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Meet two very best friends.
One is a girl and one is a dog.
And everyone knows them as Evie and Pog.


Evie and Pog are two quirky very best friends who live in a tree-house in a beautiful silver ash tree with pink leaves in Granny's backyard. The tree-house has a reading nook, a hanging chair and a slide with soft daisy-spot grass to land on - I could happily live there too!

Image by Goran Horvat: Pixabay

Evie and Pog love to have fun and in this book you can join them on three adventures.

Puppy School Mess

Granny Gladys constantly cleans and gets carried away tidying the grass by snipping the heads off Evie's precious daisies! Evie and Pog try to make her stop. Whoops-a-daisy! Granny Gladys ends up wearing a chocolate cake and poor Pog has to go to dreaded Puppy School, where it turns out Evie is better at the Puppy Challenge than the puppies!

School Play Drama

Evie is so excited to be the Butterfly Queen for the school play. Pog is not about happy being a fairy pug. When Granny Gladys tries to tidy Evie's wings, there's chaos as threads get tangled and the stage becomes a big woolly spider web. How can an enormous sneeze and a flying friend save Pog and the play?

Cake Stall Chaos

To raise money for the Puppy School at the annual Fair, Evie decides to have a cupcake stall. In Granny's shiny kitchen they all dance and bake and wipe and sing as they make 100 cupcakes -  kids' cupcakes, doggy cupcakes and spinach cupcakes (for Pog). Whoops-a-daisy! What are the chances of the cupcakes getting mixed up? Anyone for a caramel kidney cupcake??

Look out for Evie and Pog: Puppy Playtime too!

In her first junior fiction series, Tania McCartney has created two delightful characters for you to meet. Evie is a full of energy, often accident-prone and sometimes dog-like. Pog takes life a little more seriously and would rather drink tea and read the newspaper than learn to sit, beg and speak. They have lots of zany fun together and are good at solving problems in creative ways. Tania's gorgeous illustrations are a highlight as they bring Evie and Pog's adventures to life.

Happy reading!

 

2

Oliver and Ruby have been besties forever...

Felice Arena has taken reading to a whole new level of fun for young readers with his latest series called The Besties.

Not only can you have adventures with Ruby and Oliver in their books, you can also sing along with Ruby's songs that Felice and his besties had lots of fun recording or play along with the ukulele!

Felice has created The Besties World where you can download 'The Besties: The Ukulele Album'. You will also be able to learn to draw like Oliver, watch videos that teach you how to play the ukulele like Ruby and other cool things that Felice has in store for you...so keep an eye on the website as it develops.

Ruby and Oliver have everyday adventures at school, at home, in the backyard, even in the living room!
What do you like doing with your bestie?
What is one of your favourite adventures with your bestie? 

The Besties to the Rescue

What would you do if you found a baby bird that had fallen out of its nest? How would you teach it to fly?

When Oliver tries to record Ruby's awesome flips on the trampoline, they discover he has recorded the neighbourhood cat, Cutie Pie pouncing on a bird's nest and a baby bird has fallen out. After coming to the rescue, Ruby and Oliver come up with a clever idea to teach the baby sparrow how to fly.

Little bird, little bird, it's time, little guy.
Little bird, little bird, it's time to fly

The Besties Show and Smell

What is something you have shared at Show and Tell?  Have you shared a special talent? 

Ruby is excited for her turn at Show and Tell, but her teacher is away and replaced with grumpy Mr Botham. Instead of doing Maths worksheets, Ruby is determined to find a way to sing and play her ukulele for the class. Cheeky Zac also wants his turn to share a special talent and before you know it....Show and Tell becomes Show and Smell! 

Ding dang dong! Show and tell.
Sing that song and sing it well.
Dinga danga dong! Show and tell.
Ding dang dong. Ring that old school bell!

 At the end of each book look out for Ruby's song, Oliver's comic, The Bestie's Best Jokes and some 'How To' information.

The Besties are fun stories brought to life with Tom Jellett's cartoon illustrations and perfect for little people starting out reading. There are two more books coming soon....The Besties Party On and The Besties Make a Splash.

