t as reprehensible as the smell of the boar’s pen suggested. In fact, it made me re-realise just how important and beneficial interaction with all critters great and small is. Whether the focus is on an animal for all its prickly, cuddly, bizarre glory or […]

‘Balm for the Soul’ – Summer holiday Reviews

Monday, December 21st, 2015

Summer school holidays for me are childhood memories of searing hot days in a sun-shrivelled backyard, homegrown apricots cold from the fridge after a swim in the above ground pool, and losing myself for hours on end in stories. What are your perfect summer holiday memories? Chances are your children’s summers are crystallising into something […]

PIR – What is it and why should you care?

Friday, December 18th, 2015

What the? you ask. This doesn’t sound very Christmassy. That’s because it’s not, really. But it is bookish and certainly something you should think about as you ponder over those last minute literary Christmas gifts. There’s a sinister little acronym doing the rounds again, which deserves your attention, PIR. Parallel Importation Restrictions, is not a […]

Double Dipping – Emotional support from Oliver and Tom

Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

In my SE QLD literary backyard, there’s a charismatic dragon with a moxie rapidly earning him the reputation of a force to be reckoned with. He bides within a new young publishing house called Dragon Tales Publishing. Here are two of his latest issues; Oliver’s Grumbles and My brother Tom. Each of these picture books […]

A Pet is for Life – Sandy Fussell on Sad, the Dog

Friday, December 11th, 2015

Sandy Fussell‘s new picture book had a most timely arrival, with Christmas around the corner it comes as an important reminder that responsibility for pets is for a life time, not just for one season. Already having success with her middle grade books, including the popular Samurai Kids series and her award winning novel, Polar […]

Stocking Stuffer Suggestions # 6 – Dim’s Christmas picks

Tuesday, December 8th, 2015

Hold on to your paper hats. Here are some last minute cracking Christmas reads to cram into your kidlets’ stockings, a mere handful of my top picks this year. In no particular order: Fantasy  PS Who Stole Santa’s Mail? doesn’t set out to change the world but it does reinforce the magic of believing in […]

Stocking Stuffer Suggestion # 5 – New beaut picture books

Monday, November 30th, 2015

Okay, it’s only a couple more sleeps until December, which means we’re dipping into dangerous waters now. Christmas wish lists should be full and those letters to Santa should be in the post – pronto! If you are after a new Christmassy picture book to line your stockings with, try some of these fun ones […]

Doodles and Drafts – Making merry with Gabriel Evans

Monday, November 23rd, 2015

You may already be familiar with Nutmeg, Bay and Saffron but not in a spicy culinary sense. These are of course, the mouseling children of the Woodland Whiskers family who first crept into existence in 2013 when illustrator, Gabriel Evans expanded his creative prowess to pen the Woodland Whiskers series. His illustrating career begun some […]

Stocking Stuffer Suggestions # 3 – Perennial Christmas Crackers

Monday, November 16th, 2015

So, you’re torn between traditional sensible titles and contemporary crazy reads to fill your under 12 year-olds’ stockings. Why not splash out on both and please everyone. Here are some more stocking stuffers to complement the rollicking fun ones Romi featured in her Christmas inspired picture book round up. Time to get your Santa on. […]

Stocking Stuffer Suggestion # 2

Monday, November 9th, 2015

Do you bite off more than you can chew? One’s tendency for this disparity amplifies at Christmas time, at least, mine does. However, it’s not just at the festive table that choice and over-indulgence can be paralysing. The lead-up to my favourite time of the year is where many choke. The solution? Planning. Break needs, […]

DOODLES AND DRAFTS – Carrying on with Sam Wheeler and Mister Cassowary

Monday, November 2nd, 2015

Australia is home to some exceptionally strange flora and fauna. The ubiquitous tropical heat of Far North Queensland seems to accentuate oddities and none typifies unique peculiarities more vividly than Australia’s heaviest flightless bird, the Cassowary. Beautiful yet deadly, the Cassowary is a natural magnet of mystery and misinterpretation so naturally is a prime candidate […]

Review – Dandelions

Wednesday, October 28th, 2015

One day, a little girl’s father does an inconceivably bad thing. Granted he is not even aware of the crime he has just committed, which for the girl makes it all the more unconscionable. She’s too late to thwart his mindless destruction and cannot save the dandelions he has just mown in their backyard. Thus […]

Review – Molly and Pim and the Millions of Stars

Tuesday, October 27th, 2015

Sometimes, it takes a little while for things to change from what they were to something different. Imagine a new seedling nudging its head up through the earth for the first time, no longer a seed, not yet a tree. This miraculous transformation of being represents the way I felt reading Martine Murray’s new mid-grade […]

The Art of Story – Festivals and anthologies in review

Tuesday, October 13th, 2015

Editor, publisher, author, and all round busy guy, Paul Collins describes his latest anthology as ‘a sumptuous literary feast’ in which ‘no one will go away hungry, as the collection is a literary banquet with something for everyone.’ If that doesn’t whet your appetite for the collection of Australian stories, poetry and artwork that is, […]

Review – Sad, the dog

Tuesday, October 6th, 2015

Trying new things can be an exciting, daunting and ultimately rewarding experience. Just ask Sandy Fussell, author of the acclaimed Samurai Kids series. She is venturing into the fastidious and fascinating world of picture book writing and I have to say, has come up trumps. Together with illustrator, Tull Suwannakit, Fussell has brought to life […]

Review – The Boy Who Loved The Moon

Monday, September 7th, 2015

Italian cartoonist and filmmaker, Rino Alaimo describes himself as a dreamer who never gives up – no matter the odds. It is a mindset many prescribe to, me included and often with devastatingly (one always hopes, at least) great outcomes. Granted, great outcomes can take a while to harness successfully, as The Boy Who Loved […]