Reviews about Susan’s books

The following are reviews offered by parents, teachers, carers, professionals working with children and app reviewers.

Click on the icon to go to reviews for each book or scroll down the page. Enjoy!
Farmer Blake Application It's Fly Application Hog and Frog Application Grover Bill Application Lyrebird Park Application Matilda Application Scaredy Cat Application Aunt Lou Application

Reviews for the Books as a Series

"Top notch in beautiful illustrations, storyline, expressive narration, rhyming text, the many interactive activities and child friendly navigation.

Both my boys, 3 & 6, love these apps. They remain engaged and have great replay value.

As a parent, I especially love the "Guide Notes", they are so helpful and insightful.

We now have 5 apps from the series and they have been a wonderful addition to our digital library.

I would HIGHLY recommend this app!"
Kate Stinnet .. parent and app reviewer

Hi Susan, the books were super easy to download to my iPad!

They are fantastic stories. The illustrations make the stories come to life.

The best part for me, however, are the activities - and they are printable!!!!

Thank you so much! The children in my Year 2 class will love these stories!
Michelle ... Year 2 class teacher

My 3.5 year old girls just love the stories, they are able to easily navigate through the book pages and enjoy the activities... I found them to be very educational.

My 9 year old son also enjoyed having a go. He's in 3rd grade at the moment and so he used the I'll read button and he read the stories to me. The illustrations are fun and I like the way the story teller has a clear speaking voice.

I am hoping that these apps will give my girls a great start when they start kinder next year.

Kelly Hunt ... mum of 3 children

I am loving your apps. I had my 5 and 7 y.o. reading Hog And Frog while we were waiting for their swimming lesson and they were in stitches. Love everything about these books and will send some proper feedback soon plus a review on my blog.

I really do love your work and it is so exciting to see great Australian content coming into the AppStore.

Sarah DeBellis ... parent and app reviewer

For full and independent reviews of these books, please visit On Sarah's iPad, a review site for children's apps - "A Mum's guide to Apps, eBooks, and other mobile media".

Reviews for Hog and Frog

This title is available in printed format: big and small books as well as digital format.

Hog and Frog"I have purchased E books for kids in the past and have not been entirely impressed. This was a new experience for me and I WILL use this book with the kids.

It's a quirky, fun book with great illustrations and easy language for kids to be able to read. Well done, Susan!"
Review by Katrina Davy
Katrina Davy,
Speech Pathologist and Author

This is a great rhyming book.

We love the fact that the hog is trying so hard to be a frog. All the quirky little things he does throughout to try and prove to frog that he really is a frog.

It is well written and we love the twist at the end.

Sharon Turriff ... parent


Reviews for It's A BAD Day To Be A FLY!

It's a Bad Day to be a Fly!
"This book is both fiction and non-fiction rolled into one. One is the story of Mr. Sty trying to catch a fly and the other is of an information text on how to be a fly. The layout is different with the instructions on one page and the story on the other.

Interesting words are used such as pesky, annoying and ridiculous: words that young children love the sound of and will use time and time again!

Visually stimulating and an appealing text to boys, who, if anything like mine, do not like Princess stories but love the idea of swatting a fly!

The text is presented in a range of styles and colours that allows children the chance to experiment with expression.

This book could easily be used as an extension book to develop writing skills and a range of genre. Children can see writing has many different purposes through this book."

Sarah Shuttleworth ... a parent, teacher & school headmistress: United Kingdom

Several of my children have enjoyed Hog and Frog. My five year old said her favorite part is when Hog makes himself green!

My youngest child, age 4, is deaf, and so I was signing the book to her in ASL. The story is very visual, and she was able to easily understand and enjoy the story and she giggled a lot.

My elementary school age children enjoyed the twist at the end of the story when Frog decides he wants to be a hog!

By far their favorite illustration was the one where Hog says "Oh no! A BIG problem! They loved that illustration!

One of my older daughters read the story, and she enjoyed it as well. She thought it was funny, and she enjoyed all of Hog's attempts to make himself into a Frog.

Lori ... mum of 9 children (ages 4 thru 14)


Reviews for Farmer Blake and Sneaky Snake

Farmer Blake and Sneaky Snake

"This e-book is a personal favourite of my five year old son who regularly reads it on the Ipad.

The pictures are clearly presented with excellent facial expressions (hens and Farmer Blake). There is a lot to read within the pictures, items to count, finding Sneaky Snake and the characters are brought to life by their expressions and the use of colour. The pictures allow developing readers an opportunity to be a part of the story and lead to much discussion about the characters, about right and wrong and about feelings.

