The Sneaky Sweet Stealer

Author – Chae StrathieThe Sneaky Sweet Stealer (Captain Firebeard's School for Pirates #2)

Illustrator – Anna Chernyshova

Age – 6+

Tommy can’t wait to start Pirate School. This means sailing on the Rusty Barnacle, captained by Pirate Captain Firebeard, for the whole school term!

Once aboard, he learns about all things piratey including sea monsters they may encounter on pirate escapades. Between their lessons, the apprentice pirates can visit the tuck shop for on board sweets and treats – until they start to go missing. Who is stealing the lollies from under their noses?

Suspicion instantly falls on Spiky Spencer and his gang including Muttonhead Max and Greta the Grouch, but maybe the thief isn’t quite so obvious. It’s only when Tommy and the entire crew are in grave danger that the thief is revealed.

A simple, fun, pirate story for young readers with lots of ‘Aaaaaarrrrr!’

(Pirates, Sea Monsters, Pirate School, Nemesis, Theft)

 

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Raptors of Paradise (The World of Supersaurs 1)

Author – Jay Jay Burridge34460118

Illustrator – Chris West/Jay Jay Burridge

Age – 10 +

Beatrice Kingsley can’t understand why her grandmother (nicknamed Bunty) has brought her halfway around the world to look at the Raptors of Aru. Sure they are said to be beautiful and elusive but it was such a long way to go. Along with them was Theodore, loyal to Bea and Bunty after being ‘adopted’ into the family many years before.

But there is another reason for them to visit the wild Islands of Aru, and Bunty isn’t ready to tell Bea why just yet.

But this island has more secrets than they know, and as they enter the jungle with the help of a plucky nine year old porter and his father, they encounter many dangers. This island may have the most beautiful raptors, but it also hides very dangerous ones too. Not to mention the arrogant, vicious leader of the island, Christian Hayter, who isn’t happy about strangers in ‘his’ jungle.

What they find is beyond their imagination, but worth fighting for. But first they have to survive!

This is the 1st in a series of 6 books – with two more out 2018. If you’re after Dinosaurs, Courage, and Action, this story has bucket loads. Both Bea and Bunty are brave and determined, despite all Bunty’s rules on behaving like a lady. Jam-packed with luscious B&W illustrations, this adventure is going to popular!

(Dinosaurs, Courage, Adventure, Jungle, Orphan, Grandmother) 

Dragon Defenders (2) The Pitbull Returns

Author – James RussellThe Pitbull Returns (The Dragon Defenders #2)

Animations – Courtney White

The Pitbull (menacing leader of the gang that raided Paddy and Flynn’s island in book 1), is waiting for his stolen egg to hatch a dragon. When he discovers the truth, he is enraged and out for revenge!

Returning to the island with many men, weapons, and helicopters, he is keen to achieve what he wanted before, but this time, take the dragons themselves. But first he has a score to settle with the two boys that made him look a fool. Revenge has made him even nastier and Paddy and Flynn are in terrible danger. Now, not only are the island’s dragons under threat, so is their entire family!

A fantastic follow-on to this popular series, once again including a link to the App that brings this book to life digitally. Whether using the App or not, The Pitbull Returns has even more action and thrills than the first book and will be sure to please dragon lovers, and adventure seekers. Great Kiwi Fiction!

(Dragons, Series, Brothers, Siblings, Adventure, Action, Revenge, Island)

www.dragonbrothersbooks.com

Timeless – Diego and the Rangers of the Vastlantic

Author – Armand Baltazar23354816

Age – 9+

Imagine a world where all of Earth’s history is thrown together in a tumble of times. Victorian, Art Deco, Steam, Dinosaurs, Airships, the present and the future – all mixed up by a singe cosmic event. This is the world that Diego Ribera lives in.

His father Santiago Ribera is a brilliant mechanical engineer and for Diego’s 13th birthday he is given 3 gifts – one being the understanding of a mysterious inherited gift, and part of the reason for his father’s sought after skills.

When his father is kidnapped, Diego is determined to find him, especially after an argument between them. He is thrown into an adventure with dinosaurs, technology, pirates and three other teens in a quest to get his father and his engineering team back.

What results are the Rangers of the Vastlantic, four teens from different times, working together with their special skills to save the world as they now know it.

