The boy who bit Picasso, Antony Penrose (Thames & Hudson)
This is a charming little book narrated by a young boy called Tony (actually the son of photographer Lee Miller and her artist husband Roland Penrose) whose family friend was none other than the world-famous Pablo Picasso. Told in a childlike voice, and accompanied by brilliant photographs of Picasso, Tony and his family, as well as cute illustrations.
"I don't remember this, but Mum told everyone that one day, when we were playing, I got over-excited and I naughtily bit Picasso. Picasso turned around and bit me right back - hard! Just before I started to yell, Mum heard Picasso say, in French, ' Gosh! That's the first Englishman I've ever bitten!'"
A gorgeous, slightly quirky, look at one of the great artists.
This Is Shyness tells the story of one night in the lives of Wildgirl and Wolfboy as they explore Shyness - a part of town where the sun never rises, a place of darkness, of eternal nighttime. Wildgirl is a tourist in shyness but she's met Wolfboy at the Diabetic Hotel and is drawn to him (he's really hot, she tells us) and he agrees to show her around.
Shyness is home to Dreamers whose dreams are now their realities, a frightening Doctor with dubious medicines on offer - and Shyness also home to sugared-up Kidds always out for a hit and will mug anyone for a chocolate bar or some lollies. Sounds cute, but they are vicious and they carry knives. And, on this particular night, they have taken one of Wolfboy's precious belongings. Our kooky, damaged, wilful duo set out to take back what is rightfully Wolfboy's, even though this means entering Orphanville - home of the Kidds.
If you are a fan of Neil Gaiman, Margo Lanagan or Kelly Link you will love This is Shyness, winner of the 2009 Text Prize for Young Adult and Children's Writing.
The Vegetable Ark: A Tale of Two Brothers, Kim Kane and Sue deGennaro (Allen & Unwin)
A fantastic re-telling of the Noah's Ark story. This one is for the gentle greenies. Delightful illustrations. For 3+
Me and You, Anthony Browne (Doubleday)
We are big Anthony Browne fans. This is another re-telling, a beautiful version of Goldilocks and the Three Bears, which focuses on where Goldilocks came from and what happened to her after the bears frighten her away. 3+
Mr Gum and the Cherry Tree, Andy Stanton (Import Fiction)
A new Mr Gum book! Join Polly and Friday (and the evil Mr Gum) on another crazy adventure. 5+
The Midnight Zoo, Sonya Hartnett (Viking)
A beautiful new parable from the enormous talent of Sonya Hartnett. Gypsy brothers discover a zoo in a war-ravaged country and animals who need their help. For ages +
On Saturday at the Younger Sun Teen Bookclub we discussed Jen Storer's remarkable Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children. We decided that we loved Jen's attention to small details that don't really impact the story as a whole, but that created such a rich and interesting world. We loved Albie. The Watchers reminded us a little bit of the Dementors from Harry Potter. We're not sure how to pronounce the name of the river Charon (Sharon? Char-on?) but that it doesn't really matter because LYTHIA WAS VERY SCARY. But ultimately, everyone really loved it and we are so glad it was shortlisted for the CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers.
Next Month at Teen Bookclub: Tomorrow, When The War Began by John Marsden.
At the moment in the Younger Sun we have lots of Mo Willems books so we thought you could save some money and get two books for just $25! There's that crazy pigeon, the Knuffle Bunnies, poor old Edwina - as well a Naked Mole Rat who just wants to wear clothes, in Naked Mole Rat Gets Dressed.