Showing posts with label Fremantle Press. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fremantle Press. Show all posts

Friday, 28 December 2018

Rodney


Rodney written and illustrated by Kelly Canby (Fremantle Press) PB RRP $24.99 ISBN 9781925815320

Reviewed by Julie Dascoli.

“Come and play,” screeched the monkeys.

“We can see the ocean from our homes, come up and take a look,” sang the birds.

Poor Rodney dreams desperately to be high above the trees but he is a turtle. His efforts to climb the trees result in disappointment and has him feeling very, very small. It’s not until he wanders sadly off and leaves his friends behind that something happens. His surroundings begin to change. As this happens, his friends, his perception of himself and his place in the world changes, too.

This story made me smile. Straight away I fell in love with Rodney and felt empathy for his plight. I was so happy when he realised his happiness in a different environment and comes to understand that size is just a matter of perspective.

Kelly Canby has created a beautiful story in a simple, thoughtful way both with her words and pictures. The message is subtle but powerful, perfect for children aged 3 to 5.

The illustrations seem to be very different to Canby’s other works in that they are hand-painted and then cut out and made into collages. This gives this 32-page, read-aloud picture book a 3D effect. The green and brown of the grass and the trees with the animals entwined in the leaves and splashes of colour everywhere else is visually appealing. The satin finish hard cover also gives Rodney a luxurious feel. 

Kelly Canby, born in England, came to Australia as a small child, (That means we claim her as ours now.) She now has over a dozen published books to her credit including, The Hole Story which was a big hit, selling all over the world.

Canby is very busy in the children’s literature world: when she is not illustrating or writing, she is on the committee of the Children’s Book Council of Australia. WA branch and on the Shaun Tan Award for Young Artists’ judging panel. She is also The Regional Advisor for SCBWI, WA and is an active blogger, and Instagramer with over 3,500 followers.

Canby is available for primary school and book shop visits: you can contact her through her publisher, Freemantle Press.

“Rodney” will be a welcome addition to any kindergarten or community library
and indeed any home collection.


Sunday, 5 August 2018

More and More and More


More and More and More written and illustrated by Ian Mutch (Fremantle Press) HB RRP $24.00 ISBN 9781925591545

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

More and more and more would seem to be the mantra of most of us in our over-consuming Western world. Designer and magazine publisher Ian Mutch from WA address this theme in his debut picture book which is geared towards readers aged 4 and 8 years.

Henry Harper is a collector, who, in his quest for treasures – and he has many – one day discovers Kate, a fellow collector. Together, like many consumer couples, they amass an amazing amount of stuff which like most of us wishing to down-size, eventually threatens to overwhelm them.

In this book ‘Things were untying, their stuff went flying. Henry cried, ‘EVACUATE’! And like some who decide on a simpler, less junk-filled life, the couple loses their home and all their stuff. But, happily, they discover the best thing of all – that in their quest to collect, they have found each other! Thus, the final illustration shows, in watercolour wash, Henry and Kate in embrace watching the sun set.

Appropriately, the fly pages of this book about over-consumption are filled with pen and ink sketches of all kinds of stuff from bikes to umbrellas (and much more!) The opening pages show Henry in outer space on his quest for stuff (‘The more stuff he had, the happier he felt.’) Much of the action of the book, except the last few pages, is shown in space, planet Earth spinning with stuff issuing from it. Thus, most of the pages have dark backgrounds with muted coloured pictures of characters (which don’t look at all human).

Some of the lines make use of rhyming end words which doubtless would aid adults reading aloud to small children. The book’s creator no doubt believes that change starts at a very young age! Recommended.


Friday, 7 July 2017

To the Lighthouse

To the Lighthouse by Cristy Burne, illustrated by Amanda Burnett (Fremantle Press) PB $14.99 ISBN 9781925164619

Reviewed by Teena Raffa-Mulligan

Junior fiction readers looking for an engaging story about a couple of young adventurers daring each other to push the boundaries while on an island holiday need look no further than To the Lighthouse. It’s a great read from start to finish and children in the six to ten years age group target audience will find it easy to relate to new friends Isaac and Emmy, who arrive at Rottnest Island on the same ferry with their families. 

Isaac is hoping for an awesome holiday adventure but Mum’s need to keep him safe could spoil his chances. Meeting Emmy, who’s allowed to do whatever she wants, presents exciting possibilities for fun at a level he’s never known.
A midnight adventure that doesn’t go according to plan reminds the pair that being daring can also be dangerous.

