ReadPlus is a collection of selected books and films arranged under themes. This web site provides lists, reviews and resources for librarians, teachers and parents about books for young people aged 5 to 18.
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Latest Review

Apr 15 2014

How I Love You by Anna Pignataro

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Scholastic, 2014. ISBN: 9781742838182.
Highly recommended for all readers aged 0-60+. In this gentle, beautifully illustrated Australian tale, each baby animal in the bush spends time with its mother, demonstrating how it loves her. With carefully worded, sparse text, and perfectly paired images, each double page focuses on a different mother and baby. Clean white backgrounds add to the uncluttered nature of the book and hence the illustrations cannot help but draw the reader's attention to every detail. Direct speech is employed as each animal makes its declaration of love to its mother and the important verbs are highlighted in blue print.
Anna Pignataro's illustrations utilise the colours of the bush with muted blues, greens and browns giving a realistic impression of each creature, despite the animals looking decidedly 'cute'. The most vibrant and striking colours are those used to show a pair of parrots and some toadstools.
In the classroom, this title could be used in many ways for varied units of work. As part of an author study, particularly if looking at Australian authors, this would fit brilliantly. Teachers could focus on settings, animals and their habitats and behaviours. As a mother's day title, one could consider the love of mothers for their babies and vice versa. As stated previously, verbs could be pulled out of the text and alternatives provided and punctuation used in direct speech could also be considered.
This is a delightful title which I would recommend to readers of all ages.
Jo Schenkel

More Reviews

Apr 15 2014

Half Bad by Sally Green

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Penguin, 2104. ISBN: 9780141350868.
Themes: Good vs Evil; Witchcraft/Magic; Coming-of Age. The author uses the Shakespearean quote from Hamlet, 'There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so', as an opening epigraph. This book is about witches - White or Black. The...
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Apr 15 2014

Ubby's Underdogs: Heroes Beginnings by Brenton McKenna

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Magabala, 2013. ISBN: 9781922142139.
The second title in the Ubbys Underdogs Trilogy, this book continues the story of Ubby, a tough aboriginal girl and her gang as they try to find the Chinese girl Sai Fong. Containing an assortment of over twenty characters, some of whom are...
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Apr 12 2014

Kokoda by Alan Tucker

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My Australian story. Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9781743622056.
Recommended for 12 years and above. The 39th Battalion which faced the Japanese on New Guinea's Kokoda Track in 1942 were militia, meaning that they were civilian reservists, rather than regular army. Poorly trained, ill...
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Apr 12 2014

First reader series by Kerry Argent

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Omnibus Books, 2014.
One woolly wombat. ISBN 9781742990477.
Hide and seek. ISBN: 9781742990491
Best of friends. ISBN 9781742990484.
At the beach. ISBN 9781742990507.
(Age: 4-7) Highly recommended. Early reader. Australian animals. Counting....
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Apr 12 2014

Black Warrior by Tiffiny Hall

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Harper Collins Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780732294557.
Black Warrior completes the series starring Roxy Ran following on from White Ninja and Red Samurai and is probably best read with at least some knowledge of the content of these books. As with the rest of the series the focus is...
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Apr 09 2014

Don't Call Me Sweet by Smriti Prasdam-Halls and Angela Rozelaar

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Bloomsbury Children's Books, 2014. ISBN 9781408838822.
(Age: Pre-school - 6) Recommended. Monsters. Humour. Fear. The little monster believes that he should be called Scary not Sweet, because he likes to stomp around, get covered in mud and become very stinky. He also loves to cook bug...
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Apr 09 2014

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by Michael Morpurgo

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Walker, 2013. ISBN 9781406348880.
Knights of the Round Table, amassed under the famed King Arthur's rule, were legendary as being the finest and fiercest Knights of the Kingdom of Britain.
Worthy Knights, to this day, wear a silken belt. Why? The answer lies with the tale of the...
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Apr 09 2014

The Lego Movie: The Official Movie Handbook by Ace Landers

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Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9780545624626.
(Age: 8+) The Lego Movie: The Official Handbook introduces fans to the characters in the movie, using comics and text to engage its readers. It is not a novel or story but a variety of texts that introduce us to the Lego world -...
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Apr 09 2014

The Impossible Knife of Memory by Laurie Halse Anderson

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Text, 2014. ISBN 9781922182227.
(Age: 14+) War is something which many teenagers have little experience of. High school students in Australia are required to study historical events relating to that violent three-letter word. It is a distant concept for many young people in this society,...
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Apr 08 2014

I was Only Nineteen by John Schuman

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Ill. by Craig Smith. Allen & Unwin, 2014. ISBN 9781743317235.
The banner across the top of the cover of this book says, 'The iconic song about the Vietnam War that helped change a nation' and indeed, anyone who has heard the original with the haunting voice of John Schuman as the...
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Apr 08 2014

