Kisses, Rats and More Angels

These books were reviewed on ABC Radio Canberra Drive Show with Louise Maher on Tuesday December 7 2010

Books reviewed by Deborah Abela, National Literacy Ambassador and

Author of Max Remy Superspy series, Jasper Zammit (Soccer Legend) series, The Remarkable Secret of Aurelie Bonhoffen and Grimsdon.





Samuel’s Kisses written by Karen Collum and illustrated by Serena Geddes

(New Frontier Publishing)

Picture Book for pre-schoolers

Sometimes small ideas can be so very, very big. Samuel is a small boy who loves being with his mum…especially when she goes shopping. But this smiley young thing becomes a little confused when he sees other people don’t seem to love being out and about as much as he does. So when he’s in the line at the post office with his mum and sees the lady tapping her foot and staring at her watch, he decides to change things. Samuel blew her a kiss. ‘It flew under the table, over the greeting cards, between the envelopes, around her legs and landed on her cheek with a loud ‘SPLAT!’ The lady gasped but her foot had stopped tapping and she stopped looking at her watch and she started playing peek-a-boo until the reached the front of the line. In the supermarket there is an equally glum woman whose shoulders were droopy and feet were heavy, but after another flying set of kisses she too found herself smiling and juggling oranges. So it goes, until Samuel is tucked into his car seat and quickly falls asleep. With his mum in the driver seat, she blows him a kiss that sails over the seat and through the shopping to land on his cheek without a sound.

Walker Stories – Series

(Walker Books)

Early independent readers

This series started in the UK and are now being added to by Australian and New Zealand authors and illustrators. With their simply illustrated pastel-coloured covers and their catchy stories divided into three chapters, these books are great for young primary aged kids finding their reading feet. The range of stories is wide and fun, including Mr Tripp Smells a Rat by Sandy McKay and Ruth Paul about a lovable, joke-telling teacher with a clever nose, Kasia’s Surprise by Stella Gurney and Petr Horacek about a young girl and her homesickness for her native Poland and The Lost Treasure by Jan Stradling and Cassandra Allen about three young pirates in search of treasure. This series is a great way to guide young ones into confident independent readers with a giggle along the way.


(Harper Collins)

Young Adult Fiction

Mercy is a young girl who ‘wakes’ to find herself on a bus full of high school students.  She is on the way to the small town of Paradise but is having trouble remembering who she is, who she likes and dislikes, and how she is supposed to act. No one knows it yet, but Mercy is a fallen angel, expelled from heaven for a crime she has yet to remember and a host of angels are out for revenge. Forced to inhabit the bodies of earthly beings, she works her way into their lives, each time trying to discover who this person is and what her role will be in their lives. Each body is a new beginning and new exercise in what it is to be a teenager on earth. This time Mercy inhabits the body of Carmen, a talented but insecure singer in a choir she feels unworthy to be part of. Two years previous, a young brilliant singer called Lauren disappeared and Mercy has been billeted to stay with her family, who are still deeply traumatised. Lauren’s brother, however, is convinced his sister is still alive and, despite everyone’s advice to move on, he won’t stop looking for her. He and Mercy form an instant bond and with Mercy’s angelic powers of seeing into people’s past by touch, they’re determined to find the truth of what happened to this young girl all.