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Derek Dool is back looking for a new way to be SUPERCOOL. After accidentally going viral online, Derek is on a mission to deliberately go viral. The challenge is on for Derek to get more more online views than his archenemy Carmichael Cruz and become a SUPERCOOL internet sensation!

To go viral, should Derek do an unboxing video, a pimple popping video or maybe a cute cat video? None of Derek's ideas including Sonny the Surfing Bunny are quite working out as he expected, not even with help from Big Denise and Booger. But Derek's not the type to give up. No way! He is determined to achieve VIRAL VICTORY.

Derek's final plan to go viral at the Ruttsmell Garlic Festival is almost the last thing he ever does! It is a total riot with Derek and Cruz heading down the Ruttsmell River clinging to a runaway jumping castle. Can they put aside their rivalry to save themselves? Scott Edgar's illustrations brilliantly capture the action, danger and hilarity of their predicament.

Book Two has even more Bad Dad Jokes to make you groan and we're left still wondering what those devious crows are planning for their world domination. Big Denise's rapping goes more public than she wants and we see Booger's strength come to the fore. There's also lots of stinky garlic!

You can read the first chapter HERE

What would YOU do to go viral and become an internet sensation?

Writing funny books is not as easy as people think. In a recent interview, Adrian Beck explained how he needs to balance the plot, setting and characters while also being funny. Adrian has worked in TV production and has also watched lots of cartoon shows so when he writes his books, it's like writing a TV or cartoon show script with short sharp episodes or chapters. Scott illustrates his favourite parts and then they work as a team to discuss and adjust the text and illustrations so they work seamlessly to tell the story. Adrian and Scott definitely have lots of fun working together creating Derek's funny, action-packed adventures!

Derek Dool Supercool 3: Run For Your Life will be published in January 2021.

Happy reading!


Green Peas is our name
and pranking's our game!

Casey Wu and her best friends are the secret Green Peas group. Like some of you, they feel that no one listens when you're a kid, even when you have something really important to say. Casey, Cookie and Zeke care about how we treat our planet and combine their skills to be heard. When they discover greedy Mayor Lupphol's plans for their town of Watterson and especially Brennan Park, they are going to show the mayor that no activist is too small and no prank is too big.

My favourite Green Peas' prank was for Mayor Lupphol's visit to Watterson Primary school. It was pure genius!

Nat Amoore is an author full of energy and creativity who writes books with humour and lots of heart. She empowers kids through her characters in Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire and The Power of Positive Pranking and makes reading fun.

Nat had a great idea to promote The Power of Positive Pranking using Auslan. Read Nat's 'Did You Know' at the end of her book to find out why Auslan is important to her. Do you know any Auslan? 

An exciting moment for authors is when they receive copies of their book from the publisher. It must be an amazing feeling to finally hold a copy of your book in your hands and see your hard work and dream come true. Sometimes authors do an 'unboxing' to reveal their new book. Nat took unboxing to a whole new level with a stop motion Lego video! (Watch it a few times to see all the little stories happening in the bigger story.) Have you made any stop motion movies? They take a lot of patience!

Have a taste of The Power of Positive Pranking by watching some of our Aussie children's authors read the first chapter and a half.

Follow the Green Peas Manifesto in the chapter headings and you too can find your voice and be on your way to making a positive difference for something you care about...

Happy reading!

I don’t know about you, but the minute I hear the word NITS, my head starts itching and I start scratching! I was worried I wouldn't be able to read Tristan Bancks’ new book Nit Boy without going into a scratching frenzy.


Lewis and Ned share a head...

Lewis Snow has wild blonde hair that has never been cut. He has the worst case of nits in world history that have infected his school and town. Everyone wants him to shave his head, especially Ms Herrick his terrifying Deputy Principal. Lewis is fond of his nits and thinks of them as pets (and they can earn a little money on the side). Lewis will do whatever he can to keep his hair and his nits.

Ned lives on Lewis’ head. He is the world’s first jumping nit. Ned is a major part of his dad's plan for nits to take over the world, but he just wants to live a quiet life on Lewis’ head. Ned is also vegan and hates the taste of human blood (which is not good if you're a nit!). Will finding his mum help Ned work out who he really is?

Heath Mackenzie's fabulous illustrations in Nit Boy take the story to another level. Have fun learning how to draw Ned in this video with Heath.

