Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Summer Reading Recommendations

The team from Kidz Review Krew have been busy reading and we have come up with a list of our favourite releases from 2014... and here they are...

Diary of A Wimpy Kid : The Long Haul by Jeff Kinney

I was so excited when I received this book because I have read all the books from The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series. This book is so funny from the beginning to the end. This time the Heffley family go on an unforgettable road trip. This book is full of adventure and you will definitely laugh out loud while reading it. 
Anna – age 11

Thank you to Penguin Group (Australia) for sending us this well received and very popular book.

For more information go to

Daisy Takes Charge : Wilderness Fairies (book 3)

Author: Jodie Wells- Slowgrave
Illustrator: Kerry Millard

This book is great! The main character, Daisy, helps her sister Maggie prepare for the annual Songbird Festival. Daisy is very good at organizing. My favourite part is when Maggie sings on stage. Anyone who should come across this book should definitely read it!
Jessica – age 7

The Kidz Review Krew are very grateful to Penguin Group (Australia) for sending us two books from the Daisy series.

Daisy’s Secret: Wilderness Fairies (book 4)
Author: Jodie Wells- Slowgrave
Illustrator: Kerry Millard

Daisy finds a book about the human world and secretly reads it. Daisy decides to go closer to the human houses to see for herself what it is like. This book reminds me of fairyland and what it must look like to live there. Daisy has rainbow hair and I love it! This book is really great! The characters are really interesting and I would love to meet them.   Jessica – age 7

Check out the fun Wilderness Fairies website!

Suspense, action, adventure and mystery. If you enjoy reading these genres then this novel is definitely for you. The jam packed adventure novel called House of Secrets: Battle of the beasts is the second book in the House of Secrests series. It is written by famous author and director, Chris Columbus. Chris Columbus has written the original scripts for movies such as Gremlins and The Goonies. This novel is also written by Ned Vizzini. Ned Vizzini is a bestselling author of many teen books and has also written t.v. shows such as Teen Wolf.

House of Secrets: Battle of the beasts is about three children named Cordelia (aged 15), Brendan (aged 12), and Eleanor (aged 8) who are cursed because of the haunted house they are living in. The three children are blasted into crazy worlds full of vicious monsters such as cyborgs, witches, frost beasts and more. The children get sent to places such as the Colosseum and the Tibetan mountains, by an evil wind witch. The children meet friends along the way that help them on their journey. They also have to work their way through a series of conflicts throughout the book. Their quest is to defeat all things standing in their way and safely find a way back home.

 I would rate this novel a nine and a half out of ten and would definitely recommend it for you to read. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. When I started reading this book, it grabbed my attention and I couldn’t stop reading it. I think this book is suitable for anyone over the age of thirteen and for those of you looking for a book full of suspense, action and adventure.  Alexander - age 13

Thank you to Harper Collins for giving us a copy of this exciting book in exchange for an honest review. For more information go to

 Sean by Will Kostakis is about a boy named Sean who moves from Bunbury WA to Monvale, which is on the other side of Australia. Sean misses many things about living in Bunbury especially hanging out with his friends Eddie and Christian who he has known since kindergarten. Sean is starting grade five at a new school and is scared about making new friends. Sean tries to fit in with the other school kids but finds it hard to bluff his way around a lie about knowing how to play soccer. When Sean forgets to bring his hat and has to sit in the No Play area at lunch, he meets Karlie and Angelo. These two new friends help Sean enjoy going to Monvale Primary despite his phone, the only link to his friends back in Bunbury, being confiscated by the teacher. I liked this book as it showed how Sean deals with the ups and downs of starting at a new school. At the end of each chapter there is a feelings gauge with little face pictures which shows how terrible or excited Sean is feeling at that moment. I also like the book as it is short and easy to read. 
Alex -age 13

 I also enjoyed reading Michael by Phillip Gwynne. This book is also from the Stuff Happens series. It’s about a boy named Michael who also goes to Monvale Primary. Michael is a talented swimmer who trains everyday. Michael feels pressured to do well at swimming as he doesn’t want to let his parents down.  Michael however thinks skateboarding is a much more amazing and exciting sport.  Training for the Nationals  becomes exhausting and boring for Michael. All he seems to think about is the freedom and thrill of downhill skating. It’s interesting how Michael is challenged to find a balance between his talent and his interest. This book would be great for kids aged 9 to 13. Alex - age 13

Thank you to Penguin Group (Australia) for sending us these two amazing books from the Stuff Happens series.

The Alice Stories : Our Australian Girl series (4 books in one)
Author: Davina Bell 
Illustrator: Lucia Masciullo

I truly think this book is wonderful. It is such a heartwarming story. This is a great book for children who like ballet, history and drama combined! Also, this book is amazing because it’s so detailed yet fun to read. Isabella – age 11

Thanks Penguin Group (Australia) for sending us this beautiful hardback edition. For more information go to
Parents, teachers and librarians may be interested to know that the Our Australian Girl series fits into the National Curriculum.
Here is a useful link which includes teacher notes. YAY!

