The Great Zoo Hullabaloo! by Mark Carthew ill Anil Tortop

When Jess and Jack opened the gates to the Zoo,
it was strangely deserted. Nobody said BOO!
‘Where’s the new roo?’ said Jess, looking round.
‘It’s never this quiet. I can’t hear a sound.’

When Jess and Jack arrive at the zoo to begin their day and to check on their newest animal, they find everything suspiciously quiet. None of the animals are to be seen, but it’s clear where they’ve been. There are open cages, and animal scats and tracks everywhere. They follow the tracks, the scats, the feathers and down. They know their animals love to roam free, but are keen to get them back before night falls. Just when Jess is beginning to worry, she finds Jack and the animals too. Illustrations are full of fun and humour as the animals conduct their big Hullabaloo.

‘The Great Zoo Hullabaloo’ tells a story of disappearing zoo animals, the tracks they leave behind and the reason they have vanished, all in rhyme. Young readers are invited to speculate about where the animals might be, then to join in when they are discovered. Both zookeepers are relieved to find their animals, and to join in the shenanigans. There are plenty of animals to identify, and rhythms to replicate. Recommended for pre-schoolers.

The Great Zoo Hullabaloo!, Mark Carthew ill Anil Tortop New Frontier Publishing 2017 ISBN: 9781925059786

review by Claire Saxby, Children’s author and bookseller
www.clairesaxby.com

Marvin and Marigold: The Big Sneeze, by Mark Carthew & Simon Prescott

Whenever young Marvin smelled biscuits or cheese
his whiskers would twitch…and he’d let out a sneeze.

Marigold Mouse has built herself a lovely new house, but there is a problem. Her neighbour, Marvin, has a terrible case of the sneezes, and whenever he sneezes, Marigold’s house shakes and gets messy. If she wants to save her house and keep Marvin as a neighbour, Marigold must search for a cure for Marvin’s sneezing.

The Big Sneeze is a delightful story in rhyme for young readers about friendship – and sneezing. The rhyme and rhythm scan well, making the story a pleasure to read aloud, and youngsters will love the humour of the situation as well as the illustrations which show quirky anthropomorphic mice and lots of detail covering every spread. The expressions of the mice are especially pleasing.

The Big Sneeze, by Mark Carthew, illustrated by Simon Prescott

New Frontier, 2016
ISBN 9781925059656

Meet My Book: The Gobbling Tree, by Mark Carthew

I’m happy to welcome Mark Carthew to the blog today. Mark is here to introduce us to his latest book, The Gobbling Tree, which has just been rereleased.

Welcome Mark.

1.       Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.

The Gobbling Tree

New Frontier Publishing

By Mark Carthew, illustrated by Susy Boyer

Release Feb 1 2014

2.       Why did you write the book?

The idea came from a real life experience as a primary teacher, seeing a student kick a football up into a tree and the efforts of everyone around (including me) try to get it back down!  It was very funny.

3.       How long from idea to publication?

About 4 … or 40 years; depending how you define the ‘idea’ germ – as I suspect the idea  really started in my childhood when lots of the toys and objects  my brother and I played  with such as kites, Frisbees and balls sometimes got caught up in trees.

4.       What was the hardest thing about writing it?

Making sure the rhyming text rolled off the tongue with both logic and energy, while still allowing the text and visual narrative some space. It was also important to me to build up some tension to the resolution – along with the ‘teasers’ of predicted outcomes in each stanza.

5.       Coolest thing about your book?

Winning the Speech Pathology Australia Book of Year Award. (… and Susy’s great illustrations. I love her use of shadows and the fun element of the little dog in every picture)

6.       Something you learnt through writing the book?

That working with illustrators is one of the greatest things about being a children’s author. I loved working with Susy and the way she enjoyed all discussions about text and illustration placement.

7.       What did you do celebrate the release?

We had an exhibition and book launch event at the wonderful Mark’s and Gardner Galley & café in  Tamborine Mountain, Qld. They placed full sized objects from the story in a grand old oak tree in their beautiful open garden. The locals still call it The Gobbling Tree!

8.       And how will you promote the book?

I present at lots of festivals, libraries, events and schools and provide bookmarks, posters and activity sheets and notes for teachers and children.

9.       What are you working on next?

Like most authors I normally have lots of projects and ideas bubbling away!  I have written a sequel to my latest book The Moose is Loose! and I have also written a follow up title to Five Little Owls (Six Little Ducks) which will also have a matching CD / song.  I’m also working on a graphic novel for older children and a number of other picture books.

