The Lost Treasure, by Jan Stradling

Help! I am stuck on a little island in the middle of the big wide sea. I have a lot of treasure. Help!

Pirate Ruby is a good pirate. Pirate Hamish is a bad pirate. When they find a note asking for help, Ruby can’t wait to help Pirate Jack, who is stuck on an island. But all Pirate Hamish wants to do is steal Pirate Jack’s treasure.

The Lost Treasure , part of the Walker Stories series, offers beginning readers a wonderful step into ‘big’ books, with three short stories building to a satisfying whole. The pirate characters are endearing, and the mystery humorous with black and white illustrations on every spread offering visual appeal and textual support.

Lots of fun for lower primary ged readers.

The Lost Treasure

The Lost Treasure, by Jan Stradling, illustrated by Cassandra Allen
Walker Stories, 2010

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

All Together Now, by Phil Cummings & Cassandra Allen

There’s a poor desperate dad, sighing, almost crying.
He puts his hands on his hips, turns to his kids,
Who are getting ready for a holiday and says,

Throw your bags on the truck, kids
Throw your bags on the truck.
Stop your running amuck, kids
And throw your bags on the truck.

Poor Dad. All he’s trying to do is get going on the camping holidays. But his kids, and there are a lot of them, seem determined to stop it happening. Not wilfully, just because they’re busy doing other things like teasing little sisters, and making kid towers and playing with the dog. But eventually they are on their way. The trip is longer and windier than some passengers enjoy and all are happy to arrive at the campsite. When the car is unpacked there’s time to watch the stars before dinner and a campfire singalong. Illustrations in warm tones show the magic of the bush and the wonders that are there to be found. They also beautifully capture the energy of the children.

All Together Now takes the rhythm of Rolf Harris’ ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down’ and creates a story of family and camping. There’s a suggestion initially that the amount of work required might not be worth it, but it seems the memories of past outings keep Dad going through the packing stage. Any family who has been camping will recall all the parts of this story: the packing, the driving, the arriving, the experience, the joy of being in the bush. Those who have not been camping might just be tempted. And like ‘Tie Me Kangaroo Down’, these words just beg to be sung. Recommended for preschool and early primary children.

All Together Now

All Together Now, Phil Cummings ill Cassandra Allen
Omnibus Books
ISBN: 9781862918696

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author

This book can be purchased online from Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.

There Was an Old Sailor, by Claire Saxby & Cassandra Allen

There was an old sailor
who swallowed a krill
I don’t know why
he swallowed the krill
It’ll make him ill

So begins this delightful rhyming picture offering, a nautical twist on the old rhyme There was an Old Woman, which sees the sailor eat his way through a host of ocean dwelling critters, from the tiny krill, to a fish, a ray, and even a whale.

Young readers will love the silliness of the tale, and be able to join in the repetitive rhyme. They’ll also be surprised by the ending, which adults may also approve of, because unlike the traditional rhyme, in this one the eater does not end up dead.

The illustrations, in richly muted ocean tones, are beautiful, with lots of comical touches. The sailor’s expressions are especially humorous and endearing. Back of book fishy facts provide a gently educational touch.

This is a gorgeous hard cover offering which will sit well in libraries and classroom collections, but be just as loved and treasured at home.

There Was an Old Sailor

There Was an Old Sailor, by Claire Saxby and Cassandra Allen
Walker Books, 2010

This book can be purchased online from (the appropriately named bookstore) Fishpond. Buying through this link supports Aussiereviews.