Sunday, August 28, 2011

Another set of Aussie Nibbles to nibble

As promised earlier in my blog, I am reading my way through our collection of Aussie Nibbles and I continue to be surprised and excited by so many of these simple titles.

Pop-up Fox has been in my collection for a long time (published in 2004) and I am now puzzled why I did not pick it up much earlier. David does not have many friends and so a party invitation is a very special event. The party has a dress up theme - come as something starting with the same letter as the name of the Birthday boy. This is easy for David as he loves dressing up and he especially enjoys making masks. He decides to go as a fox but on arrival at the party he discovers something terrible. The boy hosting the party is called Phillip and the other children have come dressed as a pirate, pizza and a plane.

How will David survive this situation? Do you know why he went to the party as a fox? Can the author Janeen Brian give us a plausible happy ending – yes she can. Read Pop-up Fox to find out how.

I have always enjoyed the idea of using food colouring. I once had a magazine that featured a pie where the top was decorated like a patchwork quilt using food colouring. I also love those little food colouring bottles from the supermarket. Margo and her sister Sonya need to decide on the colour for the icing on their cake. Their grandmother suggests blue. While she does enjoy the cake their grandmother complains she does not like her grey hair. Can you guess how food colouring, blue icing and hair might make for a hilarious outcome? This book Blue Hair day is made all the more special by the addition of zany illustrations by Leigh Hobbs.

Sonya Hartnett has just won our Children’s Book of the Year award for her novel The midnight Zoo so I was very keen to see what she might do within the constraints of a Nibble. When the youngest children in my school preview our special donate a book display I always tell them to tuck their hands behind their backs. Fingers can sometimes get a little out of control and this is the exact premise of Sadie and Ratz. Sadie and Ratz are in fact the left and right hands of Hannah and try as she might they sometimes lead her into mischief. Hannah has a little baby brother called Baby Boy. “Baby Boy is four years old. Four years is a long time. … everyone says Baby Boy is a good boy. But …”

Baby Boy has found his voice and his power. When something goes wrong he accused Saddie and Ratz. Hannah is fed up but what can she do? Then something really surprising happens to Baby Boy and Baby Boy needs to name is own right and left hands because it seems they are causing their own mayhem. I must again make special mention of the illustrations. Ann James perfectly captures the expressions and emotions of each family member.

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