Children’s Book of the Week: Ode to Icky by Maranda Russell


Mungai and the Goa Constrictor banner

Another great find!  This week’s featured work is the delightful, Ode to Icky by Maranda Russell, which will undoubtedly appeal to young children and parents alike. With its lovable and lazy protagonist and its very resourceful heroine, I think many a young reader may be set to thinking about how to bulk out their pocket money – so keep a vigilant eye on the pets!

Ode to Icky by Maranda Russell - Illustrations by Nicolas Peruzzo - Book cover - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa ConstrictorAbout the Book                                            

Geared for ages 4-9, this is a cute, funny picture book about a stinky cat and a little girl who finds a way to cash in on her pet’s hygiene issues.

About the Author 

I am a 29-year-old foster parent, children’s writer, poet and writing teacher. I am a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and of the Western Ohio Writers Association (WOWA). I spend most of my time reading, writing, hanging out with my family, playing with my 5 cats and organizing author presentations & writing workshops at schools... read more about Maranda

My Review of Ode to Icky  

Ode to Icky is a well-constructed story about a creative and resourceful little girl and her ‘banished to the backyard’ cat, who is, to say the very least, somewhat lax about his personal hygiene. Candy, the little girl, inspired after smelling the
newly purchased perfume of an older sibling, comes up with a money-spinning plan to utilise the disgusting Icky’s odour by turning it into ready cash. Sneaking up on Icky to put the plan into action is the simplest part, due to the fact that the cat is so lazy, all he does is eat and sleep all day. The rest takes a bit more imagination.                                           The wonderful illustrations, placed on every page, can almost tell the story by themselves, which is good for small children unable to read yet. Though I am quite sure many parents WILL be reading this to their children. So either way, the story will be delighted in by all.                                                                                                                                             Maranda Russell’s tale of Ode to Icky is sweet and funny, and will no doubtless be enjoyed by many a young child. Thoroughly enjoyable!

Amazon review from C. Chapman

“Creativity is at its best here. Candy is no doubt my hero, what’s a girl to do when a problem arises? Solve it creatively of course. Occasionally it does come with a few setbacks. Candy is a free spirited innovator who takes matters into her own hands to make the best out of an already stinky situation, until consequences rears its ugly head. However, Candy strikes me as the type who will learn from her mistakes but she won’t let it stifle who she is at heart. A free spirit. I enjoyed this wonderful story. Once again hooray for Ode To Icky.”

Get your copy on Amazon                See more books by Maranda Russell                Website        

Picture of Icky from 'Ode to Icky' - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

He hated doing anything other than sleeping

Picture of Candy and Icky from 'Ode to Icky' - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

Candy sat down beside him and quietly cut off some of
Icky’s stinky, matted-down hair.

Advertisements

Spooktacular Giveaway Hop


Spooktacular Giveaway Hop on Mungai and the Goa Constroctor

This is the Spooktacular Annual Blog Hop with over 500 Bloggers participating and hosted by ‘I Am A Reader, Not A Writer’ and TheDiaryofaBookworm. Click on the first link to find all the other Blogs and the masses of  other giveaways.

So… welcome Spooktacular hoppers et al!  Thank you all for dropping by. Since this is my very first big hop, I thought I would keep it simple, and  I know you all have a lot more Blogs to whizz over to. So here goes…

I AM GIVING AWAY 4 Paperback copies of Mungai and the Goa Constrictor (US only) to 4 random  commenters.   The winners will be announced on November 1st.

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor Book Cover

‘Beware of predators in the guise of friends’

Wouldn’t it be perfect to get everything you want in life without lifting a single finger or claw!  Mungai thinks it would, and goes all out to get it in a humorous tale of greed, consumerism and the environment… and fermented apple juice!

Told through the eyes of animals, the reader is taken on a compelling journey through the jungle, together with a wealth of colourful and enjoyable characters, conspiracies and the unlikely friendships forged between the various species of the animal kingdom.

A timeless tale for children and adults alike

An excerpt from Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

They journeyed on, getting deeper and deeper into the jungle, and then changed tack and veered towards the edge, but not in the direction of the two-legs. They were, in fact, quite far away from them when they eventually managed to track down the mysterious monkey.

They caught a fleeting glimpse of him, just as he caught a glimpse of Hogbog, and watched in awe as he disappeared with unparalleled speed.

“Wow!” said Bodger. “Did you see that?” he asked anyone who was listening. “No wonder he’s never been captured.”

“Hogbog,” called Caw-Caw. “You’re on again.”

Hogbog scurried round in circles near the spot where they had last seen him, and within minutes was on the trail again.  He forged ahead, sniffing and snuffling after his quarry, refusing to be beaten (after all, he did have a reputation to uphold) until finally, there above him, in the highest part of a tree, sat the Oracle.

Good luck with the Giveaway  🙂

Children’s Book of the Week: Old Man Gapu’s Bark Painting by Kyle Maplesden


Mungai and the Goa Constrictor banner

It was the simple illustrations of Old Man Gapu’s Bark Painting which first caught my eye, especially the portrayal of the gathering round the camp fire at the ceremony. The well-chosen genre of naive art makes the perfect partner for a tale of primitive customs and legends. What could be better – in simplicity there is often perfection!  And, as you will see from my review below, I thought the story was pretty good too!

Old Man Gapu's Bark Painting by Kyle Maplesden - Book cover - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa ConstrictorAbout the Book

In Northern Australia’s Top End, when Old Man Gapu needs to illustrate the important creation story he’ll be singing about at the upcoming ceremony he sets out to harvest some tree bark to paint on.  Follow Old Man Gapu as he journeys into the forest to collect the supplies needed to create his story-telling masterpiece!

