Calpepper's Place, by Trudie Trewin & Donna Gynell

One day, Calpepper stopped plodding,
and kicked the hot desert sand.
“This is not the place for me,” he snorted.
“I’m going to find a far away exciting place.”

Calpepper the camel is fed up with trudging behind the plodding camel train. He is sure there are much more exciting places he’d rather be. So one day he leaves the desert behind, and catches a bus, in search of an exciting place. But every place he visits is not quite camely enough: the ski slopes are slippery and cold, the city is too jostly and the waves at the beach are just a bit too high. Finally, Calpepper realises that only home is camely enough for him.

Calpepper’s Place is a gorgeous picture book about camels, home and belonging. Young readers will delight in the humour of Calpepper’s adventures, with text which plays with sound and is patterned in a way encouraging children to predict, and illustrations which perfectly capture the movement and humour of the tale.

The sort of book which will will be happily read over and over by parents and carers, and enjoyed by young readers every time.


Calpepper’s Place, by Trudie Trewin & Donna Gynell
Windy Hollow, 2014
ISBN 9781922081322

Available from good bookstores and online.

Wibbly Wobbly Street, by Trudie Trewin & Cheryl Orsini

Wibbly Wobbly Street wound up and down, thin and out, right and left and everywhere in between.
It was a peculiar street full of peculiar happenings.
And the people who lived there liked it just the way it was.

All of the streets in Squareton are straight and smooth and wide, and flat and trim and tidy – except Wibbly Wobbly Street. True to its name, Wibbly Wobbly Street wibbles and wobbles all over the place – and that is exactly how the people who live there like it. But the Mayor and the Councillors of Squareton don’t like it – and they decide it must be straightened.

Wibbly Wobbly Street is a hilarious picture book about nonconformity and the fun of being different. It is also just a plain silly story of street-straightening and a celebration of language. Author Trudie Trewin has fun making up words (rectangle-fied and wibblectomy, for example), and using real words for maximum fun – hopscotch, askew, wibbliest and more. The text also wibbles and wobbles to emphasise the meaning, and the illustrations, by Cheryl Orsini, wibble and wobble too, with whimsy and fun on every page.

A delightful tale.

Wibbly Wobbly Street

Wibbly Wobbly Street, by Trudie Trewin and Cheryl Orsini
Scholastic, 2010

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

Four Great Aussie Stories

Reviewed by Dee White

As I was reading all four of these wonderful stories by Australian authors, I was reminded that the ability to laugh at ourselves, and rise up in the face of adversity is so much part of our culture – and has an important place in our literature.

All of these stories embody themes like friendship, finding a way out of difficult situations, loyalty and teamwork – each an integral part of the Australian way of life.

These Aussie School Books are relevant, easy to read and full of fun, and young readers will find them hard to put down.

Sailing in the Alice, by Kim Rackham,illustrated by Ben Hutchings
ISBN: 9781921255397

There’s a reason Mia’s family has carried a large empty cardboard box halfway across Australia.

They’re planning to turn it into a boat to race on the Todd River in Central Australia.

It takes Mia a while to get into the spirit of the race but eventually, she becomes just as excited about Soggy Sadie as the rest of her family.

In Sailing in the Alice, Mia learns that you don’t have to win a race in order to have fun.

Kim Rackham’s great characters and fun descriptions are bound to give young readers a ‘giggle attack’ similar to the ones that make Mia’s Aunt Sadie cry with laughter.

The action takes place in a uniquely Australian setting, and Ben Hutching’s illustrations help the reader feel as if they there on the banks of the Todd River.

Young readers will enjoy the humour and action of Sailing in the Alice, as well as its truly Australian flavour.

The Big Blowie,by Sally Murphy, illustrated by Craig Longmuir
ISBN: 9781921255366

Where else but Australia would a germ-spreading pest become the hero of a children’s story?

As Sally Murphy shows in her book, The Big Blowie, blow flies can be good for some things. If somebody doesn’t come up with an idea soon, the drought-stricken town of Lake Blowie is going to evaporate off the Tourist Map forever. That’s when ‘young Syd’ decides to tap into Australians’ love of all things big to create a stunning new attraction.

