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

Thursday, 25 May 2017

Review: John Ronald's Dragons

When I heard there was a picture book about JRR Tolkien, I just had to have it!

Tolkien was the master of fantasy. He brought Middle-earth to life in the imaginations of generations of children and adults alike, taking us on a journey to Mordor and introducing us to hobbits, elves, dwarves and wizards.

But who was he? What was he like as a child? How did he create these amazing worlds which encompassed us, enveloped us and transported us to another realm?

Wednesday, 24 May 2017

Review: The Thank You Dish

Trace Balla has done it again, creating a sweet and whimsical picture book with a gentle social conscience.

It's dinner time and Grace and Mama are giving thanks for the varied ways they came by their meal. Mama starts with simple things, thanking the rain, soil and sunshine. But Grace has a surprising list of thank yous, from kangaroos (for not eating the carrots) to roadworkers (who fixed the path so they could ride to a stall to buy corn and kale).

Review: That Bear Can't Babysit

Mr and Mrs Burrow have been invited to a party, but they have SEVEN little bunnies and no one wants to babysit.

Well, no one except Bear.

With a few concerns about Bear's abilities, but no other options, Mr and Mrs Burrow reluctantly leave him in charge. But can Bear babysit? 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017

Review: Goldilocks and the Three Potties

Hi Leigh Hodgkinson, it's me, your biggest fan-girl.

To everyone not named Leigh Hodgkinson, if you enjoy quirky, fresh picture books, then stop wasting time!

Don't even finish this sentence. Go to your local bookstores and snatch up one of her books! Now!

12 Curly Questions with author RA Spratt

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I like to espalier fruit trees.

2. What is your nickname? 

3. What is your greatest fear
Permanently psychologically scarring my children.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
Stunningly brilliant comedic insight into human behaviour with hilarious dialogue.

5. Tell us five positive words that describe you as a writer.
Super-model beautiful. Very funny.

Monday, 22 May 2017

Review: Alex Approximately

Bailey aka Mink is falling for Alex, her online film fan buddy – big time

Knowing that Alex is on the other side of the country helps her to relax and be more completely herself than she could in real life. After all, she's never going to meet him in the flesh, right?

When Bailey moves to Alex's Surfside town in California to live with her Dad, she decides not to tell Alex straight away. What harm can there be in checking him out first?

Then there's Porter with his sculpted surfer torso and shoulder length ringlets. It's almost hate at first sight. Then something odd happens. The high energy that fuels the fiery arguments between Bailey and Porter fuses into passion.

Review: Boy

This is the tale of a village, a king and his knights, and a dragon.

Perhaps more importantly, it's also the tale of a young boy who teaches everyone how to live in peace and without fear.

The boy, who is never really named, cannot hear and communicates through his 'dancing hands' and by drawing pictures.

He's unusual in his community and they don't understand him, mostly ignoring him.

Sunday, 21 May 2017

Review: My Body Belongs to Me: From My Head to My Toes

The topics of body protection and sexual abuse prevention can seem very intimidating to approach with young children.

There are a number of great resources available to help lead families through these conversations, while guiding parents and caregivers in answering the more difficult questions that may arise.

My Body Belongs to Me is a great resource to start from around three years of age, to teach children about their rights to privacy and safety when it comes to their own bodies.

Review: Origami Finger Puppets: Fun Origami for Pinkies, Pointers, and Thumbs

Looking for advanced origami creations?

Origami Finger Puppets: Fun Origami for Pinkies, Pointers, and Thumbs is Muneji Fuchimoto’s newest origami book. 

He began to create origami designs after being inspired by a project in his son’s kindergarten class. Fuchimoto’s other origami books include Robogami and Origami Racer Kit.

Origami Finger Puppets provides instructions for readers to create twenty-five finger puppets. The puppet characters come from popular fairy tales; Little Red Riding Hood, The Three Little Pigs and much more. The book also contains directions for few finger puppets for Christmas and Halloween. Twenty-five sheets of paper are included so you can begin your origami straight away.

Saturday, 20 May 2017

Event: Library and Information Week & National Simultaneous Storytime

From Monday 22 May until Sunday 28 May, libraries across Australia will be celebrating Library and Information Week.

Library and Information Week aims to raise the profile of libraries and librarians in Australia, and showcase the many and varied resources and services that libraries provide to the community.

The week is organised by the Australian Library and Information Association to promote the value of reading and literacy, the importance of Australia's book industry and the role of libraries.

The theme for Library and Information Week 2017 is 'Celebrate', and we encourage you to celebrate by visiting your local library and borrowing plenty of books to show your support! If you're looking for appropriately themed books, check out our libraries book list.

If you have young children, be sure to ask about National Simultaneous Storytime, which will be held on the morning of Wednesday 24 May for the 17th year. This year, the book being read to hundreds of thousands of children across the country is the hilarious The Cow Tripped Over the Moon, written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Laura Wood.

Review: The Star-Touched Queen

Princess Maya is seventeen and her horoscope has deemed her cursed from birth. Set in India, she leads a solitary life in her father’s palace, shunned, yet safe in the knowledge that she receives solace and happiness in her books. 

Who would want to marry someone to whom marriage will only bring death? That changes when her father arranges a marriage to Amar and she will become the queen of Akaran.

It is a forced marriage arranged by her father in the hope of averting conflict between the kingdoms. Hurt and bewildered, Maya has no choice but to obey her father.

Friday, 19 May 2017

Review: Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them

This brand new, hardcover edition of Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an encyclopedia of all the magical creatures you could want to know about, all that populate the Harry Potter universe.

Anyone familiar with Harry Potter will know that Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them is an approved textbook at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. And if you've seen the recent Fantastic Beasts movie adaptation, you'll find the creatures from the movie in this book.