Chimpanzee, by David Kennett

How do chimpanzees show they are frightened? What’s the difference between a chimpanzee and Tarzan? Why did a chimp go to space in a rocket?

Author/llustrator David Kennett provides the answers to these questions and more, in a format accessible to newly independent readers.

With simple yet informative text and a range of illustration forms, Chimpanzee is suitable for students in the early years of primary school, although it would also be appropriate for much older students with reading diffulcties.

Solos give newly independent readers a reading experience which bridges the gap beteen picture books and chapter books, with short paragraphs and an abundance of illustrations. There are 32 fiction titles and 14 non-fiction titles in the series, and Chimpanzee is one of six Solo Wildlife titles.

Chimpanzee is suitable both for classroom use and for home reading, as well as school and public libraries.

Chimpanzee, written and illustrated by David Kennett
A Solo Wildlife book, from Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia, 2002

Killer Whale, by David Kennett

How does a killer whale find its way in the dark? How can killer whales be told apart? What causes killer whales to swim onto land?

In this new title from Omnibus/Scholastic, David Kennett gives youngsters the answers to these questions and many more.

Combining clear illustrations and diagrams with simple texts, Kennett provdes a wealth of information in a manner accessible to children in the early years of primary school.

Interesting facts and figures are complemented by a variety of diagramatic representations including maps, comparisons and close-up views.

Solos give newly independent readers a reading experience which bridges the gap between picture books and chapter books, with short paragraphs and an abundance of illustrations. There are 32 fiction titles and 14 non-fiction titles in the series, and Killer Whale is one of six Solo Wildlife titles.

Killer Whale is suitable both for classroom use and for home reading, as well as school and public libraries.

Killer Whale, written and illustrated by David Kennett
A Solo Wildlife book, from Omnibus Books, an imprint of Scholastic Australia, 2002

Magpie Mischief, by Jon Doust and Ken Spillman

As well as helping kids cross the road to school, the Crosswalk lady likes to help birds. She likes all birds, but has a special soft spot for the magpies who nest near the school gate.

Most of the kids who use the crossing have made freinds with the magpies too, but not Ben and his bumcrack buddies. They like to tease the magpies, and Ben has been trying to steal a magpie egg since grade three. So it’s no wonder that the magpies divebomb them during the nesting season.

Ben’s Dad is a shire councillor and when he hears about the magpies,he decides something must be done. The magpies must be eradicated.

The town is divided, but no one knows what to do. It is up to the children to find a solution.

Magpie Mischief is a fun quick read for children aged seven to twelve. The product of the combined talents of Jon Doust and Ken Spillman and with illustrations by Marion Duke, Magpie Mischief is a great read.

Magpie Mischief, by Jon Doust and Ken Spillman
Fremantle Arts Centre Press, 2002

Gypsy Magic, by Moya Simons

School holidays are meant to be fun, but Becky isn’t that thrilled with the outlook for hers. Her Mum and Dad have gone to New Zealand and she’s been left with her babysitter, Mrs Amati, who has a chrystal ball and says she’s a gypsy. All of Becky’s friends are out of town and the only kids left to play with are a strange girl called Zara and a painful boy called Josh.

But when there’s a bank robbery in town, the three chidlren are on their way to solving it, with a touch of gypsy magic. Mrs Amati’s crystal ball could be the key to turning Becky’s holiday around.

Moya Simons lives in New South Wales and has written lots of great books for chidlren, including Whoppers and Dead Average. Gypsy Magic will appeal to readers aged nine to twelve.

Gypsy Magic, by Moya Simons
Omnibus Books (a Scholastic imprint), 2002

Tashi and the Haunted House, by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg

There’s a light in the window of the haunted house, and Tashi is going in.

Tashi is back and has two new adventures to share in Tashi and the Haunted House. In the first story Tashi finds Ning Jing hiding in the haunted house, scared of her nasty cousin Bu Li. Tashi comes up with a spooky plan to scare him right out of the forest. In the second, Tashi is confronted by two mysterious creatures in the village square. Tashi knows the demons are back and they want to beat him. Can he outwit them, and save the village school?

Tashi is an appealing character from a magical far away land, the creation of Anna Fienberg and her mother Barbara. This is the ninth book in the Tashi series, and is sure to convince those who are not yet Tashi fans to read the whole set.

Brought to life in the illustrations of Kim Gamble, Tashi shares his adventures with his friend Jack and the whole family.

Anna Fienberg is the author of many popular and award-winning books for children, including Joseph, shortlisted for the 2002 Children’s Book Council Awards, and Horrendo’s Curse. Her mother, Barbara Fienberg, is the chief plot-deviser for the Tashi books.

Kim Gamble is an award-winning artist. He has illustrated many of Fienberg’s books as well as those of other authors, including Margaret Wild.

Tashi and the Haunted House is sure to delight youngsters aged 6 to 10.

Tashi and the Haunted House, by Anna Fienberg and Barbara Fienberg, illustrated by Kim Gamble
Allen & Unwin, 2002

Plotless Pointless Pathetic, by Joshua Wright

Egads! There’s trouble afoot in the land of Sausagopolis.

Somebody has been writing naughty poetry – poetry sure to corrupt the minds of innocent, straight-laced citizens.

But don’t fear, dear reader, because help is at hand – Sir Glame, knight hero, and his trusty sidekick Bill (actually a talking horse) – are on a quest to stop the evil Saucy McRascal, author of the Big Book of Fun

This is, however, no traditional fantasy-quest story. The title, Plotless Pointless Pathetic gives more than a little hint to the true nature of the story.

Author Joshua Wright fills the book with corny jokes, inexplicable plot twists and plenty of general silliness. Cartoons on every page provide distractions and humour.

