A DEESCRIBE REVIEW – SNOWY’S CHRISTMAS – written by Sally Murphy & illustrated by David Murphy

Snowy's Christmas cover

Snowy's Christmas cover

Reading Snowy’s Christmas made me realise that Christmas is not all that far away. And how refreshing it was to be welcomed into the world of an Australian Christmas….where there is no snow, only snowy white kangaroos.

In Snowy’s Christmas; Snowy, a white kangaroo struggles to fit in with the rugged red members of his species. Then on Christmas day, a visit from a mysterious stranger turns his world around.

Snowy’s Christmas is not just about Christmas, but about finding your place in the world.

It’s a truly Australian Christmas story with Aussie animals and landscapes. The tale is beautifully told by Sally Murphy, and David Murphy’s bright, funny illustrations give the book extra bounce.

Snowy’s Christmas is definitely one for the Christmas stocking.

Snowy’s Christmas

Written by Sally Murphy

Illustrated by David Murphy

Published by Random House Australia

ISBN: 9781741664409

RRP:  $19.95


MONKEY FIST – by Sandy Fussell – A DeeScribe Review

Monkey Fist cover


Monkey Fist

By Sandy Fussell

Published by Walker Books Australia

ISBN: 9781921150913

When Sandy Fussell’s fourth Samurai Kids’ book, Monkey Fist arrived in my letter box this week I confess that I felt a combination of excitement and guilt.

I interviewed Sandy and main character Niya on my blog http://tips4youngwriters.wordpress.com when Monkey Fist was first released on 1st August. After that intriguing interview, I couldn’t wait to sit down and read this book – that was the exciting part.

The guilt was due to the fact that my own ‘writerly’ activities had kept me so busy that I’d run out of time to read Samurai Kids number 3, Shaolin Tiger. Fortunately, as I soon discovered, it doesn’t matter whether you have read all or none of the Samurai Kids’ books, Monkey Fist is a book you can enjoy in its own right.

When Kyoko, one of the Samurai Kids is kidnapped, the others must examine their own weaknesses, and call on their greatest strengths if they are to set her free. Although Monkey Fist features the well-loved characters from the previous books, it is very much a complete adventure on it own.

There were so many things to engage the reader in Monkey Fist; the action, the endearing characters, the tension, and the visual descriptions of places and events. Sandy is meticulous in her attention to detail and Monkey Fist is another thoroughly researched book that takes the reader into an amazing world.

One of the things I find most appealing about the Samurai Kids’ books is that they are able to dispense great wisdom without talking down to, or overwhelming their readers.

Whether they have read all or none of the Samurai Kids series, children aged 8-12 (and beyond) will find Monkey Fist a gripping and thought provoking experience.



I’m so excited to be posting my first review of Letters to Leonardo on my blog.

The review was done by Margaret Hamilton AM of Margaret Hamilton Books and Publishing Services. This is what Margaret had to say about Letters to Leonardo:


“I started reading Letters to Leonardo and couldn’t put it down. I was so wrapped up in Matt’s world, I was moved to tears a couple of times. There’s a good balance of angst and serious relationship issues, interspersed with touches of humour and insights into the teenage world and especially this troubled family.

I think it’s particularly effective that the whole story is not told in the text, that snippets of Matt’s story are told only in his letters to his favourite artist, as though he finds it far too confronting to even reveal these problems to the reader. These letters add another dimension to the story and also reveal very interesting insights into Leonardo’s life and work. Matt knows him well.

The book is written in a straightforward style and while it doesn’t shy away from the seriousness of Matt’s situation and his relationships, it doesn’t get bogged down and overly bleak. Although it hasn’t got a chocolate box ending, the resolution is satisfying and reinforces the need for honesty and compassion in families.

It’s about life and it moves on, as we all learn that life does. ”


Margaret Hamilton