Archive for August, 2018

ROCKET RUCKUS

Sascha Martin’s Rocket Ship

Written by John Arthur Nichol

Illustrated by Manuela Pentangelo

 

Sascha Martin is a second-grade genius. One day he brings a rocket ship to class and places it on a table with a sign that says, “Do not touch.” Well, you can guess what happens when one of the students pushes the button. It launches into space creating all manner of havoc in the school. The rocket tears holes in the walls, the roof, and damages the athletic fields. It carries a few teachers as well as Sascha into the atmosphere to the horror of the those watching from the ground. Will they successfully return to earth?

This book is part of a series about the exploits of Sascha. It is written in rhyme, which sometimes appeared a bit off, though these rhymes could be peculiar to Australia. Illustrations are delightfully clever and sharp. My rating was lowered in part because the book contains a few errors in punctuation and grammar, but many middle-grade students who enjoy science fiction, adventure, and humor will find it an easy and enjoyable read.

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AUSTRALIAN JAUNT

Austin the Australian
Written by Christopher Boeckman and Ethan Freeman

Austin is a schoolboy with a vivid imagination and a yen for travel. On this particular day, Austin is imagining that he is transported to Australia for the day. He takes his readers on many journeys including riding on a dirt bike, surfing, deep sea diving, and hiking as he traverses the continent. Austin meets a native friend named Alinga and explores with her. They discover indigenous creatures like koalas, kangaroos, sugar gliders and emus.

This book is richly illustrated with simple, bright images that invoke lots of details. The whole story is written in rhyme that works for the most part. Targeted for children in grades one through six, I feel it is particularly appropriate for grades two through four. It provides an introduction to life in Australia.

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