Like many boys around the country I look forward to a new Dinosaur Rescue book from the wonderful Kyle Mewburn and Donovan Bixley. Each book gives me my dose of prehistoric facts, disgusting dinosaur behaviour and wild adventures with Arg the brainy cave boy. Arg’s latest adventure is Scuto-stickysaurus.
In Scuto-stickysaurus, disgusted by his family’s eating habits, Arg leaves his cave to search for the cause of the terrible noise that is filling the air. He discovers a Scutosaurus, a very slow, heavily armoured dinosaur, and he sets off to save it from his tribe’s hunting party. It’s not long before he finds himself stuck to the Scutosaurus with no way to pry himself loose. It’s up to his good friend Skeet to rescue him and the Scutosaurus before it’s too late.
Scuto-stickysaurus has the perfect mix of fact, fiction and stinky dinosaurs that I love about this very cool series. In this book you can:
- Learn how to look like a Neanderthal,
- Find out about a prehistoric trip to the dentist,
- Get some jungle survival tips (Bear Grylls style)
- Learn about dangerous jungle plants
- Discover the perfect way to escape a Deadly Mouth Plant.
There’s also plenty of dinosaur poo and farts to go around, and when it comes to these, Arg is always in the wrong place at the wrong time. It’s the combination of the story and the illustrations that makes this series so hilarious. Scuto-stickysaurus is the 7th book in the series and it’s just as good as the 1st book, T-wreck-asaurus. I hope that Kyle and Donovan have got plenty more ideas up their sleeves for Arg’s future adventures.
Thanks to Scholastic New Zealand I have 2 copies of Scuto-stickysaurus to give away. You can enter here.
Working in a library you see the hundreds of fairy/princess/ballerina books that fill the shelves and that young girls borrow by the handful. They’re all very much the same story, with different characters so kids fly through them. It’s great when you discover a series for young girls that’s original and features quirky, memorable characters. If you know girls who want a story that will make them laugh, about girls just like them, then the Ivy + Bean stories, written by Annie Barrows and illustrated by Sophie Blackall, are perfect. No News is Good News is the latest book in the series.
Ivy and Bean need some money. Ten dollars to be exact. Never mind what for. Don’t even ask. Okay. It’s for cheese. Two bags of low fat Belldeloon cheese in a special just-for-you serving size. Don’t ask why.
But ten dollars is a lot of money. How are Bean and Ivy going to make ten dollars? Should they wash the car? They’re not allowed to touch the car. No. Should they write a newspaper about their neighbours and sell it? Great idea – and easy too! Yes. All Ivy and Bean have to do is snoop around Pancake Court and get some news. It’s very interesting what you can find out if you look in your neighbours’ windows. It’s even more interesting when the neighbours read about it in the newspaper.
No News is Good News is the 8th Ivy + Bean book, but the first one that I’ve read. I loved it and I’m going to hunt down the other books in the series from my library! If, like me, you haven’t met Ivy and Bean before, let me introduce them. They’re two unlikely friends. Bean is loud, wild and goofy and Ivy is quiet and full of ideas. They’re complete opposites but they make a great team. In their latest adventure, they need money to get their favourite cheese (or the wax on the outside of the cheese) so they have to come up with a scheme to get it. After a very unsuccessful attempt to sell their flying potion, Bean’s dad suggests they make a newspaper. That’s when all the trouble starts. Little do their neighbours know that their secrets (and their bottoms) will feature in Ivy and Bean’s newspaper.
Ivy and Bean are quirky, funny, and mischievous. They’re the sort of characters that girls will want to be like and will wish were their friends. Like Ivy and Bean, Annie Barrows and Sophie Blackall make a great team. Sophie’s quirky illustrations go perfectly with Annie’s text and will really appeal to girls.
Get Ivy + Bean: No News is Good News from your library or bookshop now. Once you’ve read one, you’ll be hooked!
Recommended for 7+
International Ivy + Bean Day is being celebrated around the world on Saturday 13 October. We’re celebrating it at Christchurch City Libraries, and you can ask your library or bookshop to see if they are too.
Marcus Sedgwick is one of my favourite writers of Young Adult fiction. Blood Red Snow White would have to be in my list of all-time favourite books. In recent years he has started writing younger fiction (for 8-12 year olds), with his Raven Mysteries series (illustrated by Pete Williamson). The first book in his great new younger fiction series, Elf Boy and Raven Girl: Fright Forest, has just been released.
Raven Boy has short black spiky hair, amazing night vision and can talk to animals. Elf Girl is light of foot, sharp of mind and…elfish all over. She hadn’t expected to meet Raven Boy; it’s not that often someone falls out of the trees and squashes your home flat like Raven Boy did.
Before they know it they are plunged into some very strange, creepy, altogether spooky and hilarious adventures as they save their world from trolls, ogres, witches and things that slither and slide in the fiendish forest.
Fright Forest is a fun-filled story, with quirky characters that kids will love. Elf Girl and Raven Boy are very different from each other, but they join forces to find out who is destroying their home. Raven Boy has a habit of eeping like a raven when he’s scared and Elf Girl’s ears go red at the tips when she’s embarrassed. Elf Girl and Raven Boy aren’t actually their real names and they have seem to have a lot of fun trying to guess each others real names. At the beginning of each chapter we learn something new about the characters or the place that they live, like the fact that Raven Boy is really good at climbing or that Elf Girl loves shoes. They meet some rather strange characters on their journey, including a helpful rat, some hungry trolls and a very bad witch, and find themselves in some very awkward situations. I love illustrated novels for younger children and Pete Williamson’s illustrations are fantastic. They match the tone of Marcus’ story perfectly. They’re a little bit dark and spooky, but very funny as well, especially the illustrations of the trolls.
Elf Girl and Raven Boy is perfect for 8-12 year olds who love adventure, a touch of magic, or just a really funny story. I think the series would be especially great for those girls who don’t like fairy books or boys who want something more than Captain Underpants. For those children who love series, there are five more Elf Girl and Raven Boy stories to come too.
4 out of 5 stars