Saturday, August 17, 2019

Maple the Brave

Chloe Jasmine Harris
Walker Books

From a debut author / illustrator (clever people they are) comes this delightful tale of conquering fears and is a wonderful fit for those fearful young.

Maple lives in a small home deep in the forest - no one knows how she got there or where she came from. Maple is also scared of almost everything and as a result has never left the safely of her tree house. But when the rain began to slow and the fruit began to wither Maple knew that she had to venture further than her treehouse - into the dangerous world that waited below.

The illustrations are appropriately soft for the gentle text and will be enjoyed by both readers and listeners alike.

Saturday, August 10, 2019


Maxine Beneba Clarke

Written and illustrated by the award-wining author of The Patchwork Bike, this new title is for the creative person in all of us.
It' about pyjama days, tracky-dak days, dress-up days, and dress-down days; wearing lipstick or denims knee-high brown boots, leggings or pants, patterns or stripes, clothes that are hand-me-down or those that are brand new; where one day you might be scruffy but the next you could be the smartest dresser in town.
No matter what you wear, nor how you wear it, it's about self-expression and YOU are a FASHIONISTA.

With the text structured in simple statements and art created using collage and watercolours, this is a book for anyone who wants to embrace their individuality and their independence. and would be a delightful model for creating a FASHIONISTA self-portrait.

Saturday, August 3, 2019

One Careless Night

Christina Booth
BlackDog Books

This is just wonderful. Hauntingly beautiful and evocative.

It is the story of the LAST thylacine, an apex predator that survived in the darkened Tasmanian bushes until a "Reward for Destruction of Native Tigers" was placed on their heads. This last Thylacine died in captivity one freezing night at Hobart Zoo when a keeper left the animal out of her shelter. But this Thylacine should not have been the last.

Captured from the wild where they hunted for food, a mother Thylacine and her pup are locked away in a forest of concrete and steel, waiting daily for food delivery, until the mother and then later the pup - the last known of its kind - die. That date was 7th September, 1936 - which is now the date of the National Threatened Species day.

The government notice included at the end of the books is telling and along with Christina's stunning but draining digital illustrations and rippling text, this book will force readers of all ages to consider our native wildlife and how they can easily become but a memory. And they may also ask why.

Friday, July 26, 2019

the Jacket

Sue-Ellen Pashley & Thea Baker
Black Dog Books

Here is the loving story of a treasured item - a jacket, that is
soft like a dandelion fluff
warm like the afternoon sun
comforting like a hug
and that has four dazzling buttons.

Like any treasured piece of clothing this jacket is worn everywhere but eventually this treasured jacket no longer fits the wearer. So it is passed to the next in line ... and is treasured once more. But eventually this too becomes too small for the wearer. Slightly worn, but still loved, this treasured time gets a new lease of life thanks to some very clever measuring and cutting and sewing.

The collage and paint creations used in this book creates a pleasing 'feel' to this is a warm loving story about life and treasures and change, about holding on, and letting go. Great for family sharing.

Friday, July 19, 2019

Kindness Makes Us Strong

Sophie Beer
Little Hare

How many ways can you show KINDNESS. In this colourful board book for young children, the numerous children in the pages of this book give just a few emaixples ...

  • a friendly hello.
  • sharing the path
  • taking the turns
  • and more.
And of course all the activities and displays of kindness, whether they are big or small, are very relevant for the children (and maybe a few adults too) that this book is created for. Bright colours, simple text and strong board pages all contribute to a book that should be shared and read by all families everywhere.

Friday, July 12, 2019

Young Dark Emu - a truer history

Bruce Pascoe
Magabala Books

I love this book .....
It is the long waited and much needed children's version of Bruce Pascoe's award winning and hugely popular title Dark Emu.

The beautifully presented book includes many extracts from original nineteenth century colonial diaries - many of which show that prior to colonisation the Aboriginal people had been working together actors the country to farm and care for the land. As Bruce says in his introduction "... I give examples of firsthand accounts, including diaries and illustrations, from early settlers and explorers. These eyewitness accounts showing how Aboriginal people lived at the time of colonisation provides a view that does not fit with the traditional idea of the Aboriginal nomadic hunter-gatherer.  Readers will see Australia as it was before colonisation. It will inspire investigation into the land, the animals and plants, and how the Aboriginal people were intertwined with the land. just a few snippets from the book:

  • Just as most Australian towns have cemeteries and sacred places today, so did Aboriginal villages.
  • European settlers saw fire as a threat. Aboriginal people viewed it differently.
  • Indigenous plants... do not require any more water than the climate supplies, no more fertiliser and no pesticides. 

With bibliography, picture credits and thorough index, this is a wonderful book to use for discussion - especially in this moment of constitutional reflection and inclusion.

and see this clip of Bruce talking about Young Dark Emu.

Saturday, April 20, 2019

Little Bird's Day

It's been a while between posts but here we resume.

And I am thrilled to reboot this blog that showcases some of the delightful books that come across our front portal with this new title from the wonderful Australian Indigenous press Magabala Books

Little Bird's Day
Sally Morgan and Johnny Warrkatja Malibirr 
Magabala Books

Some weeks ago, when I was sent this title I mentioned to the Magabala crew that this is the best book that they have created - it is one already one of my favourites from the past few years.
The story is deceptively simple - the universal story of a day in the life of Little Bird as she goes about her daily activities, starting with 'time to sing the world alive', before circling with the wind and travelling with the clouds, and being washed in the rain, before journeying with Dusk to roost. 
The art is really stunning using simple colours from a limited palette; so beautifully crafted and proportioned (endpapers and the textured cover grabbed straight away; very different to what we have seen before. The narrative within the artwork is worthy of its own close examination. The illustrator Johnny Warrkatja Malibarr is the inaugural winner of Magabala' Book's  Kestin Indigenous Illustrator Award

I know my wife absolutely loves this title too and has said that it is perfect for Year of Indigenous Languages … and has already promoted it through the librarian listserve that she runs, and another where she is a contributor too. 


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