Thursday, December 29, 2011

What do animals really like?

What Animals Really Like, Fiona Robinson, Abrams 

For one night only....
Mr. Herbert Timberteeth's new musical bonanza
What Animals Like Most

Anarchy is in the air. 
The shrimp like to ski not swim, the kangaroos prefer Ping-Pong to hopping about and the lions enjoy flower arranging (while the horses are partial to deep-sea diving). 
Mr. Herbert Timberteeth is at the end of his tether. Can the show go on? 

Lots and lots of fun. 

Friday, December 16, 2011

High Street

High Street, Alice Melvin (Tate)

Last-minute arrival in the store before Christmas! Wonderful!

In High Street, little Sally (and her fabulous 70s haircut) has a long list of things to buy down the high street, including a yellow rose and a garden hose, a cockatoo and a tin kazoo, a cherry tart and a candy heart.

Lift the flaps on each page to see inside the shops and help Sally find what she is after.

With stunning retro illustrations and beautifully cased in hardback this is definitely a winner. Love it.


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Do you have any hardback Enid Blytons?

Why, yes!

They reappear when you least expect it! Back in stock and looking beautiful all ready for Christmas are these gorgeous, big hardback editions of Enid Blyton's beloved classics The Enchanted Wood and The Magic Faraway Tree.

Monday, December 12, 2011


BOM! Went the Bear, Nicki Greenberg, Allen & Unwin

BOM! went the bear on the big bass drum...
Ting ting-a 
ting ting-a 
Strum strum strum. 

There are singing turtles, a lizard on a zither and some squirrels that are having a ball with the cymbals. 
And then the brass band appears! Parrup parrup parrah!

GREAT fun, and perfect for the 2-4 crowd this Christmas. 

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Violet Mackerel's Natural Habitat

Violet Mackerel’s Natural Habitat, Anna Branford & Sarah Davis (Walker)

 Violet keeps a pet ladybird which she names “Small Gloria” (CUTE) but unfortunately the Small Gloria dies. The life cycle of the ladybird eventually inspires Violet's big sister’s school science project.

The story is funny in an off-beat sort of way, Violets musings on everyday life are quirky and sweet - in fact the whole Mackerel family are quite charming and the drawings really make the story extra lovely. There is a ladybird funeral in it too, which strange but not too gloomy.

Highly Recommended for those not so girly girls who are creative and thoughtful!


Friday, December 2, 2011


It's December now so we can finally let loose our Christmas Cheer!

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Drink, Slay, Love

Our funny bones are actually pretty tickled about this one. Great title, great cover.

'One hour til dawn,' Pearl said. She leaped off the roof and landed catlike on the pavement. 'Oodles of time, if we steal a car.'

We laughed out loud three times on the first page. It's going to be a winner.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


Lonely Planet has released a great new series for junior travellers, which is well-worth a look.

There's the big travel book that gives lively and fascinating information on each country.

There's also individual city guides with the kind of information that kids will find particularly interesting.

For example, did you know that in 1938 a boa constrictor took a ride on the Paris Metro - "unaccompanied and without a ticket." Also, that underneath Paris are the Catacombs - which contain the bones of about six million people! Most of the bones have been very artfully displayed.
In Rome, back in ye olden days all roads actually DID lead to roam.

Then, more recently in 2010, some environmental campaigners built a hotel out of rubbish they collected from European beaches.

This is just a taster of the fab facts available in these books.

There are also guides to New York and London.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

The Loud Book!

The Loud Book! Deborah Underwood and Renata Liwska (Koala Books)

Here's a fabulously illustrated picture book for the 3 and up crowd about all the kinds of loud in our lives.

Walking-to-school song loud.

Belly flop loud.

Deafening silence loud.

Garage avalanche loud.

Aunt Tillie's banjo band loud.

From the team that brought us The Quiet Book - which we absolutely loved to bits.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Ffor Ffun, read Fforde

The Song of the Quarkbeast, Jasper Fforde (Hodder&Stoughton)

The magical, adventure-filled and hilarious sequel to The Last Dragonslayer. Kazam is being challenged by iMagic, their magic company competition and whoever wins will be favoured by the King and have the monopoly on magic. They might even be able to get the mobile phone network back up.

Our non-magic, foundling heroine Jennifer Strange just knows there is something more devious going on with the Amazing Blix, the king of the unUnited Kingdom...and just where and when will Kazam's missing manager the Great Zambini appear next to give them all some much-needed advice? Plus, should she go on a date with Youthful Perkins?