Burne’s writing is lively and energetic and she has a gift for bringing characters and setting vividly to life on the page. I felt like I was with Isaac and Emmy as they ventured around Rottnest Island, becoming more daring with each passing day.

As a regular visitor to this popular WA holiday destination, I recognised the familiar landmarks, but young readers don’t need to know Rottnest to enjoy this wonderful exploration of friendship, family responsibility and the yen for freedom.
Burne is a past editor of CSIRO’s popular science magazine Scientriffic and regularly writes for publications including Double Helix, The Ultimate Science Guide and Scitech’s news website.

Her first book for children, Takeshita Demons, won the 2009 Frances Lincoln Diverse Voices Book Award and was selected as part of the 2010 Booktrust Booked Up program.

Teaching notes for To the Lighthouse are available from www.fremantlepress.com.au 


Thursday, 6 July 2017

One Thousand Trees

One Thousand Trees by Kyle Hughes-Odgers (Fremantle Press) HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9781925164725

Reviewed by Teena Raffa-Mulligan

Award-winning artist Kyle Hughes-Odgers’ latest release is a deceptively simple picture book that takes readers on a wonderful journey of discovery through its beautifully designed pages.

Hughes-Odgers combines minimal text with stylised illustrations in translucent watercolour. The muted palette brings a gentle dreamlike quality to the images which have strong elements of pattern.

Deep in the heart of the city, Frankie dreams of a thousand trees and how it feels to be beneath them, beside them, above them, atop them…
My favourite illustrations are those for ‘around’ and ‘beside’, with Frankie embracing the trunk of a tree.

Hughes-Odgers has held exhibitions and has created public art throughout Australia and internationally. He won a Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators Crystal Kite Award for his debut picture book, Ten Tiny Things, written by Meg McKinlay, and was shortlisted for the inaugural Frankfurt Book Fair’s Global Illustration Prize in 2016.

Young readers aged two to eight will find plenty to delight them in One Thousand Trees; however its appeal is not limited to children. It is a book that begs rereading and each time I returned to it, the story took me deeper.

It would be a wonderful addition to the home or school library and is sure to inspire discussion about art, nature and this world we share. Teaching notes are available from www.fremantlepress.com.au 


Thursday, 1 June 2017

Sister Heart

Sister Heart by Sally Morgan (Fremantle Press) HB RRP $19.99 ISBN 978-1-92516-313-1

Reviewed by Jenny Heslop

Annie is taken away from everything and everyone she knows. Forcibly removed from her mother, stripped of her home, her culture, and even her name, Annie must make a new life for herself in a strange and cruel place without somehow losing hope that she will be reunited with her family one day.

This is a heart wrenching, poignant story about the stolen generation told from the perspective of a young girl removed from her family simply because she is of mixed race. It is told through verse, making the story so much more immediate, yet somehow lightening an emotionally heavy and hard subject. It is easy to connect to the young aboriginal girl as we are privy to only her intimate thoughts, her perspective and life through her eyes.

I want to go home

I want to smell warm rock
Run along a sandy creek
with my cousins
Watch flowers grow
after rain comes
Hug little sister

Understanding history is an important part of understanding our culture and ourselves. It helps us to be empathetic towards other people, accepting of different cultures and other lifestyles. The challenge is to engage children early and children are engaged by good stories. Sister Heart is a really good story, told well, with a fascinating main character and captivating plot.

Some middle grade readers may find it hard to get into because of its verse novel form which may be new to them, but persistence will reward them greatly. And the language is so evocative. One of the beauties of verse novel is that so much is said in so few words.
Everyone scatters
except the sun-bright girl

Sister Heart captures so much of what it is to be in the Australian landscape, the power of friendship, and the differences between the two cultures Annie has to contend with – her own and the one being forced on her.

I really loved this story. It is probably for the more mature middle grade reader, but the verse novel lends itself to less text which may appeal to others as well. I would encourage anyone with a love of history, Australian stories and beautiful poetic language to read this book.

Sister Heart was shortlisted in the Prime Minister’s Literary Awards, the Victorian Minister’s Literary Awards, the Inky Awards, and was an Honour book in the CBCA Awards.


