Now this is a fun chapter book, with the promise of a great series to come!
Riz Chester knows she’s different to other kids. Why? She notices stuff. But when her keen habits of observation cause her to notice something strange about some notes of money, Riz finds herself in the middle of a counterfeit mystery. Could she help the police find who is running the counterfeit operation? Or will they ignore her because she’s just a kid?
Told from Riz’s perspective, this fast-paced chapter book keeps readers guessing. There are ten chapters, each illustrated and sprinkled through with pages from Riz’s ‘observations’ notebook. These help to engage even the most reluctant readers with the story.
I love how this story makes room for kids who see the world through different lens. Riz and her friends might seem quirky to others, but they have what it takes to work together and solve a mystery. RA Stephens has written a fun book that encourages kids to celebrate the 'weird' things about themselves that are, in reality, fantastic strengths!
With themes of inclusion, curiosity, science and, yes, even forensics, this is a great start to the Riz Chester series. Recommended.
A big thanks to Wombat Books for this review copy!
Oh what a delightful book!
Anchored tells the story of Tug and Ship’s relationship, one that must survive the distance and uncertainty of separation across many ocean miles. Like many picture books, this story is something of a parable and the points of connection are many: how do we cope when the people we love are far away from us? What keeps us brave and strong when our comfort people aren’t close by? What gives us hope and courage when things look bleak?
In true Tidball style, this book connects with different readers in different ways. There is an emotional depth that tugs your heart and makes you want to come back for a reread (even without a small person by your side). And I think that’s one of Debra Tidball’s writing strengths.
The artwork for this picture book is done by Arielle Li and I love how she's imagined the text. Filled with clever details and satisfying warmth, Li turns the story of two industrial boats into something tender and beautiful. That’s no small feat.
Anchored is lovely. Thoroughly recommended.
Diamonds, by Armin Greder is a book about diamonds. Not the dazzling beauty of them, but the very real nightmare that is often the untold story of the people behind the jewels we don for special occasions.
Like many of Greder's books, the artwork is dark and at times menacing. It tells the story of a young girl watching her mother prepare to go out, and the images that stalk into her dreams.
This isn't a light book for bedtime reading, and certainly doesn't tie the uncomfortable bits up neatly at the end. And yet - I really appreciate it. Diamonds is a book that makes us think. It makes us question the expected and consider our own decision making. I think we all need books like this to make us pause and remember the impact our decisions and voices can make.
Recommended for readers upper primary and beyond.