Books from the Basement
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.
Aug 2, 2016
New Frontier Publishing
Music in Stories 26.11.15
Blue Whale feels blue when he has trouble riding his bike. Care-free Penguin tries to help but then Blue Whale’s bike helmet doesn’t sit right. When turtle rides into the story, Blue whale realises his bike is not a bike and his helmet is not a helmet. Thankfully he sees the funny side and all enjoy a good laugh about it – until his guitar breaks. Refreshing illustrations in gleaming watercolours and collage show there is a bright side of life to return to.
ABC Books [HarperCollins]
The lives of dogs 18.02.16
Stanley is a family pet, though there’s not much to the family – just Gerald, his beloved Human, and Gerald’s mum. They live in a fairly empty house, but it’s not empty of love. One day Stanley is playing ball with Gerald in the park, with his beloved red ball. A wiry little intruder grabs the ball; she won’t give it back and runs away. The next day there’s a knock on the door; a knock that changes Stanley’s life, and shy Gerald’s life, and his Mum’s life - forever. Contrasting, almost discordant, colours give an edge of something waiting to be grasped and run with. This is not really a pet dog story, it’s a love story.
Birdie Black, illustrated by Rosalind Beardshaw
Unusual animal characters 25.02.16
A young Warthog, looking cuter than you’d expect, rollicks through the pages across the grasslands gathering up numbers of things with no real purpose other than the fun of rhythm and rhyme. Then there are those ten large footprints at the end of each count; where will they take us? The text is somewhat reminiscent of a humorous folk song. Brightly coloured illustrations with patchwork decoration have a jolly line. Novelty flaps and die-cut holes along the way accentuate the fun. Actually a counting book, Under fives will ask for this book to be read over – and over.
Jun 27, 2016
What pet should I get?
This story explores the classic childhood quandary of choosing a pet. Children will enjoy the caricature style – Seuss is not very kind to cats and birds – and his exploding imagination as the pets become more and more extraordinary. Twice, four of his creatures – they are what you want – parade across the pages imploring the children with placards that say: Make up your mind. The text is written rhyming couplets with his favoured anapaestic beat; occasionally, for the fun of it, this breaks into another rhythm. The vocabulary is simple but rich with nonsense words and tongue-twisters. What a happy way to learn how to read!