Thursday, May 19, 2016

Dimity Dumpty; The Story of Humpty's Little Sister by Bob Graham

Now Dimity Dumpty knew what was about to befall her somewhat egotistical brother Humpty, but few know the real family story. I am a sucker for the other perspective, be it fiction or non fiction, and this book was destined to adorn my shelf along with those entertaining gems of one of my favourite authors, Jon Scieska.  Dimity predicted that one day Humpty would come a cropper, and a right one at that! Illustrator/author Bob Graham certainly dishes up just desserts! So what was the life of Humpty's unknown, shy, and somewhat timid sister like? Interesting to say the least.  No-one knew of the circus-orientated Tumbling Dumpties clan. Humpty Dumpty has a much better outcome including chocolates and  a full recovery. A fun read!

The Butterfly by A. Delaney

It was the tiny and humble splash of orange flitting amongst the fine line ink drawings inside the covers that drew me to this totally unpretentious little book. Not only does the story tell about the flights of a lone butterfly on a summer's day but it also illustrates the story of the energetic and fun-loving dog and a troupe of close friends as they gamble through the daisy and grass fields encapsulating life itself. It is a book about really enjoying the little things in life and appreciating the moment for whatever it may be. The energy and joy is captivated so well in the illustration and the  rhyming flow of text. The warmth and absolute joy of the day is ever present. 

Mean Max by John Peterson and Syd Hoff

An interesting retro read on dealing with bullying. In the picture book Mean Max by John Peterson, first published in 1970, Toby struggles to deal with the ongoing bullying he receives at the hands of Max who lives close by and attends the same school. Tony's best friend, Eddy, is more undermining than helpful and Tony ends up becoming a bully himself. Build up your muscles and train to run fast are the main pieces of advice in this little book as well as learning to stand up for yourself. Certainly an unusual addition to the Little Library of Rescued Books and also smelliest book in the collection. This book was originally called Mean Max Chickens Out. Read it and smell it for yourself and you decided how helpful this book could be. What mainly drew me to buying this book for the grand sum of twenty cents was the illustrations by cartoonist Syd Hoff as I have a lot of respect and admiration for his work. Sadly for us he is no longer around to create, but you can appreciate his works at:

Bolton Road Spy Catches by Margaret Pearce

Bolton Road Spy Catches by Margaret Pearce starts off a little slowly for my liking but soon picks up momentum, Akin to a Famous Five novel, but much more sophisticated in terms of history and dialogue, the story is set in Victoria after the bombing of Darwin by the Japanese. A group of five children, Nancy, Mabel, Janet, Fred and Lennie have created a group to raise money for the war effort but also to track down informants and saboteurs. The story really has much more to do with the adventures of Nancy, Janet and Mabel in these efforts as Fred has nicked off with close friend Bill Owen with ideas of joining up at only thirteeen! As for Lennie, well his character is scarce. The reader is given insight into the life of ordinary families and the hardships which were endured on the home front in terms of rationing, clothing coupons, sharing housing, and just plain making do with what one has. The cooking teacher in the story really brings back memories of some of the home economics teachers I had as a child with their lack of sympathy and bullying ways. To read this book is to truly witness the life of students during the second world war, you step back in time, wear the uncomfortable and restrictive school uniforms and step into the authoritarian and suffocating school environment, and even clean the outside dunny. You ride the public transport, interact with soldiers and sailors and witness the bonds between neighbors during difficult times.

In order to read this book I had to continually cut open cojoined pages as this novel obviously wasn't cleanly cut during the publishing process. Overall, though it was an enjoyable read and I shall be keeping my eye out for more of her books.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

Goose in a hole by Judith Kerr

Goose in a Hole by author/illustrator Judith Kerr is a gentle story revolving around a missing pond that has mysteriously disappeared down a hole. The main protagonist of the story, Katrina the goose, leads gander Charlie and their goslings on a convoluted search for it underground popping up in some quite disturbing places. Meanwhile, Millie Bushwell is concerned for Katrina's safety whilst the people from the township are more occupied with  the reestablishment of a new pond than they are about the wildlife that used to inhabit the missing one. Judith Kerr's famous cat, Mog, makes an appearance in a few of the illustrations. This is a sequel to Judith's first book about Katrina the goose entitled The Other Goose.