Speech within the text is coloured and easy to distinguish from the story, enabling young children to clearly locate speech and use expression when reading those sections. The repetition provides a safe platform for the hesitant reader to be able to join in with the story and actively take part.

The cross curricular links made evident at the end of the book provide a huge range of activities to support learning at a variety of ability levels. This is so much more than a story and on the big screen is a powerful visual learning tool. A story to encourage all abilities to enjoy books and reading."

Sarah Shuttleworth ... parent, teacher & school headmistress: United Kingdom

"Farmer Blake" is a very engaging storybook app that tells the tale of a group of chickens that lay eggs every afternoon, but then nap in the evening, and they are gone! When he comes to collect the eggs every day, Farmer Blake is as confused as the poor chickens, who are so very proud of their eggs. Eventually, the chickens devise a very clever plan to catch the egg thief in the act, and the farmer makes them a giant chocolate cake! This eBook makes wonderful use of rhyme and alliteration, which makes it so much fun for for children to read or have it read to them, in the "Read to Me" option. This app also has activity pages that can be printed out. It is packed with fun for early readers!

Angie Gorz ... parent and app reviewer


Reviews for Lyrebird Park

Lyrebird Park

I love each story! They are very well written and enjoyable to read.

I had never heard of Lyrebirds so it was nice to read a description about them before reading the story.

The story lines held the readers' attention in each story, wondering what was going to happen next. They were enjoyable, new and fresh! I truly loved reading each and every one of them.
They hold your attention, offer suspense and a excitement in turning the page to keep reading, and the illustrations are well drawn and colored! They are adorable and perfectly match each story!!

Kelley Hornberger


Reviews for Grover Bill and the Geckos

Grover Bill

"As a child this is a fantastic book to hear read and as an adult it is an easy book to read. The rhyming structure ensures a poetic resonance as the words just bounce off the tongue. It has a rhythm that is easy to pick up by children and a pattern that affords children the pleasure of enjoying it. It also allows children to predict what word may come next and turns a book into a language game.

The vibrant use of colour over the grey wash in the story provides an excellent visual spectacle and is vibrant on a big or small screen. This is an e-book that visually and aurally sticks in the mind!

An excellent story to extend a child's knowledge of verbs as the words chosen are interesting and different. Again this leads to discussion on other verbs of interest!

The author continues to provide a range of fun educational activities at the back which support learning across a range of subjects."

Sarah Shuttleworth ... parent, teacher & school headmistress: United Kingdom

iPad App Review of Grover Bill and the Geckos:

Another excellent book by Stories and Children which is colourful, happy, fun and delightful...giggles are assured!

iPad Family's Rating: 10 out of 10!

For the full independent review, you'll find it at the iPad Family

I read Grover Bill...
It is absolutely adorable. I love it!! It is very colorful, wonderful graphics, yet simple. I love how you added the music to help teach the adjectives used in the book.

Laura Hartwig ... parent

Grover Bill and the Geckos has a wonderful storyline.

My daughter calls the geckos naughty throughout the whole book. She thinks they are very naughty walking the paint everywhere throughout the house.

When it gets to the end of the book, she is thrilled with the rainbow as she now calls the house.

The greyscale at the start of the book is great especially when you see the remarkable difference at the end.

A very well thought out and executed book.

2 thumbs up for this book

Sharon Turriff ... parent

Another wonderfully written and colorful book for children and parents.

Well thought out story and useful resources for parents to assist their children's comprehension and literacy development.

ALWAYS check out the Menu tab before you start the story. You can print out the parent handouts to guide you. Thanks, Susan.

Katrina Davy,
Speech Pathologist and Author


Reviews for There's Something In The Bush, Matilda

Review by Katrina Davy

"This is a sweet E book that I read on my iPad for the first time yesterday. I then used it with one of my clients, a Pre- Primary student, to develop her vocabulary of Australian animals. I chose the 'Read to Me' option and my client very much enjoyed the story telling style. It was very engaging!

I loved the pictures of the Australian bush, the beautiful Australian animals and the story that was simple enough to embed new vocabulary, such as Australian animal names that kids may not know so well such as 'Jabiru'.

The activities at the end of the book are fantastic, once again. Susan Syddall has created another wonderful book with activities. 4.5/5 stars, particularly great for Aussie Kids and other children who'd love to learn about Australian animals."

Katrina Davy,
Speech Pathologist and Author

Reviews for Reviews for There's Something In The Bush, Matilda
There's Something In The Bush, Matilda
"If you are learning about Australia or animals in different habitats this is a great book, A simple story similar to 'Brown Bear, Brown Bear' but with the addition of counting, interesting verbs and prediction skills. It is easy to follow by the smallest children (counting) and a great introduction to Australian animals.

