Monday, September 22, 2014

My Friend Whale by Simon James

This award winning book makes a powerful splash. How amazing would it be to swim with a great blue whale every evening? Simon James' book My Friend Whale introduces young children to the realistc plight of whales. It is a beautifully moving picture book which could provide the basis of some discussions about whales for very young children. It is an imaginative story with an important message. The author himself says he tires a little of book with polite messages and happy endings. Well, this book certainly has an honest ending tinged with sadness, however James does not allow this sadness to overtake the description of the truly  majestic creature presented earlier in the story. I bought this for my grandson Archie and will now be looking for more books from Simon James. Below is a fabulous animation of the book I found on Vimeo:

Monday, September 15, 2014

More Weird Things Customers Say in Bookshops by Jen Campbell

Thank you so much to my lovely neighbour Sonia for this humorous book. I really enjoyed reading it and even though some of the comments may be tricky for students to decode or fully appreciate I have taken this book to school for students to enjoy if they wish.  The illustrations serve well to illuminate the comments. One of my favourites is the following from a young girl in relation to a book in The Cat in the Hat series:

I firmly believe that each job comes with its own unique challenges and no-one really "gets it" unless they do that job. Only yesterday on a flight from Melbourne to Hobart an air stewardess was telling me a passenger got cranky because he wanted to store his luggage directly above his seat and asked very indignantly, "Who brought the bloody life raft on board?" I mean you just have to laugh don't you?