Author: Admin

Robert Vescio (text) and Joanna Bartel (illustrator), The Art of Words, EK Books, April 2021, 32 pp., RRP $24.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925820843 The Art of Words is a visual feast and joyful celebration of those wonderful things called words. Children will enjoy the playful exploration of this topic in this beautifully illustrated book. Robert Vescio highlights some of the many things that words can be: big; little; colourful; ugly; shortened; extended; reversed; stand for something else; brilliant and plain. Also, how they can be used with punctuation, created; collected but best of all strung together to make stories. In my opinion though, the…

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Hélène Rajcak (text) and Damien Laverdunt (illustrator), Fossils from Lost Worlds, Walker Books, March 2021, 72 pp., RRP $37.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781776573158 This oversized information book uses graphic visual techniques to encourage children to explore the detailed information and link these to the images on each page. The timeline reconstructions of strange creatures such as a walking whale to the headless sea worm to the gentle diplodocus have a stylish finish with the combination of ink line drawings and an earthy colour palette. The text is a mix of facts and humour with a sprinkle of scientific names in the…

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Alexander Kaufman (text) and Mariana Rodrigues (illustrator), Earth’s Aquarium: Discover 15 Real-life Water Worlds, Walker Books, June 2021, 80 pp., RRP $44.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781913520090 Earth’s Aquarium is a beautiful non-fiction/reference book which explores 15 real-life underwater habitats, and the creatures that call them home. The large book is almost A2 in size and has 80 pages combining beautiful illustrations with encyclopaedic text. The foreword explains that the purpose of this book is to give readers a place to start connecting with our water worlds. The accessible text does just that, introducing readers to dozens of aquatic creatures, from minuscule…

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Mark Wilson, Rachel’s War, Hachette Australia, May 2021, 32 pp., RRP $26.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780734420114 Rachel grew up on a farm in rural Victoria where she remained, after her parents’ early deaths, until she went to train as a nurse, so she could realise her dream of being able to help people. In 1914 when war comes to the world, after the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand, Rachel and her best friend Elsie enlist in the Australian Army Nursing Service. They are sent overseas where they deal with the wounded being evacuated from Gallipoli, and other battlefronts. Wilson shows in both…

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Anna Zobel, Little Gem and the Mysterious Letters, Penguin Random House Australia, June 2021, 272 pp., RRP $ 14.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760896096 It’s been a few months since Little Gem accidentally magicked herself through time and space to the small town of Ellsworth Pining. She’s settled in well as the town witch, doing what she does best, helping people. Everyone is preparing for the Midsummer Festival, and Little Gem is excited to be in charge of special effects for the annual Midsummer Play. However, Gem’s newfound confidence plummets when spell after spell starts to awry, doing more harm than good.…

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Lisa Tiffen (text) and Matt Ottley (illustrator), The Colour of Music, MidnightSun Publishing, June 2021, 32 pp., RRP $29.99 (hbk), ISBN 9781925227871 An interesting approach to listening to music by an author and illustrator who are both musicians who experience synaesthesia which they define as ‘a merging of the senses. People with synaesthesia may see colours when they hear, smell or taste something.’ Lying on a timber floor, young Molly feels the music vibrate through her fingers, then with her eyes closed she sees various colours as the music changes tempo and amplitude. These range from seeing blue and white…

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Nici Gregory, Where’s Speedy?, Berbay Publishing, May 2021, 40 pages, RRP $25.99 (hbk), ISBN 9780648953395 George and his sister, Lotta, collect a slug from the garden and pop it into a jar to observe. But Speedy goes missing and, as the two children (who are pups) ask everyone in the family if they have seen their new slug friend, all kinds of mini-beasts are uncovered… but where’s Speedy? Anthropomorphic animals collecting minibeasts is a fun idea, and everyone in the family of dogs is interesting and humorous. They include a hard-of-hearing grandfather and a pretzel-baking father. And what’s not to…

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Cameron Nunn, Echo in the Memory, Walker Books Australia, June 2021, 272 pp., RRP $19.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760653088 Will is sent away to stay with his grandparents after his mother attempts suicide. They live on a remote farm and Will is not happy to go but needs to support his little sister, Rosie. When they are there, he finds he has some odd feelings of déjà vu, as though he has been at the property sometime in the past. He tries to discuss these feelings with his grandparents and their neighbour but the feelings are dismissed. It is eventually his…

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Wenda Shurety (text) and Deb Hudson (illustrator), Pear of Hope, EK Books, May 2021, 32 pp., RRP $25.50 (hbk), ISBN 9781925820867 Pear of Hope is Wenda Shurety’s fifth picture book and tells the tale of Anna, a little girl whose recovery from serious illness is soulfully intertwined with the life cycle of her beloved pear tree. At the bottom of the garden grew an old pear tree.A home of buzzing and budding, scuttlers and flutterers, and tweets and squeaks.It was Anna’s secret hideout.A climbing frame of adventures.A giver of rough and crinkled hugs.A promise of whoops and whispers. A symbol…

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Anna Ciddor, The Boy Who Stepped Through Time, Allen & Unwin, June 2021, 336 pp., RRP $16.99 (pbk), ISBN 9781760526443 This new historical novel from the experienced children’s writer, Anna Ciddor, is a lot of fun to read, and at the same time hugely informative about the details of what it might have been like to live in the fourth century CE Roman Empire. Perry, the boy at the heart of this story, is on holiday with his parents in France. His mother loves exploring historical sites and attending festivals where people dress as Romans. Somehow Perry manages to slip…

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