Ill. by Janine Dawson. Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760402952
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Christmas. Diversity. What a lot of fun is to be had when the author and illustrator get together to make an Australian version of O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree. The whole family gets together to decorate the tree, filling the branches with baubles, and wrapping up presents. Christmas lights are highlighted when the family goes on an excursion and drives past houses that have huge Christmas lights decorating their gardens. A stroll through the neighbourhood also shows the myriad of Christmas lights in neighbours' gardens, with Santa on the roofs of houses and toy kangaroos waving from the grass. All culminates in a shared feast with relatives and neighbours bringing loads of food for the Christmas lunch, everyone sharing presents and then home to bed exhausted.
The narrative will have enormous appeal as children and adults will be able to sing along with the story or could have fun making up their own verses. The pages are filled with Christmas cheer, with a warm and loving family, friends and neighbours gathering together to rejoice in sharing during the festive season.
I love the illustrations by Janine Dawson. Each page is filled with happy and diverse individuals all enjoying themselves so much and children will be able to recognise the familiar traditions that have evolved in Australia - the lights on houses, the long table set up in the backyard and the children going to sleep in a tent on the hot summer's night.
This heart-warming Aussie version of Christmas is sure to be welcome in all libraries and classrooms.
Allen & Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760293116
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Christmas. Reindeer. Humour. On the night before Christmas Santa has his sleigh ready but there is a commotion at the front of the reindeer line. Ruby wants to lead the sleigh but Rudolf thinks she is too naughty....
HarperCollins, 2016. ISBN 9780062497918
(Age: 6+) Recommended. Jokes. Christmas. There are lots of laughs in this latest joke book from Rob Elliott. Kids will delight in the wacky humour -although adults may groan at some of the jokes. There are many of the favourite Knock Knock jokes...
Lothian, 2016. ISBN 9780734416865
(Age: 4+) Christmas, Australia, Cities, Australian animals. This Christmas book with illustrations by Mandy Foot, but no attributing of authorship, has a verse ballad, with a similar rhythm to The man from Snowy River as its base. The lines take...
Hachette, 2016 . ISBN 9780734417435
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Peter Fitzsimons has done an excellent job of creating a teen edition of his book Kokoda. The text reads like a novel yet there are no fictional elements and the work does justice to the amazing exploits of those 'ragged...
Allen and Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760292140
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Ok, so Richard Roxburgh is a talented actor and director in both theatre and screen and of course the star of 'Rake'. Now he's added writing and illustrating to his portfolio in a very successful way. I mean to say,...
NLA, 2016. ISBN 9780642278883
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. National parks (Australia). Animals. Habitat. With a stunning array of photographs, easy to use maps and fact files, every page is a treat and will be a sort after reference and non fiction read for middle school people....
Tusk Books, 2016. ISBN 9780994531407
(Picture book) Ella is a baby elephant with a broken heart. Taken from her mother at a very early age to become part of the tourist attractions in Thailand, she is shackled by a large chain, poked with a bullhook to be the centre of tourist photos and...
Quirk Books, 2016. ISBN 9781594749025
(Age: Young adult) Recommended. This is a quirky fantasy tale of a young boy's quest to uncover the story behind his grandfather's dying words in very unusual circumstances. The fantasy tale reveals a community of very peculiar children locked in a...
Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406368239
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Families, Relationships, Rain, Home. This story of family and home replicates themes Graham has always used, ones which are persistently asked for by readers of all ages, ones picked up eagerly when seen in the library,...
Text, 2016. ISBN 9781925355123
(Age: secondary) Recommended. Thriller, Dystopia, Survival, CLimate change, Virus. After sheltering a girl he finds on the beach, Finn must work out a way of surviving with another person who relies on him. But a group of enraged men comes searching for...
Ill. by Kenard Pak. Wide Eyed Editions, 2016. ISBN 9781847808493
(Age: Primary) Recommended. Theme: Language; Social Atlas.This is a language atlas that can be read - but it is also linked to a child-friendly free downloadable App that 'speaks' basic phrases in each of the languages that...
HarperCollins, 2016. ISBN 9780062572196
(Age: 12+) Recommended. Afghanistan, Gender roles. The idea of Bacha Posh is very new to me in the context in which it is presented in this page turner of a book. Girls who dress as boys in some Muslim countries have done so to earn money for their...
Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406357127
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Coming hot on the heels of my review of Michael's Such stuff is this absolutely beautiful short story/novella which is both poignant and thrilling. And of course, now I also want to know the 'prompt' for this...
Ill. by Petr Horacek. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781406359633
(Age: 7+) Recommended. Animals. Poetry. A large format, hard-covered book filled with glorious illustrations of a vast variety of animals on our planet, accompanied by poems of varying styles and length, each of which talk...
Jefferson Hinkley Bk 3. Simon and Schuster, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 15+) Crime. Mystery. Horse racing. Jeff Hinkley is back, this time taking the reader on a ride to the US, behind the scenes in the American racing industry. Jeff Hinkley has been seconded by the US Federal...
Ill. by Nikki Dyson. Usborne, 2016. ISBN 9781474924481
This new release from Usborne, who are masters at putting together quality education resources, comes in perfect time for sharing with parents who are looking for something special for the Christmas stocking for that between group...
Ill. by Gwyneth Jones. EK Books, 2016. ISBN 9781925335248
It is one of the great mysteries of our times. Ever since washing machines were automated and readily available, pairs of socks have been forever separated, never to meet their match again. And Sarah's house is no different -...
Kaleidoscope, 2016. ISBN 9781922101501
(Age: 13+) Highly recommended. Short stories. Diversity. What an amazing collection! The editors have gathered together what they consider the best short stories for young adults in 2015 and they have certainly succeeded in their goal. The stories...
Walker, 2016. ISBN 9781406366969
(Age 4+) Highly recommended. One of my favourite authors, Anthony Browne, has done it again with another wonderful book starring Willy. This time Willy has a dark cloud that seems to be following him, no matter what he does to try and get rid of it. When...
Ill. by Cat Chapman. Walker Books, 2016. ISBN 9781921977787
(Age: 5-7) Recommended. Camping. Holidays. Everyone who has ever been camping will relate to this amusing and informative picture book that shows a family on holiday. The whole family, including grandparents and pets, set out on...
Ill. by Shane McGrath. Big Sky Publishing, 2016. ISBN 9781925275629
Themes: Grandparents, Family, Change, Australian Social History. For anyone who has had a Grandparent who lives in the country or on a farm or whose grandparents have a house that retains historical accoutrements, rather...
Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781681190433
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Halloween, Ghost and ghouls, Monsters, Humour, Board book. In the midnight hour, Vlad has called a meeting of the Fright Club, designed to get his friends run through their scariness for Halloween. His friends include...
Ill. by Sue Hendra and Paul Linnet. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN
(Age: 5+) Recommended. Humour. Skeletons. Bodies. Verse. Four silly skeletons named Fred, Sid, Belle and Bill live at the top of a very steep hill. Lucky for them their dear old Aunt June lives near the bottom of...
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...