Review Blog

May 08 2019

Aussie Nibbles series by various authors

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Puffin, 2019.
The mermaid's tail by Raewyn Caisley, illus. by Ann James. ISBN: 9780141306155.
Scruffy's day out by Rachel Flynn, illus. byJocelyn Bell. ISBN: 9780141311692.
Fairy bread by Ursula Dobosarsky, illus. by Mitch Vane. ISBN: 9780141311753.
Bad Buster by Sofie Leguna, illus. by Leigh Hobbs. ISBN: 9780143300335.
The littlest pirate by Sheryl Clark, illus. by Tom Jellett. ISBN: 9780141313382.
Blast off by Margaret Clark, illus. by Tom Jellett. ISBN: 9780143301851.
(Age: 6-8) Highly recommended. Themes: Chapter books, Humour. Puffin is republishing some of the Aussie Nibbles books which first appeared in the early 2000s. These were all highly popular and were rarely on the shelves, tapping into a market that was, up until then, ill served. With fabulous authors and illustrators, the series proved a hit with younger readers and will now be available for a new generation of readers. They are aimed at those kids who have learnt to read and are looking for something with chapters. Each book has six to eight chapters, each of 8 or so pages with half page illustrations. They are full of humour.
In The mermaid's tail, Crystal is determined to be a mermaid. She practises joining her legs together and collects seaweed for her hair from the beach. Mum makes her a tail, covered in sequins. She wears it everywhere, hoping that one day she will turn into a mermaid, but is dismayed when the sequins begin to fall off her costume. But when a dolphin comes into the room one night, she must make a choice.
Scruffy's day out is similarly based around a strong family unit, and the children learn a lesson about a stray dog. He comes into their lives when Dad rescues him from under the wheels of a passing Land Rover. They take him around the neighbourhood looking for a possible owner, and eventually ring RSPCA where they are given a number to ring. The family would love to keep the dog, but in giving it back find new friends.
In Fairy bread, When Becky's Mum asks what she wants as her party food at her birthday party, she answers fairy bread. So Mum makes plates of it for the guests, but when the great day comes, they only eat the birthday cake. Becky and her family find lots of things to do with leftover fairy bread but when the leftovers start to stale, then Mum thinks of an idea to get rid of it all. A funny look at solving a problem with Becky coming up with some very odd ways of disposing of all the fairy bread.
Bad Buster is a really bad boy, doing all sorts of things to get himself into trouble. And his parents are not much better. Made to work at a dog rescue home as punishment after a particularly naughty series of bad behaviours, he becomes attached to the dogs and the owner, Rhonda. His behaviour begins to change with these friends, and when in class one day he feels there is something wrong, he and the dogs foil a burglary at Rhonda's house. A funny look at the difference friends can make to someone's life, with lots of humour in pointing out the different dogs in the home.
In The littlest pirate, Nicholas Nash wants to prove himself. He is left at home with his babysitter Gretta when his parents and older siblings go off pirating in their ship, The Pig's Breakfast. When his family is captured by Red Beard, Nicholas springs into action, saving the day and the ship, and finding a load of treasure along the way.
Blast off! is similar to The littlest pirate, in that it is about following your dream. Adam simply wants to be an astronaut, and reads every thing he can lay his hands on to achieve his dream. Going to visit Aunt Sue with Mum he meets the next door neighbour, Marvin who needs help with his invention.
Fran Knight

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