Pincus Corbett's Strange Adventure, by Odo Hirsch

Pincus Corbett works hard in his tailor shop, attending to every detail, working late when customers have special orders. His is a hard-working, very regular life. But one night, as he works late, a mysterious customer puts in a very strange order. He wants a multicoloured suit with matching cape, made to order from an old sketch. Pincus obliges, but doesn’t know why anyone would want to wear such a suit.

When the man doesn’t come to claim the special suit, Pincus decides to try it on for himself. When his wife finds him gone the next morning she is mystified – where has he gone and why?

The media aren’t much interested in Pincus’ disappearance. They are far more interested in a strange hypnotist who appears at Sir Malcom Hersey’s party, and in the Prime Minister’s sudden unplanned holiday.

Meanwhile, Pincus finds himself caught up into a secret mission the likes of which he could never have anticipated.Is he really a hypnotist? And will he evr get back to his wife?

Pincus Corbett’s Strange Adventure is a fun book from acclaimed story teller Odo Hirsch. In his regular brilliant fashion, Hirsch weaves a fantasy full of humour and adventure, yet manages to touch on themes of loyalty and guilt.


Pincus Corbett’s Strange Adventure
, by Odo Hirsch
Allen & Unwin, 2002

Deadly Tide, by Sandy Curtis

When Chayse is assigned to an undercover op working on a fishing boat, he is determined not to get personally involved. But that determination is in danger of cracking when he meets the new skipper of the trawler, Samantha Bretton.

Samantha has her own reasons for not getting involved – not with Chayse, or any other man. On top of whatever lurks in her past, her father has been wrongly charged with murder and has a broken leg preventing him from returning to the boat. Samantha must work the trawler or her father faces losing it.

Thrown together by the confines of the boat and by a series of misfortunes, Samantha and Chayse fight their feelings for each other. Even when they acknowledge their bond, each has secrets which could break the relationship apart. Despite this, however, the pair continue to work at solving the murder attributed to Sam’s father. Perhaps if they can unravel that mystery they can begin to work out their other problems.

Deadly Tide is the first gripping mystery title from author Sandy Curtis. With a special combination of mystery, suspense and romance, it is a compelling read.

Deadly Tide, by Sandy Curtis
Pan Macmillan, 2003

Silly Baby Magpie, by Jill Morris

Silly Baby Magpie!
Big eyes and floppy head…
I’ve been scratching, screeching, tapping
Now I’m ready to be fed.

Silly Baby Magpie
, a brand new book from Greater Glider Publications, follows baby magpie from his early life in the egg through his youth and on to maturity. Along the way we see his antics as he learns and plays.

Author Jill Morris combines simple, lively verse with text boxes containing non-fiction information about the magpie, one of Australia’s most common birds. The story and information are complemented by the richly detailed illustrations of Heather Gall.

A fun and informative picture book.

Silly Baby Magpie, by Jill Morris, illustrated by Heather Gall
Greater Glider Publications, 2003

Pigs Don't Fly and Bears Don't Bounce, by Jackie French

Pigs don’t fly …. But sometimes they do like to wallow in the mud.
Bear’s don’t bounce … But they snooze all winter.

Two new lift-the-flap picture books, combining the talents of author Jackie French and illustrator Matt Cosgrove are sure to delight young prereaders and their parents. Each page combines a little fantasy – flying pigs, bouncing bears, jiggling giraffes – with a little fact, hidden beneath sturdy flaps. Each flap is half a page and the illustration on the main page is continued on to the flap, to show a connection between the fact and the fantasy.

French’s simple text makes these books quick to read and suitable for toddlers’ short attention spans, whilst Cosgrove’s vibrant illustrations are sure to delight.

The format of the two books is similar, with Pigs Don’t Fly concentrating on farm animals and Bears Don’t Bounce on wild animals.

Jackie French is a prolific author with many children’s titles to her name, as well as books about gardening and natural lifestyle. She makes regular appearances on television’s Burke’s Backyard.

This pair of books are sure to prove popular with youngsters and their parents.

Pigs Don’t Fly
and Bears Don’t Bounce, by Jackie French, illustrated by Matt Cosgrove
Koala Books, 2003

Dulcie and Dud and the Really Secret Secret, by Carol Ann Martin

Mrs Besome is organising a Grand Pet Parade and all the kids are going to bring their pets. Even Dulcie – which is strange, because Dulcie doesn’t have a pet. But somehow, Dulcie finds herself putting her hand up in class and telling everyone that she will be bringing Muriel.

Now, all Ducie needs to do is to find a Muriel before the big show. As luck has it, Dulcie and Dud do find a Muriel. ALl they have to do is find a place to put her (if she really is a her) until the big show. Can they keep the really secret secret, and will Muriel win the pet show?

Dulcie and Dud and the Really Secret secret is the fourth Dulcie and Dud book from author Carol Ann Martin and illustrator Janine Dawson. The combination of fun plot, endearing characters and clever line drawings makes for an entertaining book, accessible to readers aged 6 to 8, making their transition from picture book texts to early novels.

A fun story.