Surges of magic that can send oak trees flying. Trolls out to rid their homes of human vermin ("here person person person"). A sneaky Quarkbeast looking for its other half. Big Magic, small magic, flying carpets, old grudges, new possibilities.

It's explosive. Literally. Just read it - your sides will split with laughter and magic.


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Hunger Games news

While it is common knowledge that the book is always better, the new Hunger Games movie trailer has been released and it looks fabulous!

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Gangsta Granny

Gangsta Granny, David Walliams, Harper Collins 

Ben's granny stinks of cabbage, adores scrabble and talks to Ben like he is a toddler. Ben has to spend every Friday night with Granny while his ballroom dance obsessed watch 'Strictly Stars Dancing', a show Ben hates so much he would rather eat his own bogeys than watch that rubbish.
But when Ben discovers that Granny is in fact an international jewel thief, things get very interesting, very quickly.

Gangsta Granny contains cabbage-flavoured chocolates (they are not as nice as they sound, and they don't sound that nice), alibis provided by the Clingfilm Appreciation Society and a chat with the Queen.
It is exciting, funny and even made me a bit teary.
I thoroughly enjoyed it.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Darius Bell is back!

Darius Bell and the Crystal Bees, Odo Hirsch (Allen & Unwin)

The bees on the Bell estate are dying. No honey! Then Darius realises that having no bees also means no pollination of the plants, and that no plants means no food. Not only that, but then the gardener will have to leave and take his family - great friends of Darius' - with him. This cannot be!

Darius has to find a way to fix this situation and this means outwitting his strict teacher and getting around the pernickety, nasty Mayor. But if anyone can do it then Darius can...though he might need a little bit of help.

Top book for 10+

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

early harvest

Yesterday we received our first copies of the new magazine early harvest, brought to you by the brains behind Pigeons and their trusty brains trust of local primary school aged kids - editors of this fantastic new rag. They all worked in collaboration with the folk at harvest magazine.

The result? A gorgeously designed magazine full of stories and illustrations by young and old that we just know you will adore.

Come and help us celebrate the launch at the Sun Theatre on Saturday 12 November at 11am. Authors and committee will be in attendance, as well as the magnifique Sally Rippin, who will be launching.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Inky Awards 2011

The Inky Awards were announced last week at the Centre for Youth Literature in Melbourne. These are youth voted awards, people, so what better recommendation could there be?

Silvermay by James Moloney won the Gold Inky for an Australian book.

Clockwork Angel by Cassandra Clare won the Silver Inky for an international book.

Click here for more about the actual award event.

Monday, November 7, 2011

A Bedtime for Bear

A Bedtime for Bear, Bonny Becker and Kady MacDonald Denton (Walker Books)

Bear has some requirements for bedtime: his glass of water must be ready and waiting in a particular spot on the bedside table and his favourite pillow needs to be sufficiently fluffed up. But most importantly, it has to be VERY quiet.

When Mouse comes to stay Bear’s quiet is interrupted by the sound of teeth brushing 
(bristle, bristle, bristle) 
(humm, hum-pa-pummmmm)
and the creak of Mouse settling down in his bed 
(creak, squeak, rattle)

But it is when Mouse falls asleep and quiet finally descends that Bear realises it might just be a bit too quiet...

This is just lovely. A little bit funny and delightfully illustrated. 

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

The Treasure Thief

The Treasure Thief, Béatrice Rodriguez, Gecko Press

Remember The Chicken Thief

 Here's another one!

Fresh from trying to "save" their chicken friend from a fox (only to realise the pair were actually in love!) the bear, rabbit and rooster come across a mysterious glowing orb in a cave. The rooster, in a greedy selfish kind of fit, decides to make off with it by himself. Pursued by a bear and a rabbit through creepy caves with glowing creatures and through mushroom fields and over the ocean...the adventure goes on for pages.

A beautiful wordless picture book full of brilliant illustrations and a great tale.

Saturday, October 29, 2011


We want to read this book AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN and AGAIN!

Because it is awesome. And hilarious.

Just look!

Told you so! 

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

A Brief History of Montmaray

The Younger Sun is ashamed to say that even though we had it on good authority that Michelle Cooper's A Brief History of Montmaray was an excellent novel...we only just read it.

And it is even better than we had thought.

