Saturday, December 19, 2009

More books for Christmas

Young MacDonald Had a Farm by Anna Crosbie, illustrated by Scott Tulloch ISBN 9781869507909 $19.99 (Harper Collins)

Old MacDonald had a farm.
Ee-aye-ee-aye-oh!
And on that farm he had a baby.
Ee-aye-ee-aye-oh!

With a waaugh waaugh here!
And a waaugh waaugh there!
'Isn't he cute?' Old MacDonald said.
'Our very own son! We've called him Trev!'

The author has cleverly used the Old MacDonald format, to tell the story of Trev growing up and taking over the farm from Old MacDonald and his Missus. Trev gets out his tractor (broom-broom here), the plough (clunk-clunk there), the digger (digga-dig here), the grader (scrape-scrape there), the quad bike (vroom-vroom here), the dump truck (chugga-chug there), the post driver (boom-bang here), the hay baler (snip-swoosh there), and the harvester (swish-slash here) to transform the farm - and then he gets a girlfriend... With all those big boys toys you can imagine a few 3-4 year old boys enjoying the noises those machines make.

Anna Crosbie grew up in rural Canterbury - surrounded by tractors! This is Anna's first book for children; her other books include: How to publish your own books and A little book of house messing.

Scott Tulloch is a professional artist and illustrator who lives and works in Martinborough. He has written the much-loved Willy series. Scott's drawings appeal to children and adults; his illustrations containing their own back-story and humour.

Real Life by Ella West (Longacre Press) ISBN: 978 1 877460 39 5 rrp $19.99 Readership: 12 years plus

'The call me a finder. I find places for the Project. I can think about a place in my head and then I am there. It's called travelling.'

This is the much anticipated conclusion of the suspenseful Thieves trilogy. In 'Real Life' Nicky and her fellow travellers are trapped back at the Project. To keep them from escaping they've been forced to wear tracking bracelets that can't be removed. While thinking of a way to escape she discovers a small slice of freedom by joining a swim team in a nearby town. But when terrorists threaten, Nicky is sent on a mission...

Ella West lives on a rural property at Janefield near Mosgiel, and works as a journalist. Ella is the winner of the 2006 Louis Johnson/Creative New Zealand Bursary for New Writers and Thieves was a finalist in the 2007 NZ Post Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. The sequel to Thieves, Anywhere but Here, was published in August 2008 and was shortlisted for the Sir Julius Vogel Award in 2009.

Pony Club Secrets: Victory and the All-Stars Academy by Stacy Gregg

ISBN: 978-0-00-727033-0 RRP $14.99

It wasn't what Issie had been expecting at all. When she first found out that she had made the National Young Rider Squad and would be travelling to Melbourne to compete, she had naturally assumed she would be riding one of her own horses. She had been torn, trying to decide which one she should take - Blaze or Comet... It was impossible to choose between them. It came as a total shock when Chevalier Point's head instructor, Tom Avery, broke the news to Issie and the other club riders that they wouldn't be taking any of their horses with them.

As it turns out - Issy gets to pick the perfect horse: Victory, a brown thoroughbred for her week long training course. The new instructor, nicknamed Voldemort because she's a hard-taskmaster, is hard to impress. But Issie has other things to deal with too; a room-mate that drives her nuts and a secret in the stable that's proving hard to keep...

Horse-mad and animal-loving girls will love this next instalment of the Pony Club Secrets. This is the nineth book in the series with more to come in 2010. An enjoyable read for 9-12 year old readers.

Check out Stacy Gregg's site for details about a competition beginning December 8th and finishing 31 January 2010.

Every time a new Pony Club Secrets book is published a donation is made to the Horse Welfare (formerly the International League for the Protection of Horses).
Reviewed by Maria Gill

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