From the opening pages this is just a joyful experience and one that I binged in just two sessions. I’ll be honest here. I didn’t know of Poppy (I don’t watch or follow the Olympics) and I know – well knew – zilch about skateboarding so I didn’t really know what to expect. What I got is a delightful narrative (based on fact, presumably) that revolves around family and friends, following one’s dream, being adventurous, having self-belief and standing up for one’s rights and expectations.
Not only did I thoroughly enjoy Poppy’s story but I really did learn so much – as will readers – and not just via the interspersed facts, but also from the lively descriptions of skating and surfing. Of course, with The Kid now pursuing surfing, it was this connection between the two sports that really grabbed my full attention. Now Grom is the proud owner of a surf-skate carver skateboard and learning to use it is a priority in the agenda! And really it’s pretty fun when your surf coach demonstrates his own skateboard skills (notwithstanding the age he was turning the next day!)
sorry John, and you know you are the coolest guy we know! 😘😍
Poppy lives with her lively and adventurous family in beautiful Bondi and her passion is skateboarding, closely followed by surfing, along with art and craft, family adventures and hanging out with friends. She loves to skate and while she has entered competitions, they have been more about a fun one-off rather than serious events. But when her local skatepark is about to host an awesome comp, Poppy knows she wants to definitely be part of it and give it her best shot. Except it looks like she’s not allowed to compete! Feisty young Poppy is not going to let discrimination stand in her way and just as she wins that battle, another one looms when a local councillor tries to thwart the competition taking place.
It is totally engaging and exciting and the proof of that is that I did a first chapter read-aloud with my Year 6 relief class last week and even the ‘difficult’ boys were totally absorbed!!! WINNING!
I guarantee you will have just as much success promoting to your readers – from middle school right up to year 7 and as much fun doing so!
Highly recommended for kiddos from around ten years on.
The TV show that has enchanted young viewers continues to draw them in further with the books that are just perfect for newly independent readers.
Kitty has a very bad cough so of course her cat family all try to help, with varying suggestions none of which seem entirely useful. When Kitty coughs up a furball the cats all realise that the little girl has been following their example of grooming styles when in fact what she really should do is have a bath. A BATH! That’s definitely not the cat way so it takes quite some persuasion to get Kitty into the tub but once she’s there she realises that in some ways she’s far more human than cat!
Again another delightful story from the creators of these charming characters and one that will be a very popular read with your littlies from around 5 years upwards.
You could even check out the Kitty website here for some inspired stocking fillers and wonderful holiday activities!!
I no longer have a little person to watch such shows but by all accounts Kitty is not a Cat is a hugely successful animated series. A rather motley clowder of cats live together in a ramshackle old mansion, left to them by an eccentric benefactress. Their free-spirited antics ensure that life is always a party where anything goes but when there is an unexpected knock at the door one night and Kitty arrives, their wild ways are in for a disruption. Kitty is not a cat but she wants to be one and though the cats try very hard to re-home her it seems she is going to be a permanent fixture.
Now fans of the show can read about their favourite glaring of cats – and one non-cat – in a delightful new junior reader series written by Jess Black.
When Kitty’s night light mysteriously disappears her sleep is very much disturbed and of course, in turn, the cat’s routine TV viewing of their favourite Purr-anormal programs. Of course cats are not familiar with the concept of being afraid of the dark but they do their very best to sort Kitty’s problem with some very creative, though not necessarily, successful solutions. Finally Kitty’s night fright is sorted – and so is the mystery of the disappearing night light!
The cat gang decide that Kitty needs a new toy for the coming winter months and what could be better than a cuddly teddy bear? The problem is that the felines are really not across exactly what a teddy bear is so once more hilarity ensues as each attempts to satisfy the issue. Cheeta thinks he’s solved the problem when he brings home a real-life grizzly bear and for a while it seems that rather than being gobbled up they can all have some fun together. But when the bear starts his hibernation the original problem is still – well, a problem Luckily Mr Clean has saved the day with his ingenuity – and love.
This is just fabulous on a lot of levels – full of great humour, unconditional love and the certainty that one can be anything one wants – even a cat!!
Goes without saying that it appeals to us – being pretty much solid cat people – but I highly recommend it for your newly independent readers who will love being able to make connections between the show and the books.
Some readers of this blog will have seen photos of my Pippin – a toy poodle of extraordinary personality but neurotic (apparently a poodle thing). I love him – truly I do! – but seriously if he could be more like Mr Walker I would a very happy dog owner!
Mr Walker is a gorgeous, placid and friendly golden Labrador who has been trained as a companion dog via the Guide Dogs. His new job involves him being the Ambassador of a very tasty Melbourne hotel, the Park Hyatt.
If you are a traveller for whatever reason (as I was in a dispiriting corporate job) hotels can be dismal places away from home. I’m not saying that the staff or amenities are sub-standard but there is a definite sense of discombobulating associated with staying repeatedly in such places.
How marvellous to be greeted by a loving and friendly canine companion!
Jess Black’s stories of Mr Walker are based on a reality that should be a part of every big and often impersonal hotel. Mr Walker becomes the special ambassador for the Park Hyatt and though there a few contretemps as he settles into his new role, his reception is so warm and loving by all, that he has no doubt he is in exactly the right place.
This book consists of four stories of Mr Walker after his arrival at his new home and I do hope there will be more as they are charming and heart-warming.
Beautifully illustrated the stories follow Mr Walker’s experiences as he learns to interact with both his new family and the various guests he encounters.
Royalties from this book go to support the Guide Dogs of Victoria which is a truly lovely bonus.
Young readers from around eight years up will fall in love with Mr Walker (and no doubt request their own Labrador as a result!).
Highly recommended for newly independent readers and also as a read-aloud for classes.