Little Lunch Two, by Danny Katz

Tamara Noodle loves the monkey bars. She can do almost as many tricks on them as a REAL monkey. She can hang upside down, she can twozees and even threezees. But what happens when someone else wants to use the monkey bars?

The three new stories in Little Lunch Two are just as silly as those in Little Lunch were. The cheeky stories of Danny Katz are again well complemented by the clever illustrations of Mitch Vane.

Even the most reluctant of readers will find the stories both accessible amd, just as importantly, sude-splittingly funny. Katz has a way of seeing the school yard through the eys of a six year old.

Roll on Little Lunch Three!

Little Lunch Two, by Danny Katz, illustrated by Mitch Vane
Black Dog Books, 2002

Little Lunch, by Danny Katz

Mrs Gonsha has a huge bum. So huge and wobbly that it looks like a gigantic beanbag made out of porridge. So, when Mrs Gonsha decides she wants to slide down the slide, the kids warn her that her bum is too big. When she ignores their warning, disater strikes. How will the kids get Mrs Gonsha unstuck?

The Slide is just one of three funny stories in Little Lunch. Each tells the tale of what happens to the kids of Mrs Gonsha’s class in the fifteen minutes that is little lunch.

Kids aged six to nine will love these stories for their silliness and irreverence, and because they can digest each story quickly. Parents and kids will love them because their kids will be reading – and enjoying it.

With the wit of author Danny Katz and the clever cartoon-style drawings of illustrator Mitch Vane, Little Lunch is a winner from innovative new publisher Black Dog Books.

Little Lunch, by Danny Katz, illustrated by Mitch Vane
Black Dog Books, 2001

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.