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A Kiwi and an Emu http://kiwiandanemu.org Sat, 21 Jul 2018 02:10:55 +0000 en-AU hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.9.8 http://kiwiandanemu.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/cropped-emu-2-32x32.png A Kiwi and an Emu http://kiwiandanemu.org 32 32 Tuesday, by David Weinser. http://kiwiandanemu.org/2018/07/13/tuesday-by-david-weinser/ http://kiwiandanemu.org/2018/07/13/tuesday-by-david-weinser/#respond Fri, 13 Jul 2018 00:00:17 +0000 http://kiwiandanemu.org/?p=830 The other day, we watched a read aloud of a book called Tuesday.

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The other day, we watched a read aloud of a book called Tuesday.

 It was mostly pictures, and almost no words. I would say less than 10! This made it engaging to read. The pictures were well drawn and a bit funny to. It’s about one Tuesday night when some frogs left their pond and went flying around town on lilypads, freaking out humans and other animals. At the end, the author set the time to the next Tuesday. On that night, pigs flew! I found it amusing that that day was Tuesday as well. I would rate this book 8 out of 10. It was a silly book. I liked it a lot.

That is my review of the book, Tuesday.

Here is the link to it. Write what you think!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv43ibRtNn4&t=108

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Planes are not plain. http://kiwiandanemu.org/2018/07/12/planes-are-not-plain/ http://kiwiandanemu.org/2018/07/12/planes-are-not-plain/#respond Thu, 12 Jul 2018 23:52:20 +0000 http://kiwiandanemu.org/wordpress/?p=67

I got this aeroplane book out because I wanted to learn about how to make paper aeroplanes and there's all these cool aeroplanes that you can make.

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I got this aeroplane book out because I wanted to learn about how to make paper aeroplanes and there’s all these cool aeroplanes that you can make.

All the planes that I’ve made so far.

Space Ring.

Angry Finch.

Classic Dart.

Double Arrow.

Hammerhead.

Silent Huntress.

Sonic Dart.

Stealth Glider.

Super Plane.

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Tuesday, by David Weinser. http://kiwiandanemu.org/2017/11/24/tuesday-by-david-weinser-2/ http://kiwiandanemu.org/2017/11/24/tuesday-by-david-weinser-2/#respond Fri, 24 Nov 2017 04:17:01 +0000 http://kiwiandanemu.org/2017/11/24/tuesday-by-david-weinser-2/ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv43ibRtNn4&t=108s

 

I think the book was great.

First, the book had lots of pictures.

Second, it was awesome to look at.

Third, it was kind of hilarious.

My rating is ten out of ten.

Bye.

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Look what we have in our hot little hands!!!!! http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/09/25/look-what-we-have-in-our-hot-little-hands/ http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/09/25/look-what-we-have-in-our-hot-little-hands/#respond Fri, 25 Sep 2015 08:11:42 +0000 http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/09/25/look-what-we-have-in-our-hot-little-hands/ HTTYDBk12 2

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Completely Cassidy. http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/25/completely-cassidy/ http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/25/completely-cassidy/#respond Sat, 25 Jul 2015 00:25:19 +0000 http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/25/completely-cassidy/ CompletelyCassidy

Completely Cassidy, by Tamsyn Murray.

What it is about:

"My life is a joke. Actually, that's not true - it's too TRAGIC to be funny - but it IS a total disaster. You might think that I sound a teensy bit DRAMA-QUEEN-ISH here but that's because you don't know the full horror."

So says Cassidy Bond at the beginning of her story about the first term at her new school as a Year Seven. Her mother's pregnant, her father's an Elvis Presley impersonator, her brother's in a rock band, one of her two best friends is acting very strangely. Throw in a test that shows she's a genius, an inter-school quiz and a talent show, and you've got everything for a clever and amusing book told through the eyes of an 11-12 year old.

If I told you any more, it would spoil the story.

What is it like?

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CompletelyCassidy

Completely Cassidy, by Tamsyn Murray.

What it is about:

“My life is a joke. Actually, that’s not true – it’s too TRAGIC to be funny – but it IS a total disaster. You might think that I sound a teensy bit DRAMA-QUEEN-ISH here but that’s because you don’t know the full horror.”