If you enjoyed reading Tristan's Tom Weekly series then Nit Boy will appeal to you too. Nit Boy is a clever and funny book where Lewis and Ned take turns telling the story from their point of view. It also includes quizzes with facts that are both fun and gross and a bonus story from the Tom Weekly series - Revenge of the Nits.

Read the first chapter of Nit Boy and an interview with Tristan Bancks.

Dare I say that Ned the Nit has definitely given nits a more positive image!

Teacher notes

Happy reading!

Move over Wimpy Kid, Weirdo and Eric Vale...Derek Dool Supercool is here...


Derek Dool is desperate to prove he is SUPERCOOL! In fact he’ll do anything…

Derek wants to be the coolest kid at Ruttmore primary school. It’s not going to be easy with his red hair, freckles and ‘daggy dad’ fashion style.

The battle for King of Cool is on when Derek’s archenemy and schoolyard superstar, Carmichael Cruz challenges Derek to a dance-off at the school disco. Pity the only dance move Derek knows is The Worm!

Luckily Derek’s unlikely best ‘friends’ Big Denise and Booger are there to help (or save) him on his quest to be supercool. Big Denise is super-smart, super-patient and has a surprising hidden talent and there’s definitely a lot more to Booger than his sweet tooth. 

Derek needs to learn some dance moves…fast!! Accidentally recording himself to the school website while dancing on a table in the library is not a good move, especially when he reveals his purple unicorn undies to the world! Derek and his friends end up in detention, but luckily Derek's Detention Distraction helps them escape.

Dressed in his Dad’s Hawaiian shirt, lit up like a Christmas tree and armed with Zombie dance moves from Horrific Hoedown. Can Derek bust a move and beat Carmichael Cruz and his Cruz Crew at the disco dance-off?

Scott Edgar's lively line drawings perfectly capture Adrian's funny action-packed story and bring his characters to life. They make a great team!

Here is Adrian with Derek. Hmmm, can you see a resemblance? 


Be careful reading this book in class for silent reading because you won't be silent! Adrian Beck will have you laughing out loud and his Bad Dad Jokes might leave you groaning on the floor...

Watch out for Derek's next plan to become supercool in Derek Dool Supercool 2: Going Viral  coming in August.

Adrian's author visits are lots of fun and he has something 'special' planned for Derek Dool fans. If you would like Adrian to visit your school you could ask your teacher librarian or class teacher to book him HERE

Happy reading!




The second book in the Toffle Towers series by Tim Harris will have you laughing out loud once again.

Thanks to ten-year-old Chegwin's creativity, Toffle Towers is filling up fast with guests and even more are expected for the annual Great River Race. All is going smoothly until some of Chegwin's staff are 'reverse mugged' by two mysterious men in black. The hotel is thrown into chaos as Chegwin tries to find a solution and work out who is behind the attacks. 

When Chegwin discovers that Brontessa Braxton (owner of the rival Braxton Hotel) is the mastermind, his attempt to be kind to her backfires. Chegwin finds himself competing in the Great River Race to save both Toffle Towers and its staff from her greedy clutches. Underpants, yes underpants, will help decide the race winner!

Will you find out who is in Room 49? I'm not going to say, but you will get to explore secret tunnels hidden in Toffle Towers. There's also fun to be had at the upside-down check-in, dancing on the musical staircase and your mouth will water as you read about the newly upgraded Room 1 that is now The Lolly Room where everything is edible - yum! 

Once again James Foley's fun illustrations bring the story to life. His illustrations of nasty Brontessa Braxton are some of my favourites, especially her eyebrows!

If you enjoy funny books and taking your imagination for a walk, the Toffle Towers series is for you and great way to start your year. Fully Booked is the first book in the series and you can read more about it here.  

Watch out for Book 3 - Order in the Court that will be coming soon.

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!

Australia is big, but so is Mr Chicken. He can’t wait to go everywhere, see everything and meet everyone.

Mr Chicken has been to London, Paris and Rome and now he is finally travelling down under to Australia in his latest adventure, Mr Chicken All Over Australia.

Mr Chicken can't resist the many invitations from Australian children whose real letters fill the endpapers of his book.

