Chook Shed Snake, by Phil Cummings

A curious brown snake was slithering happily through the tall, crackle-dry grass by the creek.
Its tongue was flicking, it’s glassy eyes staring.

Dad is in trouble about the state of the chook yard, and he HAS to do something about it. But he doesn’t know that a big brown snake has come to check out the chook yard, too. When the kids spot the snake, Dad has to be brave to fix the problem.

Chook Shed Snake is an easy to read offering set in rural Australia and dealing with a situation many rural children will relate to – and which rural and city children alike will enjoy. Using action and humour, the story is both exciting and funny, a combination which will entice beginning readers.

Part of Omnibus’ new Mates series, Chook Shed Snake is illustrated in colour, with short chapters in a format likely to appeal to readers of all abilities.

Chook Shed Snake (Mates)

Chook Shed Snake (Mates), by Phil Cummings, ill by Greg Holfeld
Omnibus, 2009

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

Thorpey, by Ruth Starke

What is Thorpey doing? Is there something wrong?
Instead of swimming around, he stays in one spot.
He floats on his back. He leans to one side.

When the narrator of this story is given a goldfish for his birthday, he’s initially unimpressed, but as he gets to know the fish (who he names Thorpey) he realises that goldfish are pretty cool. It isn’t long before he thinks Thorpey is the best pet ever. So when Thorpey stops swimming and starts lying on the bottom of the tank, the boy is worried. What can be wrong with Thorpey, and is there any way of fixing him?

Thorpey is a short chapter book for beginning readers, part of the new Mates series from Omnibus books. With a simple storyline, the support of full colour illustrations on every page, and a high interest plot line, Thorpey is a mystery story which readers will enjoy trying to solve.

A cute offering.

Thorpey (Mates)

Thorpey , by Roth Starke, illustrated by Katie Jardine
Omnibus, 2009

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

The Wombat and the Grand Poohjam, by Jackie French

The Grand Poohjam giggled. As soon as the kids were married, he’d be able to claim O’Straylia in the Princess’s name. After he killed her father, of course. And then he could get rid of her.
Oh yes, the Grand Poohjam knew exactly how to make kids do as they were told!

The Grand Poohjam has a cunning plan. He will marry his adopted son to a small Princess from O’Straylia and then get rid of her so he can take over her country. But when the Princess arrives she has a present for the Grand Poohjam – a singing wombat. All he has to do is get the wombat to be happy, then it will sing and make him rich.

Putting his original plan aside, the Poohjam does everything the Princess asks to make the wombat happy – from stopping the floggings, to making sure the kingdom’s children have books, to allowing Father Christmas to visit. It seems nothing will make the wombat sing – but the princess and prince get happier every day.

The Wombat and the Grand Poohjam , part of the new Mates series from Omnibus, is lots of fun. Young readers will enjoy seeing the wicked Grand Poohjam being outwitted by a small princess and a cheeky wombat. Like all titles in the Mates series, this one offers short chapters, good sized print and plenty of full colour illustrations, to help readers making the transition to the novel format.

This funny book, by one of Australia’s best loved children’s authors, will be a hit with young readers.

The Wombat and the Grand Poohjam (Mates)

The Wombat and the Grand Poohjam (Mates), by Jackie French and Andrew Marlton
Omnibus, 2009

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