Showing posts with label Little Steps. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Little Steps. Show all posts

Wednesday, 19 December 2018


Scapegoat written by Ava Keyes illustrated by Aleksandra Szmidt (Little Steps Publishing) RRP $14.95 (PB) ISBN 9780648267461

Reviewed by Nean McKenzie

This bright and cheerful looking picture book covers a subject not so happy – family bullying. This is Ava Keyes’s debut picture book, partner-published with Little Steps Publishing. In rhyming prose, the story unfolds of Scapegoat, who is blamed by his family for everything that goes wrong. Illustrations by Alexsandra Szmidt add character and humour to balance the more serious topic of the book.

Scapegoat is a young goat who keeps getting into trouble. His brother Marco is fun to play with, but when he is naughty, it’s Scapegoat who gets told off. In fact, even when the parents do something wrong, Scapegoat is blamed for that as well. It is at school that Scapegoat’s friends realise what’s going on at home and the impact this is having on Scapegoat. They talk to the teacher, who then approaches the parents about it.

It is an interesting topic as most books about bullying deal with what happens at school, so this is a kind of different side of things. The book could be used by teachers for kids when they suspect it might be happening at home. The resolution of the story is more about the child believing in themselves than the parents changing their behavior, which could be empowering for someone in this situation. While the rhythm of the rhyme is not always consistent, using animals to represent children lifts the story and makes it more fun.

Scapegoat could be read aloud by adults, who can then explain the concepts to children or read independently by kids who like the illustrations. Scapegoat is a niche book with a definite purpose for kindergarten and lower primary school children.

Sunday, 15 March 2015


Goldilocks by Robyn Press, illustrated by Caitlin Miller (Little Steps Publishing)
PB RRP $16.95
ISBN: 9781925117271
Reviewed by Anne Hamilton

Goldilocks wants to set the record straight. No doubt you’ve heard about the time she was charged with break and enter, damaging goods and terrorising bears. The story currently circulating is nothing more than a jumble of half-truths and distorted rumour.

Here you may judge the facts for yourself:

Mrs Bear wanted to spruce up her home in preparation for the visit of her in-laws. The old home was looking a bit tired and rundown and Mrs Bear hadn’t had time to do it herself due to a long hibernation. So she hired an interior decorator, Goldie of Goldie’s Golden Homes, who promised her a golden result.

However, Mrs Bear was concerned about Mr Bear’s reaction, both to a suddenly golden cottage as well as the financial cost. She decided the best way to proceed was to present him with a fait accompli, so she took Mr Bear for a long walk. Once they’d left Goldie let herself in and set to work. All went well, bar a slight accident or two, until Mr Bear arrived back unexpectedly just as Goldie was lying down to check the new mattress she’d bought to help Mr Bear’s bad neck.

Goldie proclaims her innocence in rhyme all the way through this flamboyantly illustrated picture book, splashed throughout with bright yellow gold.

Hi, they call me Goldilocks; you’ve likely heard my name.
I’ve been inside a fairytale, that’s where I found my fame.