‘Well, maybe this is a way you can go. Read this,’ says Gran. She tosses the paper at me.
It’s about the Dargan’s Ridge Festival. On the bottom Gran has circled this:
Celebrate the spirit of ‘The Man From Snowy River’ with the Stockman’s Cup! $500 first place!
George really wants to go to Bill Spills Water World, but it’s expensive, and a long way from Mumblegum, where he lives. Gran has a solution: he can enter a horse race on their old stock horse, Bandicoot. Not much can go wrong – unless Bandicooot’s friend Croak gets involved, or George is accused of cheating, or some rogue goats get free.
The Boy from Snowy River, new in Omnubus Books’ Mates series, is a fast moving, easy to read offering with plenty of humour. Colour illustrations, by Joe Bond, and text embellishments add interest and help in making the text accessible.
Lots of fun for lower primary readers.
The Boy from Snowy River, by Edwina Howard, illustrated by Joe Bond
Omnibus Books, 2014
Available from good bookstores or online.
When Jake and his family move to a seaside town from the city, he isn’t sure it would be easy to make new friends. But he’s immediately ‘adopted’ by Jeremy, man of big ideas in need of willing labour. Or perhaps just labour. But although Jeremy’s ideas can be wild, Jake is a (mostly) willing participant and this summer holiday is no exception.
Everybody says the same thing: ‘That Jeremy Jones is one of a kind.’ That’s what everybody says. Well, everybody except for our teacher, Mr Buttsworth, who says that Jeremy is the bane of his existence and a nuisance to society. But Jeremy says two things made him the way he is: his grandpa and his mother.
Jeremy says the first piece of advice he ever got was from his grandpa who said: ‘Don’t bury your head in the sand, Jeremy, be responsible and plant yourself a money tree.’
So Jeremy did or at least he tried to. He asked his mother for two dollars which he planted, and when that didn’t grow he asked her for ten dollars. And then he got the second piece of advice: ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees.’
When Jake and his family move to a seaside town from the city, he isn’t sure it would be easy to make new friends. But he’s immediately ‘adopted’ by Jeremy, man of big ideas in need of willing labour. Or perhaps just labour. But although Jeremy’s ideas can be wild, Jake is a (mostly) willing participant and this summer holiday is no exception. Uncle Sunny, the ice-cream man at the beach has always been grumpy, but now it seems he’s serving up mouse poo in the ice-cream. So with Jeremy’s entrepreneurship, Jake’s hard work and a bit of help from friends and family, a new ice-cream business is off to a roaring start. But Uncle Sunny doesn’t take kindly to the new business and is prepared to do what it takes – fair means or foul – to run them out of town. It’s war!
Ah! Ice-cream and the beach. A winning combination. Add a bunch of upper primary boys with their mixture of enthusiasm and competitiveness, heedless of consequences and you have a riotous adventure that lasts all summer. Don’t forget the mad Shetland pony or the legend of the Headless Fisherman. Before Summer is over, readers will have met them all. This is a realistic (okay, hyper-realistic) romp through a small Australian seaside town. Sure to bring a chuckle, giggle or gaffaw to all mid- to upper-primary readers.
The Ice-cream War, Edwina Howard Omnibus Books 2012 ISBN: 9781862919563
review by Claire Saxby, Children’s Author