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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

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

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!

2

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!

Let Me Sleep, Sheep! by Meg McKinlay is so much fun to read! 

Do you lay in bed counting sheep to help you drift off to sleep? What would you do if two of those sheep landed in your bedroom with a THUD?

Amos is counting sheep when two annoyed sheep land in his bedroom. Felix and Walter as they prefer to be called (Not 'One' and 'Two'), are not happy about being dragged away from their dinner and wool clipping. They insist the only way they will leave is if Amos builds a fence for them to jump over...

"If you want to count us, you need a fence. It's in the rules." 

Felix and Walter are VERY fussy about their fence. It can't be too low, too high, too wobbly, too hard and definitely not boring! The mess in Amos' room grows as he tries to build a perfect fence and the two wily sheep keep adding more crazy demands for drinks, a finish line and even a dance party.

"You'll have to test it, of course.
We have to save our energy for the big jump."

Will his fence pass the test so Amos can finally get to sleep?

suju / Pixabay

Leila Rudge's pencil illustrations brilliantly capture the hilarious chaos as Felix and Walter take over Amos' bedroom and turn the tables on him.

If you were Amos what would you have done?

What does the final illustration reveal?

How would you continue the story?

It might be time to design a fence for Felix and Walter and their sheep friends in case they land in your bedroom one night...

Happy reading!

Teacher notes

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!

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!

Did you know your city is protected by a secret squad of crime-fighting pigeons? Yes, pigeons!

Some pigeons might spend their day cooing or looking for breadcrumbs, but not the Real Pigeons! This feathered secret crime-fighting squad solve mysteries and fight bad guys to keep your city safe. Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood reveal all in Real Pigeons Fight Crime.

GrandPouter has gathered together his team of pigeons who are perfect for fighting crime because they are fast, can attack and they're everywhere! Each pigeon in the team also has his own unique pigeon power. They hold their top secret team meetings in rubbish bins (which can be dangerous on bin collection day!) and are always on the look out for animals and people to help and mysteries to solve. They might be checking out your neighbourhood right now!  

In the three stories in this book, GrandPouter, Rock, Homey, Tumbler and Frillback work together using some very creative (or is that crazy) problem solving combined with their pigeon powers to solve The Great Breadcrumb Mystery, track down an elusive Bat Trapper and prevent a disaster at the Food Truck Fair. Keep an eye out for Rock's clever (and sometimes wacky) disguises and Tumbler's impressive flight moves when he flies at night with the bats. 

If you're looking for a new funny series to read then this is it. I'm sure you will have as much fun reading Real Pigeons Fight Crime as Andrew and Ben have had writing and illustrating it. They are a fabulous team who share the same wacky sense of humour that bursts out their book! You won't look at pigeons in the same way ever again!

Create your own Real Pigeon
Research pigeons to help you create your own Real Pigeon character.

What are its characteristics and pigeon power?
What is its name?
What will it look like?

Lucky for you, the second book in the Real Pigeon series called Real Pigeons Eat Danger will be coming in November! Read more about it HERE

Happy reading and being Super Coo fighting crime with the Real Pigeons!

Teacher notes

Maybe that's the main reason Mr Humble picked me. I was a natural born loser, a nobody, but I was a nobody who believed in Barryjong. Now I've become somebody worth following. (Raymond) 

Natural Born Loser by Oliver Phommavanh is one of my favourite books of the year! 

There is so much heart in this story and after reading this interview with Oliver, you can see how his experiences as a student and teacher have played a big part in helping him write Natural Born Loser.

Not everyone wants to be a leader out the front and in the lime light, certainly not Raymond Bulanghagui. He sees himself as a follower and prefers to blend into the background, particularly around bullies. That is until the new principal, Mr Humble arrives and wants to turn Barryjong school around so it's no longer a joke amongst other schools and a breeding ground for bullies. Raymond's life changes when his best mate Zain dares him to 'audition' for a prefect position. No one is more shocked than Raymond when he is chosen alongside Zain, Randa and Ally who all seem to have more to offer than he does. However, Mr Humble has seen something in Raymond and gives him a chance to step up and be a leader.

The four prefects don't have an easy job ahead with bullymons like Russell Carney (Carn-age) and his cronies ready to bring them down at any opportunity. When Raymond dares himself to speak up at assembly and suggests they raise money for new air conditioners all of a sudden he goes from being a nobody to the students supporting him. I'm sure you too will be cheering on the four prefects as they learn to combine their talents and work together as a leadership team to raise their goal of $20,000. Their crazy fundraising challenges are fun for students, teachers and parents alike, especially the brilliant Dareathon! The fundraising culminates in an exciting Footy Fan Day and there's one final surprise from Mr Humble for the four prefects, who along the way have united the Barryjong Primary School community and turned it into a 'cool' school in more ways than one.

There's no stopping 'Barryjong United' now!

Mr Humble gave the prefects a poster with tips for How to be a Natural Born Leader
Raymond tried these tips that you might like to try too. What else would you add?

Follow the leaders you look up to
Practise the things that make you feel uncomfortable
Get to know the people in your team
Learn something new about people

Happy reading and thinking up i-dares for a Dareathon!

Teacher notes

 

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