So says Cassidy Bond at the beginning of her story about the first term at her new school as a Year Seven. Her mother’s pregnant, her father’s an Elvis Presley impersonator, her brother’s in a rock band, one of her two best friends is acting very strangely. Throw in a test that shows she’s a genius, an inter-school quiz and a talent show, and you’ve got everything for a clever and amusing book told through the eyes of an 11-12 year old.

If I told you any more, it would spoil the story.

What is it like?

I was hesitant to let my daughter read this book because it reflects the stereo-typical over-wrought emotional tragic inner-workings of a girl a few years older than her. For instance, Cassidy is very interested in boys – one boy in particular – considers everything a disaster (and some things are pretty bad…in a funny way), and is disrespectful toward her parents and brother. Some will say it’s true to life, but it’s not true of my daughter’s life at her age. I was not sure I wanted my daughter to read first person narratives of someone swimming in the confused throes of early adolescence. (No, nothing biological!)

But…I did let my daughter read it in the end. I briefly talked to her about the attitudes and actions of the characters, but I was also encouraged by Cassidy’s realisation that her parents, her brother, and her life were actually wonderful after all.

There is also a reconciliation that I thought was very moving and positive.

Apart from that, it is actually very funny. There are a couple of scenes where I laughed out loud and the whole book was very entertaining. However, knowing what I know now, I would probably encourage my daughter to leave reading it until she is a little older.

How are people portrayed?

No one, except the boy Cassidy is interested in, is seen as perfect. This is because we are looking through the eyes of a 11-12 year old girl. Her mother is seen as demanding and the babies on the way annoying. Her dad is embarassing (but also very kind) and her brother is a pain. One of her best friends does not follow the script Cassidy thinks she should and Cassidy portrays her, rather than Cassidy as the one going off the rails.

However, it is also possible to read underneath the narrative and see things a little more objectively than Cassidy. And, as mentioned above, Cassidy comes to realise that the attitudes and opinions of people she had been operating out of were out of whack, and was able to right them at the end of the book.

Overall…

It’s a fun book. Cleverly written, with relatable crises and angst from a young girl’s point of view. It’s probably more for 11-12 year old girls, but my daughter enjoyed it, too. And at 208 pages, the painful (and funny) situations she gets herself into are not too drawn out.

A good read for you and your child, as long as you are happy with your child’s ability to digest the less admirable thoughts and opinions of a Grade 7 (English) girl.

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Angela Nicely. http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/25/angela-nicely/ http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/25/angela-nicely/#respond Sat, 25 Jul 2015 00:21:53 +0000 http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/25/angela-nicely/ AngelaNicely

Angela Nicely, by Alan MacDonald. Illustraed by David Roberts.

What it's about:

Three short stories. Three funny situations. One single-minded, determined little girl.

Angela Nicely (about 6 years old, I think) is an engaging, if not what you'd call a well-behaved, girl. Her misbehaviour is not malicious (perhaps with the exception of getting her modelling rival wet) as much as singularly focused. Who wouldn't want to figure out if the head teacher is wearing a wig? How else are you meant to get on top in the modelling game? And when a weekend spa turns out to be a weekend arghh!, you have to do something, right?

What is it like?

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AngelaNicely

Angela Nicely, by Alan MacDonald. Illustraed by David Roberts.

What it’s about:

Three short stories. Three funny situations. One single-minded, determined little girl.

Angela Nicely (about 6 years old, I think) is an engaging, if not what you’d call a well-behaved, girl. Her misbehaviour is not malicious (perhaps with the exception of getting her modelling rival wet) as much as singularly focused. Who wouldn’t want to figure out if the head teacher is wearing a wig? How else are you meant to get on top in the modelling game? And when a weekend spa turns out to be a weekend arghh!, you have to do something, right?

What is it like?

A funny, light and entertaining book. The stories are not too long – I managed to read the first one to the kids between dinner and dessert one night (though I did hold up proceedings a little by doing so). They have climaxes and complications that make you sit up and take notice. And through it all, you find yourself wanting the best for Angela, even though you recognise what she’s doing is not the smartest thing.

