'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Friday, 20 October 2017

Review: The Lion in our Living Room

In this delightful and playful picture book by Australian talents Emma Middleton and Briony Stewart, two young siblings, Tom and Tilly, eagerly await the arrival of a lion.

Will he come? Won’t he come? Will he come and play? 

Will the mighty lion come and play with us today?

Tom and Tilly excitedly wait. They search the house in case the lion is hiding. Dad says he’s off for a nap, and then…

A thump, a crunch and a roar, and the mighty lion comes though the door.

Review: ABCs of Mathematics

Are you thinking about introducing STEM concepts (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) to your toddlers and pre-schoolers?

Chris Ferrie's book,  ABCs of Mathematics, from the Baby University series, is one way for you and your child to begin exploring mathematics together.

The board book, ABCs of  Mathematics, introduces simple explanations of complex ideas. It includes concepts from addition to prime numbers and zero.

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Review: The Secret of Black Rock

Superstitions and preconceived notions don’t stop Erin from repeatedly attempting to stow away on her mum’s fishing boat, hoping for a glimpse of the Black Rock. But Archie her dog always sniffs her out.

Erin hatches a plan. She manages to outsmart Archie, and mum sails off with Erin aboard. A fog makes everything invisible.

Suddenly the Black Rock rises before them. The boat swerves and unnoticed, Erin falls into the water and mum sails away.

Erin sinks deeper and deeper into the dark sea. Strange sounds echo as the Black Rock, in reality a living thing, raises Erin to the surface.

Meet the Illustrator: Peter Papamanolis

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Quirky, humorous, fun with a dash of  story.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Good lighting, lovely music, sharp pencils.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
I love to work with colour pencils, black ink pens and gouache.

Name three artists whose work inspires you.
Graeme Base, Salvador Dali, Andrei Rublev.

Which artistic period would you most like to visit and why?
The Byzantine art era. This period is renowned for inspirational masterpieces creating 'windows to eternity' revealing the mysteries of death and life.

Wednesday, 18 October 2017

Review: Under the Same Sky

Britta Teckentrup never fails to take my breath away with her soft and soulful creations. 

Under the Same Sky is a timely book celebrating unity. It's a story of hope and beauty, looking at how we all love, play and dream 'wherever we are'.

Teckentrup gives us a glimpse at the natural world, at animals from birds and rabbits, to lions and bears, all living in vastly different habitats, but all sharing similarities as they look towards 'the same sky'.

Giveaway: The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse

A new comedy about a woeful mouse who is swallowed by a wolf and learns he is not alone...a duck has already set up a lovely little home. A charming story offering the signature wit and whimsy that readers of all ages have come to expect of Barnett and Klassen. 

Thanks to our good friends at Walker Books Australia and to welcome Mac Barnett's and Jon Klassen's hilarious new picture book collaboration, we have five signed copies of The Wolf, The Duck & The Mouse to giveaway. This picture book is sure to satisfy fans of fractured fairy-tales and fables and has been described as an 'unparalleled new literary comedy' by Children's Book Daily.

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

Review: The Tale of Angelino Brown

Bert has been a bus driver for ten years. Unhappy and disillusioned with life, and having lost his only child years ago, he lives a robotic life.

On a regular day, grumpy as usual, everything and everyone changes when a tiny angel appears in the top pocket of his jacket.

David Almond writes in metaphors. His deeply philosophical writing appears simple. I see it as complex, filled with meaning, and questions and answers that humans refuse to address.

The story’s themes are mixed and apply to the children and adult characters. Reflected are the lives of people forced to become who they’re not to prove themselves, in ways that go against their nature. Then there are the children that are forced by circumstance to survive without love, hope or adult supervision, and without the joy of a carefree existence.

12 Curly Questions with author Laura Bunting

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
My mum bought me a lucky rock from a shaman 15 years ago, and it comes along to anything important in my life – births of babies, job interviews, overseas travel. I’m not a superstitious person, but this rock is genuinely kind of freaky.

2. What is your nickname? 
Mo, courtesy of my husband (and co-book-creator) Philip Bunting.
He rarely calls me Laura. It had something to do with me mispronouncing the name of a monkey (a marmoset) when we first started dating – no idea why we were talking about marmosets though! That’s kind of weird.

Monday, 16 October 2017

Review: The Best Baking Book Ever

This fantastic baking book for children (and adults of course!) had me whipping out my equipment to try the recipes. It is child-friendly, full of colour, beautifully designed and set out from cover-to-cover.

I see it as a step-by-step words and pictures journey of discovery and learning. It’s aimed at kids that love to explore what is inside what they eat, especially yummy things like cookies, biscuits and cakes. It is the ideal starter book for kids who are interested in learning to bake.

It begins with the basics of baking by introducing the equipment and tools needed. The importance of preparing the ingredients before beginning is stressed, including weighing and measuring, and lining baking pans. It also teaches that one must clean the mess they make.

Guest Post: Georgie Donaghey on Clover's BIG Ideas

We are delighted to have Georgie Donaghey, author of Clover's BIG Ideas, visit KBR today. Join us as she reveals more about this cuter than cute little lamb.
Being the smallest in the paddock isn’t easy. Clover is always being teased. When three naughty lambs go too far, Clover and her big ideas step in. Discover how Clover shows being little makes her more determined and clever than they could ever imagine.

How did the idea for Clover’s BIG Ideas come about?
Clover’s BIG Ideas will speak to all who have endured teasing at some time in their life. I wanted to share that it doesn’t matter how we look on the outside, it’s what’s on the inside that counts. Clover showed through her passion, determination, courage and of course her BIG ideas, that by standing up to those naughty little lambs she is powerful.

Sunday, 15 October 2017

Review: Goodnight Baby Moon

What is it with little kids and pressing buttons?

See a button, they have to press it.

If this reminds you of a special little someone, you might like to check out Goodnight Baby Moon.

A lovely thick board book with a hard cover, Goodnight Baby Moon is a simple bedtime story about the different phases of the moon.

And, irresistible to little hands, a special button on the front cover lights up a gorgeous shadowy moon (seriously, the kids will never stop pressing this button).

Review: Someone Like Me

Were you a little girl who loved listening to stories? Who read books, watched the sky and listened for secrets?

This beautiful picture book captures the childhood of a writer. The child with big dreams and a big imagination who wonders in the world around her.

She sees the beauty that others miss. The sky through the branches, the geese flying against the clouds and the smell and feel of the earth.