Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Death Duck and the Tulip

Some picture books make a mark, they leave the reader with lots to think about, and, if read in a group they can be a great discussion starter, or even finisher! This is such a book.

Death takes the form of a casually dressed skeleton, with a personality! Duck is a duck. Death is not keen on the pond that Duck takes him to, too damp! Duck is kind to Death offering to warm him a little. The relationship between them develops and as the story develops the reader begins to suspect that someone here is going to die, and its not going to he Death. Duck contemplates with will happen when he dies, and the story moves on to its sad conclusion. Yes it's a sad story, yes it's very different to the usual picture book, but yes it is a real treasure.

Try it, you might really enjoy it.

Death Duck and the Tulip is by Wolf Erlbruch and published in New Zealand by Gecko Press

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Lost Property by James Moloney

I have to admit to being a real fan of James Moloney, his books about for teenagers (especially boys) have such feeling of 'realness' about them. The stories tend to be about ordinary guys who have life just happen to them! He really seems to get inside the head of his characters.

This book, Lost Property, is about Josh, who is a pretty ordinary guy, he is in a band, he has a girlfriend, he has a part time job and he does okay at school. However something happened in Josh's family a while ago and it is slowly eating away at them. His brother Michael has disappeared, and because of this it is tormenting his parents and affecting all the family and their relationships. Then Josh finds a clue when he is at work in the Lost Property Office at a train station in Sydney, where people come to find their belonging which have been lost on the trains. Josh decides to find Michael and save his family. He sets out on a journey up the coast of Australia to follow the clue and see if he can reunite his family. It is a thousand mile journey and who knows what he will find when he gets there.

This book is sad and rewarding, you will feel better for reading it. It deals with loss and family issues, being 'good', independence, and as always with his books, the stuff that happens to you when you are a teenager.

It is perfect for wide reading, James Moloney has won many awards, and this particular book was short-listed for the Children's Book Council of Australia awards.

New year 13 in the library

With the beginning of a new year at school come a whole new bunch of year 13 students. These photos are from the first day of term where the most senior students in the school guide the most junior students in the school around.

The photos show the Year 13 students receiving their instructions for the year in the library.


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