A really decent read. Not boring at all.

How are people portrayed?

Virtually no one is written as perfect. Instead, both adults and children have their foibles and weaknesses played up for a laugh. Angela is curious and incautious. Her mother is jealous of another mother and child. Her father hides away from his wife’s passionate plans. The staff at the school are tired and exasperated or don’t like children. Angela’s friends try to put the breaks on Angela but get swept along with her plans.

None of the main characters are set up as role models, but rather people in whom we can see our own weaknesses and through whom we can laugh at ourselves.

The whole set up is cartoonish and obviously so.

Overall…

With three stories in 96 pages, this is a short and entertaining read. It’s not meant to be taken seriously, unless you seriously want to laugh at yourself. Fun. If you want to bring a discussion of not taking people’s flaws seriously into it, I suppose that could be done, but I haven’t.

I just laughed.

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Daisy Malone and the Blue Glowing Stone. http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/05/daisy-malone-and-the-blue-glowing-stone/ http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/05/daisy-malone-and-the-blue-glowing-stone/#respond Sun, 05 Jul 2015 03:10:17 +0000 http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/05/daisy-malone-and-the-blue-glowing-stone/ DaisyMaloneandtheblueglowingstone

Daisy Malone and the Blue Glowing Stone by James O'Loghlin

What it's about.

Daisy and her talking dog, Ben, allow Daisy's curiosity to lead them straight into an adventure that involves destroying the world...or saving it, depending on what happens. A blue glowing stone turns up in their lives and crazily enough it has a connection to her mother, an archaeologist at a dig some distance away. Who to trust and who to depend on becomes all important in this race to prevent an evil alien villain from ruling the universe.

What is it like?

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DaisyMaloneandtheblueglowingstone

Daisy Malone and the Blue Glowing Stone by James O’Loghlin

What it’s about.

Daisy and her talking dog, Ben, allow Daisy’s curiosity to lead them straight into an adventure that involves destroying the world…or saving it, depending on what happens. A blue glowing stone turns up in their lives and crazily enough it has a connection to her mother, an archaeologist at a dig some distance away. Who to trust and who to depend on becomes all important in this race to prevent an evil alien villain from ruling the universe.

What is it like?

The book Daisy Malone and the Blue Glowing Stone starts like this:

One Sunday afternoon at the start of the school holidays Daisy Malone was lying peacefully on her bed reading with her dog Ben when her father’s voice entered the room, turned left, paused for a moment to admire the view out the window and then continued across to Daisy.

It’s easy to miss the funny in there if you’re not concentrating, but when you read it again, you’ll get a flavour of the sort of narrator James O’Loghlin is. He’s a little odd.

So is the story, but in a good and funny way.

When I saw that the same author had written Sir Roderick the not-very brave, I was cautiously keen to read this book. Cautious, because Sir Roderick, despite it’s not very promising title, became a very engrossing book, and I didn’t know if I had the time to get that engrossed. Keen, because Sir Roderick is actually a very good story with clever twists and turns.

Turns out, while I didn’t find it quite as engrossing as it’s predecessor, Daisy Malone and the Blue Glowing Stone is definitely worth the read.

It is funny.

It is clever.

It is imaginative.

It is internally consistent, by which I mean that while it’s clearly fantasy, it doesn’t betray itself within it’s own storyline. A lot of kids stories are either too shallow to run that risk, or too willing to be outrageous for outrageous’ sake. This one strikes a great balance and draws you in with a light touch.

My daughter has spent all day reading it.

How are people portrayed?

This is one thing that I have a gripe about.

It seems that in stories, and particularly children’s stories, girls must be portrayed as strong, resourceful, clever and independent (and in this story, rebellious and deceptive toward her father). In O’Loghlin’s previous book, Sir Rodney, the main character (a boy) was introduced as clumsy and foolishly out of his league. Here, while Daisy makes mistakes, she is never presented as anything other than capable and in control. There is one other girl, Eliza, a minor character whom we see so briefly that no character development is possible.

