Kate, by Kevin Burgemeestre

Kate wiped tears away with her sleeve. She was shaking so badly, she was having trouble getting up. Red t-shirt bent down and helped her gently over to a nearby bench, straightening her jumper as they went. When she had calmed down a little, she looked across at her rescuer and was astonished to find it was the guy behind the red door. the guy whose dog she’d just stolen!

Kate’s not happy. Still reeling from the loss of her mother, she now has to deal with the departure of her best friend and her favourite teacher, being bullied at school, and a dad who never seems to be around. When she rescues an abused dog she hopes life might get better, but though Wilde is protective and good company, he can’t keep Kate safe all the time. Suddenly her list of troubles seems almost trivial compared with her new one: someone is after her, and seems intent on killing her. On the run with Wilde and her new friend, Mal, Kate must draw on courage she didn’t know she had.

Kate is an action packed young adult story, an outstanding début for the author who is perhaps best known for his work as an illustrator. Kate is feisty in the face of danger, loyal and generous. She’s also a talented artist, with the book scattered with her artworks interpreting events, and testament to Burgemeestre’s artistic talents.

Suitable for teen readers, Kate is a satisfying read.


Kate, by Kevin Burgemeestre
Morris Publishing Australia, 2013
ISBN 9780987543448

You can read about the writing of Kate here.


Available from good bookstores and online.

Uncle Eddie Books, by Lucy Farmer

When the sun sank down behind the lake, Uncle Eddie sat outside his house and waited for the hippos…He heard the frogs croaking. He heard an owl hooting. He even heard the faint laugh of a hyena. But he did not hear the noise he was waiting for – the heavy footsteps of sausage-chomping hippos marching towards his long grass.

Uncle Eddie looks after a national park on the shores of Lake Wakka Wakka in southern Africa. He has built himself a hut, and is quite happy there.

But Uncle Eddie has a problem. The grass around his hut is growing too long. What he needs is an animal to come and graze on the grass and keep it short – and he thinks the hippos in the nearby lake are just right for the job. Each night, however, the hippos climb out of the other side of the lake and eat the grass over there. If only he can get them to change sides, Uncle Eddie will be happy.

Uncle Eddie and the Hippos is one of two titles in the new Uncle Eddie series from Black Dog Books. In the second title, Uncle Eddie needs to outwit a large crocodile in Uncle Eddie and the Croc. Each book is complemented by full colour illustrations (by Kevin Burgemeestre) and back of book fact pages.

An absorbing, high-interest series for junior and middle primary aged readers.

Uncle Eddie and the Hippos and Uncle Eddie and the Croc, by Lucy Farmer, illustrated by Kevin Burgemeestre
Black Dog Books, 2009

Antarctic Dad, by Hazel Edwards and Kevin Burgemeestre

‘Where’s your dad?’ ask the kids at my new school.
‘He’s gone to work in Antarctica,’ I say.
They don’t believe me, at first. But then I show them the photos.

Having a absentee father is never easy – but when Dad is off working in Antarctica, this presents its own set of problems. The dad in this story makes sure he’s still involved in his son’s daily life by exchanging emails and photographs and by sharing the adventures of Roo, the soft toy which has accompanied him to Antarctica. At home, his son misses his dad, but enjoys sharing his new-found knowledge of Antarctica, and his dad’s adventures, with the class.

Antarctic Dad is a fictional story which deals with issues of separation, but also provides information about Antarctic life and the animals and landscape of Antarctica. It is enjoyable as a simple story, but also has educational benefits for home and classroom use.

Author Hazel Edwards has been to Antarctica, and draws on her experiences to give this story authenticity. Illustrator Kevin Burgemeestre brings the story to life with watercolour illustrations filled with plenty of detail to be discovered by the viewer.

An excellent book.

Antarctic Dad, by Hazel Edwards and Kevin Burgemeestre
Lothian, 2006