Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408870846
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. I actually finished reading this a couple of weeks ago and the writing of this review has taken so long because this is so different and so charming I have found it difficult to find the right words. I could just say it's an animal adventure story but it is so much more than that. It really puts me in mind of such titles as Watership Down or even Mrs Frisby and the rats of NIMH. Rarely does one read an animal story which truly projects the protagonists as completely sentient thinking creatures.
A small kitten loses one of his nine lives when he narrowly escapes drowning along with the rest of his litter. Little does he know but he is destined to become a hero. The Moon recognises this and blesses him with her naming of him 'Malkin Moonlight'. This small feline with a huge and magnificent tail has an acute sense for the distress of those in need and quickly loses another life in the first of many rescues.
On his third life, he is rescued in turn by a Domestic named Roux. Together these two form an unbreakable bond and fall in love. Roux chooses to abandon the comforts of domestic living and runs away with Malkin. As they search for a new home they come across a recycling centre populated by cats who are divided into two warring camps: those on the 'good' side of the centre where they have accommodated themselves comfortably and are cared for by the workers; and those who lurk on the toxic dump site over 'the wall'.
Only Malkin can unite these two factions and create a peace that will last forever. The adventures and dramas along the way are gripping and tense but the love, respect and true compassion of this singular cat and his friends are a remarkable lesson for all readers.
This first novel is destined to become a modern classic in my opinion.
Highly recommended for readers from around 9 years up.
Bloomsbury, 2106. ISBN 9781681190433
This is one of the cutest board books I've seen for ages. Forget about sweet and pretty - this one is just in time for Halloween and a fun story for little people.
The local Fright Club led by Vladimir the vampire is busily practising their...
Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781619634145
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Smart, intelligent twelve-year-old Hale Jordan lives with his secret agent parents and younger sister Kennedy at the SRS Sub Rosa Society, an underground academy for superspies. Hale struggles to pass the physical test to...
Ill. by Ingrid Kallick. Christmas Press, 2016. ISBN 9780994234056
(Age: 6+) Norway. Myths and legends. Cautionary tales. Trolls. Two troll stories from Norway are retold in this offering from Christmas Press. Trolls are mischievous beings, not to be trusted and cause a great deal of...
Penguin Random House, 2016. ISBN 9780857988126
(Age: Secondary) Subtitled: 'the Australian behind the legendary stories The dam busters, The great escape and Reach for the sky'. As the daughter of a Lancaster wireless operator/air gunner growing up in the Sydney...
Viking, 2016. ISBN 9780670079100
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. Mystery. Marchetta's outstanding ability as an author stands out in this engrossing and at times, heart wrenching story. Chief Inspector Bish Ortley has been suspended from the London Met, and still grieving from the death...
Ill. by Craig Smith. Omnibus (Scholastic) 21015. ISBN 9781742991511
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Aboriginal themes. Family. Music. Whales. Maddie loves to sing. She makes up her own songs and sings everywhere. One of her songs is about the whales that swim near the coast north of Perth....
Ill. by Frane Lessac. Otter-Barry Books (Little Orchard) 2016. ISBN
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Flood stories. Myths and legends. India. Many cultures have a myth about a great flood destroying part of their world, and this Indian story will be a wonderful addition to...
Little Hare, 2016. ISBN 9781760125523
(Age: All) Recommended. Cities. Sydney. Lifestyle. Sonny Day and Biddy Maroney work in Sydney and have created an almost wordless picture book which celebrates the sounds, tastes and look of their capital city for readers of all ages. Many well known...
Ill. by Andrew Joyner. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780670077809
Blue is a builder's dog - an ordinary builder's dog that can be found on almost any building site in this country. He rides in the ute to work, guards the tools, greets the subbies and signs the concrete slabs. (Oops!) He samples...
Ill. by Sam Winston. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406358315
(Age: All) Highly recommended. Books. Classic stories. Every few years a book comes along which extols the virtues of books and reading, told in a way which initiates discussion and sharing, illustrated so beautifully that...
Ill. by Beattie Alvarez. Second Look, 2016. ISBN 9780994234070.
(Age: 11+) Highly recommended.
This is a new edition of the novel published in 1984, Libby Gleeson's first novel and Highly Commended in the 1985 Children's Book Council of Australia awards. Her 2016 introduction...
Ill. by Gabriel Evans. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781922179609
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Verse. Pirates. Humour. Captain Sneer is very assured of his own importance as leader of a gang of pirates on board his ship The Golden Isle. But he is somewhat scared of his stomach during storms...