Happy reading!

It's the return of the quack!

Get ready to laugh out loud again with a whole new collection of funny stories by some of your favourite Australian children's authors in Total Quack Up Again!

Do your brains really fall out if you pick your nose? Is there a cure for Dad's Death Breath? How do you join the Secret Dutch Oven Society? What happens when your Dad eats dog food? Will Hammond P. Duck win his fight to ban the Total Quack Up books?

Twelve fun stories plus top writing tips...what more could you want?

Here is the beginning of If You Pick Your Nose, Your Brains Will Fall Out...

 

Congratulations to nine year old Colby Sanchez who won the competition to be published in Total Quack Up Again! with his story The Duck Pond. Will Derek the Duck ever achieve his dream of becoming a comedian? 

Total Quack Up Again! is the second book in a wonderful initiative by authors Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck. Once again generous authors have donated their stories and the royalties from the book will go to the Dymocks Children’s Charities. It's a win-win! When you buy a copy of Total Quack Up Again! you can have fun reading the stories and know that you are also helping other kids have access to books to read and enjoy too.

Awesome Adrian Beck with a copy of Total Quack Up Again!

Happy reading!

6

What would you do if you inherited a hotel?

Chegwin Toffle is a ten year old whose wild blond hair is almost as wild as his imagination and he is regularly in trouble at school for daydreaming. When he unexpectedly inherits the Toffle Towers hotel from his long lost uncle, Chegwin will need to unleash his imagination to help save the hotel and its loyal staff.

Chegwin and his eccentric parents arrive in the town of Alandale to discover Toffle Towers hasn’t had any bookings for two years and they only have three months to save the hotel. Chegwin believes it's time to think like kids to save Toffle Towers because "Adults only ever think of restraints, but kids think of the possibilities. There are always new ideas waiting to be imagined. You just have to come up with them”. 

It’s not easy learning to run a hotel and there are challenges and disasters along the way, especially when Chegwin accidentally orders sixty thousand litres of fresh milk instead of sixty litres! However, Chegwin’s daydreams start turning into reality with help from wacky head groundskeeper, Barry Rake. The beaten up hotel shuttle bus is given a boost in more ways than one and the Grazing Room is transformed into the Gazing Room with an out of this world dining experience that I would love to try! The rooms at Toffle Towers are filling fast as Chegwin's clever ideas put the hotel back on the map as an exciting holiday destination for kids and their families. 

Along the way, Tim Harris encourages you to be creative too. What you would add to ‘Strange Things People Might Inherit’ and ‘Uses for Sixty Thousand Litres of Milk’? There are also mysteries to solve and I really want to know why the door to Room 49 in Toffle Towers is locked and who might be in there. 

It's great to see the dynamic duo of Tim Harris and James Foley bringing their creativity and humour to Toffle Towers. You can find out more about the zany Toffle Towers characters and see some of James' original sketches on his Instagram page. (Am I the only one who thinks Barry Rake looks like James Foley?)

If you enjoyed Tim Harris' fabulous Mr Bambuckle series and you’re looking for a new fun series and an opportunity to take your imagination for a walk then Toffle Towers is for you!


Happy reading! 

Teacher notes

The Search for the Silver Witch is the final book in the Polly and Buster trilogy by much loved author and illustrator Sally Rippin.

Polly has put the gorvan back to sleep and its purple mist is no longer infecting Blackmoon Coven. Life should be peaceful in the town once again…shouldn’t it?

Things have become worse between the witches and monsters at Blackmoon Coven and a war is looming. Miss Spinnaker has been dismissed from the Miss Madden's Academy and Polly’s magical stones have told her to find a Silver Witch to save the town. It isn’t until she finds her Aunt Hilda that Polly finally accepts that she is the Silver Witch that Black Coven needs. It is not going to be easy….

