Featured Reviews Alternative and Accessible Reading

Featured Reviews from our February Information and Accessible Newsletter 2024 mailout:

Author: Maura Pielot
Illustrator: Triandhika Anjani
ISBN: 9780645191578
Publisher: Storytorch Press
Release date: 01 June 2023
Reading age: 3 to 6 years

Book Description: What Will You Make Today? is a non-fiction picture book that invites children to explore the many ways they can make a difference in the world. In a world bursting with possibilities, what will you make today? Will you make believe? Will you make noise? Will you make a wish? Will you make an excuse? Will you make things right? Will you make up your mind? Will you make a difference? A series of questions subtly builds perspective from a personal standpoint, culminating in a wholistic view of the world. What Will You Make Today? aims to show children how their choices can effect change and make an impact in their own lives, in the lives of others and in the world.

Novel Insight Review: A story which encourages young readers to explore and make choices about what they do and how they interact with the world around them. The story is phrased entirely in questions about what they will do with their time (including things like: "will you make a home?", "will you make a mistake?" "will you make it right?") and painted illustrations of children acting out each option.

Author: Paige Braddock
Illustrator: Paige Braddock
ISBN: 9781839949661
Publisher: Nosy Crow
Release date: 19 September 2023
Reading age: 5 to 8 years

Book Description: A goofy new puppy rocks the world of a high-strung dog and a snarky cat in this hilarious graphic novel for pet lovers and fans of The Secret Life of Pets.

Representations: Fostering animals.

Novel Insight Review: An engaging graphic novel with lively images and relatable problems that come from getting a new puppy. Peanut causes lots of troubles for the new owners, but mostly for the current pets in the house, Butter (the cat) and Crackers (the adult dog). When Peanut first comes he cries all the time and Crackers and Butter take it in turns to comfort him. Peanut doesn't even get into trouble when he repetitively asks what's that to everything and then proceeds to chew everything. And now Crackers has to compete with Peanut for his favourite spot next to their human. Despite this, when Peanut gets out, Crackers and Butter consider how lost he must feel. They decide to go and find him. This leads to them all becoming family, with more challenges to come in the rest of the series. A lovely story of acceptance with a lot of fun created by the puppy asking "what's that?".

Author: Karen McCombie
Illustrator: Anneli Bray
ISBN: 9781800902015
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Release date: 4 July 2023
Reading age: 7 to 11 years

Book Description: While awaiting punishment in his headmaster's office for his latest piece of mischief, prankster Seth picks up an Egyptian amulet from the desk and is whisked back in time to Ancient Egypt. In a village by the Nile, Seth finds a place for himself, working for the local tradesmen and playing with the local children. One of his new friends, Mery, has a pet hyena that Seth grows to love, so when he hears that the hyena is going to be roasted as part of a feast for the visiting pharaoh, Seth decides to save him. But what consequences will Seth have to face for stealing the pharaoh's lunch?

Representations: Seth is dyslexic.

Novel Insight Review: After getting in trouble at school, a dyslexic boy named Seth accidentally travels back in time to Ancient Egypt. A family with a pet hyena take him in and help him. While there, Seth helps people in the town and learns about their culture. He also saves a boy named Posh and is rewarded with a feast. When Seth finds out the pharaoh is coming and that the village plans to feed him a pet hyena at a festival, he hides the family's pet hyena by luring it away with meat. The hyena then leaves to be with a wild pack, and Seth travels back to his time. A fast-paced and engaging read about learning to do the right thing, even if there are consequences.

Author: Jess Racklyeft
Illustrator: Jess Racklyeft
ISBN: 9781922863881
Publisher: Affirm Kids
Release date: 27 June 2023
Reading age: 4 to 7 years

Book Description: Bestselling creator Jess Racklyeft celebrates Australian animals, plants and landscapes through the lens of the colour wheel. With its vivid red dirt, big blue skies, wild green bushland and golden sandy beaches, Australia is a country of extraordinary colour. Here is a celebration of the stunning plants and animals of this colourful country, from vibrant pink Flame Peas to startling blue Fairy Wrens, electric yellow Billy Buttons, glossy black Tasmanian Devils, and many more. Come and take a closer look at nature's paintbox and the rainbow of life that lives in Australia, from one of our best-loved picture book creators.

Representations: Indigenous locations mentioned throughout the book.

Novel Insight Review: Through this colourful read, you will experience a beautiful celebration of Australia's animals, plants, and places. Each page details nature's colour palette in similar coloured animals and plants. For example, the Red collection includes the Crimson Rosella and Starfish Fungus. The Brown and Orange collection contains the Dingo, Thorny Devil, and Superb lyrebird. The Yellow collection displays the Yellow-Tailed Black Cockatoo, the Wattle, and the Dessert Scorpion. The Green collection includes the Fan Palm, Budgerigar, and Silvereye. The Blue contains the Blue Devil, Bluebottle, and Dollarbird. The Violet and Purple collection details the purple Sea Urchin, Mint Bush and Sunset Frog. There are many more beautiful creatures and plants in each collection, plus a feature on Black, White and Grey with more snakes, bugs, and the Striped Possum.

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