Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fun Junior Chapter Books for Girls

Saffron: So quite excellent by Victoria M. Azaro (Penguin)

Mum keeps yawning. She is always tired at the moment. I don't understand why, because she sleeps a lot during the day. She says it's because Star Anise is such a creative baby.

Saffron's mother is exhausted.She needs to sew all the costumes for the ballet concert and finish some pieces for her exhibition. However,  Star Anise sleeps during the day and is awake all night. And Saffron's dad has been away for three weeks and two days. When he rings to say he won't be home for the weekend, Saffron's mother yells into the phone. Sage cries, then Star Anise and that sets off mother.  Saffron's father asks if she would help her mother until he gets home. Saffron says it is her favourite thing in the whole world to help. She draws up lists and creates pandemonium with everything she does at home, at the airport, in France and lastly at the concert. 

This is the third book in the series about Saffron and her family.  As a parent I could imagine some of these things happening with a precocious child in the family. Even though Victoria had a new baby at the same time (book two) she doesn't model the characters on her own children; she has two boys and a baby girl (sames ages though). Victoria has the knack of seeing the funny side of life and it comes through in her writing and pictures. She has created a wonderful quirky voice for her character Saffron and the three books are a joy to read. Great books for girls learning to read on their own and also read aloud to younger girls. 

See Victoria's new website plus Saffron's own website.

ISBN:  9780143306931  RRP $14.99
Little Witch by Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Cat Chapman (Walker Books)

Mother Witch stood in front of the bathroom mirror, powdering her wart.
"Where are you going, Mummy?" asked Little Witch.
"To the Witches and Wizards Moon Dance," said Mother Witch. "It's a full moon tonight." She picked up a small frog and rubbed it lightly across her eyelids, leaving a lovely green streak.

Little Witch wants to go too but she's being babysat by Sorceress Monda Green. Only Sorceress Monda is a little deaf.  When Little Witch asks if they can play princess and dragon and she screams and screams. Sorceress thinks she wants icecream so she conjures up one thing after another that are nothing like what Little Witch wants.  Wherever Little Witch is - she gets up to mischief - sometimes not only her own doing. 

Each chapter is a complete story on its own. In the first she is babysat by Sorceress Monda, in the second she uses the wrong magic word, in the third Little Witch wanders into the spells room and casts a few of her own, causing much trouble.

Author Juliette MacIver has had a lot of fun playing with words and seeing how she can transplant a normal life for a young girl into a world of witches and spells.  Delightful humour throughout the book in words and pictures.  Will be enjoyed by young girls 5-7 years either read to, with or by.  I hope we'll see more of this character ...

Juliette MacIver is also the author of Marmaduke Duck and Marmadule Jam.  Both books have been shortlisted for the New Zealand Post Children's Book and LIANZA awards.

ISBN:  978-1-921720-46-8  RRP $13.99

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