Dulcie and Dud and the Really Secret Secret, by Carol Ann Martin, illustrated by Janine Dawson
Omnibus Books, 2003.

Dulcie and Dud and the Really Cool Club, by Carol Ann Martin

Portia Pratt has started a club and has asked all the poeple she likes to join. Dulcie and Dud haven’t been invited, but they don’t care. They’re going to start a club of their own and aks their friends to join.

Dulcie’s new club is called the Invisibles, becuse they like to do things invisibly. Things like surprising their teacher with flowers, or cleaning Mister Barker’s chalkboard. But the invisibles need to do a really big good deed if they want to do better than Portia’s club.

Then the children hear about Mister Braithwaite’s problem. Mrs Rossi is trying to get him to sell his home and move out – but all he wants is to stay in his house. The only thing it needs, he says, is a coat of paint. Enter the invisibles, with a great plan for helping Mister Braithwaite out.

Dulcie and Dud and the Really Cool Club is the third book about these loveable characters. This self-contained episode is both humorous and easy to read, making it an ideal first novel for 6 to 8 year old readers.

Author Carol Ann Martin has written numerous Cocky’s Circle books,as well as another children’s novel Waiting for Jason (1995). She is well supported in Dulcie and Dud by the comic line-drawings of illustrator Janine Dawson.

Lots of fun!

Dulcie and Dud and the Really Cool Club, by Carol Ann Martin, illustrated by Janine Dawson
Omnibus Books, 2003

Knight Protector, by Sally Odgers

Simon Knight isn’t too happy about running in the cross country. But when he falls into a hedge he’s not sure he likes the alternative either. It seems that this alternative involves a ride on Traveller, the horse who once before transported him to the strange land of Braveria.

Simon soon finds himself back in Braveria where, as Sir Simon, he is once again called on to help the King. Someone, it seems, is out to cause mischief to the King’s daughter. Who better to protect her than Simon? Along the way he must contend with dragons – some fearsome and others simply annoying – clinging damsels and meddlesome knights, as well as the princess herself, who isn’t so sure she needs looking after. Poor Simon!

Knight Protector is the second book in the Reluctant Knight trilogy by superb children’s author, Sally Odgers. With a winning mix of fantasy, danger and downright silliness, these books are sure to appeal to young fantasy readers aged 8 to 12. Although reading the two in order will enhance enjoyment, each is self-contained.

Sally Odgers is an award-winning Tasmanian writer who continues to show her versatilty with excellent offerings in a range of genres for different age groups. Knight Protector is no exception.

Knight Protector, by Sally Odgers
Koala Books, 2003

So Feral, by J. A. Mawter

This book really doesn’t need a review – the title says it all. So Feral is, in fact, feral. Which is why kids will love it. While adults may squirm and feel more than a little queasy, kids will laugh out loud and just have to share the stories with their friends.

Following on from the success of her earlier title, So Gross, author J.A. Mawter has seven new tales to share. From globby bits of meat pie coming out of kids’ noses, to a record attempt for the world’s biggest fart, every page is filled with feral kids doing feral things. Eight to twelve year old readers will love it.

So Feral, by J. A. Mawter
Angus and Robertson (an imprint of Harper Collins), 2002

The Fairy's Wings, by Gillian Rubinstein

Tania has fun building a fairy house underneath the lavender bush. But the next morning, she is surprised to find a pair of tiny wings hanging on the clothesline. Who could they belong to?

Tania’s brother Troy doesn’t believe in fairies – he says the wings must belong to an insect.

But someone is trying to leave messages for Tania. She can’t quite read them but is sure a fairy must be resoonsible. Is the owner of the wings asking for them back?

The Fairy’s Wings is the third book about Tania and Troy, from the talented combination of writer Gillian Rubenstein and illustrator Craig Smith. Full of magic and humour, the story is sure to delight youngsters aged six to nine.

The Fairy’s Wings, by Gillian Rubinstein, Illustrated by Craig smith
Puffin Books 1998

Shipborn, by Pamela Freeman

Katie and her brother Sam are both shipborn – born in space aboard their parents’ space ship. Katie longs to visit Earth. She wants to see the soil, watch plants growing in their natural environment. Sam isn’t so sure. He’s quite content living in space.

Katie’s parents say they’re not taking them to Earth any time soon, so it appears Katie’s wish won’t be granted. Until her Gran decides to run away – abandoning the ship at a space station and seeking passage to Earth. Katie and Sam follow her to try to get her to come back to the ship and find themselves accidentally aboard a space ship headed for Earth. And this is no joy ride – the ship is destined for an illegal rendezvous with smugglers. Will they ever get to see Earth? At this point that’s not their biggest worry – they may have to fight just to stay alive.

Shipborn, by Pamela Freeman is a Blue Tadpole novel from Koala Books. Its fast pace, humour and space setting will appeal to 10 to 12 year old readers.

Pamela Freeman is a talented Australian writer who lives in Melbourne with her husband and young child. Her previous work includes Victor’s Quest, shorlisted for the 1997 Children’s Book Council awards and Pole to Pole, also shortlisted. Her stories frequently appear in the NSW School Magazine.

Shipborn, by Pamela Freeman
Koala Books, 2003