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Showing posts with label SallyMurphy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label SallyMurphy. Show all posts

Tuesday, 28 August 2018

Looking Up - Sally Murphy and Aska

Looking Up
Aska (Illustrator)
ISBN 9781925164572
eISBN 9781925164602
ASIN B06XDVCT4G


I have been a fan of Sally Murphy's works for a half dozen years now. The problem is, is that, many of them are not available in North America. When I came across this one, I was very excited that the eBook edition was available in Canada at the same time the physical book was published in Australia. In the three books I have read by Sally Murphy she has a way or penetrating to the heart of a matter. And this book hits on the hearts mark. 


This is a very powerful book, in part because in society today we could see these events happening. A child caught in a struggle either between parents or between parents and grandparents. Part of the description for this book is:

"Looking Up by Sally Murphy is a moving story about family, forgiveness and the stars. Pete lives with his Mum. His dad lives far away and, as far as Pete knows, that's all the family he has. Until one day, just before Pete turns ten, a birthday card arrives in the mail with stars on the front and signed 'Love, Grandad'. Mum reveals the card is from her own father, but when she won't give Pete more information he decides to locate this mysterious Grandad for himself. Pete and his best friend Tyler use the phone book to find Grandad and even visit his home. When Grandad insists they need Mum's okay to meet, Pete spills all to Mum."


It is not a long book, and it has wonderful illustrations by Aska. But it is the story that has the most impact. Pete has loved the stars his whole life, and all he really wants for his birthday is a telescope. But days before his birthday the mysterious card appears, addressed to Pete, and he never gets mail. The writing he does not recognize, and when he reads the card and it is signed 'Grandpa' it sends his mind reeling. So, he decides to take matters into his own hands. And that is when he slowly learns the whole story.

This story captures what a child can feel and experience in the middle of struggle between adults. It also captures what happens when people say things in pain and hurt, and those issues get left unresolved for years. It shows how we can make mistakes in our grief, mistakes that will haunt us for a long time to come.

This book is masterfully done. It is just so sad that we need books like this. Another excellent read by Sally Murphy and as mentioned the illustrations by Aska are wonderful.


Books by Sally Murphy:
Verse Novels
Pearl Verses the World, illustrated by Heather Potter
Toppling, illustrated by Rhian Nest James

Picture Books
Snowy's Christmas, illustrated by David Murphy
Pemberthy Bear, illustrated by Jacqui Grantford
The Floatingest Frog, illustrated by Simon Bosch

Chapter Books
The Big Blowie, illustrated by Craig Longmuir
R is for Rolf, illustrated by Trevor Pye
Bugged, illustrated by Stephen Axelsen
Stuck, illustrated by Stephen Axelsen
Doggy Duo, illustrated by Teresa Culkin-Lawrence
Look Up, illustrated by Aska

Educational Titles
Two Tricky Tales
Marty's Birthday
Buzzy Fly
Be Careful
Remember Me
Over the Fence
Sonoran Desert Animals
The Extraordinary House
Icecream
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
Desert critters
Frogs: Awesome Amphibians
Aussie Authors
Aussie Authors 2
Writing the News
Speak Out
Speak Up
Spellbound
The Book Book
Assembly: Poems to perform

Friday, 3 August 2012

Toppling - Sally Murphy and Rhian Nest James

Toppling
Sally Murphy (Author)
Rhian Nest James (Illustrator)
Candlewick
ISBN 9780763659219

Having only read one Sally Murphy book before this one, I was not sure what to expect but knew I expected a lot. This book blew away even those high expectations. Two things grabbed my attention, the title and the cover. But the story was so much more than that. A few years ago I did a course in university on grief literature for children. It was a great course with a number of very good books. To be honest this one is better than most from that course. I read it to my son and though he is 4 and a half he did not get it all but he loved the book and the illustrations. This is a book that is now amongst my all-time favorite children's books and I cannot give it a higher recommendation than that.
It is a story about friendships, about illness, and about change. It is mainly the story of John and Dominic. They hang out in a group in school and then Dom gets sick. Dom has cancer and they do not know if he will live. John is afraid he will die. Between visits to the hospital, treatments and growing up, this is an amazing story. It was incredibly well written and illustrated. It will touch the hearts of all who read it!