10.   Where we can find out more about you and your book?

My website www.markcarthew.com.au  is a good place. I put lots of fun free songs, activities, book links, interviews and resources up there for parents, teachers and students … and I’m adding things all the time!

 

Thanks heaps for visiting Mark. You can see a review of The Gobbling Tree here

Can You Keep a Secret, by Mark Carthew & Jobi Murphy

For anyone who loves nursery rhymes – and for anyone who has yet to discover their wonders- this delightful offering is just perfect. This cushioned hardcover book offers hundreds of rhymes, brightly illustrated and with touches such as the ribbon bookmark making it a great gift and a collector’s item.

From the seemingly universally known rhymes such as Hey diddle diddle, and Mary had a Little Lamb to lesser known ones including Five Bananas, Chubby Little Snow Man and many, many more, there are rhymes to suit every mood or occasion. Compiler Mark Carthew has divided his selections into six categories: Nursery rhymes, Playtime Rhymes, Action rhymes, Counting Rhymes, Finger Rhymes and Lullabies and Gentle Rhymes, and has included a Foreword with a little insight into his selection process.

All rhymes are colourfully illustrated by Jobi Murphy using ink outlines and bright fills. Some pages uses bold or bright backgrounds, whilst others are on white. There is plenty of variety to delight young readers.

This is a volume to be dipped into and to be treasured by young and old. Simply beautiful.

Can You Keep a Secret?

Can You Keep a Secret, by Mark Carthew and Jobi Murphy
Random House Australia, 2008

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

The Gobbling Tree, by Mark Carthew

Reviewed by Kathryn Duncan

 

Mark Carthew’s first picture book, Five Little Owlswas a delight to read and the rhyme and rhythm flowed in a way rare these days. There is always the expectation that a follow up will be just as good.

The Gobbling Tree does not disappoint as the rhyme and rhythm is again fluid and easy to read. Eating everything that is sent its way, The Gobbling Tree refuses to give up all manner of objects it receives as the local children attempt to retrieve a red cricket ball that finds its way into the branches. The story is entertaining and fun, as the whole community gets involved in finding a way to get back the much needed cricket ball. Sticks, a kite, a ladder, brooms and even Simon find their way into the luscious green foliage. The question is: how will they get all the things back?

No newcomer to illustrations, The Gobbling Tree is Susie Boyer’s second picture book. The smile on the tree’s face portrays a sense of cheeky fun as it captures the objects one by one, with no plans of letting them go. The illustrations are colourful and bright, adding to the sense of fun that the story is about. There is a lot in the illustrations, and they add beautifully to the text, helping us remember each item lost within the branches, and watch in the hope that the next attempt will see everything come tumbling down.

When it seems that all attempts are in vain, it is the simplest thing that sees the tree give up its treasures. But as in life, children don’t always learn and when the urge to play another game of cricket is too much for Zac – you can guess what will happen.

The Gobbling Tree is a delightful book that everyone can relate to and, as with so many of New Frontier’s books, destined to become a favourite.

The Gobbling Tree, by Mark Carthew, illus by Susie Boyer
New Frontier. 2008

HB rrp $24.95

Five Little Owls, by Mark Carthew

Reviewed by Kathryn Duncan

 

Good rhyming books can be difficult to find but Mark Carthew has met the rhyming challenge with Five Little Owls. The rhyme and rhythm remind me of Julia Donaldon’s The Gruffaloand as a result, the reader is rewarded with a well written book where the words flow beautifully and musically off the tongue.

We join five little owls as they play hide and seeks across the pages with mice, frog, rabbits and bats. Young children can relate to the excitement of the game being played in the story and can join in the search for the animals as well as the delightful peek-a-boo ending.

Once again, Mini Goss’s illustrations have been perfectly paired with the text and are a delight to look at. The illustrations generate discussion between reader and child as they search the pages for the hiding animals, not only about which animals are hiding, but whether or not those animals are really owl’s prey. As always, if you want to get a feel for the characters, look at the eyes of Goss’s animals.

Five Little Owls will appeal beyond the pre-school age group it is intended for. It is a memorable for book for combining the simplicity of childhood games with the complexity of beautiful rhyme and illustrations. This book is destined to be read over and over again.

Five Little Owls Mark Carthew (text) and Mini Goss(illus)
New Frontier, HB rrp $24.95