Little Lunch: Triple the Treats, by Danny Katz & Mitch Vane

Rory ran all the way to the school gate and pressed his face against the wire fence so hard he got crisscross marks on his nose.
He was about to do the unthinkable, he was ready to do the impossible. Rory was about to go …
Out of bounds.

Rory is always forgetting his playlunch, and nobody has any food to share with him – so he has a great idea. He’ll sneak over to the shop and get some hot chips. Not everybody agrees that it’s a good plan – and if Mrs Gonsha finds out he’ll be in big trouble!

The Milk Bar is one of three funny stories that make up Little Lunch: Triple the Treats . The Little Lunch stories have amused young readers for several years, but now they have also been made into a television series and the stories in Triple the Treats are based on episodes of the show.

The stories are humorous, fast moving (each takes place within a single recess break) and well woven, with the characters both diverse and likeable. Black and white illustrations by Mitch Vane are complemented by still photos from the television series.

Lots of fun.

Triple the Treats , by Danny Katz and Mitch Vane
Black Dog Books, 2016
ISBN 9781925126907

Go to Sleep, Jeff!

Oh no! Jeff is having a very unusual problem. He can’t seem to fall asleep! Night after night, the other Wiggles give Jeff ideas to help him catch some ZZZs, but nothing works.

Jeff Wiggle is known for his regular naps – he even falls asleep during concerts – so when he can’t sleep, everyone is concerned. The other Wiggles make some suggestions – Jeff should count sheep, or do star jumps, or drink warm milk before he goes to bed. But none of these ideas work. Then Captain Feathersword has a suggestion. The other Wiggles should write a special lullaby for Jeff. When they do this, and sing to Jeff when he goes to bed, he sleeps through the night.

Go To Sleep Jeff is a bedtime story for young Wiggles fans and comes complete with a CD recording of Jeff reading the story, and two original lullabies sung by the Wiggles. Youngsters seem to love anything and everything Wiggles, and this one should be no less popular.

The Wiggles: Go to Sleep, Jeff
ABC Books, 2007

You can buy this book online at Fishpond

Dorothy the Dinosaur and the Magic Shell

Reviewed by Tash Hughes

Dorothy the Dinosaur wakes up one morning feeling down in the dumps for no clear reason. Wags the Dog, Captain Feathersword and Henry the Octopus do their best to cheer her up by taking her to the beach. Still unhappy, Dorothy walks along the beach and finds a most unusual shell.

When Dorothy blows the horn, it has a magical effect on her friends; they stand on their heads, somersault and make animal noises and can’t stop!

Finally, Dorothy is happy and laughs at her friends’ antics so much she can’t blow the shell again for some time. Eventually, a blow of the shell frees her friends and they return to normal behaviour. Dorothy throws the shell into the ocean before playing with her friends and building the captain a sand ship.

The book has clear illustrations of the Wiggles characters and will delight all young children. The text is simple and short for preschoolers, but interesting enough to captivate early readers, too. The book shows children it’s ok to feel down sometimes, but it’s more fun to be with friends and laugh! A fun read from the Wiggles.

Dorothy the Dinosaur and the Magic Shell, The Wiggles, Illustrated by Jonathon Bentley
ABC Books, 1999

Two TV Spin-Offs from ABC Kids

If there are kids in your house, chances are that you know who Angela Anaconda and Bob the Builder are. The pair are regulars from the ABC for Kids afternoon line up. Now, ABC Books has two offerings for young fans which would make perfect Christmas gift ideas.

Angela Anaconda is the queen of one-liners and silly jokes, so it is little surprise to see a book full of them. Angela Anaconda: My Book of Stupid Jokes is crammed full of silliness – jokes, puns, knock-knocks and more. Complemented with illustrations of all the show’s characters – Angela herself, Johnny Havati, Gina Lash, Gordy Rhinehart, even Nanette Manoir and Mrs Brinks.

Perfect for young fans of the show (some of the jokes would be unclear for anyone who hadn’t watched it), this little book has a nice little price too – just $5.95 (rrp).

For Bob the Builder fans comes the Bob the Builder Bumper Book, Volume Three. This a part story book, part activity book, with plenty of tales based on episodes of the show, along with picture puzzles and introductions to all the members of Bob’s team.

The range of stories will cater for children of differing ages and abilities, with variations in the numbers of pictures and words. There is also a rhebus story (a story where some of the words are replaced with picture clues) and even a Christmas story.

Unlike some activity-style books, there are no activities which require the child to draw in the book, which ensures its longevity. There are also plenty of opportunities for parent-child interaction, with many of the activities inviting children to ‘talk about’ or ‘discuss’ the pictures.

At just $12.95 (rrp) this, again, would be a great Christmas gift.

ABC Book titles are available from ABC Shops and Centres, online and in other good bookstores.

Angela Anaconda: My Stupid Book of Jokes, by David Lewman
ABC Books, 2003

Bob the Builder Bumper Book Volume Three, by Brenda Apsley
ABC Books, 2003

Bananas in Pyjamas: SPACE BANANAS

Reviewed by Tash Hughes

This story is about the Bananas In Pyjamas and Teddies of Cuddles Avenue.

The Bananas overhear the Teddies wishing to meet space people, and decide “it’s tricking time!”

Next morning, the Bananas dress up and trick Morgan and Lulu into entertaining space Bananas. Just after their friends see through their trick, Amy arrives and believes they are real Space Bananas.

The Bananas promise Amy a ride in their space ship that night. Amy is very excited and enjoys her trip, until she notices Morgan and Lulu amongst the stars out her window! In usual good humour, she accepts the joke on herself and leads them all into a new game of space travel.

Like the TV shows about the Bananas and Teddies, this book appeals to young preschoolers as they love the characters. Again like the show, though, the story line and text are perhaps suited for a slightly older age group. Younger children will enjoy the pictures and an abridged version of the story more than an actual reading of the text.

Fun story with bright illustrations that show friends playing together with good humour and intentions.

Bananas in Pyjamas: SPACE BANANAS by Richard Tulloch & Leonie Worthington
ABC Books, 1997