All Shiny and New – Book Reviews

As I embark on adding some new titles to the Junior Library I thought I would take some time to share with you some of the new titles on offer when it comes to picture story books.

GARY – Written and Illustrated by Leila Rudge.


I like a book that shows kids that having a “quirk” is OK. Meet Gary – the pigeon who can’t fly. Unlike his pigeon buddies, he stays home on pigeon racing day and waits for all his friends to come back and tell him about their travels. He is even the dedicated curator of their adventures with his handy scrapbook. One day the tables turn and Gary ends up on his own adventure with a lovely ending.

If you like animals, an adventure, humour and a happy ending, Gary is the book for you !

Penelope The Mountain Pygmy Possum – Written by Gordon Winch & Illustrated by Stephen Pym


A book with a message about animal conservation – Awwwww. Seriously, this book is so sweet AND includes an animal I had never heard of until reading this book.. It has a lovely story line about Penelope and her mate Percy. They get separated by the interference of a man made object and have to seek help to get back together again. Not only do they want to be back together because they miss each other, but it is imperative for their species for more baby possums to be born! It is a work of fiction, but based on fact and has a great explanation about this tiny marsupial and the plight of their kind.

Mad Magpie – Written and Illustrated by Gregg Dreise

mad magpie

Bullying has been all over the news and media in general and we are always looking for ways to speak to our children about how to stand up to bullies. One of the best (and maybe hardest) things my mum ever told me to do was to ignore them – they weren’t worth my time. I have to say that as a kid who was bullied A LOT I wanted a more immediate answer to the problem, a quick fix some would say, but realistically this wasn’t going to happen. I learned to stand up for myself, be confident and over time, the bullies realised I was no longer a fun target. The above is exactly what this book is all about, being strong, confidence, calm and finding a way to bring something positive to the situation, but also acknowledging that this isn’t easy and the emotions that come along with it. The quote at the beginning of the book sums it all up beautifully… “For anyone who has ever been picked on – stay calm like the surface of the water, yet strong like its current. And know that there is a song out there for you.”

Eve and Elly – Written by Mike Dumbleton and Illustrated by Laura Wood

eve and elly

Sometimes you read a book that just makes you smile. I think Eve and Elly did that because it was like it was written about my daughter and her blue spotted elephant named “Dotty”. He has been everywhere with us and unfortunately Dotty I, Dotty II and Dotty III have moved onto greener, mysterious – elephant friendly – pastures (well we do know that one is now living either in Tullamarine airport or with a child who picked him up off the floor of Tullamarine airport). This is essentially the story of a little girl and her love for a little orange elephant. He gets lost and makes his way back… in more than one way thanks to her lovely dad and the kindness of a stranger. Please have a read of this one! Now, excuse me while I go and but yet another book for my own collection.

My Dog Dash – Written and Illustrated by Nicki Greenberg

my dog dash

An excellent story all about a (very) little dog named Dash. For a light-hearted story with a delightful ending you cannot go past this one. Sometimes kids have the best imaginations and when kid imagination is turned into a story book the result is usually golden. I guess the motto here is love what you have and make the most of it… even if there is some slime involved!



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