Saturday, August 13, 2011

Grandma McGarvey Surfs the Net by Jenny Hessell, illus. Trevor Pye, Scholastic NZ
“Celebrating 20 years!” announces the cover – wow! Grandma McGarvey is starring in her 11th book and she’s still going strong. How does she do it? Maybe it’s her ability to get in and out of scrapes, leaving everyone gasping in her wake. In this rhyming text story, Grandma receives a flyer saying, “Surfing for seniors”. She drags out her surfboard, diving suit and flippers, and turns up at the computer classroom. Grandma has her own special spin on Googling, going on the Net, using a mouse, and consulting a Blackberry. But when Grandma finds that the internet comes up with pages and pages of info about her, she’s suddenly the keenest surfer in the class! Trevor Pye’s wild and whacky cartoon illustrations are the perfect vehicle for this irrepressible grandmother. Best for youngsters who use the internet, but these days that probably means pre-schoolers...
ISBN 978 1 86943 993 4 RRP $19.50
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

Milly Maloo and the Miracle Glue by Melanie Koster, illus. Sarah Nelisiwe Anderson, Scholastic NZ
Imagine a monkey “with fashion and flair, and gardens as wild as her frizzy red hair.” Milly the monkey is invited to a posh garden party and has to wear a hat. Woe, she has nothing suitable – so she borrows one from her plain and prim neighbour, Penelope. She jazzes it up with feathers and flowers – but when it’s time to return the hat, she can’t remove the decorations – woe again! But Penelope loves the refurbished hat – and it becomes the catalyst for her to break free of her prim and proper ways and become just as outgoing as Milly. The illustrations, created with digital drawing and painting, are as over-the-top as Milly herself – using fine lines, rich detail, a range of candy colours, speech bubbles, and unusual perspectives. The rhyming text bounces along with gusto, and would be fun to read to pre-schoolers.
ISBN 978 1 86943 965 1 RRP $19.50
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

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