About the Author

Kyle Maplesden grew up in Canada where his interest in the world’s indigenous peoples was sparked by childhood visits to First Nations Reservations in Ontario. An intensive, lifelong study into the art and culture of indigenous tribes ensued with a defined focus on Australia’s Aboriginal peoples. Read more… 

My Review of Old Man Gapu’s Bark Painting

The first of Kyle Maplesden’s books, Old Man Gapu’s Bark Painting, tells the short and enjoyable story of Old Man Gapu as he searches for bark in the forest to make a painting for a forthcoming ceremony.                                                                                                                 After despatching his friend Luku to seek the materials needed to make a didgeridoo, Old Man Gapu sets off to the forest to find a tree to cut bark from for his painting. He decides only the Stringybark tree will do, so he selects the right one and proceeds to cut the bark in a way handed down through the generations. He then prepares the bark for the paint. At this point we have already learnt about early instruments, location and traditions, and primitive bark painting techniques.                                                                              Bit by bit, we see Old Man Gapu complete his handsome painting and go on to the ceremony to sing the ancient Creator legend of Wititj, the Olive Python, with Luku accompanying him on the didgeridoo he has made.                                                                         Knowledgeably told with charming illustrations, Kyle Maplesden’s short, educational and entertaining tale will delight any child.

A Review of Old Man Gapu by Adam Bard

Kyle Maplesden’s children’s books Luku Makes a Didgeridoo and Old Man Gapu’s Bark Painting are beautifully illustrated educational stories told with a warmth and kindness that makes them accessible to all ages, as enjoyable for the parent to read as the child to follow. It was really only after finishing and thinking about the stories for this review that I realized we learn about the aboriginal culture in the best way possible, the way they themselves pass on learning generation to generation: though the pleasure of story telling. I hope these books reach the huge audience they deserve and that Kyle Maplesden has more stories for us from Luku, Old Man Gapu and many other characters we’ll come to know and love. Buy and enjoy.

Get Your Copy on Amazon         See More Books by Kyle Maplesden         Website

An illustration of Gapu painting his bark - from Old Man Gapu's Bark Painting - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

Gapu starts to paint his bark for the ceremony

An illustration from Old Man Gapu sitting round the fire at the ceremony -Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

Gapu sings at the ceremony as Luku plays the didgeridoo

Children’s Book of the Week: A Father’s Wish – the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat by Christine Corretti


Mungai and the Goa Constrictor banner

 

I am extremely honoured to be able to share the work of fellow children’s author, Christine Corretti, here on my website. Christine is exceptionally talented. As well as authoring the delightful  A Father’s Wish – the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat, the first book in the King Big Bear the Fat series, she has also created all the illustrations for the same, by hand.

‘About’ – Courtesy of Christine Corretti

King Big Bear's Castle - sample image: Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa ConstrictorDiscover a unique world of fantasy, enchantment, beauty and learning for all ages in The Chronicles of King Big Bear.  Here, you will meet a royal figure who is hundreds of years old, but who never grows old!  The king will take you on a journey throughout history and even show you what his present day life is like.  As you shall see, his realm is filled with riches, and he is blessed with many animal friends and family.  It is no wonder that King Big Bear is called the Father of Nature, for he is deeply inspired by all things living and believes his duty is to protect and nurture life.  He wishes you will do the same.  Come in and explore the world of King Big Bear the Fat!

My Review of A Father’s Wish – the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat

A Father’s Wish is an enchanting tale about conservation and the protection of wolves. It is filled with adorable animal characters, save one, and beautiful illustrations. King Big Bear the Fat, our hero, starts to feel something is missing in his otherwise perfect life. With a little inadvertent help from his sister, he soon realises just what this is, and goes on to adopt a very lovable wolf cub. Unfortunately things don’t quite turn out the way he hopes. I found myself needing to read on in the hope of a happy ending here.

I would recommend this book for children of all ages. Parents are sure to enjoy reading this to smaller children and those old enough to read it themselves will, no doubt, take great delight in it. Definitely a 5 star read!

Read more reviews on Amazon                      Buy on Amazon                     Website

The King reading in his castle - An illustration by Christine Corretti

A Father's Wish - the Tale of King Big Bear the Fat - Book Cover - Children's Book Review on Mungai and the Goa Constrictor

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor


Mungai and the Goa Constrictor - A children's book by Amelia E Curzon - Banner

Action, adventure, humour,deceit, friendship and environmental awareness – all in one!

Wouldn’t it be perfect to get everything you want in life without lifting a single finger or claw!  Mungai thinks it would, and goes all out to get it in an heroic tale of greed, consumerism and the environment… and fermented apple juice!

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor is a children’s book best suited to ages 9 to 90. Told through the eyes of animals it tells of conspiracies and the unlikely friendships forged between the various species of the animal kingdom. It’s a story filled with action, adventure, humour, deceit, friendship, tolerance and environmental awareness.

Mungai, a plausible and resourceful creature of indeterminate origin, and with a penchant for easy living, finds a soul mate in Goa; a lisping, greedy, self-serving  Boa Constrictor. Having explained to her ‘the usefulness of the lesser species’ and his highly profitable master plan to find ways of passing through life without too much cost to himself and as little effort as possible, and at the expense of others  not as strong-minded or as clever as he is, Mungai seduces Goa into joining him in his venture.  Captivated by Mungai’s mind-set, Goa conspires with him to go in search of innocents to implement these designs.

A timeless tale for children and adults alike

Read all the Book Extras

Find Mungai on Facebook

Buy on Amazon

Mungai and the Goa Constrictor - A children's book by Amelia E Curzon - book cover