University of Queensland Press, 2016. ISBN 9780702253942
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Grief. Surfing. Family relations. Another hard hitting novel from Zorn is sure to appeal to fans. It's 1997 and 17 year old Sam is trying to come to grips with the sudden death of his mother from an aneurysm...
Ill. by Claire Robertson. ABC Books, 2016. ISBN 9780733331640
(Age: 4+) Families. Difference. Shirvington presents the young reader with an array of different families. Each is introduced on a one double page spread, those who make up the family described and shown in the illustrations,...
Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781742379791
(Age: all) Highly recommended. Mental Health, Suicide, Loneliness, Graphic novel. A child stares out from the front cover, large eyed, on the edge of tears, alone in his bed. Readers will wonder about the child and turn the pages uncovering the...
The Raven Cycle bk 4. Scholastic Press, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 15+) Highly recommended. The fabulous Raven Cycle comes to a very satisfying conclusion in The Raven King. Gansey's quest to find Glendower, the ancient Welsh king is overshadowed by the fear...
Scholastic Press, 2015. ISBN 9781743623534
Hey diddle diddle
You all know the riddle
A cow jumps over the moon.
It happened, all right,
On a crisp, cloudless night
On the second-last Friday in June.
But it didn't happen on the first attempt, or...
Ill. by Liz Anelli. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780670077977
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Dementia. Family. Mental illness. When Dad comes home with a camera, one of those old cameras that takes film which needs to be developed, the family, Mum and their son, watch on. He seems to be taking...
Allen & Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781925266771
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Travel. Rome. Tourism. After his successful trips to Paris and London, Mr Chicken now heads for Rome. As a child he had always been interested in Ancient Rome, and now learning the language from his beginner's book...
Red Eye series. Stripes Publishing, 2015. ISBN 9781847154576
(Age: 14+) Horror. Warning on back cover: Not for younger readers. Darla hopes that she will have a new life when she and her alcoholic father move to Saffron Hills. But life is not easy at the local high school where...
Ill. by Annie White. New Frontier Publishing, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Farms. Noise. Animals. Sleep. When Farmer Hayden goes to bed, he tries to sleep, but the noise on his farm does not let him. His animals talk all night. The cows moo, the sheep maa, the horses...
Guinness World Records, 2016. ISBN 9781910561324
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. The Guinness World Records book needs no introduction to its many fans, who will eagerly pore over the Guinness World Records 2017 with the new and strange, fascinating, weird and horrible 4,000...
Ill. by Leigh Hodgkinson. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408862780
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Mammoths, Appetite, Verse, Friendship. When Mammoth wakes one morning he finds that he is so hungry that he is vanishing. Bug tells him not to worry as he will find food for him, and pulls a...
Andersen Press, 2016. ISBN 9781783444557
(Age: 4-7) Recommended. Elephants. Competition. Elmer the patchwork elephant is back and this time he organises a race when all the young elephants decided that they wanted to find out who was the fastest runner. Each had a different colour and...
Quest of the sunfish series, bk 1. Allen and Unwin, 2016.
(Age: Upper primary, Junior secondary) This fast paced novel, the first of a trilogy, tells of twelve year old twins, Will and Annalie, and their search for their father, Spinner. He has disappeared in...
Brotherband bk 6. Random House, 2016. ISBN 9780857980113
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. I have read a number of books in this series (but not all) and each of them is thrilling, dramatic and full of action, and worthy of setting aside time to read and definitely worth recommending...
Working Title Press, 2016. ISBN 9781921504860
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Bedtime story. Fairies. Verse. Children will get into bed 'as quick as a wink' to hear this verse story read out to them. They will predict the word that rhymes and laugh along with the sequence of events that precedes...
Terry Deary's Shakespeare's tales series. Bloomsbury, 2016.
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Romeo and Juliet. Another in this series taking Shakespeare's stories to a wider audience, offers Romeo and Juliet as seen by the boy who plays Juliet as well as general dogsbody...
Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408870150
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Experimentation. Science. Space. This picture book will initiate lots of discussions about what makes up a planet, how they are made, what we can see in the night sky and so on, as Orson makes his own planet, but then has to...
Walker Books Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780763672331 (Age: Secondary)
Traditional fairytales continue as such a rich source for
adaptations, retellings and reworkings that one is often amazed that
anyone can come up with a new approach.
Acclaimed graphic novel creator Matt Phelan has proven...
Pledger Consulting, 2016. ISBN 9781876678456
Teacher reference. What a great resource for those charged with purchasing or recommending reading material for Upper Primary and Lower Secondary students. The Middle School aged reader can have specific interests or reading demands and keeping...