My five year old son enjoyed guessing what animal it would be from the little clues on each page and, as the animals were not familiar to him, we then spent ages looking at and describing the type of animal. This then led to more research and so would be a great learning tool within a classroom.

The addition of different verbs adds to the learning and enables children to develop their own sentences. A good book to focus on questions and question marks.

The pictures are simple and clear and effective in adding to the soft, calm feeling this book provides."
Sarah Shuttleworth ... a parent, teacher & school headmistress: United Kingdom

iPad App Review of There's Something In the Bush, Matilda:

Matilda is a great Aussie Counting and Activity Book with suggested teaching topics for children of all ages.

iPad Family's Rating: 10 out of 10!

For the full independent review, you'll find it at the iPad Family

"There's Something in the Bush, Matilda" follows an adventurous young girl through through the Australian outback, where she encounters one new creature hiding after another! This lovely storybook app is beautifully illustrated, and reinforces counting. In my experience, when stories are formatted in this way, children remember them, as well as the content that they learn from them! This app is also fun for children who are not from Australia because they get to learn about animals that they may not be familiar with, which is always a treat! The way the the story is illustrated is whimsical and engaging as well. For example:when Matilda sees four Possums they are all swinging together from a tree. There are also 10 activity pages that go along with this story! There is one to fit every age group, in my opinion. There are "Read to Me" and "I'll Read" option, as well as the ability to hide the menu from your child, which is a huge plus! I would recommend this wonderful app to any other parent. I know my discriminating child certainly liked it!

Angie Gorz ... parent and app reviewer

Absolutely loved this book. We live in the bush and my daughter really related to it well and she had great fun counting the animals and guessing what they were.

Her only complaint was about the parrots where she said they were not all parrots ... that one was a cockatoo and one was a galah, (she was unsure of the others). We had to explain that they were all part of the parrot family.

This book is excellent for teaching counting and for teaching children about Australian wildlife.

Sharon Turriff ... parent


Reviews for Scaredy Cat

Reviews for Reviews for Scaredy Cat

"This book is awash with learning possibilities. Aside from being an interesting and well presented story, it is an excellent book for dealing with childhood fears. Things that we are scared of both in reality and in fantasy can be discussed using this story.

The constant use of a clock enforces time awareness with an hourly change.

The descriptions are excellent in putting ideas into your head which are then reinforced by the clear and hilarious illustrations.

Adjectives are colourfully displayed and speech is clearly presented.

The use of repetition helps the younger reader feel more confident to join in.

A great book to help develop vocabulary with a range of interesting words and synonyms.

On screen the book comes alive as the illustrations offer up a variety of discussion points: the little bird who appears on every page, the facial expressions of the cat and mouse and the thought bubbles.

Young children have a stimulus to extend their knowledge of adjectives whilst at the same time considering rhymes, telling the time, feelings and emotions and a whole range of other opportunities."
Sarah Shuttleworth ... a parent, teacher & school headmistress: United Kingdom

To say that I loved this App, the story, the activities and parent suggestions is an understatement!

I applaud Susan for this story as she so cleverly told the tale of a cat being brainwashed while he was sleeping to think that the mouse was some kind of crazy, scary creature to fear! It was humorous, clever and divinely written. And yes, I am a cat lady. You all should know this by now- but I'm a particularly picky reader. Well done, Susan. 5 stars today!

Katrina Davy,
Speech Pathologist and Author


Reviews for Aunt Lou's Cockatoo

Reviews for Reviews for Aunt Lou's Cockatoo

A Truly Unruly Birthday

Love stories that have an Australian theme. I love the illustrations in Susan Syddall's stories especially this one and "It's a BAD day to be a FLY". I can barely draw stick people.

Really appreciate the use of Foundation font in the activities Word Hunt, and Sounds, as this font is used in schools in many states throughout Australian (so I believe) including my own.

I like Activity10 - the maze. My 7yr old found the first level 'easy peasy' but it 'freakedâ' him out when I first showed him to hardest level. Haha, it was funny. So I'm saying it has something for all ages.

Also funny, as I'm typing this review from the next room I can hear Mr 7 singing "titter and tatter, that's what I can do", his version of the song that repeats occasionally throughout the story, haha so funny. (Giggling to myself now.) So do you think that means he likes the book? Yep! I reckon so.


Lyndel ... parent


Reviews for A Plucky Australian Platypus

Reviews for Reviews for A Plucky Australian Platypus

A Plucky Australian Platypus hasn't been released yet ... but it will be out very soon!

Keep an eye on this space for upcoming reviews.