Four Children’s Stories

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Anzac Ted, Belinda Landsberry

Anzac Ted is the powerful, poignant story of a little boy’s teddy bear that was passed down to him from his grandfather. Battered, torn, missing an eye and an ear, he might look scary but he’s got a great story to tell of World Wars I and II.

Publisher: Exisle Publishing, Oct 2014

Reviewer: Klaudia Khan

Once there was a teddy bear so torn and battered that it scared all the children at school when the boy whom the bear belonged to brought it for show’n’tell. It’s true it didn’t look as good as other toys, but it was a very special bear and it had a very special story to tell. This teddy bear was very old and it once belonged to the boy’s grandfather who served in Anzac corps (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) in World War I and World War II. And he was a hero, too, having been bringing peace to the soldiers and becoming the Anzacs’ mascot. “Anzac Ted” is a poignant and captivating story in which such difficult concepts as war heroism and honour are introduced in a simple language that children can understand easily. It is written in rhyme and reads very well.

The book is beautifully illustrated: there are full-colour pictures accompanying the present story as well as sepia drawings illustrating the bear’s past in the Anzac corps. I’m sure the book would make an interesting read for the young children, especially boys and especially those interested in all things army and soldiers.

I Don’t Like Cheese, Hannah Chandler and Lauren Merrick

Mike the mouse isn’t like other mice. He just won’t eat cheese. Fortunately, Ashley, the little human girl who lives in the house, feeds him lots of tasty treats: like pizza and tacos. But, hold on, don’t those have cheese in them? This delightful picture book explores how even the fussiest eaters can be tempted to try new flavours.

Publisher: Exisle Publishing, Nov  2014

Reviewer: Klaudia Khan

Little children are often fussy eaters… But it turns out that so are little mice! Especially a certain mouse called Mike, who is not like any other mouse, because he doesn’t like cheese. That’s why he refuses the food that his mother gives him. He prefers to be fed by a little girl who introduces him to flavours from around the world, feeding him Mexican tacos, Japanese sushi and Italian pizza. But one day Ashley goes away on a trip and Mike is forced to eat his mum’s food. That is cheese. He hates it, but suddenly he discovers that he… loves it! Because isn’t it what he was eating all the time anyway? Hidden in pizzas and tacos?

This tasty and amusing story was written by a very talented 11-year-old girl from Australia. It is nicely illustrated and is sure to entertain little eaters… that is readers! It might even convince some of them to be a bit more adventurous with their food and try some new exotic flavours, like cheese…

I really enjoyed the book.


Don’t Think About Purple Elephants, Susan Whelan and Gwynneth Jones

Sometimes Sophie worries – not during the day when she is busy with family and friends, but at night when everything is calm and quiet. Her family all try to help, but somehow they just make her worries worse. Until her mother thinks of a new approach …that might just involve an elephant or two! But wait, don’t think about purple elephants, whatever you do! Whimsical and humorous, this little girl’s story of finding a way to ease her worry resonates with children and parents.

Publisher: Exisle Publishing, April 2015

Reviewer: Klaudia Khan

What do little children think about when they go to sleep? Little Sophie thought about many things; things that made her worried. Like: what if milk finishes and she couldn’t have cereal for breakfast or what if she forgot her lunchbox to school? Because of those worries, she couldn’t sleep well and so her family tried to help her calm down and not worry. It didn’t really work until her mother told her: “Go to bed, close your eyes and DON’T think about purple elephants”. It was silly, really, but it worked! The purple elephants that Sophie tried not to think about played happily in her mind and lulled her to sleep. And so she could rest instead of worry.

This funny little story makes a great bedtime story and offers an attractive solution for all little thinkers who might worry too much before going to sleep.

The book has lovely illustrations: whimsical, humorous and full of details, they tell everything that hasn’t been said by words and are worth a few moments of deeper exploration.

I really enjoyed the book and can’t wait to share it with my children.

David, Jack & the Rescue of Grace, Heather Miller

David and his pet mouse, Jack, were visiting Granny and Grandpa when heavy rains flooded the farm. As the water subsides Grace, the cow, is left stuck in a tall tree. Would the animals rescue her? And how would they do it? After initial opposition to helping Grace they realize that it is natural to look after one another. David and Jack lead the animals in the construction of the biggest, fastest and most beautiful slide in the whole world

Publisher: Brolga Publishing, Feb 2015

Reviewer: Klaudia Khan

“David, Jack & the Rescue of Grace” is an amusing tale of a rescue of a cow stuck on a tree after heavy rains. The story is light and funny, but it conveys important messages: the animals who work together to help save the cow learn that we are all here for each other and everyone, even a selfish rat, can contribute something and help others. We see all of them doing their part, but the actual plan of the rescue is not revealed until the end of the book and then it’s a real surprise. I’m sure all young readers would enjoy the story and the unexpected solution that David and his friend have come up with to set the cow free.

The book is nicely illustrated, in simple way that usually attracts young children. Its sense of humour and the message it conveys make the book suitable for children aged up to seven. I’m sure they would enjoy reading it with their parents or elder siblings.

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