The boys, on the other hand, are either stupid and mean, or stupid and kind. While one boy is present while things get exciting, Daisy is presented as independent of him, relying, when she must, on her dog and two aliens. (She relied on the boy once, and he failed).

Adults are either dolts, or absent, or alien. Not surprisingly, the good men are dolts, cowards, and incapable (though Daisy’s father, the weakest of the lot, does develop). It’s one of the aliens who hold’s up the side for the males. The main woman (Daisy’s mother) is strong, courageous and dependable.

It’s fairly typical and rather annoying.

The other fairly typical protrayal is that the two strong adults (plus the others who weren’t real threats anyway) are taken out and must be saved by the child Daisy and her sidekick dog. Well, the sidekick dog isn’t necessarily typical, but the child hero is.

I guess that’s children’s books for you these days. Writers seem to think children want to be the heroes and save the parents and adults. And I think some stories like that are fine. I just think there is a massive emphasis on children being the only sensible and clever ones in the world of children’s literature which I think is very concerning.

I’d love to see more weight given to security and dependability of adults – especially men.

Overall

At 314 pages, it was a good sized, fun book with a storyline that was intriguing while not being too heavy. It definitely had a light touch which made the read all the more enjoyable, though I wish there was less of a bias against the character of adults and males. I don’t consider that weakness a reason not to allow my children to read it, but it does make me aware of the need to provide positive real life role models for them so they can tell the difference between fictional stories where the world revolves around children, and the real world, where the world does not revolve around them.

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Brownies: Helping Hands. http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/01/brownies-helping-hands/ http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/01/brownies-helping-hands/#respond Wed, 01 Jul 2015 03:54:59 +0000 http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/07/01/brownies-helping-hands/ BrowniesHelpingHands

Brownies: Helping Hands by Caroline Palisted, illustrated by Katie Wood.

What it's about:

Katie, Ellie, Charlie, Jamila and Grace are best friends who've recently joined the Brownies. Have you heard of the Brownies? They are the group for younger members of the Girl Scout Movement, though that group has different names in different countries of the world.

And that's what these girls and their Brownies group are going to learn about for "Thinking Day"!

What is it like?

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BrowniesHelpingHands

Brownies: Helping Hands by Caroline Palisted, illustrated by Katie Wood.

What it’s about:

Katie, Ellie, Charlie, Jamila and Grace are best friends who’ve recently joined the Brownies. Have you heard of the Brownies? They are the group for younger members of the Girl Scout Movement, though that group has different names in different countries of the world.

And that’s what these girls and their Brownies group are going to learn about for “Thinking Day”!

What is it like?

It’s really a slice of life book. The main theme is getting ready, participating in and getting recognised for Thinking Day activities. We follow the five girls at school, at Brownies, at home and on High Street. There are two points of conflict, but these are quickly resolved and are incidental to the story itself. In reality, the book reads like a promotional tool for Brownies. If only the Cub Scouts meetings I went to as a boy were full of such positivity, fun and excitement!

That’s not to say it wasn’t a pleasant read, but it didn’t present the normal story-telling device of setting, problem, resolution, and so was a different, unchallenging read.

How are adults portrayed?

This has become something I look at in every book. In this one, all adults are seen in a very positive light. In fact, there are no negative characters in the book, though a couple of the friends have a stand off because of one girl’s thoughtlessness. It’s almost the world as one would want it to be…though you could be excused for wanting some more depth.

Overall

At 121 pages, this is a short, pleasant book with almost no challenging plot devices. The story is a positive telling of a group of girls involved with their Brownie group. I can imagine it would encourage younger girls reading it (7 years or so) to ask their parents if they can go to Brownies, but they may be disappointed when they get there that everything is not as wonderful as in the book.

My daughter started reading it, but has not finished. I wouldn’t be surprised if she doesn’t get back to it before it has to be returned to the library.

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7 Truths for Evangelism. http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/06/29/7-truths-from-ecclesiastes-for-evangelism/ http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/06/29/7-truths-from-ecclesiastes-for-evangelism/#respond Mon, 29 Jun 2015 07:54:00 +0000 http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/06/29/7-truths-from-ecclesiastes-for-evangelism/ Andsomeevangelists

Roger Carswell draws 7 truths from Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 in the last chapter of his book, "And Some Evangelists" about sowing the gospel in order to reap.

