Pippa’s Island: Puppy Pandemonium

Puppy Pandemonium is the 5th book in the PIPPA’S ISLAND series written by Belinda Murrell, a full-time author of wonderful books including LULU BELL series, THE TIME SLIP series and THE SUN SWORD TRILOGY.

“Have you ever had that experience when all your friends have something that you don’t? Something you really, really want? I should be used to it by now. But try as I might to ignore it, sometimes it can really bother me. I guess it’s jealousy, and it sneaks in past my guard like a naughty puppy.” This is the book opening, one of Pippa’s sad journal entries.

Since moving from London to gorgeous Kira Island, life has been a little tough, money has been tight and spent on buying and renovating an old boat shed. With the popular Beach Shack Cafe now open on the ground floor, the family has plans to renovate the attic and transform it into an apartment. Everyone has been pitching in and helping out. But this book is not only about Pippa and her family moving out of a very crammed caravan. There is a sale at the surf shop and Pippa’s got her sights set on a very lovely swimming costume that would replace her shaggy, old one. The only problem is, that she doesn’t have enough money.  Pippa needs to find solutions in order to make some extra cash.

As usual with brilliant ideas, Pippa has hers in the middle of one night. All she needs is dedication, hard work and a little bit of help from her BFFs, Charlie, Cici and Meg to make the plan of her own business a reality. She draws a business plan for Pippa’s Perfect Pooch Pampering, compete with a mission and clear steps to be followed in order to succeed.

With mishaps, renovating drama and fun along the way, this Pippa’s book is a great model of teamwork and friendship. It was great to read it and to find out about Pippa’s and her friends’ new adventures. And there is an incredible mini raspberry pavlova recipe at the end of the book for you to enjoy as well!

I loved this book because I really enjoyed book 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the series, Pippa’s Island: The Beach Shack Cafe, Pippa’s Island: Cub Reporters, Pippa’s Island: Kira Dreaming, and Pippa’s Island: Camp Castaway. I was so curious to find out about Pippa’s new adventures, if she would get a new swimming costume, and if the Sassy Sisters were going to do anything together.  Also the title of this book gave me a hint and got me really interested and engrossed in the book. Belinda’s storytelling is captivating, exciting and draws you in to the very last page.

Read Pippa’s Island: The Beach Shack Cafe review here.

Read Pippa’s Island: Cub Reporters review here.

Read Pippa’s Island: Kira Dreaming review here

And, read Pippa’s Island: Camp Castaway review here

Clementine Rose and the Bake-Off Dilemma

Clementine Rose and the Bake-Off Dilemma is written by Australian author Jacqueline Harvey and is published by Random House Australia. Jacqueline Harvey is an award-winning author, who has written many books and several exciting series. This book series was illustrated by J. Yi. Clementine Rose and the Bake-Off Dilemma is book number 14 in the CLEMENTINE ROSE SERIES.

Clementine Rose can’t wait for the holidays to come! Pemberthy House Hotel is going to be hosting a new cooking show that is to be filmed in the village. With broken cooking items, sour cakes and missing ingredients, will this cooking show be a mess or a big success?

Clementine and Will, her new stepbrother, want to start doing some detective work on their own. But looking for clues might be a bit harder than expected. Now that Mr. Loveberry, the main judge, decided to host a kids cooking contest, Will and Clemmie will have their hands full. Reaching the high point in the children’s investigations they find out an important clue that could stop all this cooking drama. Even with the competition underway, Clementine still manages to find time to practice her baking skills.

But as always, things don’t go as expected. There is a host of interesting characters, mishaps while cooking, and big fights. All the competition bakers seem to be acting strange, each with their own secrets to hide.

Can Clementine and her friends find out who is sabotaging the competition and stop them before time runs out? You’ll have to pick up a copy of this freshly released Clementine Rose story and read the exciting adventure.

I enjoyed reading Clementine Rose and the Bake-Off Dilemma because of its humour, its good and bad characters, its tension and the way things worked out in the end. Jacqueline Harvey writes in a very captivating and witty way, drawing us into the middle of the story and not letting go until the last page is turned. And I can’t wait to see what other adventures Clementine Rose will have in the future!

Samaira and the Gang in London

Samaira and the Gang in London is an illustrated comic book written by Priyanka Vermani and illustrated by Farukh Nadaf.

