Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Chookeriffic Children's Book Giveaway 2013 Day 2

Chookeriffic Children's Book Giveaway 2013 Day 2 

by Susan Stephenson,

As I mentioned on Monday, I'm chookeriffically eggcited about my suggestions for children's books that would make wonderful Christmas gifts for a special someone in your life. In conjunction with my mini-reviews, several Australian publishers are playing Santa: donating books to lucky readers of The Book Chook who are also Australian residents. Scroll down to find out more about the Giveaway.

I've been scouring websites and catalogues for months to bring you a variety of books that will make children's eyes light up when they unwrap their gifts. On Monday I presented the first six books. Here are the next six:

Wombat Divine: This is hands-down one of my very favourite children's picture books with a Christmas theme. And not just a Christmas theme! It's a lovely story that promotes the idea to kids that each of us is special, with our own weaknesses and strengths. Written by Mem Fox, illustrated by Kerry Argent, it was published by Omnibus (Scholastic.) First published in 1995, with numerous reprintings, Wombat Divine has become an Australian classic. In fact, I defy anyone to read this wonderful children's picture book without a tender smile and hint of tears. Argent's illustrations are quirky and delightful, and Fox's story is just divine. (Scholastic are giving away 5 copies of Wombat Divine.)

LEGO StarWars The Yoda Chronicles: If you have a young LEGO fan, or a Star Wars fan, or better still a LEGO Star Wars fan, grab this great book as soon as possible. Like other DK books I've encountered, it's visually stunning. Published by DK 2013, with an RRP $29.99, you'll find it at the Penguin Australia website. Young Jedi knights will love the cartoon-style LEGO scene graphics, the fascinating details, the variety of articles connected by Yoda, the character explanations and weapon descriptions. There's also an insert in the front cover containing a mini fig - a Special Forces Commander. (If you have an iPad/iPhone, check out the LEGO Star Wars The Yoda Chronicles free app.) (Penguin are giving away 2 copies of The Yoda Chronicles.)

Little Big: Oh. Wow. You must get your hands on a copy of Little Big if you love great illustration in children's picture books! Created by Jonathan Bentley, it was published by Little Hare, an imprint of Hardie Grant Egmont (2013.) As you will see by linking through to the front cover, Bentley's pencil sketch and water colour art work is superb. The little hero wants to be big, but thanks to a supporting cast of giraffes, gorillas and alligators, he slowly learns the drawbacks of Bigness. My very favourite page is the one with an oh-so-smug expression on big brother's face because he CAN reach the cookie jar. Fun for kids and adults alike. (Hardie Grant Egmont are giving away 3 copies of Little Big.)

I Spy Christmas Riddle Book: I adore the I Spy books. Why? Well, kids love them. An I Spy book may be just the thing to lure a reluctant reader down the pathway to literacy. They're a great choice at Christmas time because they do double duty - as book and also as toy. Kids who enjoy puzzles will relish the rhyming riddles and more visual kids will have a ball poring over the Christmas-themed illustrations with a friend. While the photographs are not pitched specifically at Australians, most kids will recognise both individual details and spreads. I Spy Christmas makes a fun coffee table book that will have all generations joining in the fun. (Scholastic are giving away 5 copies of I Spy Christmas Riddle Book.)

The Nanny Piggins Guide to Conquering Christmas: When the latest Nanny Piggins arrived chez Chook, I grabbed it and gobbled it down faster than Nanny herself would have devoured a chocolate mud cake. The Nanny Piggins Guide to Conquering Christmas was written by R.A.Spratt and published by Random House Australia (2013.) This is THE chapter book to buy your kids who love to read and laugh at the same time. Charmingly interspersed with recipes and advice from Nanny P - rock cakes make great missiles, leave cake for the reindeer and carrots for Santa, tips on a properly unbalanced festive season diet - the Guide chronicles the further adventures of Nanny, Boris and the Green children. I hope teachers everywhere will grab a copy for their classes of 10-14 year-olds because there are so many wonderful parts to discuss and chortle over. (Random House are giving away 3 copies of The Nanny Piggins Guide to Conquering Christmas.)

Warning, Do Not Open this Book: I am here to say that author, narrator Adam Lehrhaupt, illustrator, Matthew Forsythe, and publisher Simon and Schuster (2013) have pulled out all stops to make Warning, Do Not Open This Book as funny as it can be. Kids will laugh out loud from end-paper to end-paper, chortling over all the exhortations to them NOT to turn the pages. The lovely quality of the book's paper further enhances the muted palette illustrations, illustrations that truly spring to life, urged on by the story's drama. Warning, Do Not Open this Book is a fantastic book to read aloud to kids, and one they will beg for at bedtime. (However I'm tipping "just one more" won't be enough!) (Simon and Schuster are giving away 3 copies of Warning, Do Not Open this Book.)

Giveaway conditions:
1. Open to Australian residents only.
2. One email entry per family/library for the giveaway.
3. There are multiple copies of different books in the giveaway but a random chicken will appoint a winner to a book. You and I have no control over which book you get if you win. If that doesn't suit you, please don't enter.
4. The giveaway is open for one week. Winners will be notified via email. Publishers will post books out when they can.

Giveaway directions:
1. Send an email 
2. On the subject line of your email write Chookeriffic Giveaway.
3. In the body of your email write your name and Australian postal address.

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