Sophie lives on the island of Montmaray, a tiny sovereign nation not too far from the coast of Spain with her eccentric family - frighteningly intelligent cousin Veronica, uncle King John who has become increasingly loopy, cheeky tomboy sister Henry and a smattering of villagers. Her brother Tom is in England, being educated, and their Aunt Charlotte has summoned Sophie and Veronica to be debuted. But it is 1936 and the world is a-rumbling with changes: Spain is having a civil war and in Germany a man called Hitler is threatening to invade Poland and Czechoslovakia and both of these things will impact on Montmaray.

This book is told through Sophie's journal entries, in her engaging, amusing, intelligent voice and with wonderful observation, humour and humanity. It's full of literary, historical and political references, and just a little bit of talk about frocks and froufrou. You must, must read it.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

The Jewel Fish of Karnak

The new Graeme Base is simply amazing. You have probably heard about it.


Two thieves are charged by by the Cat Pharoah with the task of recovering the stolen Jewel Fish from the wiley Crocodile. But these thieves are not very smart, and also a little bit greedy. This book has spectacular illustrations and it's wonderful story is one you'll hate to miss out on.

And, of course, there is a very Baseian puzzle at the end.

Published by Penguin Books.

Monday, October 24, 2011


Monty LOVES inventing
                                                               But things don't always work -
His walking toaster ran away
And the robot went BERSERK!
But then one day Monty found a book with instructions on how to create inventions very rare... read it if you dare!

From the creators of the excellent Dinosaurs Love Underpants and Aliens Love Underpants comes Monstersaurus. 

What fun!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Waiting, waiting...

Wednesday 9 November 

Inheritance 004: Inheritance

Not so very long ago, Eragon - Shadeslayer, Dragon Rider - was nothing more than a poor farm boy, and his dragon, Saphira, only a blue stone in the forest. Now, the fate of an entire civilization rests on their shoulders.
Long months of training and battle have brought victories and hope, but they have also brought heartbreaking loss. And still, the real battle lies ahead: they must confront Galbatorix. When they do, they will have to be strong enough to defeat him. And if they cannot, no one can. There will be no second chances.
The Rider and his dragon have come farther than anyone dared to hope. But can they topple the evil king and restore justice to Alaga√ęsia? And if so, at what cost?

Monday 31 October

The Sending: The Obernewtyn Chronicles Book 6

It came to me then, like a chilly draught from an unseen gap, that I had always known in my deepest heart that it would be like this, a slipping away from a life full of people I had come to love, in a place I had helped to shape, in a land I had helped to free.
The time has come at last for Elspeth Gordie to leave the Land on her quest to find and stop the computermachine Sentinel from unleashing the deadly Balance of Terror arsenal. But before she can embark on her journey, she must find a lost key. And although she has long prepared for this day, nothing is as she anticipated.
Elspeth's search will take her where she never thought to go, and bestow upon her stranger companions than any she ever imagined. It will lead her far from her destination to those she believed lost forever.
And it will test her, as she has never been tested before . . .

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

review: Taken Away

Taken Away, Celine Kiernan (Allen & Unwin)

If you want a spooky and really beautiful story then this one is for you.

After their Nan (who has started to slip into senility) burns down their family home, brothers Dom and Pat have to move to a seaside house - and it isn't long before the nightmares start, the ghostly apparition of a soldier appears to them and they save an old man from committing suicide.

But when a strange, frightening goblin-boy appears one night it appears trouble from the past has come to get them. Dom, in particular, is in grave danger.

Set in Ireland in 1974, Taken Away is a fast-paced, frightening, fascinating story for readers 10+

Sunday, October 16, 2011

review: The Truth About Verity Sparks

The Truth About Verity Sparks, Susan Priestley (Walker Books)

I finished it! It was so good.

Reasons why: the book really was accurate about life in London at a difficult stage. The book is set in London in the 1800s. It described almost exactly what sort of dangers lurked for young women at that time. Verity goes though a number of difficult obstacles like losing what looked like a very stable job.

If (though I should say when because, wow, awesome book) you read this and feel as if evil people are going to jump out and abduct Verity or other evil deeds, you are not alone because I felt the exact same thing. The story line just gave that sort of vibe.

And because, like a few people, I love to read about that sort of stuff, I seriously found it almost impossible to stop reading! But I had to and I fairly blame that on my mum. I don't see the reason why I can't stay up until 10 or something :)! Maybe some of you are lucky enough and can stay up and read for much longer than me!

~ Hannah, teen book club member

Friday, October 14, 2011

Meet Aoki...

