Tag Archives: Birthdays

Willa and Woof #2: Birthday Business – Jacqueline Harvey

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Penguin Australia

October 2022

  • ISBN: 9781761043321
  • Imprint: Puffin
Our newest favourites from JH are back in their second adventure – and just as delightful as when we first met them. Willa is a very sweet and very kind little girl who has several special friends. Most important of these are Woof, her large albino Irish wolfhound and Tae, her neighbour and best young friend, and, lastly, Frank, who lives in the aged care residence next door, can be a wee bit grumpy but is still Willa’s best old friend.

Willa happens to find out that it’s almost Frank’s birthday and it’s a super special significant one. She feels pretty sad when she knows that Frank’s family, son and his wife plus children, who live in England are unable to even be in touch on this special day so, of course, she decides to do something about it.

Determined Willa thinks a surprise party is just the right thing but organising it takes quite a lot of creative thinking as one obstacle after another is thrown up but finally, it’s all in place and despite Tae’s misgivings that they know Frank prefers ‘no fuss’ it seems like it’s going to just tick all the boxes. But the biggest surprise of all is even more exciting than a party – and that part has nothing to do with Willa at all!

Once again this is such a warm and feel-good narrative about family and friendships, kindness and thoughtfulness. I know that children really warm to Jacqueline’s stories and characters because of these recurring themes. And really, how badly are such values needed in modern society? It is so important that we try our very best to encourage our little ones to have such empathy and consideration for others.

Jacqueline’s knack for creating her engaging characters and making sure each adventure is new and fresh has deservedly earned her legion fans of all ages and this new series is certainly going to take it’s place alongside old favourites Clementine Rose, Alice-Miranda, Kensy and Max.

Be sure to add these to your collection, where they will be in constant demand I can promise you.

Highly recommended for your young readers, especially newly independent, from around 5 years upwards.

Hattie Helps Out – Davina Bell & Jane Godwin/Freya Blackwood

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hattie

ISBN:9781743435434

Publisher:Allen & Unwin

Imprint:A & U Children

Pub Date:March 2016

RRP $24.99

 

This is a delightful story to which young readers will easily relate.

Hattie loves to help out and she thinks she is very good at it. Baby Lottie is not so much of a help but that’s not her fault. One very busy day Mama is trying hard to get ready for Dad’s special birthday dinner.  There is so much to do – the birthday cake, the house cleaning, flowers to arrange and more. Hattie helps with the birthday cake but then it’s time for her nap – which is not a nap anymore insists Hattie. “It’s a rest…”. She persuades Mama to snuggle with her just for a few minutes and inevitably one very tired mother is sound asleep and Hattie is wide awake.

And because she is such a great helper she knows what she must do. Watch Hattie as she builds a delightful biscuit tower, arranges flowers all over the house including the light shades and toilet bowl, sweep the floor and all it’s stuff into a corner and shovel all the cooking equipment back into a cupboard.

When the family arrive for dinner and Mama finally wakes up they are all amazed at the wonderful surprise. Who could possibly ask for a more special birthday dinner?

With Freya Blackwood’s always exquisite illustrations this is a real treasure of a book and highly recommended for little humans from around 3 – 6 years old.

Clementine Rose and the Birthday Emergency – Jacqueline Harvey

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9780857985163

Random House Australia

ISBN: 9780857985163

Published: 01/07/2015

Imprint: Random House Australia Children’s

RRP $12.99

Little girls are always excited about their upcoming birthdays and the all-important party planning. Clementine Rose is no exception. She’s counting down the days with excited anticipation. Of course, deciding on the theme is most important and luckily she has Uncle Digby to help with that!

But Clemmie’s birthday is not the only big event in this newest adventure. Her friends Teddy and Mintie are delighted when a new puppy comes into their lives, the school sports carnival is on and poor little Lavender is not at well and has a trip to the vet. Lavender isn’t the only one who needs medical attention however and Clementine’s long awaited party looks uncertain when the little girl ends up in hospital for an emergency appendix operation.

Devotees of this series will enjoy the latest adventure with all this action happening and thankfully as always there is a redeeming happy ending.

For your younger readers who enjoy the ‘series’ following, you will be sure this one will be very popular. Perhaps you could arrange a Clementine Rose event for the fans in your readership as a library event. I feel sure there would be many takers!

Recommended for newly independent readers from around 6 and up.

One Word from Sophia – Jim Averbeck/Yasmeen Ismail

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Simon & Schuster

  • Atheneum Books for Young Readers |
  • 40 pages |
  • ISBN 9781481405140 |
  • June 2015 |
  • Grades P – 3

RRP

AU$ 24.99

NZ$ 27.99

This is certainly a very different sort of picture book. Though it is clearly intended for very young readers, there is some very sophisticated vocabulary within the text.

Sophia has an upcoming birthday. And her greatest wish is to have a giraffe as a present. She is a great planner so she comes up with what she thinks will be the perfect ‘pitch’ to achieve her goal. But as each attempt fails, she has to revise her thinking and regroup her thoughts. What is it that will make the difference between failure and success? Just one word is all it takes, Sophia discovers.

My Small definitely enjoyed it and particularly related to the illustrations which supported and clarified the text very well but we did need to take time to explain certain words.

That being said, I think, if this were shared in a classroom setting it would provide a perfect adjunct to discussions on careers/occupations and a good lead in to synonyms – even if not as complex as those used!

All in all it is a very joyous story – with a feel-good vibe to it. I just don’t want a request for a birthday giraffe as a result!

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