Meet Samaira, a Harry Potter fan, bookworm, and a fun, determined young woman. Roy, has a Facebook addiction, and is 24/7 on his phone. He is a sports maniac, and LOVES listening to music. Also meet fashionista, Lauren, the prettiest of them all! Lauren has a loyal, loving dog and has lots of brains (and beauty of course!) And, Harry. Always dressed from the 90’s. Harry loves to sketch and is Lauren’s bodyguard (knight in shining armour). All four of them, Samaira, Lauren, Roy and Harry, decide to leave India and go on a trip to London!  But, after getting off the plane and going to collect their baggage, there seems to be a problem as Samaira has brought 20 guide books in her suitcase and Lauren has brought 20 small bags! Neither girl knows how to pack light…

After arriving at Aunt Sara’s place, the four friends decide that they wanted to go up the London Eye ferris wheel. Going to the train station proved a problem, though. Roy, wanted to listen to music on the escalator but went on the wrong lane! The 4 then lose each other, but after some frantic searching they finally regroup. Samaira, Lauren, Harry and Roy visit some cool places in London and also get to see the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Boat!

Join Samaira and her gang on their exciting trip overseas for some fun adventures around London, follow their disagreements and exciting discoveries. If you would like to visit famous London landmarks and see fashion, history and culture through the eye of these four teenagers, then pick up a copy of this comic book and read to the end.

This book is a great read, full of wonderful illustrations, simple and catchy story line and full of adventures in amazing settings! I loved this book because of all the action, dialogue and the discoveries of the four friends. It was a great way to read about how people travel and learn more about London!

Total Quack Up!

Total Quack Up! is a new book hitting the shelves on the 11th of October 2018. It is a collection of short stories written by some of Australia’s most well known authors: Sally Rippin, Matt Stanton, Deborah Abela, Tristan Bancks, Paul Jennings, Adrian Beck, Alex Miles, R. A. Spratt, Jacqueline Harvey and Oliver Phommavanh.

There was also a kids’ writing competition, where you could write your own short story and send it in to the team, and there were over a whooping 172 entries. The winner was Ella Wallace with a short story titled Who Blocked Up the Dunny?

These authors have worked hard, each creating a short story to contribute to this wonderful book going towards the Dymocks Children’s Charities, supporting children’s literacy by providing quality books to school age children in priority locations.

Below I have reviewed each of the stories in the collection.


How to Be a Superhero by Deborah Abela

When 8 year old Ann Small decides that she wants to climb the roof while playing superheros, all is fine, but when she decides to try to jump off the garage roof landing on the clothesline and swinging to launch herself in the pool, things quickly start to get out of hand, especially when she needs a hospital trip for a broken leg and a chin in need of stitches. Hopefully the superheroes game will stop now? This story takes 8 year old Ann on an exciting adventure. A great one for youngsters!

Deborah Abela is a well known writer whose books are being sold all over the world, with titles including The Stupendously Spectacular Spelling Bee, Teresa A New Australian, New City, Grimsdon, The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen, Max Remy Superspy series, Jasper Zammit Soccer Legend, and the Ghost Club series.


The Pigs by Tristan Bancks

The Kings Bay Pigs soccer team is not all that good. Actually they currently hold the record for World’s Worst Junior Football Team. The last few games have gone stale, literally! 9-0, 16-0 and the worst, 27-0, each time their score has been 0!! Big fat 0!! But The Pigs aren’t the team that when they lose they burst into tears! They actually CELEBRATE! Like, what soccer team does that? And what soccer team puts their noses to the ground, and snuffles like pigs on all fours? But, when they tie with another team will they lose their tile, World’s Worst Junior Football Team? Read to see…

This book is a great read written by the funny Tristan Bancks, whose titles include The Fall, Two Wolves, My Life & Other Failed Experiments, My Life & Other Stuff I Made Up, Tom Weekly series, covering a range from crime and mystery to action, adventure, weird funny and gross.


Ratbagg by Adrian Beck

I have 5 things to tell you:

  1. My name is RATBagg (Rory Albert Thomas Bagg)
  2. I have pretty mild superpowers
  3. I am terrible at counting when it comes to lists!
  4. I own rats!
  5. The school principal (Principal Blart) is rat allergic!

When Ratbagg’s teacher, Ms. Cherry, said that the following day was class sharing day, the first thought that popped into his mind was… RATS! Not the expression, “rats!” His thought was that he could bring his pet rats, Dee, Daz and Digby, to school and surprise his friends for class sharing! NOT a good idea! The school principal is ALLERGIC to rats. As tension tightens when the principal walks in suddenly and Ratbagg loses, yes LOSES his pets, things start to turn crazy. REALLY CRAZY… But will RATBagg be kicked out of school? Read the story to find out what happens next! If you dare!