We all know Mr Chicken won't be your regular tourist! His crazy itinerary has him criss-crossing the country from Wanneroo, to Wee Waa to Poowong and everywhere in between. Top of Mr Chicken's list are some of our famous 'big' tourist attractions like the Big Banana at Coffs Harbour, but who knew there was a Big Boxing Crocodile at Humpty Doo? Mr Chicken has lots of  adventures along the way as he discovers his fear of heights on Sydney Harbour Bridge, unexpectedly heads to Tasmania on a surfboard, suffers from a painful case of 'pavlova-itis' and gives tourists at Uluru a sunrise they will never forget. Thank goodness for his calm koala tourist guide who keeps Mr Chicken on track with his trip.

Now...if only we knew where the mystery town is with a brand new 'big' yellow tourist attraction...

Leigh says that ‘Children often wrote to me asking if Mr Chicken could visit them “and stay at their nana’s” or “visit their school” etc. The requests were so charming and hilarious that this prompted the book.' He has dedicated this Mr Chicken book to the many children, teachers and librarians he met as he travelled around Australia as the 2016-2017 Australian Children’s Laureate

Over the weekend, I attended the fabulous Kids Book Fest at the Fitzroy Town Hall. I was hoping to get my copy of Mr Chicken All Over Australia signed. Imagine my surprise when I found myself walking into the Town Hall alongside Leigh Hobbs! It was a delight to chat to Leigh and he happily signed my book. Leigh hopes everyone enjoys Mr Chicken's latest adventure because he had lots of fun writing and illustrating it.

Thank you, Leigh for making reading so much fun!

Happy reading!

Teacher notes


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

You can't take him anywhere!

Pig was a Pug
and I'm sorry to say,
when he went on vacation
he'd cause great dismay.

You can't take Pig the Pug anywhere, especially on holidays! He will happily destroy holiday plans with behaviour so bad it's hard to describe. He'll break all the rules and cause great devastation. Watch out Mona Lisa and the Leaning Tower of Pisa! Even the poor Queen is left shaken by Pig's wild antics! Pig is the worst type of tourist, but In a clever twist, see who teaches Pig his latest lesson...OUCH!!

My holiday with Pig the Pug

Pig the Pug and I travelled together for five weeks. In Seattle we visited Mt Ranier, in Canada we flew over Whistler in a tiny seaplane and stood right next to Niagara Falls, while in New York we went up to the Top of the Rock, waved to the Statue of Liberty, wandered around Central Park, visited the New York Public Library and in Washington DC we saw the White House and visited the Library of Congress.

We also visited lots of libraries along the way and Pig the Pug was very excited to find some of his books in the Toronto Public Library in Canada!

I'm VERY glad Pig the Pug was on his BEST behaviour for our holiday after reading his new book!

Pig the Pug
I'm happy to say,
was the perfect travel buddy
On our holiday.

You can see the slideshow of our holiday HERE

Happy reading!


Nat Amoore is a shiny new author whose shiny new book Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire is a story filled with heart and humour.

Finding a million dollars in your backyard - every kid's dream, right?
That's what me and my best friend Toby thought too. 

Tess Heckleston is ten years old, wise for her age and a natural born entrepreneur who is always dreaming up ingenious plans to make money. Toby her best friend, is a numbers guy who is smart, organised and her moral compass. Coming from a large family where money is tight, Tess wants to get rich while Toby who was adopted from Bolivia, wants to donate to every worthy cause he can find. Together they make a formidable team.

When Tess' dodgy neighbour Scotty dumps a million dollars in her backyard it changes everything. There's so much Tess and Toby could do with a million dollars, but there are also a lot of unexpected decisions and problems that come with that amount of money.

Who knew it would be SO hard for kids to spend a million dollars even when they want to do good with it?

Tess and Toby's skills and friendship are challenged as they 'creatively' try to find ways to spend the money. Personally, I loved their idea of a coffee and donut cart for the school staffroom, but you might prefer the jumping castle and lollipops and they might be on to something with their solution for a home for Kathy and Mr Piddles. But what happens when the Really Bad Guy, Scotty wants his million dollars back...all of it!

This book cleverly begins with the end as Tess opens her school locker to reveal a million dollars in front of the whole school and you want to keep reading. I read the first three chapters to Year Four classes in the library and one student said "I normally don't like reading, but I HAVE to read this book!!"  So don't just take my word for it!

Nat has written one of my favourite books this year and between you and I, I think there might be quite a bit of Nat in her character, Tess!

Here is Nat at her million dollar book launch for Secrets of a Schoolyard Millionaire at The Little Bookroom in Melbourne.

If you found a million dollars in your backyard
what would you do with it?

Happy reading!

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