Monday, 15 May 2017

Looking Up

Looking Up by Sally Murphy, illustrated by Aska (Fremantle Press) PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9781925164572

Reviewed by Teena Raffa-Mulligan

Award-winning WA author Sally Murphy’s latest junior fiction release about a boy who receives an unexpected birthday surprise is sure to become a read-again favourite with young readers.

Pete is desperately hoping for a telescope for his tenth birthday. There’s nothing he wants more. But when a card arrives in the mail from the granddad Pete didn’t know he had, it changes everything.

There are questions Pete wants answered. Mum won’t explain so he decides to find out for himself who this mysterious grandfather is and see if he can become part of their life.

Murphy writes with insight and warmth about family relationships. All her characters are vividly drawn and come to life on the page. From the opening lines I was seeing events unfold through Pete’s eyes, yet also feeling a strong empathy for Mum and her estranged father.

Readers aged six to eight years will have no difficulty connecting with Pete, who loves stargazing and solving mysteries.

Aska’s full-page mono illustrations accompany each chapter and complement the text beautifully. My favourite is Mum and Pete lying hand in hand on the trampoline, deep in discussion about recent events. 

Murphy’s verse novel Pearl Verses the World won an Indie Book of the Year award in 2009, was made a Children’s Book Council of Australia Honour Book in 2010, and won a Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award (Best Book for Language Development, Upper Primary) in 2010.

Her book Toppling won a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award and a Western Australian Premier’s Book Award in 2010. It was also shortlisted for a Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Award in 2010 and was made a Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book in 2011.
Looking Up deserves to garner the same level of critical acclaim and reader popularity.

Teaching notes are available from www.fremantlepress.com.au 


Friday, 24 March 2017

The Smuggler’s Curse

The Smuggler’s Curse by Norman Jorgensen (Fremantle Press) PB RRP $16.99 ISBN 9781925164190

Reviewed by Teena Raffa-Mulligan

The Smuggler’s Curse is a swashbuckling adventure that delivers a rollicking good read guaranteed to keep young readers glued to the pages throughout. This not-so-young reader was captivated from the opening lines by the tale of a boy sold to an infamous smuggler in the closing days of the nineteenth century.

The adventure unfolds through the boy’s eyes and Norman Jorgensen captures his young narrator Red Read’s voice beautifully. He also draws a vivid picture of life in colonial times. History comes alive for the reader as Red is caught up in life-threatening encounters with cutthroat pirates, head hunting guerrillas and the forces of nature when he joins the crew of Captain Black Bowen’s ship The Black Dragon as ship’s boy.

Jorgensen has set his gripping tale of smuggling and piracy off the north-west coast of Australia, with the ship sailing from Broome and travelling to South East Asia. Historical detail is woven seamlessly into the story, which has clearly been well researched.

There is some violence in the book but there’s also a liberal sprinkling of humour and a strong element of warmth underpinning the relationships between the Captain, his crew and young Red.

Jorgensen is an award-winning author whose books for young people have won critical and popular acclaim both in Australia and overseas.
He is a consummate tale teller and has delivered this latest release in inimitable style.


The Smuggler’s Curse is sure to be a favourite with 9-14 year olds who enjoy a ripping yarn told well. It would also be a great addition to the classroom for its perspective on life in colonial times. Teaching notes are available from the publisher.    

Tuesday, 14 February 2017

Saving Jazz

Saving Jazz by Kate McCaffrey (Fremantle Press) PB RRP $19.99
ISBN 9781925163582

Reviewed by Teena Raffa-Mulligan

Award-winning YA author Kate McCaffrey explores cyber bullying from a new perspective in her latest release that should be essential reading for every young person in this age of widespread social media use.

Saving Jazz is a powerful story about the devastating consequences of a group of teens’ drunken behaviour at a house party. When it goes viral no one’s life will ever be the same.

Told through a series of blog confessions by Jasmine - Jazz - Lovely, I found it at times confronting and disturbing but so compelling I couldn’t put it down.
For Jazz, the choices she and her friends make one night will change the direction of their future. As she writes in her first blog post, ‘The worst thing about regret is there is no way to undo it. No way to go back in time and make better choices.’

The admission at the start of Post 1 sets the scene for a gripping read: ‘I am a rapist.’  From there, Jazz reveals with raw honesty the lead-up to and aftermath of a shocking incident that leads to consequences Jazz and her friends Annie and Jack could never have imagined.

