Friday 14 February 2014

Stories for Girls

Stories for Girls a selection of stories by Australian authors, illustrated by J. Yi (Random House Australia Children’s)
PB RRP $14.95
ISBN 9780857980861
Ebook ISBN: 9780857980878
Reviewed by Marian McGuinness

Who’s up for a story, or 12? This anthology of short stories is perfect for so many people. Young readers aged six to eight will laugh out loud, parents will rejoice at bedtime with the witty selection they can share with their children and teachers will be pestered by their students to read another story.

Jacqueline Harvey, Dianne Bates, Janeen Brian, Tania Cox, Claire Saxby – it’s a galaxy of writers presenting a stellar smorgasbord of stories about ghosts, glamour and games.

In Jess Black’s A Pony for Alice, there’s a wonderful unicorn connection. Maisie Dubosarsky’s short story tells of young Grace who wished so hard for long hair that it grew out the window. Just as well Mrs Finn, the violin teacher, had a great solution.

George Ivanoff is up to his usual funny stuff in his story of Ug the troll who wants to make a fairy pie as he ‘really, really liked eating … even people, when he could catch them.’

For dance enthusiasts, there’s Grace Atwood’s story of Arabella the ballet-dancing giraffe. Her perfect manners forbade her to show her long, blue tongue in company … ‘If she couldn’t reach the leaf with her lips, it was not the leaf for her.’

Challenges abound in David Harding’s Monkey Man. It’s the day of the Dad and Daughter school picnic and the permission note sternly states ‘No animals!’

In Deborah Kelly’s story about a pet rat, secrets abound– with a delightful twist on the theme of sibling rivalry.

There’s even a twist on fairy tales, as Martin Chatterton weaves his magic in The Tale of Handle and Kettle.

There’s so much to recommend this collection of short stories for girls. The stories are a great segue into chapter books with plenty of white space, large type and scatterings of illustrations by the quirky J. Yi (illustrator of the Alice-Miranda, Clementine Rose and Ghost Club series). There’s even a bio on each author at the end of the book with plenty of author goss.

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