Dolphins Dance, by Jutta Goetze

“You can’t see it.” Dad cleared his throat. He was standing in front of Ali’s class, about to give a little talk. “It isn’t like measles or mumps. It’s not like when you break your leg. And it’s definitely not catching, like when you get a cold.”

Ali is used to her brother Max. She knows how to cope with his tantrums, how to chase him, how to calm him down. What she doesn’t like is when he gets into her stuff, and when he stops her family from doing ‘normal’ family stuff. Now Max is starting at her school, and Ali is not looking forward to it.

Dolphins Dance is the story of one family’s experiences with autism. As Max struggles to communicate and to grow, so too do Ali, her parents and her other brother, Jake. Can Ali help Max and also find happiness herself?

Author Jutta Goetze provdes an intimate insight into the struggle that confronts Ali, and leads the reader to a better understanding of autism. This would be an excellent class read, especially in schools where students are affected by this condition, but is also a wonderful home read, with its gentle lessons of tolerance and empathy.

Dolphins Dance, by Jutta Goetze
Black Dog Books, 2000.

Ramose and the Tomb Robbers, by Carole Wilkinson

Prince Ramose, once the spoilt son of the Pharoah, is in exile. His father and all the royal court think he is dead. Ramose is determined to rejoin his father and claim his rightful position. But when he is captured by Tomb-Robbers and made to conspire in stripping ancient tombs of their riches, the situation seems hopeless.

Ramose and the Tomb Raiders
is the second book in the Ramose series by Carole Wilkinson. Ramose continues his journey with his unlikely friends, the apprentice painter, Hapu and the slave girl, Karoya. Along the way they make more surprising firends and meet up with old enemies.

Wilkinson combines her knowledge of Egyptian history with her creative flair to produce a book which will delight young readers aged 10 to 13, especially those with an interest in the time of the Pharoahs and the Pyramids.

The series is well suited both to private reading and to classroom or library collections.

Ramose and the Tomb Robbers
, by Carole Wilkinson
Black Dog Books, 2001

Ramose: Prince in Exile, by Carole Wilkinson

Prince Ramose is the spoilt son of the Pharoah, and his heir. He lives a life of luxury with servants waiting to please and cosset him. Until the day that somebody tries to kill him. The actions of his loyal nanny and tutor save him, but now Ramose must hide, living the life of a tradesman, until such time as he can claim his righttful place.

How does a Prince, used to a life of luxury, adapt to the hard work and simple life of a tradesman? And who can he trust?

As Ramose learns the realities of life in Egypt, he also makes friends – and enemies. Returning to his former life will not be simple – if it is even possible.

Ramose: Prince in Exile is the first in an exciting series set in ancient Engypt, following the adventures of Ramose as he tries to regain his rightful position. Author Carole Wilkinson captures the history of the time with insight into the cultural system, the landscape and, of course, the Pyramids, the most intriguing remnant of the ancient world.

This book will delight young readers, especially those with an interest in Ancient Egypt and is as suitable for home reading as it is for classrooms or school libraries.

Carole Wilkinson is an English-born Australian writer with a deep interest in history, which is reflected in her writing.

Ramose: Prince in Exile is suitable for readers aged 9 to 13.

Ramose: Prince in Exile, by Carole Wilkinson
Black Dog Books, 2001.

Endangered, by Rick Wilkinson

Did you know that the Tasmanian Tiger was wiped out within fifty years of white settlement in Australia? That there about 800 Red Pandas in captivity but only about 500 left in the wild? That over the last 400 years, 611 species have been documented as becoming extinct? Author Rick Wilkisnon does, so he set out to explore what was being done to preserve some of the many species now threatened with extinction.

In Endangered: Working to Save Animals at Risk
, Wilkinson outlines the work of zoos and wildlife organistations, explaining their role in conserving and building up stocks of rare animals. By providing case studies of both well-and lesser-known endangered species and detailing what is being done to help them, Wilkinson aims to increase awareness of these animals’ plight and the reasons they are in danger of becoming extinct.

Supported with stunning photographs of leopards, frogs, pygmy possums, tree kangaroos, gibbons and more and with clear, detailed text,this is an excellent resource for classroom and library use but is also interesting enough to be suitable for private reading by children aged 8 to 12.

Endangered: Working to Save Animals at Risk, by Rick Wilkinson
Allen & Unwin, 2002

Little Fingers, by David Johnson

Kerry loves to take things apart to see how they work. All of her toys are in pieces, her brother’s radio doesn’t work properly any more, and the television is stuck on one channel.

When Kerry tells her Dad she wants to fix things, just like he does, he gives her a projector to fix. She uses his rules, and a little patience to get the machine going again, just in time to watch an old home movie of her parents wedding on their anniversary.

Little Fingers is a Solo book from Omnibus books,designed to help children make the transition from picture books to novels. Simple yet fun plot lines are supported by ample illustrations to encourage comfort and success.

The illustrations of Craig Smith are, as always, an excellent complement to the text.

A fun story.

Little Fingers by David Johnson, illustrated by Craig Smith.

Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia, 2002

Talk to Me, by Marguerite Hann Syme

Anna is lonely and bored. She wants someone to talk to and have fun with. Mum is too busy talking on her mobile phone. So are Dad AND Uncle Jeff AND Kat.

Anna does all she can to get their attention but they are just not listening. The only person who does listen is Fang, the lonely letterbox monster, and he can’t answer her. Is there a way to solve her lonliness AND Fang’s? Talk to Me, by Marguerite Hann Syme, is a Solo book from Omnibus Books. Solo books are designed for young readers making the transition from picture books and emergent readers to the novel format. With ample illustrations to support the text, kids have an opportunity to connect with the text and read succesfully.

The cartoon-style illustrations of Janine Dawson are gorgeous. Anna especially will be endearing to adult readers.

Talk to Me is a fun read, but also has a subtle message for parents and other adults about mobile phones and having time for children.

Lovely!

Talk to Me, by Marguerite Hann Syme
Omnibus Books, Scholastic Australia, 2002

A Moose Called Mouse, by Martine Murray

This is Mouse. Mouse is a moose. He’s not a mouse or a louse or an anything else. He’s a moose I call Mouse.

In A Mouse Called Moose, author/illustrator Martine Murray captures a gentle friendship between a girl and her friend the moose. Together they discover the magic of the night and of its transformation into day, as well as the joys of simple friendship.

This is peaceful story, perfect for a bedtime tale or for any quiet time. It is also suitable for sharing at kindergartens or playgroups. Murray’s simple illustrations are a perfect calming complement to the tale, with their child-like simplicity and muted colours.

Murray is a young author and illustrator who hails from Victoria. She has studied at the Victoria College of the Arts and spent time with the circus. Her first novel for children The Slightly True Story of Cedar B.Hartley has been well received in Australia and has sold to publishers in the United States, United Kingdom, Spain, Italy and Denmark.

A Moose Called Mouse is a treasure.

A Moose Called Mouse, by Martine Murray
Allen & Unwin, 2002

There's a Sun Fairy in Our Garden, by Jeni Mawter

There’s a sun fairy in our garden. I know it’s there because my brother told me so.

Every youngster, boy or girl, wants to believe in fairies and, with this delightful picture book, they get a glimpse at some gloriously unique examples. The sun fairy is wearing reflector sun glasses, the rock fairy has a crash helmet and the rain fairy is wearing silver gumboots. They may elude the girl telling the story, but young readers get to see them playing and teasing.

There’s a Sun Fairy in My Garden
combines the talents of author Jeni Mawter with those of talented young illustrator Christy Martin, in a tale sure to delight four to eight year old readers and their parents. As the narrator tries to tempt the fairies out with her special gifts, her older brother encourages her efforts by delighting her with his descriptions of the various fairies hiding in their garden. As well as being a gorgeous fairy book, it is also a delightful glimpse of sibling togetherness.

A beautiful offering which will be enjoyed again and again.

There’s a Sunflower in Our Garden, by Jeni Mawter, illustrated by Christy Martin
Axiom, 2001

Walking Naked, by Alyssa Brugman

Megan is one of the leaders of the ‘in’ group. They do everything together, moving in a pack and thinking in a pack. She can’t imagine what it would be like not to be popular. Perdita, on the other hand, has no friends. She is so different that Megan’s group call her ‘the Freak.’ These two girls have nothing in common.

When Megan and Perdita find themselves together on detention, Megan finds herself getting to know and almost like Perdita. Perdita teaches Megan about poetry and about a whole different side of life. Megan shows Perdita what a family is like. Ultimately, though, Megan has to choose between her ‘old’ friends and the popularity of the group and her almost-friend Perdita. It seems a simple decision, but Megan’s choice will have shocking consequences.

Walking Naked is the second novel for talented young writer, Alyssa Brugman. Her first novel, Finding Grace found critical acclaim and made the shortlist of the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Awards. Walking Naked is sure to draw similar praise. It has a skillful balance of humour, insight and tragedy, making it both entertaining and shocking.

This is a must read for every teenager.

Walking Naked, by Alyssa Brugman
Allen & Unwin, 2002

Storymaze: The Wooden Cow, by Terry Denton

Nico wants nothing more than to be the surfing champion of the universe. He’s been training hard and is sure he can win. All he has to do is get to the planet Friesia on time and intact.

With some help from his M.I.T., a nifty device which can transfer them through both space and time, Nico gets to Friesia with his friends Mikey and Claudia. Unfortunately, they’re four thousand years too early and they land in the middle of a crisis in Friesia City. Nico and Mikey are trapped outside the city and Claudia and the M.I.T. are inside, but not together. Can they solve the crisis AND be reunited?

The Wooden Cow is the third Storymaze book, following on from the success of The Eye of Ulam and The Ultimate wave. Terry Denton’s unique combination of cartoon-strips, rude narrators and pure silliness, has kids laughing as they turn the pages and looking for more when they’re finished.

The Wooden Cow is suitable for readers aged seven to twleve, including reluctant readers.

Storymaze: The Wooden Cow, by Terry Denton
Allen & Unwin, 2002