Adrian Beck writes funny and action stories for children, his titles including Stuff Happens – Dale, The Champion Charlies series, and the Kick it to Nick series co-authored with Shane Crawford, the Hawthorn Premiership hero.


Pet Sit Pandemonium; Operation Snowball by Jacqueline Harvey

When mum tells Tom that their grouchy neighbor wants him to go over and “look after her cat while she is away” Tom does not get happy! Fussy doesn’t even start to describe Mrs. Oldberg, the woman that has her front garden, no front lawn manicured! You’d bet her house is pitch perfect inside too, no doubt about that! The minute he walks in, he felt beautified! Her house was ship-shape condition, nothing on the floor, the books in order, everything neat and perfect! After he finishes the jobs of feeding the parrot and the cat he goes home feeling happy. A little later in the day, he goes back to check on the animals again. The second he walked through the front door, he is met by a ransacked house! What in the world has happened? The cats together! NOOOO! Not Snowball and Puss! Just to make matters worse, he hears Mrs. Oldberg’s car roar up the drive. What is going to happen next?

Jacqueline Harvey is an AMAZING writer, one of Australia most popular, with 3 wonderful book series and is known worldwide for her Clementine Rose, Alice-Miranda, and her new Kensy and Max books.


A Mouthful by Paul Jennings

This short stories is about a Dad who always likes playing practical jokes when his daughter’s friends come over to stay. He plays jokes and tricks with cat poo on pillows, fake hands in the rubbish, pepper in the food, exploding drinks, short-sheeted beds and even blood coming out of his mouth.

When Cynthia, the school captain comes over for sleepover, there are NO JOKES TO BE PLAYED! The girls do their English homework and go over their speeches for the next morning, then Cynthia offers to do the washing up after dinner, then it’s time for bed. After the girls wash and change into their nighties, they walk into the bedroom. But as usual, dad puts plastic cat poop under the spare bed covers and then puts the cat on the pillow. When Cynthia pulls back the bed covers she screams, “the cat pooped on my pillow!” She screams and scream and screams! Then dad walks in, with a goofy grin on his face and picks up the poop with a “that’s nothing to worry about!”, and you’ll have to read to see what happens next…

This short story is funny and even a bit gross. Jokes are fun but this one will get you gagging! This story is by the award-winning author Paul Jennings. Paul has written lots of children’s books, short stories collections, picture books, novels, with the latest releases, A Different Dog, and The Unforgettable What’s His Name.


Undercover Pirate by Alex Miles

When Penny decides to have a P-themed party, her parents have an annoying rule: everyone in the class HAS to be invited! When the coolest boy in the class (Peter) arrives, everyone comes to meet him. All of Penny’s classmates are dressed as something starting with P, there was a pirate – Peter, twin princesses – the Harley girls,  a pineapple – Hamsa Shah and one of the boys – Jacob McFee – dressed up as a pinata and he gave everyone the impression that they could chase him with a stick. Penny dressed up as a Polish peanut-eating panda.

There were lots of fun games and cool things to do, but when Penny’s party bags go missing she suspects either Peter or her younger brother, Lenny, to have stolen them. So Penny decides to go on a treasure hunt to find her party bags. When Penny goes into the dining room, she sees their parrot on its perch resting peacefully. “Buster,” Lilly Polly tweets. Penny gasps. “Buster,” tweets Lilly Polly again! Does Penny have a talking bird? A thought strikes Penny: did Buster, their dog, take the party bags? What if he ate them?! The hunt’s on! Penny runs into the hall then into the garden, Buster is at his usual spot. “Please, tell me you haven’t eaten the party bags,” thinks Penny silently. Did Buster have anything to do with the party bags? What will happen next?

This short story is an adventure yet funny and comical at the same time. It is great for youngsters and it’s exciting.

Alex Miles is a great author and has written the beautiful Olive Black series and the Zac Power adventure series. Alex is a witty and bright author, full of imagination. I loved reading this story!


