Meet My Book: Pickle and Bree, by Alison Reynolds

I’m really pleased to have Alison Reynolds here on the Aussiereviews blog today to introduce us to her latest book. In fact, she’s going to tell us about TWO new books. Over to you, Alison.

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

Pickle & Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds – The Playground Meanies    

Pickle & Bree’s Guide to Good Deeds – The Big Snow Adventure

Illustrator Mikki Butterley

The Five Mile Press; February 2017

  1. Why did you write the books?

The publisher commissioned me to write a book about manners subtly hidden in a picture book. We wanted to explore a deeper level of social etiquette rather than the basic “say please and thank-you”.

  1.  How long from idea to publication?

The books were written and edited within five months.

  1. What was the hardest thing about writing it?

We decided to have Pickle and Bree in outside locations for these books rather than the home environment of the previous two books. It seemed to take me ages to decide on the location – too many choices.

  1. Coolest thing about your books?

Seeing Pickle and Bree having more adventures. I adore Mikki Butterley’s illustrations.

  1. Something you learnt through writing the books?

That it is so much fun to return to well-loved characters. Also, that the narrative flows from the characters. The personalities of Pickle and Bree dictate what is going to happen.

  1. What did you do celebrate the release?

We’re off to a special Italian restaurant.

  1. And how will you promote the books?

A photo & drawing competition and a blog tour! There are lots of excellent prizes.

  1. What are you working on next?

I’ve been thinking about a new series for 6-8 years old, which could be fun.

  1. Where we can find out more about you and your books?

At my website:

Via email

Or on my Facebook page:



Thanks for dropping in, Alison. If you want to learn more about Alison or Pickle and Bree, or if you would like to enter one of her competitions, keep reading.



Look whats happening to celebrate the release of the latest two books in the award nominated Pickle & Bree series, The Playground Meanies & The Big Snow Adventure.


13/2/17 Boomerang Books & Pass-it-on Jackie Hosking

14/2/17 Creative Kids Tales

15/2/17 Buzz Words Di Bates

16/2/17 Aussie Reviews

17/2/17 Just Write for Kids & Julie Grasso


Just leave a comment on any of the posts in the blog tour, comment on facebook or twitter or even email to win a copy of The Playground Meanies or The Big Snow Adventure.


Win an opportunity for a childrens editor at The Five Mile Press to look at your picture book submission (strictly 500 words or less). Just comment on any of the posts in the blog tour and add initials JSP.


Win a free picture book assessment by the author Alison Reynolds. Just comment on any of the posts in the blog tour and add the initials PB.

Remember the more you comment, the more chances you have to win.


Win a print of Mikki Butterleys fabulous artwork from one of these two books. Just send a photo or drawing of your favourite teddy to or upload to or Twitter @AlisonReynoldsa

Competitions close March 24th and winners to be announced and contacted by March 31st.


The Little Giraffe Who Lost Her Spots, by Jedda Robaard

Little Giraffe loved all things spotty…
but nothing could replace her missing spots.

When Little Giraffe wakes up, she is panicked to realise she has lost her spots. She looks everywhere for them, and even tries to find ways to replace them, unsuccessfully. It is only when she starts to cry and pulls a handkerchief from her pocket that she realises she hasn’t lost her spots after all – they are just covered by her yellow pyjamas.

The Little Giraffe Who Lost Her Spots is a gently humorous board book offering for littlies. Young readers will enjoy the apparent mystery, and the outcome, as well as the flaps to lift and the watercolour and pencil illustrations, featuring a whimsical giraffe and her companion, a grey animal which may be a tiny piglet.

A sturdy, delightful board book.

The Little Giraffe Who Lost Her Spots, by Jedda Robaard
Five Mile Press, 2016
ISBN 9781760400392

You Have My Heart, by Corinne Fenton and Robin Cowcher

On good days and bad days
and all those in-between days…
you have my heart.

Whether its a sunshine-inside-of-me day, a tears-tumbling-down day or an en-between day, the voice of this books tells ‘you’, the reader/listener, that you always have ‘my heart’. The simple but whimsical text is an attestation of love between reader and listener, between parent and child, or between giver and receiver, being a book perfect both for quiet-time reading with a young child and for gift giving to another adult.

The illustrations too are deceptively simple, using ink and watercolour with greys and reddy-pinks to depict a child of indeterminate age demonstrating the range of emotions with the help of a single red balloon which, at the end, becomes heart-shaped.

This gorgeous small format hardcover is sheer delight.

You Have My Heart, by Corinne Fenton & Robin Cowcher
Five Mile Press, 2016
ISBN 9781760401917

Chip. by Kylie Howarth

He ate
fat chips, skinny chips,
doggy vhipd, sandy chips,
crunchy little bits of chips
and even spicy chilli-dipped chips.