Books by Sally Murphy:
Verse Novels
Pearl Verses the World, illustrated by Heather Potter
Toppling, illustrated by Rhian Nest James

Picture Books
Snowy's Christmas, illustrated by David Murphy
Pemberthy Bear, illustrated by Jacqui Grantford
The Floatingest Frog, illustrated by Simon Bosch

Chapter Books
The Big Blowie, illustrated by Craig Longmuir
R is for Rolf, illustrated by Trevor Pye
Bugged, illustrated by Stephen Axelsen
Stuck, illustrated by Stephen Axelsen
Doggy Duo, illustrated by Teresa Culkin-Lawrence
Look Up, illustrated by Aska


Educational Titles
Two Tricky Tales
Marty's Birthday
Buzzy Fly
Be Careful
Remember Me
Over the Fence
Sonoran Desert Animals
The Extraordinary House
Icecream
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
Desert critters
Frogs: Awesome Amphibians
Aussie Authors
Aussie Authors 2
Writing the News
Speak Out
Speak Up
Spellbound
The Book Book
Assembly: Poems to perform


(Note: I received an electronic galley of this book through NetGalley, courtesy of Candlewick. The book was read on my iPad. As per my general disclaimer, free books have no impact on my review.)
 

Saturday, 23 July 2011

Pearl Versus The World - Sally Murphy and Heather Potter

Pearl Versus The World
Sally Murphy (Author)

Heather Potter (Illustrator)

Candlewick

ISBN 9780763648213


The title of this book grabbed my attention immediately. I think all of us at times feel like we are living "versus the world". The book was a wonderful surprise. The story is wonderfully written and charmingly illustrated. This book would make a great text for a children's lit course at university, or to help prepare children for a loss or after a loss.

Pearl is part of a family of 3 - she, her mom and her grandmom. But her Grandma is forgetting who she is, and it is getting harder for her mom to look after her gram. At school Pearl feels like she is in a group of 1; she is not in the sporty boys' group, the ballet girls' group, the library kids' group, the bus kids' group or even the rough kids' group. But as the story progresses she realized things are not always as we perceive them. The story written and told from Pearl's perspective in a mix of rhyming and non-rhyming verse is very moving and touching. It is an amazing little book and I plan to recommend it often.

Books by Sally Murphy:
Verse Novels
Pearl Verses the World, illustrated by Heather Potter
Toppling, illustrated by Rhian Nest James

Picture Books
Snowy's Christmas, illustrated by David Murphy
Pemberthy Bear, illustrated by Jacqui Grantford
The Floatingest Frog, illustrated by Simon Bosch

Chapter Books
The Big Blowie, illustrated by Craig Longmuir
R is for Rolf, illustrated by Trevor Pye
Bugged, illustrated by Stephen Axelsen
Stuck, illustrated by Stephen Axelsen
Doggy Duo, illustrated by Teresa Culkin-Lawrence
Look Up, illustrated by Aska


Educational Titles
Two Tricky Tales
Marty's Birthday
Buzzy Fly
Be Careful
Remember Me
Over the Fence
Sonoran Desert Animals
The Extraordinary House
Icecream
Who Wants to Be a Millionaire
Desert critters
Frogs: Awesome Amphibians
Aussie Authors
Aussie Authors 2
Writing the News
Speak Out
Speak Up
Spellbound
The Book Book
Assembly: Poems to perform

(Note: I received an electronic galley of this book through NetGalley, courtesy of Candlewick. The book was read on my Kobo eReader. As per my general disclaimer, free books have no impact on my review.)