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Isobelle Carmody

The Legend of Little Fur, book 1

Penguin Books Australia (2005)

ISBN: 9780670040933

Reviewed by Rachel Holkner (this review was first published in February 2008)

The first thing you notice on picking up the first of Isobelle Carmody’s Little Fur series is that it’s fuzzy! The small, hardcover book is bound in a soft velvety cloth which is warm to the feel. The entire book is a delight to touch and read, being small enough to hold in one hand, heavy and solid, and within, superbly laid out. In fact it won an Australian Publishers Association Book Design Award in 2006.

What’s more the contents of the book hold up to this seeming extravagance. Little Fur: The Legend Begins introduces us to the half troll, half elf creature who lives in a magically protected forest close to a city. Little Fur is a healer and uses her skills to cure animals which come to her injured or in sickness. But she has never left her forest, until the day she must seek help across the city to stop humans from burning down trees. Read the rest of this entry »

Kate Forsyth

Pan Macmillan (2005)

ISBN:9780330421935

Reviewed by Rachel Holkner (this review was first published in July 2007)

Kate Forsyth’s Dragon Gold is a novel for younger readers that takes most of the staples of fantasy writing (dragons, princesses, pirates, flying carpets) and smooshes them into a plot that, if nothing else, will prepare the audience for Harry Potter.

Ben wishes for a dog more than anything in the world. After a long and convoluted argument, in which the focus changes from wanting a pet to wanting money, he figures that what he really needs to realise his wish are wizardly powers. A run in with a talking cat enables him, and Ben, younger brother Tim and best friend James, set out to find some dragon’s gold. The plot twist here hinges on a grammatical error that may be missed by young readers. Ben inadvertently wishes for dragon gold, whereby one appears and whisks away James’ younger sister. Read the rest of this entry »

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