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About Carole's Reviewing...

As well as being a writer, Carole is a keen reader with a particular interest in children’s books. One of the specialisations in her Master of Writing and Literature was children’s literature, and in particular, the picture book.

When it comes to writing a review, with her knowledge of theory, and being a writer for children herself, Carole is switched on to the many nuances of this crucial area of literature. Whether it’s delving into how an author deals with the storyline, the characters, the point of view – or how the ideology behind a text is likely to impact the child reader – Carole has the keen eye of a competent reviewer.

Carole has been a regular reviewer for Magpies and runs her own review blog, Ruby Rainbow Reviews.

Read Some Excerpts From Carole’s Reviews.

…this is a book that is not afraid to call the shots when it comes to the complexity of human frailty and the messiness of everyday life. Sometimes it isn’t only bad decisions and their inevitable consequences that cause a life to spiral out of control; fate deals an unfair blow more than once in a while. This work shines a light on the power of love to transcend hopelessness while refusing to shy away from the gritty reality of the power of despair. A gutsy book about teen suicide that will leave you both reeling and buoyed by the promise of beginning again.

Jennifer NivenAll the Bright Places

… a master storyteller. Her prose is penetrating and fresh; it’s clever, spare, and poetic, sometimes given over to the feel of a verse novel. Her use of allegory in the various retellings of the fairy tales works exquisitely. Her characters are real, and the outworking of their motivations creates entirely believable and substantial subtext.

You won’t want to put this book down once you begin. Discomforting but utterly compelling. An ending you absolutely were not expecting. Once We Were Liars gets into the hands of its YA audience, it will market itself.

E. LockhartWe Were Liars

The visual impact of the book is immediately appealing. The text is broken up with a diverse array of illustrations into manageable chunks, a new story element introduced and featured on each double-page spread. The illustrations feature photographs of the time, paintings, political cartoons, diagrams and sketches. The book also features break-out segments that define terminology for the child reader, and includes a short glossary at the back. The background sepia tones and variation in fonts contribute to the accessibility and aesthetic of the work.

A criticism of this text is the cursory glance it gives to the original and subsequent impact of colonisation on the Indigenous population, and the dubious title of the first page opening/chapter: ‘A Name Without a Nation’, which, in this context, lends weight to an unfortunate subtextual reference to the assumption of terra nullius and its violent consequences (which the book does not address).

Net BrennanAustralian Federation: One People, One Destiny

The Carousel is dream-like, limitless. It is as veiled and ethereal as it is unbridled and jubilant. Written in rhyme and meter in constrained quatrains of iambic tetrameter, an almost restless contrast is established between the free-spiritedness of the story-line and illustrations and the verse.

This delightful read-aloud picture-story book, in which a small girl on her horse dares to hope and dream, invites readers to search for the imagination within themselves. It is engaging and enlivening and will appeal to young readers and their teachers and parents alike. Older children will enjoy the story and its themes of freedom and enchantment at a different level.

Ursula Dubosarsky & Walter Di QualThe Carousel