A funny account from a writing journal…Awesome!

TITLE = MY TOTALLY AWESOME STORY

AUTHOR = PAT FLYNN

ILLUSTRATOR = PETER CARNAVAS

GENRE = HUMOUR, SCHOOL, GROWING UP

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7, 8

This is an easy to read, very funny book. It is basically a record of all the writing assignments that Duane is given by his teacher, Miss Wright. Duane does not like writing so his responses to her set tasks are often quite humorous (and sometimes quite short!). He also thinks he is tough and strong and the best rugby player ever – so his journal entries about his sporting activities are often amusing too – things don’t always go as Duane expects (or likes). And we also get a glimpse into Duane’s love life!

An entertaining story which is made even more engaging by the sketches that Duane (aka illustrator, Peter Carnavas) adds to his stories and journal entries.

An amusing book which is sure to be a hit with young readers especially those who enjoy other comical diary accounts (eg Jeff Kinney’s Diary of a Wimpy Kid series)

And why not check out the author’s website where you will find lots of fun things to do and see in relation to this book: there’s a booktrailer, a clip of Pat reading the book and even a song and drawing help from Peter (the illustrator). Check it out here.

Recommended (dma) ****

A quirky gothic fantasy tale

TITLE = THE GRIMSTONES: Whirlwind (Book 3)

AUTHOR = ASPHYXIA

GENRE = GOTHIC, DIARY, FAMILY

INTEREST LEVEL = YEARS 7-9

This is a delightful story, part novel, part picture book, part diary. Martha Grimstone is the young child whose diary provides the story. She comes from an unusual family in an unusual gothic world. Her mother sews (and grieves for her dead husband) her grandfather is an apothecary (who weaves spells to heal illness and hopes to control the weather), her brother is a cute toddler with 3 legs and magical ability and her rather stern aunt is Martha’s teacher. Martha is inquisitive and perceptive. She desperately wants to help her family and is great at making plans for new ventures. Unfortunately her projects do not always turn out quite as she expected them to, often resulting in chaotic outcomes for both Martha and those around her.

This story is based on the puppet theatre created by the author, Asphyxia, so many of the illustrations are photos of the puppets and models that the puppeteer has created . As the story is told in dairy format, the pages do indeed look exactly like pages in a dairy – with Martha’s sketches and plans stuck in or taped down. These notes and drawings and the illustrations in general, add a visual depth and richness to the story, providing an air of credibility to a very gothic fantasy tale.

The rich illustrations complement the rich language and vocabulary of the story – providing a perfect match for the charming imagery. All in all, a delightfully quirky tale told in a delightfully quirky way.

Check out the author’s website for more info.about the author herself, her creations and her other books.

Highly Recommended (dma) ******