Reading Age: 5+ Feed

A Bus Called Heaven

A Bus Called Heaven

Candlewick Press US, Cambridge, MA, 2012

Hardcover, 40 pages

ISBN: 978-0-7636-5893-9

Suggested reading age: 5+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: *****

I have only just discovered Bob Graham and I love his books.  They are quiet, gentle and inspiring.  Reading them makes me want to be a better person and leave the world a better place.  A Bus Called Heaven is no exception.

In A Bus Called Heaven, an old abandoned bus is left on the street.  Stella finds it and everyone helps to push it into her front yard.  It quickly becomes a meeting point for her community as the adults clean up the bus while the children play underneath it.  People bring donations for the bus, street gang The Ratz paint it, and Mrs Stavros brings a bus cake.  Until one day, a tow truck arrives to tow the bus away because it is obstructing the footpath.  What will Stella and her friends do?


The Quiltmaker's Gift by Jeff Brumbeau and Gail de Marcken

The Quiltmaker's GiftPfeifer-Hamilton Publications, Duluth, 1999

Hardcover, 48 pages

ISBN: 978-1-5702-5199-3

Suggested reading age: 5+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: *****

The Quiltmaker's Gift is a modern fable of a greedy King and an old woman high in the mountains creating quilts for the poor people in the towns below.  What happens when the greedy King demands a gift from the Quiltmaker?  Will she give him one?

This book is filled with visual detail and is a perfect accompaniment to the text.  The endpapers of this book are decorated with quilts and their names.  The discerning reader will spy these quilts scattered throughout the story.  This book became a firm favourite with everyone in our family.


An Egg is Quiet by Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long

An Egg is QuietAmicus, Mankato MN, 2013

Hardback, 36 pages

ISBN: 9781607533511

Suggested reading age: 5+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: ****

Another gorgeous book about the natural world from the fabulous duo of Dianna Aston and Sylvia Long.

The front end papers of this book have beautiful illustrations of all different types of eggs. The back endpapers show the creatures that hatch out of the eggs. In between we learn all about the different characteristics of eggs. Their size, shape and texture. How they are colourful shapely and clever.  Where they are kept until their owners hatch– on feet, in nests or balanced precariously on rocky ledges.  We even get to peep inside the egg and see just what os going on.

Other books in this series: A Seed is Sleepy, A Rock is Lively, A Butterfly is Patient


No Bears by Meg McKinlay and Leila Rudge

No BearsCandlewick Press, Massachusette, 2012

Hardback, 32 pages

ISBN: 9780763658908

Suggested reading age: 5+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: *****

I completely sympathise with the heroine of this book who insists that it is her book and there will be no grotty bears in it at all.  She wants a story with princess and castles and monsters but NO BEARS!  What will the princess do when the monster tries to catch her?  Who will save her?  Kids will love following the running visual joke in the book as their parents read them the story.


Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton Trent by Lauren Child

Hubert HoratioHodder Children's Books, London, 2005

Paperback, 50 pages

ISBN: 9780340877890

Suggested reading age: 5+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: *****

This is another hilarious book from the award-winning author, Lauren Child.  Lauren Child is a genius.  It's true - in our house her books are much loved by all of us, adults and children alike.  She has a deft turn of phrase, an eye for the absurd and a unique style of illustration.  Her stories are fanciful, absurd and funny.  Her characters are likeable and spot on.

Hubert Horatio Bartle Bobton Trent is the story of a rich, little boy who is a genius.  His parents are frightfully, frightfully rich socialites.  They love buying lavish things, entertaining and playing games.  What will happen when the money runs out?  Can Hubert save the day?  Read this book and find out.


Show Day by Penny Matthews and Andrew McLean

Show DayOmnibus Books, Central Coast, Year

Hardcover, 32 pages

ISBN: 9781862916890

Suggested reading age: 5+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: *****

Show Day beautifully captures the quintessential nature of an Australian country show.  It's the day when all the farmers and their families show their prize animals and enter competitions for the best produce, flowers, cakes, jams and pickles.  As well as the fun of the competitions, there are also rides, games of chance and show bags.  

In this story, Andrew Mclean's beautiful drawings compliment Penny Matthews text as we follow a farm family and their luck at the show.  Will they win biggest pumpkin and what is the girl's most unusual pet?


The Secret Remedy Book by Karin Cates & Wendy Anderson Halperin

The Secret Remedy BookScholastic, New York, 2003

Hardcover, 40 pages

ISBN: 978-0-4393-5226-0

Suggested reading age: 5+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: *****

In The Secret Remedy Book, Lolly goes to stay with her aunt, on her own, for a whole month.  It is something that she has been wanting to do for a very long time.  But after her parents drive away, she begins to feel sad and homesick.  Her lovely Aunt Zep knows just why to do.  Together they search for The Secret Remedy book and set about completing each remedy in the book before the first hoot of the owl.

After reading this book, I wanted to create a Secret Remedy book just like the one that Lolly and Aunt Zepp use.  Full of good remedies such drinking apple juice so fresh that you could taste the blossoms of the apples, take a walk as far as you can to see something you've never noticed before and feeding a wild thing.


The Cleo Stories by Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood

The Cleo StoriesAllen & Unwin, Sydney, 2015

Hardcover, 64 pages

ISBN: 978-1-7433-1527-9

Suggested reading age: 5+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: ***

Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood are an awesome author/illustrator team who have already collaborated on many children's books including Amy & Louis and Clancy & Millie and the Very Fine House. 

The Cleo Stories is not quite a picture book and not quite a chapter book - perfect for budding readers who want something longer than a picture book but not as long as a chapter book.  It features two stories about Cleopatra Miranda McCann - an imaginative and resourceful little girl who finds creative solutions to her problems.


Zero by Kathryn Otoshi

Zero

Ko Kids Books, CA, 2010

Hardback, 32 pages

ISBN: 978-0-9723-9463-5

Suggested reading age: 5+

Reviewed by: Indrani Perera

Rating: ****

Zero is the second book by children's author, Kathryn Otoshi.   The bold colours and calligraphic style of this book will appeal to young readers.

I wish I could take the credit for finding this book but it was my husband (who is a self professed maths nerd) who found it when he took our daughters to the local library.  Zero is a book about numbers and also about finding where you fit in and what it is that makes you special and unique.  Zero searches for her place, at first by trying to be like the other numbers and then by being herself.  A lovely book for young children to learn about numbers and self acceptance.