Books On Tour

Books On Tour is another opportunity for me to read great books and review them. Books on Tour Banner

Romi Sharp and her boyThanks, Romi Sharp for inviting me. I’ll be posting my reviews of the books on this page and linking it to Facebook.

Follow after me by Allison Marlow Paterson – 
Allison is the author of the 2016 ABIA and CBCA notable title
Follow after Me Cover final (1)Anzac Sons: Five Brothers on the Western Front, the children’s
a version of the adult title Anzac Sons. Her children’s picture
books Granny’s Place and Shearing Time are inspired by childhood memories of life on the farm. Australia Remembers Anzac Day, Remembrance Day and War Memorials was published in 2018 and is the first in a series.

Allison was a recipient of a 2017 May Gibbs Children’s Literature Trust Creative Time Fellowship which directly contributed to the publication of Follow After Me. Previously a teacher-librarian,
Allison now works full-time as a writer and presenter in schools

Now I have read ‘Follow after me’ here’s my review. I read this book quickly and enjoyed it, especially the moving Australian War Memorial scenes.Follow after Me Cover final (1)

Lizzie Windridge is a typical teenager living on a farm in a rural community. Self-obsessed and vulnerable to manipulation, Lizzie pretends everything is going well with her new friend Ashleigh who prompts her to follow the drop-dead gorgeous football player Brandon. Her grades are slipping and ignoring her former friends is getting easier. Her older brother Mark is always getting in the way. His friend Nick is on the football team too. She spends more time watching Brandon play than visiting her ailing Grandmother. When she is asked by her mother, then her grandmother, to read letters left at the old house on the farm, Lizzie is reluctant to act. The old house is creepy with its musty smells and original furniture still there like a time capsule.

One hundred years earlier Evie is in love with Tom who is the youngest of five brothers who live on a neighbouring farm. Her father is a staunch Irishman and does not approve of the blossoming romance. When the World War breaks out young men in the district are signing up to join the campaign battle. Evie knows that Tom has enlisted to be with his brothers, and she gives him a small key to carry with him as a token of her devotion.

When Lizzie is rescued by her brother Mark and his friend Nick from a devastating situation, she starts to turn her life around. She knows now that Brandon is the son of the Bank Manager threatening to foreclose on the family farm. She also realises how reading the letters from the past can help her find her own place in the world. The expensive school excursion to Canberra is a welcome escape. Mark helps her parents pay for the trip as he wants to help his sister. Nick is on the school trip too. Can she face him as he knows the horrible truth? Lizzie learns a lot about her family history, the battles and the tragedy that her great grandparents endured while exploring the War Museum with Nick. Allison Marlow Paterson bio pic

Evie lives through the tragedy that her neighbour’s family suffers, losing young men who never return from the battlefront. She faces her challenges in finding her own way in the world with meddling from her father causing her anguish. Will she find love again once the survivors of the War return home?

I read this book quickly and was swept along with the historical references and story of the Windridge family. Allison has written compelling accounts of the battles in horrendous conditions of World War One. Only at the conclusion of the book in Author Acknowledgements did I discover the research is based on her own Marlow family history. The vivid battle conditions and terrible loss of life suffered by rural Australian families. I will now need to read Anzac Sons: The Story of Five Brothers in the War to End All Wars.

The Apostrophe Posse coverBook Review by Jill Smith©Mar19

Title: The Apostrophe Posse

Author: Teena Raffa-Mulligan

Publisher: Sea Song Publications

It all starts innocently enough. Cam and Ellie go shopping for school shoes with their mother. Jimmy Leeds is painting a sign for the Baker’s shop. Mrs Terry, their mum, points out that Jimmy has missed putting an apostrophe on the sign. Jimmy can’t see it.

Cam forms a group they call ‘The Apostrophe Posse,’ just like in wild west movies, he and Ellie, with their friends Billy and Louisa, will go out to fix the signs in Tea Tree Bend. Their school will start again in a few weeks and it must be done before then. The Apostrophe Posse head out after dark when no one can see them. That’s the plan. What could go wrong? Well, it turns out, lots. teena with picture book

Louisa’s little sister Lindy wants to help. They don’t want her to mess up their plans. When she wakes and follows her sister, what can they do but let her tag along? That’s a big mistake. While working to fix the signs, accidents happen. Before they know it, they are in big trouble. The local newspaper headlines say businesses are calling on the authorities to apprehend the vandals and have them prosecuted.Teena Raffa-Mulligan bio pic

This is a slim volume of seventy pages that invites young readers on a humorous adventure. Teena writes a story that will engage children in an entertaining way. It leaves them with a simple message – be honest, ask for help and apostrophe’s matter!

Teena writes a variety of books including Juvenile fiction and Poetry, Picture Books, Chapter Books and Romantic reads. For more about her visit her website.

TAP-WiN-long competition logo

On Your Marks. Get Set. WIN!

Kids! This challenge is for you! Fix the apostrophe mistakes for a chance to WIN a paperback copy of The Apostrophe Posse by Teena Raffa-Mulligan!

Books on Tour Blog Tour- Solo Dan by Teena Raffa-Mulligan and Kym Langfield

Books on Tour Blog tour – Solo Dan

I’m thrilled to be part of this blog tour. Today is the first day.

Daisy Lane Publishing: Picture Book helps children understand the value of family and relationships.


Teena Raffa-Mulligan writes whimsical and quirky stories for children of all ages and her publications include poems, short stories, picture books and novels. Her writing life has also included a long career in journalism, during which she has written countless articles on all manner of subjects and edited magazines, anthologies, and newspapers. She now spends her days creating stories and sharing her passion for books and writing by presenting writing sessions to encourage children and adults to explore the world of their imagination.


Kym Langfield has always loved to paint and draw, her style is warm and joyful. Kym lives with her small tribe of humans who bring her endless inspiration as do the students she teaches. If she’s not hunched over her drawing table madly scribbling her marvellous creations, Kym loves exploring the beach and nature.

I loved this picture book. The illustrations go hand in hand with the story beautifully accompanying Dan in his travels. I believe children will identify with the feeling of not belonging. They may be comforted by the feeling of hope and reassurance as Dan learns that change can be good. This book is aimed at young children from four years up who may be in a non-traditional situation.

This is my review:

Book Review by Jill Smith©Nov20

Title: Solo Dan

Author: Teena Raffa-Mulligan & Kym Langfield

Publisher: Daisy Lane Publishing

Dan is on his own. He is telling himself that he doesn’t need other people.

Zac’s uncle takes him fishing. Dan would rather catch rain on his tongue.

It’s like a circus when Pete’s cousins visit. I’d rather clown around on my own.

Ellie and Amy are best friends. They swap lunches, clothes, and secrets. I’d rather tell my secrets to the wind.

Dogs can be a disaster. Cats can cause chaos. I can do without that.

Brothers are a bother… And sisters are silly. Who needs them?

But is that what he really thinks?

Solo Dan goes from being ‘Solo Dan’ to ‘Lucky Dan’. This is a delightfully illustrated book with a message of hope. People who are willing to offer a home to children give kids who have lost hope and family, someone, they can rely on and turn to. The change from a solitary life to a family makes all the difference and makes lives complete.

Please keep following the blog tour, to learn more about Solo Dan and exciting announcements. – Jill