McCaffrey has a gift for capturing an authentic teen voice. Her previous titles -Destroying Avalon, In Ecstasy, Crashing Down and Beautiful Monster - have all garnered awards. Saving Jazz is the follow-up title to Destroying Avalon.

It should have a place on every high school English reading list. Teaching notes are available from the publisher. 


Sunday, 16 October 2016

Brobot

Brobot by James Foley (Fremantle Press) PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9781925163919

Reviewed by Teena Raffa-Mulligan

Award-winning illustrator James Foley has produced a reader pleaser with his latest release, a junior fiction graphic novel with maximum appeal for children in middle to upper primary.

Brobot is about a girl who believes she can build a better brother than the one she has. Joe is messy, smelly and impossible to control. Sally Tinker, who has the trophy to prove she’s the world’s foremost inventor under 12, eliminates these imperfections in Brobot, which is ‘just as a brother should be’.

The amazing Brobot cleans up messes, fixes broken machines, is never smelly, sticky or wet and as an added bonus has a built-in cupcake machine. Best of all, Sally can control her robot’s every move with the Brobo-remote.

But when the control gets broken and Brobot is out of control Sally reconsiders the merits of young Joe.

Foley’s own inventiveness comes to the fore in Brobot, which lives up to its promise as ‘a hilarious graphic novel for young readers’. He has cast appealing characters in a quirky tale that will resonate with kids who have sometimes frustrating younger siblings.

The level of humour in the drawings is right for the target age group and the comic-style format will draw in young readers who might be reluctant to read a standard novel.


Friday, 14 October 2016

Pandamonia

Pandamonia by Chris Owen, illustrated by Chris Nixon (Fremantle Press) HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9781925163339

Reviewed by Teena Raffa-Mulligan

One grumpy panda sets off a frenzy of wild partying at the zoo in this fun-filled picture book that is sure to become a family favourite.

There’s a light-hearted playfulness in both text and illustrations that will bring lots of smiles to story time.

The constant reminder not to wake the panda during the zoo visit is a page-turner and there are sure to be some breathless ‘uh ohs’ from young listeners when the final line of this rollicking tale is revealed.

The book is spot on for its target market of children up to eight years of age.
Adults too can’t help but be charmed by the chaotic cavorting of a lively menagerie, as hopping hippos, giggling geckos and jabbering jabirus set off a domino effect that leads to pandemonium.

Owen, whose first book My Superhero was shortlisted for a Western Australian Premier’s Book Award in 2014, has an excellent sense of rhyme and rhythm and makes good use of alliteration.
When the crocodile snaps, the lion will roar!
The bison and buffalo bellow for more.
A frenzy of animals flocks to the floor
and that’s when you know there is trouble in store.

His text is beautifully complemented by Nixon’s distinctive illustrations with their strong focus on pattern and shape.

While younger readers will enjoy sharing Pandamonia with a parent, grandparent or carer, the book would also have a place in the early primary classroom and teacher notes are available from the publisher.   



Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Harold & Grace

Harold & Grace by written and illustrated by Sean E Avery (Fremantle Press)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9-781-925-162-295
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin


Harold & Grace is a beautifully illustrated story about the power of friendship.

After a terrible storm, one slimy egg and one silky egg survive on a ‘lonely leaf growing on a tiny tree beside a little pond’. When the eggs hatch, Harold the tadpole and Grace the caterpillar quickly become unlikely best friends.

But when Harold starts to grow fins and spends more time swimming, Grace can’t join in the fun. Then one day, Harold remembers to visit his old friend at the lonely leaf, but finds that she’s gone, and only a small, silky sack remains.

Wherever could Grace be? Harold feels the full impact of his neglect of Grace and how they had grown apart.

However, Sean E Avery, cleverly brings them back together in a most humorous and thoroughly satisfying way.

I can’t help but think how much fun this picture would be in the classroom for both Pre-School and Primary students, perhaps up to Year 4 students.
It’s ideal for schools to explore both the Sustainability cross-curricular priority and Biological Science units. Project skills can be honed by the children researching the different species of butterflies and frogs that are native to Australia, as well as gaining an understanding of the life cycles of a butterflies and frogs. Harold and Grace could easily form the basis for an integrated learning unit on the theme of ‘ecology’ that could last an entire term.
The artwork is a humorous fusion of drawing and digital, the mainstay of colour palette being limited black and white tones with splashes of colour throughout.