Rhyme Time! by Oliver Phommavanh

This short story is a poem about a poem, with the main character, Lengy, being very reluctant about poetry and writing poems. When Lengy’s teacher, Mr. Winfree, sets his class (7R5) the task of writing a poem about a colour, the children try to find rhyming words and everything becomes a silly rhyming affair. At his wits’ end, Mr. Winfree then sets the whole class the colour “orange”, but what rhymes with “orange”? Where do Lengy and his friend, Rajiv, take the idea and will they still hate poetry at the end of the class?

This short story is actually a poem with incidental rhyming words, it is hilarious and also has a bit of a surprise ending. Oliver Phommavanh writes stories that make you laugh and cry, his stories are funny and even a bit comical. Oliver is a children’s author, comedian and primary school teacher, known for his Punchlines, Con-Nerd, Thai-No-Mite, The Other Christy, Super Con-Nerd, and Thai-Riffic!


Do Not Open! by Sally Rippin

This book stars two main characters called Cassie and Ben, who are at their grandparents house during the summer holidays. A box is delivered to the front door with a “DO NOT OPEN!” sign on it, but Cassie is impatient and wants to open to box NOW! Ben being the older brother tries to stop Cassie but he is also curious to see what’s in the box. After peeling off the DO NOT OPEN! sign, they pull up the cardboard flaps to see what is inside. Everything in the box is in pieces… Cassie wants to fit the pieces together. What will be the end result? Will the kids be found out? Read this story for a good dose of laughter.

Sally Rippin is the author of the amazing book series Billie B BrownHey Jack!, Our Australian Girl and the new Polly and Buster. She has also written novels for children and for young adults and illustrated a big number of picture books. Sally is a proud ambassador for 100 Story Building, a creative centre for young writers. Recently she and her partner co-founded Story Peddlers, an ambulat performance space that pops out of a bike. Sally’s writing is witty and funny, and she has a very rich imagination. 


Pigerella by R.A. Spratt

This story features Nanny Piggins and the children, Derrick, Samantha and Michael, characters in the popular series, Nanny Piggins. When electricity is disconnected because their father hadn’t paid the bills, they find themselves in the darkness in front of a fire built by Nanny Piggins with their father’s law books. The kids are bored, but when Nanny Piggins starts to tell the a story about a pig called Pigerella and her 13 evil sisters, time passes so quickly.

R. A. Spratt is the author of the very popular Friday Barnes series, with the new Peski Kids series having been launched recently. She has also contributed to various TV shows and is one of the most popular writers in Australia.


What Hippopotamuses and Sharks Have in Common by Matt Stanton

What happens when Summer, a curious hippo, disregards the common understanding that hippopotamuses are NOT allowed to go to the beach and goes to the beach only to find it closed because of shark presence? And what happens when she takes the once in a lifetime opportunity to see a shark in the flesh? Will Wilbur the shark eat her and the other beach goers, or will he keep his word and abide by his vegetarian mantra?

Matt Stanton is a best-selling Australian author who writes children’s books, including the Funny Kid series and the Fart Monster series.


Who Blocked Up the Dunny? by Ella Wallace

This story was the winner of the Total Quack Up competition out of a staggering 172 submissions. It is about two siblings, Kerry, the older one babysitting Jackson, who have to figure out how to unblock the “dunny” before the rest of the family comes home. It is very much a question of “WHO blocked the dunny” as well as of “WHAT blocked the dunny”. The solution and the outcome are questionable… and what comes after the end of the story is left to your imagination!

The story is funny and Ella did a great job with the first title she got published!


All these short stories are very well written by some of Australia’s best authors. I really loved this collection of funny stories and hope to read more books by these writers. I would recommend Total Quack Up! to primary school students around years 2-6. The stories in this book are daring and adventurous. Thank you to all the authors who contributed great material for this charitable event, the stories are fantastic! This book totally quacked me up!

If you would like to watch a video of Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck announcing the Total Quack Up Competition, you can do so here:


If you would like to watch a video of Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck announcing the winner of the Total Quack Up Kids Writing Competition, you can watch it below:





Kensy and Max: Disappearing Act

Kensy and Max: Disappearing Act is written by Australian author Jacqueline Harvey and is published by Penguin Random House Australia. Jacqueline Harvey is an award-winning author, who has written many books and several exciting series. This book series was illustrated by J. Yi. Kensy and Max: Disappearing Act is book number 2 in the KENSY AND MAX Series.