“The time has come for you to decide what kind of Silver Witch you will become. Every time you do a spell from a place of fear or anger, it will take you in one direction. And the further you go along in this direction, the harder it will be for you to return…You, Polly can choose to find power in love and kindness.” (Aunt Hilda)

Deidre Holloway has returned with Buster in her sights and forces Polly to make the hardest of decisions, but she hasn’t reckoned on the power of true friendship and kindness. It's a heart-racing 'Broomstick 500s' ride with Polly and Buster as they bravely try to help the witches and monsters work together to defeat a beastly menace and save Blackmoon Coven before it is too late. 

Thank you Sally for creating Polly and Buster who have touched our hearts and reminded us of the power of kindness, friendship, empathy and acceptance.

Kindness is the most powerful spell of all.

Happy reading!

4

This week I was honoured to be invited to talk about Books for Younger Readers at the CBCA Victoria's 'Clayton's Night'. It was a big challenge to only choose six of my favourite books from last year! We are lucky to have so many talented Australian authors writing books that make us laugh, spark our creativity, inspire and empower us.

These are the six books I chose and I have also written about them on the Wild About Books blog...

Tales of Mr Walker by Jess Black

The Mystery of the Magic Stones by Sally Rippin

Natural Born Loser by Oliver Pommavanh

Fearless Frederic by Felice Arena

Everything I've Never Said by Samantha Wheeler

His Name was Walter by Emily Rodda

Some other books I would also include are...

The Book of Answers by A.L. Tait

Missing by Sue Whiting

Lenny's Book of Everything by Karen Foxlee

I wonder which books you would include in your favourite books from 2018...

that doesn't look like me! 365/11

Eric.Ray via Compfigh

Happy reading!

Operation Dessert Storm is the second book in the funny Poppa Platoon series. This book had me at the word dessert! Yes, I'm that person who goes to restaurants and reads the dessert menu first so I can plan my meal around my dessert (or just have dessert!). Anybody else do the same? 

For weeks, Abbie has bugged her grandfather, major Poppa, to take her to Wibbly the Cheeky Wizard's Spooky All-You Can-Eat Family Restaurant. Today is the day and Poppa has carefully planned the Poppa Platoon's dangerous mission to sneak into the restaurant, eat as much as they can for $14.95 and leave plenty of room for dessert. But first, Abbie has to pass Major Poppa's All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Training Course and Dessert Bar Drills. Now I know why you don't choose soup at the buffet if you want dessert!

This mission is very important to Major Poppa who declares "Today we fight in the name of Cherry n' Cream Cheese Strudel!" and this is his plan...

1.We go into the castle.
2. We sit down, there's no hassle.
3. We join the buffet line (Poppa first, us behind).
4. We eat until we can't eat more.
5. When we're done we're out the door!

Not all quite goes to plan because Grandpa, Abbie and Flynn don't have a table booking and have to sneak past the ugly Door-Witch with red beady eyes. Crawling past hairy legs under sticky wooden tables and being caught in a messy food fight against an All-You-Can-Eat Buffet Professional and her Freckly-Twin Chicken-Balancing-Buffet-Bandits makes their Operation Dessert Storm almost a mission impossible. It's up to Abbie to bravely complete her first Solo Mission and eat as MUCH dessert as she can as QUICKLY as she can in 5 minutes. Forget plates, cutlery and manners when you're a Dessert Warrior! Will Abbie avoid being captured by the Door-Witch and The 12th Armed Wizard Brigade and what will the Major Poppa discover about Wibbly the Cheeky Wizard?

Operation Dessert Storm will have you laughing out loud and make your sweet tooth tingle and your tummy rumble! It might also have you cooking up a storm in the kitchen creating desserts like Bleeding Heart Jellies, Marshmallow Ghost Pie, a ten-storey Spooky Cupcake Tower or creative desserts of your own that you could serve at your spooky restaurant.

If you have read or watched The Little Lunch series then you will already know the talented husband and wife team of author, Danny Katz and illustrator, Mitch Vane. Danny's wacky humour and Mitch's quirky cartoons make The Poppa Platoon books fun to read, especially aloud!

Begin the laughs with the first book,The Poppa Platoon: In World War Chew on a trip to the Royal Melbourne Show on a dangerous mission to the crowded Showbag Pavillion to buy a Chunky Choco Cherry Chew Showbag. 