They're good because they are so commonsense.

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Andsomeevangelists

Roger Carswell draws 7 truths from Ecclesiastes 11:1-6 in the last chapter of his book, “And Some Evangelists” about sowing the gospel in order to reap.

They’re good because they are so commonsense.

1. Sow expecting to reap.

The Sower - painting by Van Gogh

The Sower – Vincent Van Gogh

Cast your bread upon the waters,
for you will find it after many days. (Eccl. 11:1)

2. Sow generously.

Celery seed

“Celery seed” by Howcheng – Own work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons – https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Celery_seed.jpg#/media/File:Celery_seed.jpg

Give a serving to seven, and also to eight. (Eccl. 11:2)

3. Sow while there is opportunity. 

DarkSky

For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
If the clouds are full of rain,
They empty themselves upon the earth. (Eccl. 11:2, 3)

4. Sow where you are.

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Photo by Choko https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0/

If a tree falls to the south or the north, 
In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie. (Eccl. 11:3)

5. Sow despite the difficulties.

uluru view

He who observes the wind will not sow,
And he who regards the clouds will not reap. (Eccl. 11:4)

6. Sow, trusting God to do his unseen work.

grow-315470 640

As you do not know what is the way of the wind,
Or how the bone grow in the womb of her who is with child,
So you do not know the works of God who makes all things. (Eccl. 11:5)

7. Sow at all times.

seasons-158601 640

In the morning sow your seed,
And in the evening do not withhold your hand;
For you do not know which will prosper,
Either this or that,
Or whether both alike will be good. (Eccl.11:6)
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Camp Chaos (A Go Girl book). http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/06/28/book-review-camp-chaos-by-meredith-badger-a-go-girl-book/ http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/06/28/book-review-camp-chaos-by-meredith-badger-a-go-girl-book/#respond Sun, 28 Jun 2015 03:10:34 +0000 http://kiwiandanemu.org/2015/06/28/book-review-camp-chaos-by-meredith-badger-a-go-girl-book/ Camp Chaos

Camp Chaos by Meredith Badger (go girl series)

What it's about:

Sophie is a girl stuck between two friends. Megan is her oldest friend and Alice is her newest. Megan likes reading magazines, talking about clothes and make-up, and Alice likes running around and playing games. Megan doesn't like Alice and Alice doesn't like Megan.

Sophie find this hard enough, but when they all end up sharing the same tent at camp, things get very uncomfortable!

What is it like?

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Camp Chaos

Camp Chaos by Meredith Badger (go girl series)

What it’s about:

Sophie is a girl stuck between two friends. Megan is her oldest friend and Alice is her newest. Megan likes reading magazines, talking about clothes and make-up, and Alice likes running around and playing games. Megan doesn’t like Alice and Alice doesn’t like Megan.

Sophie find this hard enough, but when they all end up sharing the same tent at camp, things get very uncomfortable!

What is it like?

This is the first book I’ve read in the Go Girl series (an Australian series for those who care). It’s a bit of fun, with problems to which I imagine young girls can relate, and quick, happy solutions. It emphasises good values (with the exception of Sophie sneaking chips from the kitchen) and explores positive and negative emotions.

How are adults portrayed?

Unusually, adults are portrayed in a uniformly positive light. Teachers and Sophie’s parents are all seen as emotionally mature and safe, even though Sophie thinks her Mum, while not directly in the story, is embarassing at times. Being a parent, I was happy about that. However, there is also realism in the background. Sophie’s parents are no longer together, and she lives with each parent half a month at a time which reflects something of the family situations of many kids today.

Overall…

All in all, I think it is a good book for my girl to read. Aimed at 7 year olds and above and a mere 90 pages, it doesn’t present heavy or complex plots, but there are things in there that, if I was inclined, I could talk to her about, or, as she sometimes does, she can ask me about.

I might even pick up another Go Girl book to see if the rest are as good.

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