Like most gulls, Chip would do anything for fish and chips, even though the chips he eats make his stomach ache. So, when the fish and chip van owner bans Chip and his mates from being fed chips, Chip gets desperate. He hatches a plan to impress people so much they won’t be able to resist him and his friends.

Chip is the humorous tale of a greedy, but inventive seagulll, who trains his friends to fly in formation so they can compete in an airshow and get free chips. Though the plan works, the result is not free chips (which are bad for gulls) but fresh fish, which is more satisfying. The mixed-media illustrations make use of collage, pen outlines and digital elements and Howarth’s ability to give Chip plenty of emotion and movement with just a few simple lines is clever.

A fun picture book which will be enjoyed by kids and adults alike.

Chip, by Kylie Howarth
Five Mile, 2016
ISBN 9781760400736

Cheeky Monkey Manners: Excuse Me and Sorry, by Lisa Kerr

Cheeky Monkey wanted to ask if he could go to the park, but couldn’t get his mother’s attention.Cheeky Monkey Manners Excuse Me
‘Try using your manners, Cheeky Monkey,’ suggested Mr Owl. ‘Just say, “Excuse me”.’

When cheeky Monkey goes to the park, he has lots of fun – but he forgets his manners. When he bumps his friends, sneezes on them, and interrupts them he needs to be reminded to say ‘Excuse me.’ But, by the end of the day, he remembers what he needs to do.

At a birthday party, Cheeky Monkey again has fun – unwrapping presents, pushing to the front of the line, blowing out candles, but he has upset Georgina Giraffe – because it’s her birthday, not Cheeky Monkey’s. Monkey needs to say sorry.

Excuse Me and Sorry are two in the Manners series of four designed to introduce manners to the very young. In board book format with bright, humour-filled pictures, they will certainly appeal to toddlers, and to their parents. Creator Lisa Kerr avoids being preachy, instead demonstrating each of the manners through Cheeky Monkey’s adventures.Cheeky Monkey Manners Sorry

Sorry (ISBN 9781760069773)
Excuse Me (ISBN 9781760069780)
Both by Lisa Kerr
Five Mile Press, 2016

Crystal Force, by Joe Ducie

Irene and Tristan dived for cover but Drake watched the shards fall like sparks opf electric-blue snow mixed with white. They disappearedCrystal Force into the actual snow and melted the hard-packed powder beneath. The lighter sparks were swept away on the wind, marking the prsitine snow with hundreds of tiny burns.

I did that. Whatever it was, it was beautiful, and I did it.

Will Drake is on the run. No longer a prisoner in the word’s supposedly most secure facility, now he’s been branded a terrorist and, with his friends Irene and Tristan, is on the run He wants to get to his mother in England, and help to cure her cancer. First, though, he has to evade the Alliance and get out of Canada. Pretty difficult when the Alliance controls transport, communication – in fact, pretty much everything.  Then there’s the fact that he has special powers – the result of being exposed to the powerful but mysterious Crystal X during his time as a prisoner. Though these powers might help him escape, they are also the very reason the Alliance will stop at nothing to track him down.

Crystal Force is the sequel to the award-winning The Rig and would probably work best being read in order. However, there is enough back story to bring the reader up to speed, and enough action and intrigue to keep them reading. Set in a not too distant future where technology and a mysterious substance with supernatural links combine in disturbing ways, Crystal Force is a gripping read for young adult readers.

Crystal Force, by Joe Ducie
Hot Key Books, 2015
ISBN 9781471404559

Available from good bookstores and online.

The Nightfish, by Helen McCosker

When Ant sees a fish that shines as brightly as a star, he wants to keep it. He catches it in a net and takes it home. Its glow fills his room and he is happy. But the nighfish starts to fade, and Ant doesn’t understand – perhaps the nightfish is hungry?

As Ant tries to figure out a way to keep the nightfish happy, funny things happen in his town – first the streetlights disappear, then the lighthouse. The creatures of the deep need their light. Ant has to make a decision.

The Nightfish is a stunningly illustrated picture book which, whilst being presented as a whimsical fantasy, also has a message about conservation. Ant has to accept the consequences of keeping the nightfish (or lightfish as the sea creatures call it) to himself.

In this her first picture book McCosker has used has used her lifetime of illustration work to wonderful effect. The colours of the sea – teals and aquas in the day, and rich blues, purples and greens in the night – as well as the detail of each illustration make each spread as unique as it is absorbing.

Nightfish is a beautiful offering.

Nightfish, written and illustrated by Helen McCosker
The Five Mile Press, 2006