Happy Reading and dessert eating!

Mr Walker will steal your heart from the first page as he narrates and stars in his very own illustrated hardcover book!

On a brilliant autumn morning, Mr Walker arrives at the Park Hyatt, ready to put his best paw forward as a Guide Dog Ambassador. However, all he can see is a very tall, grand building whose top is covered by clouds. Where is the park?

In his new role as a hotel dog, Mr Walker learns to walk on slippery marble floors, ride in elevators, greet guests both friendly and not so friendly, help the hotel staff and settles in with his new family while having some unexpected adventures along the way in four fun and heart warming stories.

Jess Black brings Mr Walker to life as he shares the world though his eyes and his personality and warmth are perfectly captured by Sara Acton in her delightful watercolour illustrations. Jess and Sara are a dynamic duo of dog lovers who make you want to visit Mr Walker and give him a great big hug!

In his real life, Mr Walker is a charming golden Labrador who trained as a Guide dog, but his outgoing personality was better suited to being a Guide Dog Ambassador at the Park Hyatt in Melbourne where he greets guests as they first walk in the door and helps them feel at home. Guests can also request to take Mr Walker for walks in the morning, play with him in the park, or sometimes even practice yoga on the hotel deck. He has a specially made Tasmanian oak bed to lounge on in the hotel lobby and he even has his own Instagram account at mrwalker_parkhyatt where you can follow his adventures!

Photo credit: Park Hyatt Melbourne

Royalties from sales of this book go to Guide Dogs Victoria so when you buy this book you are supporting a wonderful organisation and dogs like Mr Walker.

Keep an eye out for more adventures with Mr Walker in February and August in 2019. Scroll down here for a sneak peek!

Happy Reading!

Total Quack Up! is a collection of short stories from some of Australia's funniest children's authors guaranteed to have you quacking up and laughing out loud! So be careful where you read this book...

Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck are the editors of Total Quack Up! They wanted to help raise money for Dymocks Children's Charities who work very hard to make sure kids across the country get their hands on great books and develop the skills they need to read them. Sally and Adrian asked eight author friends if they would like to write a funny story and James Foley to be the illustrator. These generous people donated their story and illustrations to create this book and all of the proceeds from Total Quack Up! will go to Dymock's Children's Charities.

Buying a copy of Total Quack Up! is a 'win-win' because you get a funny book to enjoy AND you will be helping other kids to have books so they can enjoy reading too!

Here's a taste of the stories in Total Quack Up!...

After reading Total Quack Up! you might be inspired to write your own funny short story...

Happy reading!

Lemonade Jones has the BEST name! She is a six year old who bubbles with sass and enthusiasm. Lemonade Jones is full of questions, tells the truth (a bit too honestly at times) and finds it hard to stick to rules because she likes things to be loud and exciting.

Lemonade Jones’ feisty and funny character has been delightfully created by Davina Bell and brought to life with Karen Blair’s water colour and pencil illustrations that perfectly capture Lemonade’s world at home and school.

In The First Day Back, Lemonade Jones' old school has closed and she is starting at a new school. The day doesn’t begin well when Lemonade Jones discovers she isn’t in the same Year One class as her best friend Clark Dark. How can they get married if they’re in different classrooms? There are also rules to remember and students to deal with like Leela Blue who likes to be the best. Adjusting to a new teacher and class is hard and Lemonade Jones even has to spend time in the Quiet Corner after a rather unfortunate incident with Marcus Crackle. At the end of a long first day, Miss Wisby reminds Lemonade Jones that each day is a new chance to learn and she can start afresh tomorrow.

Lemonade Jones is celebrating her sixth birthday and has invited the whole class to her first party in The Zoo That Comes To You. In Show and Grow she delights in telling everyone about all of the zoo animals that will be at her party. On the day however, the zoo keeper and zoo animals are not at all what Lemonade Jones had been expecting, but imagination, creativity and a fire engine save the day! "That was the best birthday party ever” said Clark Dark.

I'm really looking forward to following more of Lemonade Jones' adventures in her very own series.

Happy Reading!

Teacher notes

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