The wind increases and I topple madly after Bilby.
Then – THUD! – the wild wind tunnel spits us out onto a patch of frosty ground.
“S-sunny?” Bilby stutters.
I look up. Are they snowflakes falling from the sky?
Tom and Bilby are off on another mission, using the power of the magical stopwatch to transport them. Grandpa is sending them to Mirthful, a funny, sunny place, he says. Tom think he’ll get the chance for a nice swim. But instead they land in a cold, frosty land where there isn’t much sign of fun or happiness. Tom soon discovers that the land is under control of a frosty queen who ahs banned laughter, and banished the true royal family. It is up to Tom and Bilby to free the land from her reign and restore everything to rights.
The Land of Mirthful is the second title in the Stopwatch series, by the team of Sally Morgan and her three children Ambelin, Blaze & Ezekiel Kwaymullina. As with the first title, The Land of Mirthful blends humour and action in a fast paced fantasy adventure.
Although part of a series, the title will also stand alone for readers new the series.
The Land of Mirthful (Stopwatch) by Sally Morgan and Ambelin, Blaze & Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Walker Books, 2009
My whole body feels like one giant bruise. I lie there, eyes closed, willing the dizziness to go away. I feel for the stopwatch, but it’s gone. Grandpa will never forgive me. Then I realise that my fingers aren’t pulling at the carpet of Grandpa’s bedroom floor, but at thick, springy grass. Where am I? I force my eyes open.
“Aaaarrrrggghhh!” I scream again.
Tom has been desperate to try out his Grandpa’s stopwatch, ever since Tom realised it had the power to make people invisible. But, when he finally gets the chance to sneak into Grandpa’s room, Tom discovers the stopwatch does more than make him disappear – it transports him to another world. Finding himself in the Land of Kur, Tom is befriended by monsters, and unwillingly helps them to defeat the neighbouring giants, before meeting a huge Spider Queen who makes him wonder whether he’ll ever see his home again.
Stopwatch: The Land of Kur is the first tile in a new series from Western Australian authors Sally Morgan and Ambelin, Blaze and Ezekiel Kwaymullina. With a range of fantastical beings, an intriguing fantasy land, and lots of action therein, this is ideal for fantasy loving youngsters, as well as a great introduction to the genre.
An absorbing and action-packed read for readers aged 8 to 12.
Stopwatch: the Land of Kur, by Sally Morgan, and Ambelin, Blaze & Ezekiel Kwaymullina
Walker Books, 2009
Gramps disappeared into his room. He returned a few minutes later with a gumleaf attached to a long leather string.
‘Here, put this around your neck,’ he said.
‘Why would I want to do that, Gramps?’ asked Alex.
‘It’s so you’ll always have a piece of the bush with you.’
Reluctantly, Alex put the gumleaf over his head and tucked it under his T-shirt where no one could see it.
Alex’s grandfather is really embarrassing. He’s always protesting and campaigning to save things like whales and trees. Other grandparents do things like help with homework or buy them sweets, but Gramps is too busy thinking up new ways to embarrass Alex – at least that’s how it feels. So when Alex has to go and stay with Gramps for a few days, he isn’t impressed. What will Gramps get up to this time? But Alex is about to be surprised. Strange events lead him to a greater understanding of why Gramps does what he does.
The Other Side is a child’s view of activism and how fighting for environmental issues can make a difference. It also explores the history of Western Australia’s Rabbit Proof Fence from a unique perspective – when Alex unexpectedly finds himself inside the body of a joey for part of the story.
Part of the Making Tracks series of historical fiction for primary aged readers.
The Other Side, by Sally Morgan, illustrated by Teresa Culkin-Lawrence
National Museum of Australia Press, 2007