A Ridiculous Story, by Rolf Heimann

“You’re telling me that a hippopotamus crossed Main Street and exploded, scattering monkeys everywhere… This is the most ridiculous story I have ever heard!”

What should you do if your inflatable Taiwanese hippopotamus won’t move? Why, fill it with monkeys of course! What do you do if your uncle sells you as a parrot to a group of bloodthirsty pirates? What do you do when you can’t invent a better mousetrap? And when is a witch not a witch? This book answers those and more questions.

This is a fun and exciting collection of stories from one of Australia’s best authors. These stories are funny and also suitable for kids of all ages. Kids will love reading this fantastic collection full of droll humour and dry wit.

Another great collection from a fantastic author.

A Ridiculous Story

A Ridiculous Story, by Rolf Heimann
Little Hare, 2006

Audiobook Review: Life's Like a Crocodile, by Rolf Heimann

What if a snail decided to seek a starring role on television – in a snail pellet advertisement? Or what if a cabbage managed to trick a rabbit into not eating it for dinner? This collection of stories by funny Australian author Rolf Heimann tells these tales and more, in a fun offering for children aged 7 to 10.

Read in this audiobook version by Anna Steen, the eighteen stories are each brief (the longest takes 7 minutes but most are less than 4), making them suitable for short listening spells of one story at a time, although they are just as appropriate for listening to in a longer sitting of several stories.

This would be a wonderful offering for the classroom, but will be enjoyed for private listening, too.

Life’s Like a Crocodile, by Rolf Heimann, read by Anna Steen
ABC Audio, 2006

You can buy this CD online at Fishpond.

The Royal Flea, by Rolf Heimann

What a conundrum! When the King is bitten by a flea, nobody is sure what to do. On the one hand the flea should be killed for harming His Majesty. On the other, the flea now has royal blood inside it, so it would not be right to injure it.

Author/illustrator Rolf Heimann is known for his fun puzzles, and the quandry of the king’s flea is just one of the funny plot ideas explored in this collection of ten short stories. Each is both humorous and unique, with a smattering of Heimann’s cartoon-style illustrations.

As well as plenty of laughs, the stories also gently explore some serious themes – including that of sibling rivalry, as presented in the story Otter Tails where five young otters compete for their mother’s attention. The main focus, though, is not on morals, but on fun, which is the essence of Heimann’s work.

This offering will appeal to kids aged 8 to 12.

The Royal Flea, by Rolf Heimann
Little Hare, 2005

Two Interactive Puzzle Books

Kids love books with an interactive element and these two new offerings from Little Hare publishers offer plenty of interactivity in the form of puzzles and mazes.

Amazeing Ruins offers a series of mazes for children to find their way through. Each maze is a path through a lost civilisation – from the Colosseum in Rome, to the Great Wall of China and Babylon in Iraq. Hamill uses various art mediums to create each double page spread, with the paths of the mazes being woven into the detailed illustration. In Ancient Egypt, for example, the path is etched in hieorglyphics, whilst in Bayon, Cambodia, the path is made of vines.

As well as a page showing soltions, Amazeing Ruins also includes a brief note about the history of each site depicted in the mazes, so that the book is not only fun, but also educational.

Puzzlemazia by Rolf Heimann also includes mazes, as well as puzzles of various types. Many youngsters will already be familiar with Heimann’s work and this offering includes Heimann’s trademark bright illustrations, with a range of challenges from relatively easy to mind-bogglingly confusing.

At a rrp of $10.95, this pair make affordable and entertaining gifts and would be great for long car or plane trips.

Amazeing Ruins, by Dion Hamill
Puzzlemania, by Rolf Heimann
Both from Little Hare , 2004

At War with the Tooth Fairy, by Rolf Heimann

Rory has discovered that the tooth fairies are not as sweet and loving as they’re made out to be. So he’s set out to teach them a lesson.

When he turns up at school showing the signs of his battle with two very feisty fairies, he is teased mercilessly and punished by his teacher for lying. Then Rory meets the Bullyboss, an evil, toady looking creature, who congratulates him on his behaviour and encourages him to join the ‘bully brotherhood’.

At War With the Tooth Fairies is a funny tale with a gentle moral. Heimann’s characters are humorous and well-rounded, with Rory being believably human, even as his lesson is learnt.

At War With the Tooth Fairies is a Start-Ups Level 2 title from Lothian, likely to appeal to 8 to 10 year olds as they make the change from illustration-dependent stories to junior novels.

At War With the Tooth Fairy, by Rolf Heimann
Lothian Books, 2003