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

Wednesday, 25 April 2018

Review: A Wrinkle in Time

I’m sure most of you know by now that the classic book, A Wrinkle in Time, has been made into a movie, which is currently gracing our screens.

This new movie edition of the book features a movie inspired cover, an introduction by the director of the movie, Ava DuVernay, and a fascinating Afterward by Charlotte Jones Voiklis, the granddaughter of Madeliene L’Engle.

However, this review is about the book. The one that has been loved by generations of children since its publication in 1962. The book that was a trailblazer in science fiction and that tackled the big questions of science and spirituality in a way no one had dared do before.

Review: Red House, Blue House, Green House, Tree House!

This is a must have picture book.

Entertaining, engaging and fun, kids will delight in the rollicking rhyme, funky illustrations and interactive elements the story delivers on every page.

There are colours to guess, things to count, questions to answer, objects to compare and…

A teeny tiny mouse hiding on every page! 

He’s the star of the book, and the kids will wage war with each other to get to be the one to point him out.

Tuesday, 24 April 2018

Review: Message in a Sock

Kaye Baillie and Narelda Joy create a heartfelt story about wartime, absent parents, wanting to do something to help and finding connection.

Narelda's clever use use of textiles from the time immerses us in the early 1900s. I can almost feel the bunny's felt jacket, the tiny ridges in mother and daughter's tweed coats.

Pieces of cloth twisted in the sleeping girl's hair opened up a world of questions about life at the time, too.

Over this background of authentic imagery, Kaye opens our hearts to feel a little girl's longing.

12 Curly Questions with author Anita Selzer

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
As a child, I didn’t read much regretfully, but have tried to make up for it as an adult.

2. What is your nickname? 
Ani is my nickname that my family call me.

3. What is your greatest fear? 
I fear readers will not see the layers of my writing and discern the many themes underlying I Am Sasha, published by Penguin, 2018.

4. Describe your writing style in 10 words. 
It is economical, simple in narrative, primarily written from the heart.

Monday, 23 April 2018

Winners: Mother's Day Picture Books

Here are our lucky winners.

Congratulations to:

Denise Wardrop WA
Louise Brooks QLD
Joseph Spagnolo NSW
Bronwyn Saunders ACT

You have each won a gorgeous picture book prize pack including, Grandma Precious, Hide and Seek With Mum, Oh So Many Kisses, Can I Cuddle the Moon? and Supermum.

Thank you to ALL who entered. We wish you and your mothers a divine Mother's Day filled with many warm wordy moments.

Review: Teen Reads Around The World - Part 2

Happy World Book Day! In Part Two of our Teen Reads Around the World showcase...

Here's a snapshot of current and classic best sellers from Germany, Norway, Austria, Switzerland, China, Japan, the UK and the Philippines.

It's wonderful to research YA fiction around the world and identify trends, mass appeal and cultural influences.

Featured in today's post is a variety of smart YA, life-affirming stories, contemporary realism, as well as a touch of horror and teen thrillers. Great to know what's happening around the globe.

Sunday, 22 April 2018

Giveaway: Chaos Walking Trilogy 10th Anniversary Series

To celebrate Patrick Ness' visit to Australia next month, and the tenth anniversary of the Chaos Walking Triology, the good people of Walker Books Australia are offering a set of anniversary editions of the series plus an anniversary T-Shirt, design chosen by Patrick Ness. All you have to do is tell us, in 25 words, what you love about Patrick Ness.

Review: Found in Melbourne

Found in Melbourne is not only a counting book and a pictorial guidebook of the city, Melbourne, it is a story about friendship.

Counting wise, children will enjoy being able to count; trams, koalas, magpies, clocks and butterflies. They will also learn about Melbourne, named the most liveable city in the world in 2017, for the seventh year in a row.

Guidebook wise, the story highlight's landmarks and attractions of Melbourne and some of the tourist locations surrounding Victoria's capital city; Phillip Island, Dandelion Ranges and The Great Ocean Road.

Saturday, 21 April 2018

Review: Wild

From Emily Hughes, the creator of The Little Gardener, comes another thoroughly enchanting and stupendously beautiful title.

The production quality of this title is just incredible. I have come to adore finding new titles published by Flying Eye Books, who have a knack for pairing unique stylised artwork with high quality papers and in this case a delicious cloth binding. The end papers alone left me swooning and I'll admit that I'd love to hang most every page of these illustrations up on my walls at home for endless hours of perusal.

Junior Review: Ghosts

In the book Ghosts, Catrina has just moved to a new town called Bahia de la Luna in California because her little sister, Maya, has breathing problems and the doctor said that the wind could help with that. 

One gloomy day they set out to explore the town and meet this crazy boy called Carlos. He tells them that there are ghosts in the area and that, if you give a bit of yourself, then you might be able to talk to them. He totally creeps Catrina out, but Maya just wants to go and find them.

This story really inspired me that you don’t have to see something to believe its real. The book really moved me, and I thought that it was one of the best books I’ve ever read! I would recommend Ghosts to girls aged 8 – 12.

Title: Ghosts
Author: Raina Telgemeier                         
Publisher: Scholastic US
Publication Date: 13 September 2015, $12.59
Format: Paperback
ISBN: 0545540623
For Ages: 8 - 12
Type: Graphic Novel

Friday, 20 April 2018

Review: Digger

A toy kangaroo, two little girls and an Australian soldier bring to life the heroic battle for Villers-Bretonneux, on the Western Front, in this heart-wrenching picture book.

When her big brother, James, goes to war, Annie stitches the name Digger to her toy kangaroo and gives it to James as a parting gift.

Digger and James travel across the sea to the trenches of the Western Front, in the infamous World War I battle of Villers-Bretonneux. Digger provides comfort for James, even accompanying him into battle.

Review: Alfred's War

Just like so many other young Australian men, Alfred enlists to serve in World War I for adventure and travel.

A young indigenous man, with no citizenship rights in his own country, Alfred finds comradeship and equality in the army.

He returns to Australia injured and finds a country still unable to embrace civil rights, or even honour his sacrifice.