As Glame and Bill blunder their way through the quest, they encounter colossally scary monsters, scrap trucks and freaky fuzzies, who talk cute but act mean.

This hilarious book will appeal to children aged 8 to 12, athough older readers will also find some laughs.

Plotless Pointless Pathetic is the first book from Joshua Wright. One suspects it won’t be his last.

Plotless Pointless Pathetic, by Joshua Wright
Allen & Unwin 2002

Astrid Spark, Fixologist, by Justin D'Ath

Despite the regular stream of people wanting Astrid to fix things, her parents try to keep her life as normal as possible. That means no media interviews and definitely no experiments.

Until Doctor Hu visits, seeking Astrid’s help in an experiment so important that even Astrid’s parents can’t say no. Doctor Hu wants Astrid to fix the hole in the ozone layer.

Doctor Hu’s plans involve a bagggoon – a contraption combining a balloon, an old volvo,lots of ginger beer, a pair of rubber gloves and a stack of hair dryers. When the time comes Astrid is accompanied by her friends Lucas and Kia Jane and a very rude galah, on the journey of a life time.

Astrid Spark, Fixologist, is the latest offering from the talented Justin D’Ath, with illustrations by Terry Denton, whose other credits include the Storymaze series and Andy Griffiths’ Just books.

Kids will love the silliness, the inventiveness and the sheer fun of this book.

Astrid Spark, Fixologist, by Justin D’Ath
Allen & Unwin, 2002

Alan the Alien, by Penny Hall

It’s student exchange time – country kids coming to stay with city kids to experience city life. Clark doesn’t want anyone staying at his house, sharing his room and his things, but Mum thinks it’s a great idea, and signs the form.

When a visitor arrives at their front door the next day, he’s not what anyone expected. He looks kind of different. He tells Clark he’s come from another planet, but Clark isn’t so sure at first. He just wants this strange kid to go away and leave him alone.

But Alan the alien isn’t going away – he’s won a trip to visit Earth and he wants Alan to show him around. When he helps Clark defeat the bullies, Clark realises that having Alan to stay might not be so bad after all. Perhaps he and Alan can become friends.

Alan the Alien, by Penny Hall, is an orange level Tadpole book from Koala Books. Aimed at readers making the transition form picture books to novels, Tadpoles are highly illustrated books well pitched at young readers. The illustrations of Craig Smith complement Hall’s text, adding to the pacing and excitement of the story.

An earlier Tadpole written and illustrated by the duo, Fixing the Tiger was listed as the Children’s Book Council Notable Books. Other titles by Penny Hall include A Knight in Different Armour, Fantastic and Fabulous and Fraidy Cats.

Alan the Alien
is a fun read which will be enjoyed by 6 to 10 year old readers.

Alan the Alien, by Penny Hall, illustrated by Craig Smith
Koala Books, 2002.

The Wonder Dog, by Pamela Freeman

When Luke’s parents ask him what he wants for his birthday, he asks for a puppy. He really wants a puppy to take for walks, to play with and to love. His friend Celia has a puppy and he wants one too. Luke’s parents aren’t so sure. They tell him that puppies are messy, expensive, dangerous and prone to digging up garden beds.

After this Luke knows he won’t get a puppy for his birthday so when he opens his present on his birthday, he is delighted to find a dog inside. Until he discovers it’s a Wonderdog – a robot.

Ruff looks and sounds like a real dog. Luke can take him for walks and throw sticks for him to fetch. He even barks like a real dog. But he’s a robot – he can’t be loyal to Luke and he can’t love.

Luke’s parents don’t understand the problem, but Celia does. She can see the difference between her dog, Digger and Luke’s Wonderdog. What will it take to convince Luke’s parents that a Wonderdog is just not the same as a real live one?

The Wonder Dog, by Pamela Freeman, is a funny tale of friendship, loyalty and love, part of the Orange level Tadpoles series from Koala Books. Well paced and with plenty of excellent illustrations by David Stanley, it will appeal to young readers just making the transition from picture books to chapter books.

Two of Ms Freeman’s earlier books, Victor’s Quest and Pole to Pole made the Children’s Book Council shortlist in their categories.

The Wonder Dog, by Pamela Freeman, illustrated by David Stanley
Koala Books, 2002.

Flytrap, by Meme McDonald and Boori Monty Pryor

Nancy is worried. Her Mum doesn’t seem interested, but Nancy has a real problem. She’s told her teacher she has a Venus fly trap at home, and her teacher wants her to bring it in to school to show the class – tomorrow. The problem is, Nancy doesn’t really have a venus fly trap. She just wanted to have one, wanted to be the special one in the class.

Now, Nancy is working out what she is going to tell Miss Susan. Maybe she can tell her it ate too many flies and got sick. Maybe she can tell her that the cat next door knocked it out of the window. Or maybe she could tell her the truth.

As Nancy worries about what she is going to do, she pesters her mother and her step-father One-Two-Three Gee. As she listens to their stories she begins to form an idea. Maybe she can tell the truth and feel special.

Flytrap, by Meme McDonald and Boori Monty Pryor is a playful and inspiring book about telling all sorts of stories – made-up stories, animal stories, family stories and Aboriginal stories. The different stories are interwoven to create a brand new story for little Nancy.

This is the fifth book McDonald and Pryor have written together. Previous books include Maybe Tomorrow and My Girragunndji, winner of the 1999 Children’s Book Council Award for Younger Readers.

Flytrap uses a wonderful combination of black and white photographs – taken by McDonald and posed by students at Clifton Hill Primary school – along with drawings by Harry Todd and paintings by Lillian Fourmile.

Flytrap
is an outstanding read for children aged 6 and up, and is suitable both for home reading and classroom sharing.

Flytrap, by Meme McDonald and Boori Monty Pryor
Allen & Unwin, 2002