Children's New Releases 

April 2018

Gleebooks Bookshop - Thursday, April 05, 2018


Noisy First Words: My First Touch and Feel Sound Book by Libby Walden ($20, BD)  A multifaceted early learner’s book, this has not only touch and feel elements, but also sounds and basic vocabulary: impressively interactive and plenty of fun. Lynndy


Bird Builds a Nest by Martin Jenkins (ill) Richard Jones ($25, HC) There is a wonderfully succinct explanation about forces at the very beginning of this “Science Storybook”. But this is so much more than a simple reference book, it’s a beautifully illustrated picture book about a bird finding a worm to eat, twigs she can carry and a nest she builds. Simple pictures in a warm palette with lots of textures and details, and a really appealing story that’s great to read aloud, make this an irresistible book for the very young, and anyone who needs a quick brush up on physics. Very highly recommended, for 3-7 year olds. Louise

Capital: Explore the World’s Capital Cities by Nik Neves ($20, HC)  With the same fun as trawling through an atlas, this lavishly illustrated introduction to geography offers insights into capital cities around the Earth, giving a brief history plus lesser-known information for each, just right for readers up to 8 years old. Lynndy

Hello Hello by Brian Wenzel ($28, HC)  Wenzel’s highly acclaimed Caldecott Honor book They All Saw a Cat played with perspective and viewpoints; Hello, Hello also has an original approach and straddles the line between picture and reference books. Very spare rhyming text links animals (humans included), by varying criteria such as colour, patterns, and bodily features, depicting connections not always immediately obvious. A celebration of the myriad forms of life on Earth, it’s a splendid picture book demonstrating the differences and similarities of all critters. Dynamic illustrations using multimedia – oils, cut-paper collage, marker pens, pastels and coloured pencils – render this a lively visual treat, and the additional information about each animal and its status from safe to highly endangered adds another level for slightly older readers. Highly recommended! Lynndy

Dingo by Claire Saxby (ill) Tannya Harricks  ($24, HC) The newest in the narrative nonfiction Nature Storybook series illuminates the life and habitats of the dingo, recently classified as a separate breed from the wolves and dogs they were believed to have descended from. Focussing on a Victorian Alpine community of dingoes, the collaborators allow up close and personal views of this wonderful native animal, too often dismissed as a pest, and show it as part of our ecosystem. Lynndy


Surprise by Mies van Hout ($20, HC)  Focussing on emotions, Happy is one of our frequently-recommended books, and I’m sure Surprise will be equally popular and relevant. Dutch artist van Hout uses black paper and pastels to bold dramatic effect, this time exploring the unique parent-child bond from expectation to nurturing, and eventually letting them start their own trajectory. The slight abstraction of storytelling with birds rather than humans detracts not one whit from the authenticity of the message. Her latest book is stunning as ever. Lynndy


Thursday’s Children by Rumer Godden ($20, PB) There’s nothing shiny or fluffy about this ballet book by Rumer Godden - I don’t think I’ve read a book that unmasks naked emotion and raw sibling feelings as succinctly as this book published in 1984. Children’s books about performing were hugely popular from post WW2 Britain; Noel Streatfeild, Pamela Brown and Rumer Godden often wrote about the ballet and theatre, and Thursday’s Children ostensibly harks back to that time. What is startling about this book is the succinct way the author describes searing ambition, and its effect on gifted children and their families. Crystal and Doone are sister and brother, both destined for the world of ballet and dance, but only one of them has been encouraged by the family. Rumer Godden’s observations are acute, and not always comfortable, making this much more of a YA novel than the age of the central characters, and its cover suggest. A big thank you to Janice for recommending this book to me, I loved it. For 11-adult. Louise


Turtles All the Way Down by John Green ($28, HC) John Green's enigmatic novel Turtles All The Way Down takes readers into the mind of the curious Aza Holmes as she pursues the disappearance of a local billionaire. Fraught with anxiety and compulsive thought, her consciousness reveals a personal side of the narrator in a way rarely seen in contemporary fiction. Exploring the complexities of the hypochondriac and adolescent mind, Green expertly encompasses the terrifying uncontrollable and what it is to overthink. This endlessly quotable novel has now become one of my favourite John Greens. Relatable and just a tad confronting, you won’t be able to put the book down. Natalia (16)

The Forgetting by Sharon Cameron ($18, PB) A massively original and engaging story! Every 12 years, all the citizens in Nadia's town forget everything about themselves and their collective history. Because of this, they write their histories into books that become their constant companions, to ensure that they don't lose their identities in the Forgetting. The real question though is not who are they, but where do they come from? This has a great sci-fi twist. Isabel

Amelia Westlake by Erin Gough ($20, PB)  Not only is this topical, but I also think it better than Gough’s previous novels. It’s witty, clever, and easy to relate to. In the words of the publishers:

‘A ferociously funny romp through an elite private school, and a brilliant feminist hoax that could change – or ruin – everything.
Harriet Price has the perfect life: she’s a prefect at Rosemead Grammar, she lives in a mansion, and her gorgeous girlfriend is a future prime minister. So when she decides to risk it all by helping bad-girl Will Everhart expose the school’s many ongoing issues, Harriet tells herself it’s because she too is seeking justice. And definitely not because she finds Will oddly fascinating. Will Everhart can’t stand posh people like Harriet, but even she has to admit Harriet's ideas are good – and they’ll keep Will from being expelled. That’s why she teams up with Harriet to create Amelia Westlake, a fake student who can take the credit for a series of provocative pranks at their school. But the further Will and Harriet’s hoax goes, the harder it is for the girls to remember they’re sworn enemies – and to keep Amelia Westlake’s true identity hidden. As tensions burn throughout the school, how far will they go to keep Amelia Westlake – and their feelings for each other – a secret? This triumphant queer YA rom-com explores politics, privilege and power, and has a gloriously uplifting teen romance at its heart.’ I’ll be very surprised if this isn’t nominated for awards. Lynndy

Palace of Fires: Book 1 The Initiate by Bill Bennett ($20, PB) An original new supernatural thriller series. A teen girl discovers that she has a powerful destiny, and that she has been shielded from the full extent of the witchcraft surrounding her family for most of her life. In order to save humankind she must confront both truly evil enemies and her own inner fears, and accept her calling. Isabel

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