Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton: Reigning supreme with Aussie kids

We’d been waiting for this moment for months.  And when I say ‘we‘, I don’t just mean ‘them‘, I mean me and him too.

Master Six and Master Nearly-Eight have read all the Storey Treehouse books, several times over. We’ve listened to them as audiobooks, several times over. They’ve written their own books (or started them anyway) that bear such a resemblance to the Griffiths’ pencraft that copyright is, categorically, an issue. In short, we LOVE the Griffiths/ Denton duo.  And last night we were there in the Melbourne Town Hall, thanks to tickets bought months and months ago, to witness the launch of the next sacred installment – The 91-Storey Treehouse.

The book launch was as chaotic as it was charming. It was improvised, and silly. But it had every child in the house on the edge on their seats. Literally.

‘The people who drew the pictures are very good drawers’, pronounces Master Six

It’s Master Six’s birthday today (with fever-pitched excitement in this household!). Master Seven will turn into Master Eight in a few weeks time. It’s irrefutable; they’re growing up.

Notwithstanding their rapid ageing, as well as stiff competition from the likes of Captain Underpants and the Storey Treehouse series, both boys still love reading picture books. Although, it’s not guaranteed that every picture book will capture their imagination as might’ve been the case even a year ago.  With this in mind, we recently tested the waters with Mrs White and the Red Desert and On the Way to Nana’s House.

Master Six and Master Nearly-Eight give their considered opinions on these two books: their covers, storylines, illustrations, and as well as delivering an ultimate verdict on both books.

The Perfect Excuse for a Cuddle: At the Zoo I See

Master Five just started school in February and without being too melancholy, I realise that the time will come when he’ll stop following me around the house with a pile of picture books asking to sit on my knee and to read together. So I’m consciously trying to take these moments when I can.

In a hygge-inspired snuggle, we recently spent a lovely twenty minutes together reading At the Zoo I See, a beautiful picture book by Joshua Button, a young author descended from the Walmajarri people of the East Kimberley.

Fourteen preschoolers, two Indigenous books and a LOT of excitement

Magabala Books recently sent me two children’s books to review – Return of the Dinosaurs and Cheeky Animals. I find it hard to review kids’ books because in the end, it doesn’t really matter whether I like the book!

Then I thought, who better to review these books than Master Five and his pals from kindergarten. So last week I headed into his early learning centre to do a group reading with him and his classmates.

I was actually a bit nervous as I walked through the doors.  What if other kids aren’t as into books as mine? Would they find me dull? Do five-year olds heckle?

Existentialism and Where’s Wally?

My two boys have recently become obsessed with a box set of Where’s Wally? (or Where’s Waldo? for our North American friends).  There are seven books in the set; as you progress from book to book the scenes become more complicated and it gets increasingly trickier to find the characters.  For the uninitiated, it’s not just Wally, by the way, there’s Odlaw, Gwenda, Woof and Wizard Whitebeard.

I’ve always found Where’s Wally? a bit intense.  I realised this week why – it’s just one big allegory for life.