From the author of the wonderful Yumi and Kimonos comes Aoki, another intriguing story about the Kokeshi dolls from Annelore Parot (Hardie Grant Egmont). 

Learn some Japanese words and explore Tokyo with Aoki and Pouny. Can you work out which bento bag is Aoki's? 
And just where is Pouny hiding? 

This has the same sort of detailed, interactive elements that made Yumi and Kimonos such a hit. 

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

There's no place like home...

The Wizard of Oz - SCANIMATION

It really moves!

Here's a cute little retelling of The Wizard of Oz with a sparkly "ruby-slipper" cover and mind-boggling scanimation moving illustrations.

The only thing is, now we can't stop singing...

"We're off to see the wizard - the wonderful Wizard of Oz!"

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Life: An Exploded Diagram

Life: An Exploded Diagram, Mal Peet (Walker Books)

A historical love story - John van de Ruit's Spud meets the most concise and enjoyable history book you've ever read - this is a book not to be missed.

Clem is a council flat boy. Frankie is the wild(ish) daughter of a wealthy local landowner. They shouldn't be together but can't keep apart. But meanwhile the shadow of nuclear warfare and the Cold War looms and threatens. Indeed, we spend chapters with JFK as he botches the Bay of Pigs and tries to decide what the heck to do about Russian nukes in Cuba.

It might take you time to get into it, you may at times think come on come on, get back to Clem and Frankie, but by the explosive end you'll be left reeling and want to start again immediately. The aftershocks will continue for days.

Monday, October 10, 2011

I Want My Hat Back!

I Want My Hat Back, Jon Klassen, Walker Books

Bear has lost his hat. He misses it a lot, and worries that he will never see it again. He asks various animals but none of them have seen his hat. Bear despairs. 
But has the rabbit been telling fibs? 

The pictures are understated and wonderful. 
The text is quietly humorous. 
And the ending is very unexpected and will make you laugh. 
A lot. 

Friday, October 7, 2011

Ruby who?

Ruby Redfort!

Clarice Bean never used to be much of a reader, but then her granny gave her a book about a girl named Ruby Redfort and Clarice's mum says that is when she turned into a bookworm. 

According to Clarice Bean in Utterly Me, Clarice Bean (Lauren Child, Orchard Books) Ruby Redfort is an amazing girl a bit like a detective who sometimes drives to school in a helicopter. 

So here is a brand new book entirely about Ruby Redfort! 
It is called Look Into My Eyes (Lauren Child, Harper Collins) and it is ace. 

First Ruby's beloved house keeper Mrs Digby goes uncharacteristically AWOL. Then the house is robbed so completely that nothing is left save the telephones and the hardwood floors (even the dust is gone). And Ruby has been receiving irritating phone calls that may in fact be clues...

With her best friend Clancy Crew and the slightly annoying but seriously suave new butler Hitch by her side, newly recruited Ruby has to prove to Spectrum, super secret agency, that they have in fact hired the right girl for the job. 

Ruby is a banana milk drinking, code and wise cracking school girl turned secret agent that fans of Clarice Bean, Nancy Drew, Trixie Belden or pretty much any kind of mystery story with cool gadgetry and plenty of adventure will love. 
Complete with creepy villains, a toaster that imprints messages from HQ onto toast to be read before devouring and some seriously big sunglasses, this is not to be missed. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Please sir, I want some more...

It is the time for sequels, it would seem. This month we've got the newest installments of your favourite series:

Froi of the Exiles, Melina Marchetta (Penguin)

Sequel to last year's wonderful Finnikin of the Rock, Froi of the Exiles is the second book in the Lumatere Chronicles.

Set three years after the first, it is the story of Froi who - now trained and more mature than he was the last time we saw him - is on a mission to the kingdom of Charyn.

Ranger's Apprentice, John Flanagan (Random House)

Still not completely satisfied that you know it all? Never fear! In the Lost Stories the author John Flanagan ties up a whole bunch of loose ends, stories that come before and after this popular series.

Has Halt told Will the truth about how Will became an orphan? Did Gilan track down Morgarath's lieutenant after the battle of Three Step Pass? Is there to be a royal wedding - or will tragedy strike first?

For the many, many, many fans of the Ranger's Apprentice. This one is pretty special.

Heroes of Olympus: The Son of Neptune, Rick Riordan (Puffin)

Percy Jackson is awake!

There's a new quest, much adventure and the threat of the whole world being destroyed. Here's hoping that even though Percy has no idea who he is that he can save the day.

