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

Sunday, 24 September 2017

Review: Stitches and Stuffing

Carrie Gallasch's first picture book, Stitches and Stuffing is a memorable story about the relationship a little girl has with her favourite toy and her grandmother.

Adeline loved Bunnybear. She had always been with Bunnybear for as long as she could remember.

Saturday, 23 September 2017

Review: Pelle No-Tail Pulls Through: Book 3


Pelle No-Tail Pulls Through, the third book in this excellent series, again sees the nasty Mans following one direction in life; making trouble for Pelle No-Tail.

It’s March. Snow covers the streets. This doesn’t deter the jealous bully Mans from going out and stirring up trouble for Pelle, always using Pelle’s lack of tail as the centre point of each attempt.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Guest Post: Emma Middleton on Lions in Our Living Room


Today we are elated to have the beautiful, Emma Middleton share her thoughts behind her new picture book The Lion in our Living Room. This is Emma’s debut picture book as an author and we can’t wait to share it.

Tom, his older sister Tilly and their white dog Bessie excitedly wonder if the mighty lion will come to play.  When their dad has a nap after lunch, they eagerly await the lion’s arrival. However this isn’t an ordinary lion; this is daddy lion, who plays rollicking games and reads stories late into the night.  

News: A Big Year of Publishing for Kate DiCamillo in 2018


We have some exciting news from our friends at Walker Books Australia that fans of Kate DiCamillo will absolutely adore.

In 2016, two-time Newbery Medal winner Kate DiCamillo’s seventh novel, Raymie Nightingale, was published to overwhelming critical acclaim and debuted as a #1 New York Times bestseller. The deeply moving book about a summer of discovery and friendship went on to be a finalist for the US National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. The Walker Books Group is now announcing an exciting follow-up novel release by the author. 

Thursday, 21 September 2017

Meet the Illustrator: Jules Faber

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Crayon clutched in fist with tongue poking out in concentration!

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
My bookcases! I love books and comics and graphic novels. Being able to admire the spines in the frequent moments of just thinking is really inspiring.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Review: Irish Gold

Head of an Irish family of immigrants from Belfast, Daniel Toomey is a constable in the Port Phillip District during the gold rush of the 1850s. His son, sixteen year old Patrick, his mother and four sisters, are victims of his drunken brutality until it ends when Patrick finally stands up to him.

Seamus is Patrick’s best friend and like a brother to him. They work together on the docks unloading cargo. When the tyrannical Daniel is killed, the Toomey family’s life takes a turn for the better.

Review: On the Way to Nana's

An adventure across the Kimberley is told in playful, rhyming language, counting down from 15 to one.

The long journey takes us from Broome, through Fitzroy Crossing and Halls Creek, to the tiny town of Wyndham, in the far north of Western Australia, where Nana lives. It's a trip of more than 1000km and one the authors know well, having driven it many times with their own children.

Their exciting travels across the striking landscape are beautifully captured in this simple counting story.

Tuesday, 19 September 2017

12 Curly Questions with author Amanda Holohan

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
When I was a little kid I walked with my toes facing inward. 'Pigeon-toed', they called it. The doctors insisted I sleep with these ugly metal leg braces strapped to my calves every night for months. They looked like something out of a torture chamber. I wailed so much that eventually my parents stopped putting them on me. My mother booked me into ballet lessons. I was the clumsiest ballerina in the class, but pretty soon my feet straightened out all on their own.

Monday, 18 September 2017

Review: Bureau of Weights and Measures

We measure many things: quantity, height, weight, distance, and much more.

But how do we measure emotions? Can they even be measured?

In Bureau of Weights and Measures, a father who is an engineer determines he will find out. The story is told by his son.

The father, Marcel, works at the Bureau of Weights and Measures, and spends his days checking that measurements are correct.

Marcel has great belief in the importance of his job, as does his son. Nothing would make sense if measurements were incorrect. Imagine how much confusion there would be if weights and measures got mixed up.

Review: Why Can't I be a Dinosaur?

Nellie loves dinosaurs.

She loves dinosaurs so much she wants to wear her dinosaur costume to Aunt Daisy’s wedding.

Of course, Mum and Dad want her to wear her flower girl dress, so Nellie must try to convince her parents she absolutely needs to be a dinosaur.

Sunday, 17 September 2017

Review: Further Adventures of Pelle No-Tail: Book 2


It’s spring. Dog violets, blue and white anemones and Star of Bethlehem are in bloom. Birgitta makes a posy for Pelle and clips it to his collar. The posy is all that the wicked cat Mans needs to stir up the cat gang against Pelle once more. His modus operandi is pretending to be friendly towards Pelle to draw him out.

Pelle, having lost his tail to a rat when he was a kitten, brushes aside the continuous ridicule the wicked trickster Mans metes out.

Now living in the city with a loving family and his adoring Birgitta, Pelle accepts what he can’t change, and confidently tries to get along with all the cats he meets.  He is optimistic and friendly, and interested in everything and everyone, regardless of their differences or peculiarities.

Review: Tarin of the Mammoths: The Exile

Tarin's twisted leg means he can never join his clan's hunting expeditions.

As he watches the men prepare a final trap before the winter snows, his unstable footing spooks their prey.

The whole community is in danger of starving as a result.

The clan is desperate to survive. Some want to exclude Tarin from their group as punishment. Others believe they must make offerings to the Earth Mother, who is angry with them.

Tarin offers to make the treacherous journey to appease Earth Mother. He might not survive but it is his clan's only hope. So begins an action-packed prehistoric epic for Middle Graders.