Author – Huw Powell
Age – 8+
Jake Cutler was just a baby when he was left at a cyber-monk monastery by a strange injured man. The only clue to Jake’s past is an amulet encrusted with 3 crystals which hangs around his neck.
On his 11th birthday, his past finds him in a fiery attack on the monks. He flees to the nearest space port and with the help of an infamous fortune seeker he escapes the planet he grew up on. But little do they know, the cargo ship they’ve hidden on is a pirate ship – the Captain, Granny Leatherhead – an eye-patched, no-nonsense woman, is the leader of the Space Dogs.
Instantly locked up, Jake and his new acquaintances wonder what will happen to them. They are about to embark on the adventure of their lives. Space monsters, black holes, the evil Intergalactic Army and even other pirates are part of their adventure, not to mention a purple skinned alien and their search for a hidden planet with more wealth than all the other planets together!
Fantastic! Pumped with action, adventure, an orphan (or is he?), aliens and a family betrayal, this first book in the Space Jackers series is perfect for thrill seekers.
(Pirates, Space, Aliens, Friendship, Adventure, Action, Humour, Series)
Author – Tom Moffat
Illustrator – Paul Beavis
Age – 8+
Grandad is barking mad! Literally! He has licked the postman and is running around on his knees barking like a dog!
Finn (nicknamed Fingers because he is always dropping things) thinks Grandad is the coolest person he knows. Why does he think he is a dog? Finn and his older sister Sally soon discover what’s happened. One of Grandad’s inventions is the cause and all they have to do is find out how to use it and get it to Grandad in hospital.
But he’s been acting like a dog there too, and the hospital staff can’t cope. Grandad is going to be transferred to a higher security hospital for disturbed patients – which means Finn and Sally will never be able to break him out. They have to solve the problem, and fast!
A muddle of mix-ups and mind-swaps follow as they deal with a growling grandpa, a zealous hospital security guard and Finn’s butter fingers. Just when you think everything is going to be okay, another mix-up muddles things.
Winner of the 2015 NZ Tom Fitzgibbon Award, this is a family funny, fantastic read. Make sure you keep track of the mind-swaps or you’ll be muddled indeed.
(Award, Kiwi author, NZ, Dog, Invention, Family, Grandparent, Grandad, School, Humour)
Author – Adrian Edmondson
Illustrator – Danny Noble
Age – 6+
Tilly’s dad is an inventor. One night she is woken by a loud bang and showers of sparks. Her dad had invented a time machine. When he tries to show her how it works, it breaks down. With a promise to show her in the morning, he sends her back to bed.
But Dad isn’t there in the morning – or after school. Tilly knows she has to go and find him. Dad has programmed interesting times and events through history into the machine and Tilly follows him onto a ship being cannonballed, a world cup football match, up victorian chimneys and to her own 6th birthday party. Will she ever catch up to him?
With B&W illustrations throughout and written by a master UK comedian and actor, Tilly’s tale is fun, dangerous and sweet as she searches for her dad and remembers her mum.
(Humour, School, Science, Time Travel, One-parent Family)
Authors – Kate & Jol Temple
Illustrator – Jon Foye
Age – 6+
Jimmy is at it again. Doing stuff he shouldn’t, causing chaos and mayhem and not understanding what the fuss is all about. He’s found a dinosaur print. Any decent explorer knows that all you have to do when you find a footprint is start digging to find the rest of the dinosaur. Easy right?
But in pursuit of explorer fame, Jimmy discovers a treasure map, causes a craze at school, tries to contact a pirate, and once again is in a competition against Alice Toolie (the most annoying girl in school and his nemesis.) The result is laugh out loud hilarious and results in his suspension, which Jimmy thinks is very understanding of his principal to give him a few days off while he recovers from the stress of it all.
Loved this even more than the first Captain Jimmy Cook. Full of funny illustrations and would be great as a Year 3-4 (NZ) read aloud – age 7-8
(Humour, School, Explorer, Family, Secret)
Author/Illustrator – Andy Riley
Age – 7+
Edwin is trying to eat his boring vegetables (a new rule by Minister Jill to stop Edwinland subjects eating so much junk food), when he hears someone crying for help. An old hermit called Baxter runs into town yelling about a terrible monster that has gobbled up his goats and cow. It’s called a Voolith.
Edwin – sick of his vegetables, and wanting to be a true king (who doesn’t have to eat vegetables) announces that he will go and defeat this Voolith in single combat (not actually knowing what that means.) But Emperor Nurbison (from Nurbisonia next door), sees another chance to defeat Edwin and takeover Edwinland. And if he can get Edwin gobbled up by a Voolith, all the better!
Another zany, wacky adventure with King Flashypants Edwin and his crew. Super funny with hilarious illustrations.
(Humour, Kingdom, Jousting, Monster, Courage, Quest)
Author/Illustrator – Elise Gravel
Age – 6+
Olga LOVES animals. She prefers them much more than people and then proves her point quickly to the reader with funny pictures and diagrams. Olga considers herself an animal scientist and would much rather make observations about animals than go to school and talk with girls like her annoying neighbours Shalala and Farla (lalas) who only care about clothes, and hair and a Korean popstar they both think is adorable. But according to Olga, he’s got nothing on animals!
When Olga finds a small, strange creature who says nothing but ‘Meh!’ – that is what she names it. But where is it from? What does it eat? After a trip to the library and the local store, her friends try to help. Even the Lalas begin to help, with very pink consequences….
(Humour, Animals, Mystery, Science, Series)
Author/Illustrator – Donovan Bixley
Age – 6+
Fantastic illustrations fill this series, as always with Donovan Bixley’s work. There’s tons of action, likeable characters and the beginnings of other storylines are threaded through these stories about the never ending battles between cats and dogs – but set in wartime.
Each mission is set in a different country and also contains a non-fiction element in the way of illustration. There is funny cat and dog themed word play, which will add to the enjoyment of these books which would make great read-a-louds for year 3-4 children.
The next instalment of this exciting series called Unmasked about the never ending rivalry between cats and dogs is out mid April 17!
(Cat, Dog, Animal, War, Humour, Funny, Kiwi, NZ, Series)