Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760159849
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Humour. Koalas. Verse. Assertiveness. With the quotation, 'Do I look like a bear to you?' on the back cover, readers will know they are in for a treat opening Blabey's latest picture book. An array of koalas covers the back page and one on the front cover asserts, 'Don't call me bear!'
In rhyming lines, Blabey's koala called Warren tells the reader of the history of his species in Australia when the first Europeans to see them mistakenly called them bears.
Captain Cook made the mistake according to Warren's history book, and this error has come down through the ages. Well, Warren has had enough. He cites all the bears in the world, showing us an image of what they look like and where they are found, underlining the fact that they do not appear in Australia. He is a marsupial, not a bear. He shows us other Australian animals and offers us comparisons. We do not call an emu a chook, or a platypus a duck, so why call him a bear? The arguments Warren puts forward are strong, but eventually to no avail, as the other Australian animals still call him a bear.
Blabey's illustrations are hilarious, showing the exasperated Warren doing his best to change people's minds. Each page is different, drawing the eyes to the text which is often boldly placed in large declamatory font. A group of Australian animals appears throughout the text like a chorus, a quiet offering of the accepted truth against Warren's assertions that they are wrong.
Reading this out loud with a group of kids will be hilarious. I can see many kids wanting to take Warren's part as the book is read, predicting the rhyme of each line, calling out the lines as they are read out a second and third time.
I had a great deal of fun reading this book and I am sure others will too.
Starlight Stables series bk 3. Penguin Australia, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Horses. Bushfires. Friendship. Although this is part of a series it can be read as a stand-alone and is sure to appeal to horse crazy girls. Poppy is thrilled to have her...
Dorling Kindersley, 2016. ISBN 9780241238905
A few years ago, perhaps in an effort to be seen as a cutting-edge, digital-age facility, many libraries weeded their reference collections, disposing of almanacs, atlases and encyclopedias in the belief that 'everything was now available on...
Carolrhoda Lab, 2016. ISBN 9781512403084
(Age: Older teens) Illegal drugs. Family violence. Twins. Being a small scale drug dealer is dangerous but Finn is smart and careful, he enjoys the excitement and he is doing it for a good cause. Finn and his twin sister Faith live in a trailer...
Harper Collins, 2016. ISBN 9780062572196
(Age: 12+) Highly recommended. This is such a fascinating story. It is about a young girl in Afghanistan whose life undergoes a drastic change, at the age of 10, after the calamity of her father losing a leg in a random bomb blast. With three...
Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408869956
(Age: Mature 14+) Just before Angela's scheduled release from juvie, THINGS start happening. First, a 10-year-old girl (Jessica) is brought in under high security. Then, a new program called Sci-Girls is causing a major stir among the inmates. There's...
Wakefield Press, 2016. ISBN 9781743053959
(Age: 16+) The black dog is a common metaphor for depression and in the initial stages of this novel, the appearance of one to teenaged Monty seems to indicate exactly that. Monty has an eating disorder, is underweight and has an unnatural lack...
Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760290153
(Age: 14+) Highly recommended. Mystery. Thriller. Kidnapping. Jamie loves numbers and one day gives his sister Summerlee a group of numbers that wins her $7.5 million in the lottery. But things do not go well in Jamie's family especially when his...
Ill. by Jo Williamson. Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760403690
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Birthdays, Macaws, Belonging. Opening the initially very pink and powder blue pages I was quickly taken in by the tale of Petunia Paris and her family. Each year they ask Petunia what she wants...
Atom, 2016. ISBN 9780349002156
(Age: Teens) A rich and indulgent fantasy, Grey presents a world coloured by fear, despair, and highlighted by the ray of hope that is the Firebird. While this is a great fantasy concept, it seems oddly disjointed, tripping up the reader and making it...
Figgy series bk 2. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781742991559
(Age: 8+) Highly recommended. Award winning author Tamsin Janu continues the story of eleven-year-old Figgy who lives with her Grandma Ama in a small village in Ghana. Orphan Nana who lives with them is very concerned about...