Bursting with sumptuous illustrations from the talented Armand Baltazar, who has worked for Disney, Pixar and Dreamworks as a director and artist. There is plenty of action, great character developments, steam gadgets, intrigue and mystery to keep any reader glued to the page – except the illustrations are so good, you want to stay looking at them! FANTASTIC!

(Action, Friendship, Steampunk, Kidnap, Pirates, Dinosaurs,

 

 

The Thunderbolt Pony

Author – Stacy Gregg34522470

Age – 7+

Evie has had a lot on her plate. Her father has passed away, her OCD is taking over, and the Kaikoura earthquake has left her mum being helicoptered to Christchurch. They are being evacuated, but Evie doesn’t want to leave. Her best friends are Moxy, Jock and Gus. Her cat, dog and Arabian horse – and there is no way she is leaving any of them behind. The only solution is to ride all the way to Kaikoura from her farm.

This story is their journey together, facing after shocks, an angry bull, raging rivers, wild weather and more. But their bond is absolute and also battling her OCD, Evie’s thoughts flash back to her appointments with her doctor and the thing that triggered it in the first place. Will they get there in time to board the HMS Canterbury with the other evacuees? Will they all make it?

Any fan of Sheila Burnford’s The Incredible Journey, will love this tale as much as I did. It made me cheer, cry, smile and laugh. The pace gallops along (sorry, but it’s the best word for it), with one obstacle after another for the plucky friends to beat. The story flicked backwards to the 7.8 earthquake that struck two minutes after midnight in New Zealand on 13 Nov 2016, and further back to her doctor’s visits about her OCD, then forward to the present, but it was clearly marked with different fonts and easy to follow. Fantastic!

(Love, Family, Earthquake, Disaster, New Zealand, Kiwi, Horse, Cat, Dog, Brave, Courage)

The Wonderling

Author/Illustrator – Mira Bartok26046482

Age – 10+

Arthur lives a troubled life in an Orphanage called ‘The Home for Wayward and Misbegotten Creatures.’ These creatures are groundlings (mixed-up animals) like Arthur (a foxling who walks on two legs and with only one ear).

Arthur tries to avoid the bullies and Miss Carbunkle who believes groundlings only exist to serve and suffer. But there is a light in Arthur’s life – a new friend called Trinket, who shares her songs and stories with Arthur, igniting hope in his heart for something different outside the Home’s damp, grey walls.

They are soon on an adventure, as Arthur seeks his destiny with only an address stolen from Miss Carbunkle’s filing cabinet. Along the way, he meets many other groundlings of every mix, shape and size and is taken in when he reaches the city, by a rat called Quintus. Quintus is very much like Fagan in Oliver Twist, teaching, feeding, and sheltering Arthur in return for stealing.

But this is a very different world from Oliver Twist, with the High Hats (Humans) just as tough as Miss Carbunkle – who has her own evil plans in mind. Can Arthur and Trinket stop her and her evil manticore from ruining the world forever?

The Wonderling’s world is a little steampunk, a little fantasy, a little Cruella Deville and as Arthur finally discovers within himself, a lot wonderful. Beautifully told with rich description and multiple sub-plots afoot. And as the reader will discover in the gorgeous illustrations – Arthur’s best friend Trinket is not only an amazing inventor but a Kiwi Bird!

(Steampunk, Destiny, Journey, Quest, Creatures, World building, Fantasy, Orphan, Kiwi, Friendship, Courage, Bravery, Crime)

The Ice Sea Pirates

Author – Frida Nilsson34014687

Age – 10+

Siri and her little sister know the legend of the evil Captain Whitehead and his ship the Snow Raven. It’s full of pirates who snatch children to send down Whitehead’s diamonds mines – never to be seen again.

But one day while out searching for berries for their dinner, Miki is snatched away. Siri is bereft, blaming herself, and no-one will help her go after the Snow Raven. She has no idea how, but she is determined to get Miki back, no matter what.

Her quest is full of danger,  facing rowdy pirates, becoming a stowaway, fighting off white wolves and much much more! Making friends and enemies along the way, she discovers there is more to the legend of Whitehead, and he’s even crazier than the stories say.

A full-on story of adventure, hope, determination, cruelty and courage, just like Siri, I wasn’t expecting the ending. Great read!

(Ice, Courage, Sisters, Siblings, Quest, Journey, Pirates, Evil, Wolves, Cruelty, Revenge)