Friday, May 11, 2012

The Slice by Rose Quilter, Walker Books Australia
One of the latest titles in the Lightning Strikes series, this madcap tale had me laughing all the way through. Congratulations to the New Zealand author for producing such a funny first novel. Marco, his best friend Andy, and his brother Joey all want to eat the last piece of pizza. So they set up a “hands on” competition – the last one to have his hand on the box gets the pizza. Sounds easy? But then Marco’s elderly and confused Nonna goes for a walk. Marco knows she’ll get lost, so all three boys (plus the pizza box) race out the door to find her and bring her home again. A hilarious chase ensues involving an evil dog, some irate stall-holders, and a departing ferry. Recommended for boys of about 9 to 14 - and best read in one big gulp.

ISBN 978 1 921977 53 4 RRP $15.99 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

Violet Mackerel’s Personal Space by Anna Branford, illus. Sarah Davis, Walker Books Australia
This is the fourth title in the Violet Mackerel series. I have to confess it’s the first one I’ve read - and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I’m sure the series already has a fan base. The production is excellent – it’s a handy little hardback book with a beguiling cover. Just about every page includes a gentle black ink and pencil illustration by this excellent New Zealand illustrator – ideal for young readers who are still intimidated by a page of solid text. The plot wraps round two big events in Violet’s life – the marriage of her mother and Vincent (the boyfriend), and being forced to move house. Violet’s big brother, Dylan, is very upset about moving house – to the extent that he camps out in the garden. Violet helps both herself and her brother by introducing him to her Theory of Leaving Small Things Behind. A heart-warming read for younger primary-aged girls. Visit for more info and activities.
ISBN 978 1 921529 20 1 RRP $24.99 Hb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

Iris’s Ukulele by Kathy Taylor, Scholastic NZ
This was the 1011 winner of the Storylines Tom Fitzgibbon Award for a manuscript by an unpublished author. It’s narrated in an engaging style by an interesting heroine called Iris. Iris loves playing the ukulele, and the thing she wants most in the world is the beautiful purple ukulele hanging in the shop window. Her best friend is a boy called Sidney, who “just loves sewing and clothes and all things fashionable.” Together they call themselves The Masters of the Musical Universe. They decide to enter a local talent contest – but Iris wants to do vampire-werewolf rap, and Sidney wants to do a glam rock opera. Suddenly they’re not speaking to each other. To add to Iris’s woes, her mother starts going out with her ukulele teacher – horrors! It’s a satisfying plot with thoroughly likeable characters and plenty of humour – and a message about the importance of tolerance and friendship at its heart. To tell the truth, I’d now like to read a book with Sidney as its star – how about it, Kathy?
ISBN 987 1 77543 054 4 $19.50 Pb
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whoops, I think you mean 2011!