I really enjoyed reading The Icicle Illuminarium by N.J.Gemmell. It is a very interesting story. The four caddy kids are kidnapped and imprisoned in a cold and very old mansion in England. I found the story very interesting. I was hooked straight away and couldn’t put it down. It ties in with my life, looking after other children younger than me. Kick (the eldest of the four Caddy kids) displays lots of bravery and is very inspiring. I highly recommend this book for 10 to 12 year olds. It is the sequel to The Kensington Reptilarium which I also enjoyed reading. Sophie – age 10

Thank you Random House Books for sending us a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

For more information go to

Juliet nearly a Vet: Playground Pets (Book 8)
Author: Rebecca Johnson

I liked this book because so much happens at Juliet’s school. I also like the idea of playground pets. Miss Fine (the relief teacher) is so funny. Juliet and her friend, Chelsea, and the boys from the recycling team help Miss Fine learn new things about animals. If you like animals such as lizards, worms, birds and guinea pigs, then you will definitely enjoy this book.  Anna – age 11

Thank you to Penguin Group (Australia) for sending us this review copy of Playground Pets which is part of a Juliet Nearly a Vet series.  

For more information go to

For those of you that like to read funny books, I would recommend The World of Norm – Must Be Washed Seperately by Jonathan Meres. So many people and things annoy Norm including his chatterbox next door neighbor, his pesky little brothers, his perfect cousins, his stinky dog, home-brand cereal, and being banned from the Xbox! What is the most annoying thing for Norm is that everyone seems to have the new Call Of Mortal Combat Xbox game except for him. I found this book very entertaining. Every page has a comic illustration as well. Alexander - age 13

We appreciate Hachette Children's Books sending us a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

For more information go to

The Last King of Angkor Wat by Graeme Base

A tiger, a gibbon, a buffalo and a gecko think they would make the best king. My favourite part of this story is when the animals go through the jungle to get to the top of the hill.  I like the adventure and I like the pictures because they look so real. Joseph – age 5

We were very happy when Penguin Group (Australia) sent us this latest book by Graeme Base.

For more information go to

Please Mr Panda by Steve Antony

This is my favourite book. My big brother and big sister like this book too. They read it to me all the time and think Mr Panda’s face is funny because he is so serious. Mr Panda keeps changing his mind about who can have a doughnut and then he meets a nice lemur. We laugh all the time at the end of the book.
 Joseph – age 5

Thank you to Hachette Children's Books for sending us this amazing Picture Book.

You Are (Not) Small
Author: Anna Kang
Illustrator: Christopher Weyant

This is the funniest book ever! The bears don’t want to be called “small” or “big”. They get very angry because they want to be the same and not different. Then they see a bigger bear and some smaller bears and become happy. The ending is so funny. It makes my whole family smile. My family read this book so many times and now I can read it.  Joseph – age 5

We are very grateful to Hachette Children's Books for sending this hilarious Picture Book.

For more information go to

The Book With No Pictures  by B.J. Novak

This book captivated my son’s attention as he enjoyed watching his mum say lots of silly words. B.J. Novak is very clever as he provides the reader with ample opportunities to use different voices to bring this book alive with laughter. It makes a hilarious read out loud book for you to share with the littlies. The more expressive you are when reading this unique book, the better it gets.
Reviewed by Carmela

Thank you to our friends from Penguin Group (Australia) for treating us with a copy of this fabulous book.

For more information go to

The Last Viking Returns
The talented and creative duo of Norman Jorgenson and James Foley have teamed up again with a sequel to their award-winning The Last Viking. The adventure continues for brave little Knut as he tries to keep the two littlest Vikings out of trouble. My son liked the idea of a Viking World. His favourite part of the book was the fun endpapers which include a map of Viking World and food coupons! He also became excited when he saw an evil dragon enter the story. With so much drama and adventure, The Last Viking Returns makes a highly appealing Picture Book for young readers. Reviewed by Carmela

Thank you Fremantle Press for sending us a copy of this amazing Picture Book in exchange for an honest review.

For more information including teaching notes go to 
or check out James Foley's cool website

How to Babysit a Grandma
Author: Jean Reagan
Illustrator: Lee Wildish

This is a gorgeous book celebrating the most popular babysitters around! Young children will relate easily to this heartwarming book and will especially enjoy sharing the pages with grandma. Bright, fun and appealing illustrations combined with humourous text will surely bring a smile to the reader. This book will be treasured by many.
Reviewed by Carmela

Thank you Hachette Children’s Books for sending us a copy of How to Babysit a Grandma in exchange for an honest review.
For more information go to

Where is the Green Sheep? (Board book and picture puzzle blocks)
By Mem Fox and Judy Horacek

I like reading this book with mum. I can read it all by myself too. First I read it and then I like playing with the puzzle and then I try to put at least one picture together before bedtime.
Joseph – age 5

Thank you Penguin Group (Australia) for sending us this set which would be an ideal gift for a pre-schooler.

For more information go to

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