Rory Branagan: Detective by Andrew Clover and Ralph Lazar is the first book in a fantastic new series featuring this switched on kid detective. Packed full of quirky illustrations and shady characters Rory Branagan is perfect for fans of Diary of a Wimpy Kid and Timmy Failure. It’s great for reluctant readers as it looks like a chunky book but is actually a quick, fun read.
Rory Branagan: Detective is out now from HarperCollins.
I absolutely love the Bad Guys books by Aaron Blabey. For a while now I’ve been looking for something else to suggest to kids that is similar to the Bad Guys, both in the way that the story is told and the humour. I’ve found the perfect book in James Foley’s new junior graphic novel, Brobot.
Sally Tinker makes machines … and Joe Tinker breaks them. As the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, Sally knows she can build a better brother than Joe. But is her invention – Brobot – really all that a brother should be?
Brobot is a hilarious junior graphic novel about a girl and her search for the perfect brother. There is something in this book for everyone – annoying brothers who destroy everything, inventions, robots, toxic nappies, destruction and a whole lot of laughs. I’m sure a lot of kids will relate to Sally and her problems with her annoying little brother.
I loved James Foley’s previous book, My Dead Bunny (with Sigi Cohen) and I’ve been following the development of Brobot for a while, so it’s great to finally read it. The story is really funny by itself but the comic illustrations add to the laughs. Sally’s human brother Joe doesn’t even say anything and he still makes you laugh. The facial expressions of Sally and Joe are enough to make you crack up sometimes. I especially love Sally’s name, which she shortens to S. Tinker Inc.
Although it’s a graphic novel it’s a chapter book format so I’ll be shelving it with my younger fiction, just like the Bad Guys series.
Brobot is perfect for anyone who likes Aaron Blabey, Kyle Mewburn or just a really funny read.
Check out this great book trailer for Brobot too:
I’ve been a huge fan of Kate DiCamillo for many years. I first fell in love with her stories when I read The Tale of Despereaux and have loved all of her books since.
I’m very excited to read her new book, Raymie Nightingale, coming from Walker Books in April. Everything I’ve seen for it so far, from the blurb to the book trailer, makes it sound fantastic.
To whet your appetite check out the blurb and the book trailer below:
Raymie Clarke has come to realise that everything, absolutely everything, depends on her. And she has a plan. If Raymie can win the Little Miss Central Florida Tire competition, then her father – who has run away with a dental hygienist – will see Raymie’s picture in the paper and (maybe) come home. To win, not only does Raymie have to do good deeds and learn how to twirl a baton, but she has to compete with the wispy, frequently fainting Louisiana Elefante with her show-business background and the fiery, stubborn Beverly Tapinski, who’s determined to sabotage the contest. But as the competition approaches, loneliness, loss and unanswerable questions draw the three girls into an unlikely friendship – and challenge them to come to each other’s rescue in unexpected ways.
Raymie Nightingale by Kate DiCamillo is available from Walker Books Australia in April.
Alan’s Big Scary Teeth by Jarvis is one of my current favourite picture books. It’s all about an alligator called Alan who LOVES scaring all the animals in the jungle. He makes the ‘frogs leap off their lily pads, the monkeys tumble from the trees and the parrots screech in terrible terror.’ However, he has a rather embarrassing secret (you’ll have to read it to find out what). One of the animals discovers his secret, which could mean the end of his scaring ways.
This book is utterly fabulous! Not only is the story hilarious, the illustrations are spectacular too. I first saw Jarvis’s illustrations last year in Poles Apart by Jeanne Willis and really liked his style. The colours are bold and the illustrations are nice and big. The cover is really appealing and promises hilarity inside. It certainly jumps off the shelf and begs to be read. The large size of the book makes it perfect for sharing with large groups too.
Alan’s Big Scary Teeth is a must-read picture book and is certain to be one that is read over and over again!
Check out the cool book trailer below:
Katherine Applegate’s brilliant new book, Crenshaw is released in NZ this month by HarperCollins NZ. I absolutely loved Katherine’s last book, The One and Only Ivan, and this new book is pretty special.
