The White Mouse by Peter Gouldthorpe

DONEAmy White MouseNominated for a 2016 Children’s Book Council Award – The White Mouse : The Story of Nancy Wake by Peter Gouldthorpe. This looks like a picture book, but it is pretty dense with information so it’s definitely for older kids. The story of Nancy Wake, the Allies’ most decorated woman in WWII, is packed full of danger and excitement and it is well illustrated with big, realistic drawings. Every child should know about the amazing life of Nancy Wake!

Link to library catalogue

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Soon by Morris Gleitzman

Felix and Zelda or Once, Then, Now, After, Soon by Morris GleitzmanSoon by Morris Gleitzman is well deserved the nomination for Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Book Week Award for Younger Readers. This whole series about children trying to survive the holocaust has torn my heart and I highly recommend that everyone gets their hands on these books and experience the innocence and horror of children in war.

When we left young Felix in the fourth book, After, World War Two was coming to an end and he had lost a lot. Continuing the story in Soon the war is over but danger still lingers. In Soon, the Soviet Red Army has pushed out Nazi German forces from occupied Poland, and Gleitzman gives us glimpses into this period of social unrest. Continue reading

The amazing true story of how babies are made by Fiona Katauskas

DONE The amazing true story of how babies are made by Fiona KatauskasNominee for 2016 Children’s Book Council Eve Pownall Award for Information Books during Book Week –

Babies, babies everywhere… but how? Not only do birds do it, but bears do it and so do giraffes. If you are looking for a non-confronting book about reproduction, then here it is!  It dispels some of the stories parents have made up in their embarrassment… maybe I will buy this for a few friends! The cartoon images are quite cute and the text can be hilarious so you really should read this before talking with your kids so that you can control your laughter… this is serious stuff! And, yes, it is a factual book… I would like to hear you explain the clown in the shower!

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Run, Pip, run by J.C. Jones

DONE Run, Pip, run by JC JonesNominee for 2016 Children’s Book Council Older Readers Book of the Year Award during Book Week –

The emotional strength of children is amazing. Although I am cranky with Sully for keeping Pip away from her mum that is a personal response from where I am in life. Other readers, especially kids, will probably feel a repour with 10 year old feisty Pip as she tries to stay one step ahead of the authorities while her ‘grandfather’ is in hospital, very likely never to come home; but Pip has hope and love. All the unresolved social issues and personal events will make wonderful talking points. And I hear there may be a sequel!

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Phasmid by Rohan Cleave

Amy PhasmidA beautifully illustrated true story of an insect brought back from almost extinction. It reads like a picture book adventure and finishes with a few pages of information about the rediscovery and rescue of this insect. Great for younger kids who like information books with big pictures and a bit of a story.

Nominated for the 2016 Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

Link to the library’s catalogue

Mr Huff by Anna Walker

DONE Cynthia in a huffI like the way that Anna has visually depicted a bad mood, that it can grow big and hang around a child. Bill decides to look at his bad mood and takes it by the hand. When he does this, things do improve. A day can be cloudy, with a chance of sunshine and not a with chance of rain. I liked the message of this story. The only downside was that I thought the text size was a bit small and did not mix well with the illustrations.

Nominated for the 2016 Book of the Year : Early Childhood.

Link to catalogue

Ride, Ricardo, ride! by Phil Cummings

Amy Ride Ricardo RideShort-listed for the 2016  CBCA Picture Book of the Year award. Ride, Ricardo, Ride! is the story of a young boy who loves to ride his bike until the shadows come and he has to hide his bike away. The shadows take his father, but eventually they leave and he gets his bike out and rides it again. This is a beautifully illustrated (if very brown) story about loss and hope. It’s a good book to provoke discussion as the time and setting are not specified, and the shadows aren’t named, though they are clearly soldiers. A book about war, that doesn’t mention war!

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Flight by Nadia Wheatley

DONE Flight by Nadia Wheatley and Armin Greder

Nominee for 2016 Children’s Book Council Picture Book of the Year Award during Book Week – This is a powerfully dark, thought provoking, heart wrenching picture book. I feel that this story (truth?) draws on the flight of Mary and Joseph to show that the horrors of war and the urge of the innocent to survive has not changed. Look into the eyes of mother and child at the end of this book… your heart will hurt so much! The skill of author, Nadia Wheatley, and illustrator, Armin Greder, will make you feel that they were caught in this horror with this lonely little family. There is so much to draw from this book… our childrens’ responses will possibly make us cry. Suitable for children 8yrs+ but adults must definitely read this first.

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The pause by John Larkin

DONE The pause by John LarkinIf you like books by John Green this book should be on your list to read next! Nominated for the 2016 Children’s Book Council’s Older Readers Book of the Year Award.

‘It was easier to call it quits.’ This is a powerful statement about teen suicide and John Larkin explores the world we may leave behind if we can but manage to pause. John Larkin’s technique is unique, skilfully merging two possible realities for a potent effect. We are shown the many wonderful opportunities in life that Declan will miss if he succeeds in his attempt to end his life, then the author cleverly twists our perceptions as if Declan’s moment of mental anguish did not allow even the tiniest pause. Continue reading

One step at a time by Jane Jolly and Sally Heinrich

DONE One step at a time by Jane Jolly and Sally HeinrichLittle Mali is baby elephant growing up with her human friend Luk in Asia’s rainforests, a land where unexploded landmines are claiming many human and animal lives. See how humans help Mali get back up onto her feet again to look for sweet bananas again. This book measures 26x31cms giving visual power to the amazing illustrations by Sally Heinrich. Sally’s work has been done using lino prints and coloured using watercolour inks. The embellishments on each page are inspired by Buddhist design and tell even more of the story; a story of danger, survival and a child’s love. Parents and teachers will enjoy reading this book to their children, discovering together the many concepts in this story cleverly woven by both author and illustrator. A worthy contender for the Children’s Book Councils’ 2016 Book Week Picture Book of the Year Award, I highly recommend this book.

Link to catalogue