Book Club – The Rosie Project

While away on a long weekend in Noosa visiting my husband’s sister and her family from London I managed to finish my book club book -The Rosie Project by Graeme Simsion.

I loved it. It’s a light, humorous, easy to read story about Don Tillman, an awkward and straight to the point genetics professor and Rosie Jarman, a barmaid who is on a quest to find her biological father.

Here’s a bit of the blurb:

Don Tillman is getting married.
He just doesn’t know who to yet.

The Wife Project will solve that problem. He has designed a sixteen-page questionnaire to help him find the perfect partner. She will most definitely not be a barmaid, a smoker,a drinker or a late-arriver.

Rosie Jarman is all of these things. She is also fiery and intelligent and beautiful.

All the characters in the story have their own funny mannerisms and I laughed the whole way through, especially at Don’s inappropriate comments and awkward moments.

I hope the movie goes ahead – would be great to watch.

I’m not sure what our next book will be – possibly “To Kill a Mockingbird”.

What’s everyone else reading at the moment?


Perfect Picture Book Friday (PPBF) – How Martha Saved her Parents from Green Beans

Every kid hates green beans don’t they?

Title:  How Martha Saved her Parents from Green Beans  FullSizeRender (13)

Author: David LaRochelle

Illustrator:  Mark Fearing

Age: 4-7 year olds

Opening lines:  Every Tuesday evening Martha’s family had green beans for dinner.  Every Tuesday night Martha was left alone at the table, staring at a plate of green beans that she wouldn’t eat.

Synopsis:  Martha doesn’t realise how bad green beans are until a gang of mean green beans with long curly mustaches and sharp pointy boots swagger into town, wrecking havoc and stealing her parents.  There’s only one way to deal with these vile veggies and it’s not going to end well (for the beans anyway).

What I like about this book:  The story is hilarious – the notion of the green beans coming to get revenge on all who say “Eat your green beans.”  I like that Martha is brave and does whatever it takes to save her parents (and the rest of the world) even though she thinks beans are disgusting.  The pictures are also very funny – close ups of the beans with their cowboy hats, pirate hats, patches, scars and beards and mustaches.

Don't mess with us!

Don’t mess with us!

Let my parents go or I will...

Let my parents go or I will…

The moral of the story is …

“Eat your vegetables before they eat you!”

To see all the other Perfect Picture Books (PPB) with resources, please visit author Susanna Leonard Hill’s Perfect Picture Books.

Book Club – The Happiest Refugee

Not only is Anh Do a talented and funny comedian, he is inspiring, courageous and an all round nice guy. Any t.v. show that he’s involved in is always good to watch. He was very funny in his episode of Thank God You’re Here! Unfortunately I missed him on Dancing with the Stars, but I imagine he would have been a terrific entertainer.

I learnt a bit more about Anh when he appeared on the television show, Pictures of You, hosted by funnyman Brian Nankerivs. Anh told hilarious stories of his childhood and I was amazed at all that he had been through.

I then found his picture book The Happiest Refugee at the library and read it to my two daughters. So when my bookclub said we were reading Anh Do’s memoir The Happiest Refugee as our next bookclub book I couldn’t wait to get started.

The Happiest Refugee is easy to read and full of funny and sad stories of how Anh and his family bravely journeyed by boat to Australia when Anh was two years old. They settled in Sydney where Anh and his brother Khoa and sister Tram grew up, encountering many triumphs and tragedies along the way. Anh looked out for his family. They didn’t have much money but Anh did what he could to help his mum with all the work. He didn’t let anyone or anything stand in his way.

Photos of Anh and his family are found in a couple of sections of the book which really added to the story.

I really enjoyed this book and discovered that Anh starred in a movie (written by him and his brother Khoa) called Footy Legends. I will have to see if I can find it as I’d love to watch it.

Have you read The Happiest Refugee or seen Footy Legends? What did you think?

Favourite Rhyming Picture Books – Picture Book Month

Some of our favourites are Hairy Maclary from Donaldson’s Dairy and Slinky Malinki Catflaps by Lynley Dodd.  With fabulous characters like Greywacke Jones, Butterball Brown, Mushroom Magee, Grizzly MacDuff and Scarface Claw, funny storylines and lots of great rhymes and alliteration, who wouldn’t love these books.  The vocabulary is spot on and paints the perfect picture.

Here’s a page from Slinky Malinki – “From nooks and from crannies, from mischief and game, from every corner and crevice they came.  They sat in the moonlight’s silvery glow, hobnobbing happily, ten in a row.” 

Unfortunately the camera on my phone isn’t working anymore due to a leaking waterbottle in my handbag, so I can’t post up any photos of these books. 

Here’s a couple of others that caught my eye by Lynley Dodd  – Hairy Maclary and Zachary Quack and Slinky Malinki’s Christmas Crackers.

What’s your favourite rhyming picture book or Lynley Dodd book?

Rudy Toot!

Last week I was down in Melbourne (in the sunshine – I was expecting cold wet days!) visiting my family and two gorgeous nephews.  My 2 and a half year old nephew loves books so on the day before we left (I think I left it a bit too late) I was out at Dymocks trying to find him some books.  I had three in mind – Sebastian lives in a Hat by Thelma Catterwell and illustrated by Kerry Argent about an orphaned baby wombat who is raised in a brown knitted cap.

The Children Who Loved Books by Peter Carnavas – just because I love this book.

And Rudy Toot!, written and illustrated by Chris Kennett.  With hilarious rhymes and bright colourful illustrations my daughters and my nephew loved this story.  We already owned the book as Miss 3 chose it earlier in the year at the school book fair.  The story is about three little elephants who love to make music together. Judy goes BLOOT! Trudy goes FLOOT! But stinky little Rudy does a great big TOOOOOOOOT!

In the end, only The Children Who Loved Books was available so I bought that one and we left our copy of Rudy Toot! in Melbourne.

My nephew loved both books but I think you’ll be able to guess which one he wanted to listen to over and over again!

Have you come across any funny picture books lately?

Not just Fairies and Princesses!

Last week the girls and I went on our usual outing to the library.  As they were rummaging through the boxes full of books, I too had a squiz, searching for unusual and interesting books and our favourite authors.  Well, I laughed out loud when I came across a book called The Birdsville Monster written by Doug Macleod and illustrated by Craig Smith. When my husband and I lived in Mt Isa we taught children from Birdsville and my husband was lucky enough to go on a home visit.  The Birdsville Races were on my “things to do” list but unfortunately I didn’t end up going.

I flicked through the pages giggling at the hilarious rhymes and illustrations.  Not your typical children’s story! Nurse Finkelstein and Dr Black, two ghoulish terrors, are kicked out of Birdsville for making people sick. They decide to get revenge by robbing the graveyard and sewing together a monster made from the best limbs!   Nurse Finkelstein and Dr Black send Doug (since they dug him up) off to do their evil business, however, things don’t go to plan when he heads straight for the pub!

I originally borrowed this book to show my husband, however, the girls found it in the library bag and wanted me to read it.  So I did, and we’ve read it (at least once) every day ever since!  They love it.  Just goes to show, you never can tell what kinds of books are going to draw kids in and become favourites.

I asked my six year old why she liked the book and she said, “Because it’s funny and they made a monster and pulled vulgar faces.”

Have you come across any weird or wonderful children’s picture books?