UQP, 2016. ISBN 9780702254000
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Belonging. Books. Birds. Little Wing lived on a small island. He was very smart and when a trunk filled with books washed up on his island, he read them all. They taught him how to read and write, how to calculate, all about science,...
Dorling Kindersley, 2016, ISBN 9781740333405
Way back when, in the dawning of the age of home computers which were huge and clumsy in comparison to today's mini-marvels; which ran on cassette tapes; had green or amber font on a black screen and had no facility to display graphics, if you...
Edge of extinction series, bk. 1. Harper Collins, 2016. ISBN
(Age: Upper primary, Lower secondary) This absorbing story, set in a future world, is the first in a series and it establishes a momentum that is sure to carry readers along to the final book.
Ill. by Tom Jellett. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780670078172
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Grandpas, Swimming, Tall tales, Adventure. The narrator of this delightful story is afraid of the water and cannot swim. Grandpa tells him he must learn to swim if he is have big adventures like his and...
Young Gun series bk 1. Random House, 2016. ISBN 9781925324501
(Age: 8-12) Recommended. Themes: Soccer, Teamwork, Friendship, School Life. Sports fiction is an extremely popular genre, and currently cricketers, footballers and soccer players are writing novels for the fans filled...
Our Australian Girl series. Penguin, 2016. ISBN 9780143308522
(Age: 10+) Recommended. Australian history, Multiculturalism. The fourth in this Our Australian Girl series about Marly, the daughter of a Vietnamese couple living in Melbourne is a delightful mix of Vietnamese...
Hachette, 2016. ISBN 9780316277297
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Friendship, Companionship. When Rory visits his friends Hank and Vera they have a surprise for him. Hank has a pet and they do lots of things together. Hank shows off his pet, Sheldon, as they play fetch and hide and seek. Sheldon...
Ill. by Serena Geddes. Bookpod, 2016. ISBN 9780994358356
(Age: 7-9) Recommended. Children's librarian Ozge Alkan collaborated with Hazel Edwards to write a junior novel with the main character, a spirited eight-year-old Muslim girl. Melek's dream is to have her own Aussie Rules football...
6th edition. Hachette Australia, 2016. ISBN 9780733635496
(Age: 9-14) Highly recommended. Puberty. Growth and development. Sex and sexuality. Health. Authors Wendy Darvill and Kelsey Powell have utilised their extensive working knowledge of family planning and the sex education of both...
Angus and Robertson, 2016. ISBN 9781460751633
(Age: 11+) Recommended. Emma Freedman is a radio personality and 2015 winner of Dancing with the Stars... and now author. She has written a very likable dance school story that can be recommended to young female readers aged 11+ with absolute...
Penguin Random House, 2016. ISBN 9780143573616
(Age: 15+) Adolescence. Bullying. Suicide. This book is an uncomfortable read on many levels. Being inside the mind of a young pubescent male with pimples is a difficult place to be. But added to that it is peppered with multitudinous poor...
Wakefield Press, 2016. ISBN 9781743054185
(Age: 15+) Recommended. Editors and activists Yvonne Allen and Joy Noble have collected the personal stories of forty-five Australians who have campaigned for change. Breaking the boundaries provides a fascinating insight into their lives. The...
Ill. by Chantal Stewart. New Frontier Publishing, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Fathers, Father's Day. First published in 2010, this book along with I spy Mum! is a wonderful story to read anytime, but has more resonance around those days remembering...
Ill. by Anil Tortop. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760273859
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Fathers, Father's Day, Family. The little bear searches for his father in all sorts of places. He searches the woods, looks out into the fields, under the water, on the beach, in the bus, on the toy shelf,...
Ill. by Alison Edgson. Scholastic, 2016. ISBN 9781760276638
(Age: 3+) Recommended. Father's Day, Grandfathers, Family. With Father's Day just around the corner, it is good to see a book extolling the virtues of grandfathers as well. In this rhyming story each page depicts an animal with...
Walker Books 2016. ISBN 9781406365825
(Age: 10+ Highly recommended. This is perhaps one of the best books for adolescent girls I have read in a long time. I really wish I'd read it growing up. Dealing with issues ranging from racism, religion, bullying, body-image, sexuality, and the...
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...