Monday 19 October 2015

Jo-Kin Battles the It

This recent children’s book was reviewed by Ashling Kwok  in the Australian children’s book review blog Buzz Words )

Jo-Kin Battles the It by Karen Tyrrell, illustrated by Trevor Salter
PB RRP $14.95
ISBN 9780994302106

Blast off on an exciting adventure with Josh Atkins (aka Jo-Kin) and his trusty sidekick, nerdy Sam Jones (Sam-Wich). The adventure begins when the fearless duo win the Super Space Kid contest and set off on a mission to save the galaxy from a deadly alien called the IT.

The battle is on when the IT kidnaps Captain Astra and Jo and Sam must find a way to save the galaxy before it’s too late.  Along the way, they must survive entry challenges, successfully master high tech gadgets and battle creatures trying to destroy them.

This excellent book is perfect for middle grade readers aged 7 to 10 years. The storyline is creative and will hold the read’s attention from the moment they pick up the book. The characters are well-developed and likeable. Readers will relate to them and enjoy going on this journey with them. 

Jo-Kin Battles the It is the latest release from award-winning resilience author-teacher Karen Tyrrell. Over the years Karen has released a number of empowering books dealing with issues that affect us all.

This book embodies many of the elements required to produce a great story but it also deals with important topics such as resilience, team building, bullying, self-esteem and friendship.

The cover of the book is graphically enticing as it is brightly coloured and features interesting images that will appeal to young readers. The illustrations inside the book add a nice touch and break up the text.

This is a brilliant book and is definitely worth a read. It is action-packed and humorous, and will leave the reader wanting more.

Jo-Kin Battles the It is also available on LSI, library services and selected stores including some Dymocks and Angus & Robertson.  

Saturday 3 October 2015

Sad, the Dog by Sandy Fussell

Sad, the Dog by Sandy Fussell, illustrations by Tull Suwannakit (Walker Books Australia) HB RRP $31.99

Reviewed by Dianne Bates

The cover of this picture book for readers aged 6+ years is gloomy, and like the dog depicted, it looks sad. An unwanted Christmas present, the nameless dog is looked after competently by an elderly couple, but they don’t really care about it. They are so disinterested in the dog that when they move house, they dump poor Sad.

Author of Sad, The Dog, Sandy Fussell
Happily, life is not always gloom and sadness; there is always hope. And, into the neglected dog’s life comes a new chance at happiness in the shape of a small boy. Jack cares for his new, adopted pet in the way any pet ought to be cared for and by the end of this story this now lucky dog Sad has a new name.

The author, Sandy Fussell, is well-known for her immensely popular Samurai Kids junior novel series, and other prize-winning novels; this is her first picture book. It’s sure to be a winner. The story is told in clear, simple words that are wonderful for reading aloud, especially by a parent to a child; the watercolour illustrations perfectly match the tone of the story.

Sad, the Dog's illustrator, Tull Suwannakit

Offering hope to anyone is probably the best gift anyone can give another, and this book certainly offers a loveless dog much hope by story’s end.

A page from Sandy and Tull's new book