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) 

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The Cat with the Coloured Tail

Author – Gillian Mears

Illustrator – Dinalie Dabarera

Age – 6+

The Cat with the Coloured Tail is no ordinary cat. Not only does its tail change colour, it guides his friend Mr Hooper and his moon-cream van, seeking out unhappy people who just might need one of their magical moon-creams. These moon-creams are no ordinary ice-cream, spun with just the right colours that the person needs to cheer them.

When they’re not selling moon-creams, or making special ones for those in need, they both love to look for heart shapes around them. One day, the cat’s tail turns black, and Mr Hooper knows something is terribly wrong. Can he help return his cat to it’s colourful self?

Shortlisted for many Australian Awards. A story of kindness, hope, song and love.

(Love, Animals, Cat, Icecream, Kindness)

Rosie Joy – Here, There and Everywhere

Author – Sophie Siers

Illustrator – Judith Trevelyan

Age – 6+

9 yr old Rosie Joy lives on a farm with her older brothers and parents. She loves animals, climbing trees and dreaming of fantastical things and places. When her mum tells her it is time to find some eggs for her broody hen Henny Penny to sit on, Rosie Joy is fascinated in the possibilities. Together they decide on what breed of chickens they would like to hatch and this story follows that journey.

But there are other things happening in Rosie Joy’s world. School, friends, the seemingly impossible task of convincing her brother that girls can be famous explorers too, and the joy of making something with her own hands and determination, that she hopes Henny Penny and her yet-to-be-hatched chickens will enjoy.

From Award winning Author of the Allis the little tractor series, Rosie Joy – Here, there and Everywhere is a gentle story, about NZ family farm life, older siblings, animals and that when sometimes when things don’t quite go as planned, there could be a reason or a happy solution. The pencil sketches throughout are adorable.

Little girls both rural and urban, will love this!

(Farm, Animals, Knitting, Determination, Friends, Chickens, Vocabulary)

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

Hilda and The Black Hound (4)

Author / Illustrator – Luke PearsonHilda and the Black Hound (#4)

Age – 8+

Hilda has joined the Sparrow Scouts and wants to make her mum proud by achieving her first badges. But camping hasn’t turned out that well, and neither has insect collecting or any of the others that her fellow scouts are aiming for. Hilda has been spending all her time looking for a Nisse (a house spirit) that has been thrown out on the street for stealing.

But the Nisse denies it and suddenly other Nisses are in trouble too. Does it have anything to do with the huge black wolf that has been seen in Hilda’s city of Trolberg? Is everyone in danger or is everything just a big misunderstanding? Hilda is determined to find out.

This is my favourite out of Hilda’s four adventures so far. She is a determined, animal loving, feisty little girl who just wants the best for the Nisse – and maybe even the dreaded black wolf too. With fantastic muted colour illustrations and full graphic novel format, Hilda and the Black Hound might also explain where things go when they disappear down the back of the couch or behind a piece of furniture…

(Graphic Novel, Series, Magical Creatures, Scouts, Badges, Courage)

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)