When I See Grandma by Debra Tidball

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Ill. by Leigh Hedstrom. Wombat Books, 2014. ISBN 9781921632594.
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Alzheimer's. Death. Grandparents. In this heart wrenching but uplifting story, a young girl visits her Grandma in her nursing home with her family. While her young brother plays antics and makes the...
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Apr 08 2014

Five Little Platypuses ill. by Karen Erasmus

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Hachette Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780734414908.
Pre-school children and parents will enjoy this Australianised version of the old and familiar story of the Five Little Ducks who go out to play but fail to return.
In this case the five little platypuses go out over a puddle,...
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Apr 08 2014

Dead and Buried by Anne Cassidy

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The Murder Notebooks 4. Bloomsbury, 2014. ISBN 9781408815533.
(Age: 13+) Murder. Assassination. Thriller. After the horrible events in Butterfly grave, the third in the Murder notebook series, Rose is keen to get on with her life. She makes a break with Joshua, her...
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Apr 08 2014

How Cool are Your Parents? (or not) by Francoize Boucher

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A&C Black, 2014. ISBN: 9781472904720.
Recommended for 9-11 year olds and any teenager who needs a reality check about their parents, or parents who need to laugh a little at their life.
What parent would not want their child to read this book! Not only is it easy to read, the...
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Apr 07 2014

The Finisher by David Baldacci

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Macmillan Children's Books, 2014. ISBN 9781447263005.
Recommended for readers 11 years +. Themes: Fantasy, Adventure. The Finisher revolves around the life of a 14 year old girl named Vega Jane, and her life in the small village of Wormwood. Life in Wormwood is portrayed as bleak...
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Apr 07 2014

Billy is a Dragon: First Bite by Nick Falk

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Ill. by Tony Flowers. Random House Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780857983053.
(Ages: 9-11) Recommended. Billy is an ordinary, nearly 10 year-old boy to whom something amazing happens with hilarious consequences. It starts with a trip to Benny's Pet Shop, and an irresistible desire to pat a...
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Apr 07 2014

Billy Slater presents: Try Time by Patrick Loughlin

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Ill. by Nahum Ziersch. Random House Australia, 2014. ISBN 9780857982469.
(Age: 9-11) In the world of Rugby League Billy Slater is a star. The Melbourne Storm player who has played over 250 games is in the best place to act as mentor to junior players, the role he plays in this new...
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Apr 07 2014

The Easter Egg Express by Susannah McFarlane

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Scholastic, 2014. ISBN 9781742831695.
The Easter Egg Express tells the story of Ellie and Erin, the Easter bilbies in charge of delivering Easter Eggs. They are quite excited until they realise just how many eggs they must deliver! What will they do?
The Easter Egg...
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Apr 07 2014

Captain America -The Winter Soldier adapted by Allison Lowenstein and Tomas Palacios

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Scholastic 2014. ISBN 9781743623824.
(Age: 9+) Captain America - The Winter Soldier is the book of the film and I love having these on the shelf in my classroom library. Previous experience has seen children watching the movie and then devouring the book. This will be no...
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Apr 07 2014

Totalgirl: The Style Files by Amanda Nichols and Rebecca Lim

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Allen & Unwin, 2014 ISBN 9781743316542.
I had mixed feelings about this book. While it demonstrated how wonderful good friends can be in helping you to achieve your dreams, I had some nagging doubts about using fashion and magazines as the basis for it.
The main characters are...
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Apr 04 2014

Silver People by Margarita Engle

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University of Queensland Press, 2014. ISBN 9780702253294.
(Age: Young adult) Recommended. Historical. Panama Canal. Environment. Rainforests. Silver People is skilfully concise and the characters have an intimate, personal feel. Written in non-rhyming verse style ...
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Apr 04 2014

Noor Inayat Khan by Gaby Halberstan

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A & C Black, 2013.ISBN 9781472900135.
(Age: 11+) This book will instantly draw you in, as it begins with a rather confronting scenario of the main character being beaten by her Nazi captors. For this reason I would be careful recommending this book to children under 11 years,...
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Apr 04 2014

Yirruwa Yirrilikenuma-langwa - When We Go Walkabout by Rhoda Lalara

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Ill. by Alfred Lalara. Allen & Unwin and The Little Big Book Club, 2014. ISBN 9781743314562.
Yirruwa Yirrilikenuma-langwa, amiyembena yirrirringka yirruwa?
When we go walkabout, what do we see?

The beautiful landscapes are fauna of Groote Eylandt are brought to life in...
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Apr 04 2014

Meet Daisy by Michelle Hamer

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Ill. by Lucia Masciullo. Our Australian Girl. Puffin, 2014. ISBN 9780143307631.
(Age: 8+) Recommended. This is a very heart warming book, about the courage and strength of a young girl, Daisy, during the 1930's. I would recommend it for ages 8 and above.
It starts off in a...
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