Kids Books Reviewed: Alice Miranda and Exploding Endings!

Good news stories in book publishing land can be rare these days - which is why I was so thrilled to discover that one of my favourite South Coast bookshops has launched a publishing house that in just two years already has a dozen titles to boast about! 
Exploding Ending Bk 1 Painted Dogs and Doom Cakes
Founded in 2012 by local South Coast Bookshop owners, Michelle and Garry Evans, the Harbour Publishing House is producing some great looking books that are making their mark, explosively!

Their range of titles is imaginative and diverse - already including a luscious children's picture book by well known author, Di Morrisey. 

Joining the current colouring craze, they are soon to publish an illustrated for colouring version (complete with the FULL TEXT!) of Alice in Wonderland. Garry assures me that more titles in this format are planned. I can't wait to get my hands on them! Stay tuned. 
Another of their titles, already in its second print run, is Exploding Endings Book One: Painted Dogs & Doom Cakes (the first in an oncoming trilogy). I read it before my kids managed to wrestle it from me. They devoured it with gusto! From raining lemonade and mass detentions to terrorising dentists and marauding kids doing what they love best (marauding!) this book is laugh-out-loud fun! 

If your kids aren't particularly keen readers and the semi-graphic based style of wimpy kids and Big Nate have appealed to them in the past, then they might just love this collection of short stories and amusing scribbles. Surely the faintest possibility that it might provide you with a rare quiet moment in the school hols as they curl up in a corner to read will make it worth the purchase price? 

The author, primary school teacher, Tim Harris, showcases a good mix of kid's mischief and mayhem to cause if not explosive chuckling under the covers, then definitely a snort or two! I have visions of him writing his stories (during class) with his expert insight in to exactly what makes kids laugh. 

Home grown publishers and risk takers dedicated to producing quality books deserve our support. Check out Harbour Publishing online to buy from them today. 

Next, for all the girls (and boys) hanging out for the latest instalment of Alice-Miranda adventures, Alice-Miranda in the Alps does not disappoint (not sure Jacqueline Harvey could disappoint her loyal fans even if she tried!). 

Alice-Miranda in the Alps 12, Jacqueline Harvey

Here's my ten-year-olds reaction to the book. 

Eleanore's Review:

When A-M and her friends venture to the Swiss Alps to ski, sightsee and experience the white turf racing event, not everything goes as planned. 
For instance, when the Baron - a friend of the Highton-Smith Pennington Joneses, shows up unexpectedly after being uncontactable for months on end, it seems their establishment, the Grand Hotel Von Zurchy will need to be closed. Not only that but why does the new skiing group wear backpacks as heavy as themselves and refuse to teach any lessons? Can A-M work out the culprits before disaster strikes? 
I thought that A-M in the Alps was a book packed full of suspense. It kept me guessing and every time I thought I'd identified the baddies, another lot would take their place. 
I especially liked the eccentric Otto Fanger and his dog, Gertie, and all of their matching diamonds. A-M and her friends learning to ski and snowboard was hilarious. The bruises - ouch!
I rate this book 9 out of 10 stars because it is awesome in every way. I'm already hanging out for the next adventure! Oh and I've asked Mum for the 2106 A-M Diary for my birthday. Fingers crossed!!

Happy Reading! 


  1. Thanks for your lovely review Eleanore! I hope you get your Christmas Diary :) Best wishes, Jacqueline Harvey

    1. Eleanore is thrilled you saw her review - thanks JH! (and yes, she is getting the diary! :-))

  2. What a fantastic review! Thank you for taking the time to post such thoughtful words. :-)


    1. It's a pleasure Tim! I've donated the book to the school library of my kids, and we look forward to the next instalment of Exploding Endings!


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