Ruby was excited when she was given a shiny new pair of red roller skates for her birthday. She slept with them that first night and the next morning was ready to roll. Roller skating was easy peasy – or so she thought. When she tried inside the house she crashed into Dad’s tower of cards. Dad offered to teach her how but Ruby giggled and said, ‘No. It’s easy peasy.’ Dad suggested she try outside. Wobble, wibble . . . bump! Wooble, wibble . . . thump! Wobble, wibble . . . crunch! No matter how hard she tried, roller skating wasn’t as easy peasy as she thought. When Dad tucked her into bed that night she told him, ‘Roller skating is too hard!’.’ But Ruby didn’t want to give up so, the next day she asked Dad to teach her and he offered to take her somewhere special. There were flashing lights, music and lots of other kids whizzing around. They made roller skating look easy peasy. Dad took Ruby’s hand and they skated slowly around the rink until Ruby took a deep breath and let go of Dad’s hand. She was skating all on her own without a wobble, wibble or crunch in sight!
This delightful story from Ky Garvey is a fun and entertaining journey that follows a young girls' experiences as she tries something new. From excitement to disappointment, then determination and persistence, to the final euphoria of mastering something that wasn’t as easy peasy as she thought. Accomplished with the help of a thoughtful and patient Dad, this is an endearing tale about the relationship between father and daughter and a reminder that to never give up on something new. Amy Calautti’s bright and colourful illustrations are the perfect compliment to the text. The huge disco ball on the front cover reminds me of the one that adorned the skating rink I used to frequent as a tween! The final page illustration is a wonderful, exuberant celebration of Ruby’s triumph. Keep an eye out for the duck in the story who is an important companion on Ruby’s path to success.
Find out more about Ky Garvey
Find out more about Amy Calautti
Published by EK Books an imprint of Exisle Publishing Pty Ltd.
Release date: 01 February, 2023
ISBN: 9781922538441 (HB)
Recommended for ages 4 - 8
Teaching themes could include: roller skating, families, father daughter relationships, determination, persistance, trying new things, roller skates.
Thanks to Book On Tour Aus and Romi Sharp for the review copy.
Summer has finally arrived in Hibiscus Gardens, which means it's wedding time! Willa is super excited about her Aunty Jane's upcoming wedding but not so excited about her dress, which she tells her best old-age friend Frank, makes her look like a meringue. Still, it will be loads of fun and her dog, Woof, has the very special job of being the ring bearer. But summer also means bushfire season, and Willa is worried by the smoke rising from the mountains behind the town. Dad tells her not to worry as they head to the beach with her best same-age friend Tae. The wind seems to be changing though, and by the time they are back home, the smoke is bigger and closer. It starts raining - not water - but fire sparks - and they all spring into action packing backpacks, food for Woof and checking to make sure neighbours are safe. Suddenly there's a loud rumbling and raindrops, not fire sparks, fall from the sky. Everyone gathers in the middle of the road clapping and cheering and thankful they are safe. But not everything in the town was saved. Brookside Barn where the wedding was to take place, and where all the wedding dresses were being kept, has burned down, so the wedding is called off. Willa is worried about the koalas near the showground too. With the help of Tae and Frank, Willa hatches a plan to save the koalas, and orchestrate the biggest surprise wedding Hibiscus Gardens has ever seen!
Jacqueline Harvey tackles some important concepts for younger readers in this fourth installment of Willa and Woof including bushfires, bullying and wildlife rescue, which she approaches in a way that is meaningful but not confronting. The metaphor of the fire as a dragon is a masterful use of language to impress upon the reader the danger of the bushfire situation. The gravity of rescuing and looking after injured wildlife is portrayed with tension and understanding, with the reader given the opportunity to see the other side of a bully. Seriousness is balanced with humour, and descriptions like 'Ginger Biscuit, the serial killer (cat)', '. . . a giant carrot that looked like it had legs' and 'Her caterpillar eyebrows, Bert and Hilda, . . .' will have readers laughing out loud. Another highly entertaining adventure filled with heart, friendship, compassion and fun, from one of Australia's best known authors.
Supporting teaching themes could include bushfires, seasons, friendship, bullies, wildlife rescue, koalas, intergenerational friendships and dogs.
Find out more about Jacqueline Harvey
Published by Puffin Books an imprint of Penguin Random House Australia
Released 4 April, 2023.
Highly recommended for ages 6 - 9.