Sean E Avery is a very talented sculptor and artist and there is no doubt his work is unique.

This is a highly recommended read for pre-school and middle primary school readers.

Neridah McMullin is the author of six books for children. Her next book is about a horse in a bushfire to be published by Allen & Unwin in 2016. Neridah loves family, footy and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also happens to love footy). www.neridahmcmullin.comwww.neridahmcmullin.wordpress.com


Tuesday, 17 March 2015

Dropping In

Dropping In by Geoff Havel (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9-781-925-162-233
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin

Dropping In is such an enjoyable read; I have to admit it had me from the blurb. From the language to the storyline, it’s a thoroughly satisfying middle reader.

Sticks and Ranga live on the same street, go to the same school and love the same things – skateboarding and PlayStation. When new kid James arrives in his wheelchair, Sticks isn’t sure they can be friends. But Sticks quickly discovers they have a lot in common. Cerebral palsy stops James from doing some things but it hasn’t dulled his sense of humour – and he’s pretty brainy, too. The only thing James can’t do is join Sticks and Ranga when they go skateboarding – or can he?

Three mates, a beat-up old couch, a couple of skateboards and a steep hill … what could possibly go wrong?

Yes, what could possibly go wrong? Alarm bells! So, this scenario sets it up beautifully for an engaging read and you will not be disappointed.

The skateboard language throughout is accurate and entertaining and Geoff Havel’s voice is authentic. It does covers some pretty serious issues such as disability, bullying, ADHD and domestic abuse but it manages to do it with an honest and engaging narration, keeping the tone light.

The characters are original and relatable and it’s one of those stories you just want to keep on reading.

Dropping In offers middle-grade readers a fast paced, feel-good introduction to some seriously important subjects.

This is a highly recommended read for middle primary school readers.

Neridah McMullin is the author of six books for children. Her next book is about a horse in a bushfire to be published by Allen & Unwin in 2016. Neridah loves family, footy and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also happens to love footy). www.neridahmcmullin.com www.neridahmcmullin.wordpress.com



Monday, 1 December 2014

Lucky Thamu


Lucky Thamu by Cheryl Kickett-Tucker and Jaylon Tucker (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $9.99
ISBN 9-781-925-161-304
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin

The Waarda Series are wonderful little books. In Waarda, Noongar is the word(s), for talking and sharing stories and information.

Initiated by renowned Aboriginal artist and writer, Sally Morgan, the series is designed to support the literacy needs of Indigenous children in primary school by making books available to them written by Indigenous authors. Of course, at the same time, it introduces non-Indigenous children to the richness of Indigenous storytelling.
It’s a school holiday and ten-year-old Eli is off to stay with his Thamu (grandfather) and his Garbarli (grandmother). They live in Kalgoorlie in Western Australia and even though it’s a long trip from Perth, it’s worth it. Eli loves his Thamu. He loves listening to his stories and learning about country and about his people.
Thamu also shares his love of camping and prospecting for gold with Eli. He tells a great story about how he stumbled upon a huge gold nugget only ten years before. Eli never tires of this story and loves to hear it over and over. He can’t wait to go looking for gold nuggets with Thamu.
Thamu and Eli’s Uncle Marshall, take Eli camping at White Rabbit Patch. It’s a flat area with a dry creek bed and a large waterhole at the top end of the creek. There are low shrubs and a few trees. Thamu knows how to set up the perfect camp and they sleep in the open in their swags under the stars. They settle in and tell stories around the campfire well into the night. This is the same place Thamu found his gold nugget.
The next day they go ‘specking’ (looking for gold). Thamu explains how gold nuggets can sit half buried in the burrna yurral (red dirt) and he shows Eli how to lick it and hold it up to the sun to get a reflection from it. After ‘specking’ for a few hours, Eli becomes frustrated at having had no luck in finding gold, until he crosses path with a lucky white rabbit. Eli chases the rabbit for ages, ducking and weaving and diving. Hot and sweaty and dusty, he sits at the entrance of the rabbit burrow and finds before him…a nugget! His first gold nugget.
Beautifully told, I highly recommend Lucky Thamu. It’s a gentle read, about family and love and patience. It’s insightful, giving the reader a strong impression about what the characters’ lives and culture are all about. I very much enjoyed all the indigenous words spaced throughout the text with the English translation next to it in brackets.
Lucky Thamu is an informative and engaging story and the Waarda Series are ideal first chapter books for new readers.
Neridah McMullin is the author of five books for children. Her latest book is an Indigenous folklore story called Kick it to Me! It’s an ‘Aussie rules’ story endorsed by the Australian Football League. Neridah loves family, footy and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also just happens to love footy). www.neridahmcmullin.com

Sunday, 30 November 2014

On a Small Island


On a Small Island by Kyle Hughes-Odgers (Fremantle Press)
HB RRP $24.99
ISBN 9-781-925-161-168
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin

 On a small island, in a gigantic sea, lives Ari. Ari longs for the large ships to stop at his island, he longs to see remarkable things and to have interesting friends.On a small island, in a gigantic sea, Ari has an idea. A dazzling idea. An irresistible idea …

This is a joyful and thought -provoking picture book (the best kind!), and it’s perfectly accompanied by wonderfully unique illustrations. Hughes-Odgers is an acclaimed Australian visual artist based in New York.

The first thing that grabbed me was the colour palette chosen for the illustrations. Cool blues and greens blended with the warmth of reds and ochre. They’re just beautiful colours and his choice of line and texture is just as interesting to look at. There’s something old fashioned about the illustrative style, it reminds me of my grandmothers art deco wallpaper that she had in her kitchen; all those shapes and triangles and patterns.

But Hughes-Odgers style is much more modern and edgy than that. It’s quirky and unusual and there is so much to see in the illustrative detail.The language is rich and enjoyable to read with an entirely satisfying ending. There is a healthy message to children: be the person you want to be and people will come to you.

Apparently, Hughes-Odgers wrote this story in a cafĂ© in New York where was reflecting on the fact that you don’t have to leave home to be creative – you can use your creativity to attract people to your home instead.

On a small Island is definitely a book to take your time with, to pour over and to re-read multiple times, as you’ll always pick up something new in it. I highly recommend it.

Fremantle Press also has some terrific Teaching Resources that support this book in the classroom www.fremantlepress.com.au

Neridah McMullin is the author of five books for children. Her latest book is an Indigenous folklore story called Kick it to Me! It’s an ‘Aussie rules’ story endorsed by the Australian Football League. Neridah loves family, footy and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also just happens to love footy). www.neridahmcmullin.com

 

Sunday, 17 August 2014

Riddle Gully Runaway

Riddle Gully Runaway by Jen Banyard (Fremantle Press)
PB RRP $14.99
ISBN 9-781-922-089-885
Reviewed by Neridah McMullin
  
Pollo di Nozi is a reporter-in-training and the local super sleuth of Riddle Gully. She definitely has a nose for news but occasionally she does get things a little bit muddled up. So it’s just as well her heart is in the right place.
Pollo can smell a mystery from a mile away and when things start to go missing in Riddle Gully, Pollo can’t resist the challenge to solve it. With Shorn Connery, her sheepish sidekick pet and her best friend Will by her side, Pollo is determined to track down the thief.
Unfortunately, Pollo is quick to point the finger and accidently implicates the Mayors nephew, Benson.

With determined zeal, Pollo strives to redeem herself for getting it ‘wrong’ and whilst restoring Benson’s reputation, setting the record straight. What follows is a series of hilarious mishaps, typical of Pollo Di Nozi’s adventures. But that’s why we love her!

Riddle Gully Runaway is a story that skips along. It’s fast-paced and funny, packed with action, false leads, adventure and mystery, in the fight to clear Benson’s name and find out who the real thief is.

It was quite sad in places as Benson’s had a bit of a rough family life but he’s a forgiving and brave character and Pollo, as her charming self, with Shorn Connery and Will, definitely comes through with the goods and a thoroughly satisfying ending.

Jen Banyard has extensive Teaching Resources that support this novel engaging learning about English Language, Literature and Literacy. The notes also suggest that the book can be used as a springboard for discussion about family relationships, teenagers, journalism, local government, and the understanding that people are not always as they might at first appear.

This is Jen Banyard’s third book and it’s a well-written, humorous and suspenseful read for readers of middle fiction (10 – 12 years). I thoroughly recommend this book!
  
Neridah McMullin is the author of five books for children. Her latest book is an Indigenous folklore story called 'Kick it to Me'. It’s an ‘aussie rules’ story that’s being endorsed by the Australian Football League. Neridah loves family, footy and doing yoga with her cat Carlos (who also just happens to love footy).