Sunday, October 27, 2013
Why does Tom have no relatives? Not even a dad. He intends finding out when he goes to his grandmother's place - a grandmother he didn't even know existed until recently. What he thinks will be a break from boring school routine becomes quite scary when he is called to go urgently. On the voyage to his grandmother's place he comes across something that not in a million years he would have imagined. Before long he is involved in a mission to save the sea people from a deadly battle with Madame Hortense and her rat pack. The only thing Tom has to help is Maria, a girl who has similar powers as Tom, his wily Grandmother and the sea people. Does he have the inner resources to do it?
An exciting adventure fantasy story that boys (and girls) will find hard to put down. It is a coming-of-age story about a young boy finding the strength and belief from within to solve a problem. He also has to win the respect of the sea people who expect a lot from him.
On the front cover of the book it says it is an eco-story but it is a lot more subtle than that. The rats are a real problem in the story especially to sea birds but it is more about stopping their leader - Madam Hortense. The author elaborates on why rats are a problem to native birds on a fact page at the back of the book.
The is the first book in a series published under the Erkel-Erkel Publishing Ltd imprint. I was pleased to see it had been professionally edited and proofed, and the artwork by illustrator Donovan Bixley is stunning as always.
Doug Wilson is a scientist and a traveller who has lived in Australia, England, America and Saudi Arabia. He has had a passion to write boys' adventure series with ecological ideas for a while. See an article about how this medical researcher began storytelling here.
The second book to look out for is called 'Tom Hassler and the Giant Razor-clawed Granioptrix of Ice Mountain'. This time Tom is called upon to help save a village in Moratadoor from a terrifying beast called Granioptrix. Can he do it?
Go to the website here.
Friday, October 25, 2013
Saturday, October 19, 2013
Another fabulous fantasy from the author of the award winning ‘Loblolly Boy,’ this story is told in alternate chapters of reality and fantasy, blending together effortlessly. It tells a tale of sibling rivalry, an exiled princess, strange creatures, an evil ruler and a riddle to be solved. There is some challenging vocabulary throughout the story but this only adds to the imaginative narrative. Great for readers 9+
James Norcliffe is a poet as well as an author of children's books. He has
been awarded the 2012 University of Otago College of Education's Writer in
Residence. The Loblolly Boy won the 2010 NZ Post Junior Fiction Award, as well
as being shortlisted for the Esther Glen Medal. His other recent books are The
Loblolly Boy and The Sorcerer, The Enchanted Flute and Felix and The Red
Note: There is an e-book version but the only site I could find it for sale on was an overseas company. Hopefully, the e-version will be for sale here soon so you don't have to pay US dollars for it.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
ISBN 978 1 77553 470 9 $19.99 Pb
Monday, October 7, 2013
Sunday, October 6, 2013
Engine H One-Ninety-Nine worked the Wairarapa line pulling carriages up the steep incline of the Rimutaka Hill. The engine pulled carriages up the hill even on days of rain or gale. Normal engines didn't have the power like the Fell locomotives.
A delightful rhyming tale about the reliable Fell trains that tackled the difficult Rimutaka Hill. Based on real engines, of which only Engine H 191 survives.
Joy Cowley has donated her royalties to the Fell Locomotive Museum at Featherston.
Philip Webb's illustrations are detailed and colourful, on full double page spreads. The design of the book further enhances the layout with strategically placed text.
Philip says at the end that the pictures aren't an accurate representation of the area - rather 'an impression' of the Rimataka Hill and its surrounds.
Four - Six year old boys will love this creative non-fiction story about the Fell engines. Teachers could use it in the junior school on topic studies about transport then and now. It is also going to be a lovely book for tourists who go to the Featherston area.
About the book launch