Check out the book trailer below and grab a copy now:
The Nest by Kenneth Oppel and illustrated by Jon Klassen has to be the strangest, most unsettling book that I have read this year. There had been lots of hype leading up to its release and there were starred reviews popping up all over the place, so I had to read it and find out why. When you have two very talented storytellers like Kenneth Oppel and Jon Klassen collaborating on a book it is bound to stand out.
My first thoughts on looking at the book and flicking through were that it was a wonderful production. The cover, with the transparent dust jacket, is stunning and Jon Klassen’s black and white illustrations inside give the book a suitably eerie feeling. This feeling became stronger as I started to read Kenneth’s story.
The first time I saw them, I thought they were angels.
The baby is sick. Mom and Dad are sad. And all Steve has to do is say, Yes to fix everything. But yes is a powerful word. It is also a dangerous one. And once it is uttered, can it be taken back? Treading the thin line between dreams and reality, Steve is stuck in a nightmare he can’t wake up from and that nobody else understands. And all the while, the wasps’ nest is growing, and the ‘angel’ keeps visiting Steve in the night.
Reading The Nest was like slipping into a strange dream that I just had to see through until the end. It unsettled me and made me shiver but I had to know how it ended. I really felt for Steve and his predicament. His parents are distracted with his baby brother and he just wants his brother to be healthy so that his parents have time for him. Steve is given the chance to make his brother healthy and all he has to do is say yes. If I was in Steven’s situation I probably would have done exactly the same thing. The story is tense right from the start but Kenneth Oppel ramps it up until right at the end of the book. I didn’t know how it was going to end but it was satisfying.
I know that adults will enjoy this book but I’m not sure what children I would recommend it to. It would be best for children who like dark stories or maybe even fairy tales. It would probably work well as a read aloud in a class, as there could be a lot of discussion about it.
Check out the book trailer below and you can read an excerpt here.
I’m currently reading Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff, an incredibly gripping YA sci-fi thriller. It is one of my favourite YA reads of 2015 and I can’t wait to see how it will end. I’ll post my review very soon.
Random House US have created some brilliant book trailers to promote Illuminae and they really capture the tone of the story. Check them out and grab a copy of Illuminae: The Illuminae Files #1 now.
Rick Riordan’s new series is finally here! The first book in his Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series, Sword of Summer is out in NZ. This new series follows Magnus Chase as he tries to prevent the end of the world, Ragnarok. It sounds fantastic and I can’t wait to read it!
My name is Magnus Chase. I’m orphaned and living rough on the streets of Boston. And things are about to get much worse.
My day started out normally enough. I was sleeping under a bridge when some guy kicked me awake and said, ‘They’re after you.’ Next thing I know, I’m reunited with my obnoxious uncle, who casually informs me that my long-lost father is a Norse god.
Nothing normal about that. And it turns out the gods of Asgard are preparing for war. Apparently, if I can’t find the sword my father lost two thousand years ago, there will be doom. Doomsday, to be precise.
A fire giant attacking the city?
Immortal warriors hacking each other to pieces?
Unkillable wolves with glowing eyes?
It’s all coming up.
But first I’m going to die.
This is the story of how my life goes downhill from there…
Check out this awesome trailer for Magnus Chase and the Sword of Summer
Check out the book trailer for Michael Morpurgo’s latest book, An Eagle in the Snow:
You can read my review of An Eagle in the Snow here on the blog and enter the competition to win a copy thanks to HarperCollins NZ.
Imaginary Fred is the first collaboration between two giants of children’s literature, Oliver Jeffers and Eoin Colfer. I’m a huge fan of both of these guys so I’m very excited to read this book.
Sometimes, with a little electricity, or luck, or even magic, an imaginary friend might appear when you need one. An imaginary friend like Fred… Fred floated like a feather in the wind until a lonely little boy wished for him and found a friendship like no other
Here is a funny book trailer for Imaginary Fred:
Imaginary Fred is available this month from HarperCollins NZ.