Thursday, 29 December 2016

A story of a WW1 survivor

To Be Released in March 2017 (apologies that I have jumped the gun a bit with this)

NZ Writer and Illustrator Jennifer Beck, illustrated by Fifi Colston Torty and the soldier – a story of a WWI survivor Scholastic 2017  $15.99pb 32 pp

ISBN 978 1 7754 3365 1

Themes: Salonica/ True stories/ World War I

Over 100 years have passed since a field hospital was bombed in Salonika during World War I. It was here a young Kiwi soldier, Stewart Little rescued a small Greek tortoise that had been run over by a tank and eventually brought her back to New Zealand and cared for her. When she finally died it was estimated she was over 200 years old. In spite of it being set (at the beginning) in a distressing war zone this is a gentle story brought amazingly to life by Jennifer Beck (see the net for her other well known World War 1 stories) and in Fifi Colston’s illustrations. Fifi has also ‘specialised’ in this area and I think these illustrations are amongst her best.

Year 2 up/ Age 6 up

Sunday, 25 December 2016

Seasons Greetings

To everyone who looks at this BLOG


Barbara Murison

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

A straight out funny story

NZ Writer and Illustrator 

Chris Szekely, illustrated by Josh Morgan


Huia 2016  $15.00pb 113 pp

ISBN 978 1 7755 0198 5

Themes: Funny stories

A light-hearted story about an imaginative nine-year-old who lives in the country with her grandparents, who has fun with her cousin Jessie while trying to find ways to ambush her real ‘enemy’ Stewart. Great to read aloud.

Year 3 up/ Age 7 up  

At present I am having chemotherapy to shrink some tumours and it is sometimes hard to concentrate  (the dreaded ‘chemo brain’) so please indulge me a little over the next few months! And forgive me if the flow of postings is not as constant as in the past.

Barbara Murison

Sunday, 11 December 2016

At last a sweet smelling Santa!

NZ Writer and Illustrator 
Juliette MacIver, illustrated by Sarah Davis
Marmaduke Duke and the Christmas Calamity
Scholastic 2016 18.99pb 40pp
ISBN 978 1 7754 3390 3
Themes: Christmas Eve/ Series/ Stories in rhyme
Just a few hours before they are due to take off for their traditional midnight ride through the skies, Santa, his band of elves and all of the reindeer take off for a short relaxing break. Carelessly, none of them look where they are going, plunge down the side of a cliff and are buried deep in the snow. Who will stand in for this traditional task? Who else but Marmaduke Duck, Bernadette Bear (a rather portly but very believable Santa Claus) and all the animals now recast as reindeer. This is a lot of fun to share and read aloud and how wonderful to find a recent book about Santa where he isn’t having bowel problems and the reindeer are not full of wind! This is the fourth book in the series and Juliette and Sarah seem to become more inventive with each one.
Pre school up/ Age 3 up

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Sequel to Joy Cowley's Snake and Lizard

A great treat is coming for you! Joy Cowley and Gavin Bishop have collaborated once more and the result is a new title in the Snake and Lizard series. I never think it is fair to publishers to give details and early reviews of books - in fact I have been flicked over the wrist for doing just that in the past.  So the details of HELPER AND HELPER will not be posted here until a few days before its publication date in  early February 2017. I of course have read it (it was only sent yesterday) and I love it as much as I know the children (and the reader aloud) will.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Palm Oil, Factory Farming and Orangutans

NZ Writer   Linda Hansen  Bad Oil and the Animals  Onepoto Press 2016 $19.95pb 126pp  ISBN 978 0 4733 7380 1

Themes: Factory farming/ Orangutans/ Palm oil/ Photography/ Teenage protesters

Heidi is sixteen and intent on being a society photographer but life doesn’t always turn out the way we expect. Instead Heidi becomes deeply involved with a group of teenage protestors who are trying to save orangutans in the wild. Add factory farming, the use of palm oil extract as stock feed and a whole world of subterfuge. A book with a message this certainly is but it is such an important message and the pages are studded with a cast of such lively and spirited young people that it all makes for an unputdownable read.

Please visit  to contact Linda Hansen

Year 7 up/ Age 11 up


Please continue to visit Pippa’s Antarctic Blog for a fascinating day by day account of her adventures and research down on the Ice Shelf. I can’t wait to bring it up on screen each morning to see what she has been involved in the day before!

Friday, 2 December 2016

Slight delays

Apologies for the delays in my postings over the past week. I have been having some ‘treatment’ and have not really felt l would be doing justice to any Blogging of the great books that have been accumulating. Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to make another start. And also give you news of Philippa Werry, writer and historian now On The Ice in the Antarctic and geared (clothing wise and in words) to send back some fascinating material. Google Philippa Werry Antarctic Blog for starters. This is aimed especially at children and their teachers. 

Pippa and Bob Kerr at the Children's Bookshop, Kilbirnie