Sunday, November 6, 2011

Stories of the Wild West Gang by Joy Cowley, illustrated by Trevor Pye (Gecko Press)

As 11 year old Eliot says on the back cover 'Just the right amount of craziness. One of the funniest books I've ever read.'

When Michael's five cousins move in next door, his parents are horrified - Michael thinks it's wonderful. His parents make him go to bed at 9pm, eat a strict diet and coddle him as their only child. At the West's household he gets to stay up as long as he likes, eat anything, have scandelous fun and be treated as any other in the household. He manages to convince his parents to go away so he can go on wild jaunts with the West family, and Michael cannot get enough of it. He goes rafting, camping, to the school fair, Pong Castle, over the wonky fence, puts up with the grumpy guest, survives the haunted fridge, and the wedding, goes fishing and has wickedly fun hullabaloo time with them.

A laugh out loud book for 8-12 years olds. This series has been published before as single books but now all ten stories are in one volume. Joy Cowley's characters are original and funny. It's a book about families and how they're all different. Plus it is a young boy's adventures and making fun out of nothing much. Highly recommended for home and school libraries. An excellent book for Primary Middle, Senior and Intermediate teachers to read aloud to their class.

Joy Cowley's books are loved by children all around the world. She has been awarded the OBE for her services to children's wrting, and the Prime Minister's Award for Literary Achievement.

Trevor Pye lives in Tauranga and he is an award-winning illustrator whose work has featured in more than 200 children's books.

The Margaret Mahy Treasury: Eleven favourite stories by Margaret Mahy (Penguin)

A compilation of some of Margaret's best picture books including A Lion in the Meadow, The Witch in the Cherry Tree, A Summery Saturday Morning, The Great Piratical Rumbustification, The Boy with two Shadows, The Great White Man-Eating Shark, Jam, The Three-Legged Cat, The Boy who was Followed Home, The Librarian and the Robbers, and The Man Whose Mother was a Pirate.

This is the sort of Treasury that Grandparents would buy their mokopuna, teachers would keep in their class to read to their students, and parents would buy for their children and keep afterwards for the next generaton.  It contains all your favourites with original illustrations.

Margaret Mahy has won the Carnegie Medal twice, the IBBY Honour Book Award, the Hans Christian Andersen Award and numerous other international and national awards. Her books are loved by several generations.  Every library should have this Treasury (along with her Poetry collection).

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