The Mask of Destiny, Richard Newsome (Text Publishing)

The third book in the awesome Billionaire Trilogy is finally here and it is as exciting and action packed as the first two. Within the first couple of chapters Gerald is accused of murder and has to flee England before he is killed or goes to jail.

With his trusty sidekicks Sam and Ruby, and his faithful (but sometimes begrudging) manservant Mr Fry, Gerald is off on another adventure to finally get some answers about the golden rods, the maps, the jewels and his family history.

Blooming brilliant!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Plumbers bums and Community

A Bus Called Heaven, Bob Graham (Walker Books)

A Bob Graham book a day will take all your blues away. A Bus Called Heaven is a funny and sweet story about a broken down old bus, a little girl with a vision and how just a little bit of work can bring a community together. Like his lovely book Spirit of Hope, this book is 100% heartwarming.

The bus brought change to Stella's street.
Traffic slowed where no traffic had slowed before.
people stopped and talked together - just a little, but they talked.

Complete with Bob Graham's iconic illustrations - cool parents, friendly grandparents, rollicking kids, frolicking dogs and droopy jeans with a hint of plumbers bum. This one is our new favourite. Cannot be more highly recommended.


Monday, October 3, 2011

How to get a me, the boss

by Sally Lloyd-Jones and Sue Heap

You could be a Cowboy
or an Explorer
or someone who drives a Big Red Car.
Or even a Super-Ballerina-Soccer-Mermaid-Fairy Princess.
(Like me.)

Or actually ANYTHING you want!

Except you shouldn't be a Robber.
It's not allowed.

From the awesome team that brought you How to be a Baby, by me the Big Sister and How to get Married, by me the Bride is this hilarious, playful picture book for small job-hunters three and up. The colourful pictures and crazy schemes will delight and amuse you all and have you chuckling all the way to your "Job Interview".

We love it.

Sunday, October 2, 2011


This just arrived in store and it is so VERY adorable. 
Remember Diary of a Wombat and Baby Wombat's Week by the inimitable Jackie French, illustrated by Bruce Whatley?
Well now there is Christmas Wombat! And it comes equipped with a tiny wee Christmas wombat complete with little christmassy antlers (until we run out of them). 

Join Mothball as she discovers reindeer, chimneys and, of course, lots of carrots. 

Saturday, October 1, 2011

I will be bored until...

...March 2012! 

I just literally finished my book Skulduggery Pleasant: Death Bringer. It's the sixth book in the Skulduggery Pleasant series. The next one, Skulduggery Pleasant: The End of the World, comes out March next year. It will be an awfully long wait for the book, but a great late birthday present in the end. I will spend the rest of my wait, dying. And going on the website.

Skulduggery was so great because there was non-stop action and she (Valkyrie) was getting older and going through struggles in her relationship with Fletcher. Also, what happens with the creepy stalker vampire Caelan.

That’s why it's good.

Hannah - Teen Bookclub member

Visit the Skulduggery website!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Lola and the Boy Next Door

Lola and the Boy Next Door, Stephanie Perkins (Penguin)

Following on from the worldwide hit Anna and the French Kiss comes Lola Nolan. Hailing from San Francisco and queen of radical costumes - the plan is to make an enormous Marie Antoinette gown (complete with elaborate wig) for her high school dance - Lola is eccentric, hilarious and creative. She lives with her overprotective dads, who aren't too pleased about her older boyfriend Max. But Lola's smitten with bad boy musician Max. Then her childhood friend, super tall, kooky inventor, mad-haired former crush Cricket Bell moves back in next door and Lola's world is shaken up.

Funny, sweet, romantic and daring. Highly recommended.


Friday, September 23, 2011

We are Wonderstruck

Wonderstruck, Brian Selznick (Scholastic)

If you loved The Invention of Hugo Cabret, like we did, it is your LUCKY DAY! 

Here's another amazing book by the same author. Beautiful hardback, half in the same style of mind-boggling illustrations.

But shhh. We're still reading...

Ben and Rose secretly wish their lives were different. Ben longs for the father he has never known. Rose dreams of a mysterious actress whose life she chronicles in a scrapbook. When Ben discovers a puzzling clue in his mother's room and Rose reads an enticing heading in the newspaper, both children set out alone on desperate quests to find what they are missing. Set fifty years apart, these independent stories - Ben's told in words, Rose's in picture - weave back and forth with mesmerising symmetry. How they unfold and ultimately intertwine will surprise you, challenge you, and leave you breathless with wonder.