Everyone works together to get behind Sid’s great idea, and save their beloved town.

Sally Murphy’s colourful characters and their quirks give The Big Blowie humour and credibility.

The Big Blowie is for kids seeking a quick read that will amuse and entertain them from start to finish.

Emily’s Sheepdog,by Tracey Slater,illustrated by Phong Lam
ISBN: 97811921255427

A common thread in children’s books is to see the main character develop as a result of what happens to them in the story. Emily’s Sheepdog is a prime example of this.

Emily wants her very own dog for a pet, but on a farm, every animal has a job to do, and there’s no room for a dog that’s just a pet.

This doesn’t stop Emily. She uses all her ingenuity and imagination to acquire her very own sheepdog.

This clever story uses action, description and realistic dialogue to convey Emily’s plight.

Author Tracey Slater’s engaging story gives children an insight into rural Australian life.

Young readers will enjoy Phong Lam’s expressive illustrations, and the humour that Tracey injects into Emily’s Sheepdog.

Backyard Battles, by Trudie Trewin, illustrated by Craig Longmuir
ISBN: 9781921255410

What could be more Australian than a game of backyard cricket? Trudie Trewin uses this popular summer pass time as the setting for Backyard Battles, a story about working together as a team, and not judging people by first impressions.

When Lavender Street is challenged to a match by Snapdragon Street, it’s game on. Rivals, batsman extraordinaire Gazza, and super speedy bowler Sarah are forced to play on the same side to save the honour of their street.

Trudie Trewin has used clever dialogue and active language like, ‘bounced’, ‘stamped’ and whack to build up the tension in Backyard Battles.

As the two teams slog it out, Gazza and Sarah must work together to win their toughest cricket challenge yet, and in the process they develop a new respect for each other.

7-8 year old readers will enjoy this action packed story, and Craig Longmuir’s fun illustrations.

Published by Aussie School Books Pty Ltd
PB RRP $9.95 (ea)

Reviews by Dee White

I've Lost My Kisses, by Trudie Trewin & Nick Bland

Suddenly Matilda felt something deep inside her chest.
A stretching feeling. Almost a burning feeling!
‘I’m filling up with kisses!’ she gasped. ‘Just exactly when I need them!’

Matilda Rose loves to kiss, but one day, much to her dismay, she loses all her kisses. Poppa is coming to stay, and Matilda is worried that she won’t have any kisses for him. She searches high and low, and, just as Poppa comes into view, discovers that the kisses are inside them. Matilda learns that kisses can’t really be lost – they will be there whenever she needs them.

I’ve Lost My Kisses is a delightful hard cover picture book. The text is simple, yet rhythmic, flowing from page to page with a gentle feel ideal for bedtime reading. The illustrations, too, are gentle, in watercolour and graphite pencil. Matilda and her family are black and white cows, with splashes of colour in clothing, butterflies and a fluffy yellow chicken which appears in every spread.

This is a charming offering which will be loved by children and adult readers alike.

I’ve Lost My Kisses, by Trudie Trewin and Nick Bland
Scholastic, 2007

Stowaway, by Trudie Trewin

Heather had never felt quite this bad before. She wiped the sweat off her palms again, this time onto her dress. She could feel the thumping of her heart under the material. Thump-thump. Thump-thump. She groaned. ‘This is easily going to be the worst day of my life,’ she thought.

Heather is terrified of giving a talk in front of her whole class. She would do anything to get out of it. So, when her Aunty Jenny stops by in her ambulance before school, Heather hides in the back, looking for lift to somewhere she can hide out for the day.

Soon, though, Heather is regretting her actions. The ambulance is called to an accident and as it races through the streets, Heather is thrown around and hurts her wrist. Surely her day can’t get any worse than this?

Stowaway is a humorous and fast moving story which deals with a very real fear for many children (and adults) – speaking in front of their peers. The solution is appropriate, the characters and their actions believable.

Part of the Trekkers series by Macmillan Education, Stowaway is equally suitable for classroom or private reading.

Stowaway, by Trudie Trewin
Macmillan Education, 2005