Kensy and Max Grey, 11 years old twins, have spent time in London where they had some scary adventures, a near abduction and parents gone missing. Now they are agents-in-training at an international spy network and they feel there are secrets all around them, especially with their parents still missing. They welcome a break for Christmas and look forward to some quiet time and chillax, but it’s not meant to be! They end up in Rome for a school excursion and they find a boy who’s been kidnapped by some organisation worse than even Mafia! And it looks like Kensy, Max and their Pharos friends will have to solve this problem themselves as the teachers are involved in a bigger mission.

But the children have their own challenges on top of the Diavolo gang. Their manny, Fitz, and their uncle Rupert, go away to look for Kensy and Max’s missing parents, so the children are left on their own. They try to take the boy back to his mum so the Diavolo gang wouldn’t hurt him and prevent the gang from taking control of Italy’s food supply chain.

Then something exciting occurs at the Vatican as Kensy and Max are visiting a church with their school friends. The plot only thickens from now on…

Join Kensy and Max in Rome and follow them on an exciting mystery! If you would like to find out in more details what happens and how their adventure ends, pick up a copy of this amazing book and read to the end.

This book is a great read, exciting and full of nail-biting suspense! I love this book because of all the action and adventure. I couldn’t stop reading it to the very end. This book was released earlier this month and is a great one for school students in upper primary. Thanks Jacqueline for another amazing book!

If you would like to read the review of Kensy and Max: Breaking News (the first book) you can click here.

100 Dresses: If the Magic Fits

If the Magic Fits is written by Susan Maupin Schmid and is published by Penguin Random House. This book was illustrated by Melissa Manwill.

If the Magic Fits is book number 1 in the 100 DRESSES Series out of 3 written books.

When she was just born, nobody knew that the next set of events would such sadness, in a matter of a few days. She was born such a chubby, neat, quite baby, nicknamed Darling Dimple. But what does she know about her past, and what happened back then?

Given the job as an under-scrubber in a HUGE magnificent castle where a princess lives, isn’t the best job ever. Washing pots, pans, and other regular kitchen items until your hands go wrinkled IS NOT FUN! But, when Darling Dimple is reassigned to a different area of the castle, here life becomes more exciting. Pressing the princesses handkerchiefs, scarves and petticoats, plus having the chance of a lifetime: getting to decide what the princess would were for a luncheon! Isn’t life great now? But some unexpected mysteries and adventures start to pop up. And what happens when Darling tries on a dress from closet 7, Queen Candace’s dresses? This story might need 1 dress, maybe 2, or 100!

Join Darling Dimple on fun adventures, disagreements and an exciting mystery. If you would like to find out what happens next, pick up a copy of this amazing book and read to the end.

This book is a great read, exciting and full of adventure! I love this book because of all the action, and adventure, and I couldn’t stop reading till the very end. Susan Maupin Schmid let her imagination run wild while writing this AMAZING series. This book,  builds a whole new world in our minds as we read through!

Little Witch: Secrets & Spells

Little Witch: Secrets & Spells is written by Australian author Aleesah Darlison and is published by Big Sky Publishing. Aleesah Darlison has written over 36 books and is an award-winning author. This book was illustrated by Christine Schiedel. Both Aleesah and Christine are both amazing at making stories come to life.

Little Witch: Secrets and Spells is book number 1 in the LITTLE WITCH Series out of 3 written books.

When Courtney’s strange, and so-called scary grandmother dies, her family including her mum, and dad go up to Mixton Bay for the summer holidays, but Courtney could not think of anything more horrific. No TV, no friends, no pizza shop, no internet, no online games, nothing! And what’s worse, of course, her mum and dad want to redo and renovate the house, which means that Courtney and her family will have to stay longer than intended, great!

Courtney hates everything from the very first second, but when she finds one of her grandmother’s old books in the attic, in a box with her name on it, it changes everything! Courtney learns about her and her dads history and why he left home at a young age, she also learns that the females in her family have a long history in doing witchcraft, but will Courtney find out the real truth about why her grandma left her the book? And does it help when Courtney find magic in the house, where least expected? Maybe not!

Join Courtney on fun adventures, disagreements and exciting mysteries until the last page is read. If you would like to find out what happens next, pick up a copy of this amazing book and read to the end.

This book is a great read, exciting and full of adventure! I love this book because of all the action, and adventure, and I couldn’t stop reading till the very end. Aleesah Darlison let her imagination run loose and wrote an AMAZING book, which builds a whole new world in our minds as we read through Courtney’s adventures.

If you would like to see the trailer for the LITTLE WITCH series, you can watch it below: