Gleebooks Education 

July 2015

Gleebooks Bookshop - Wednesday, July 15, 2015



from Kate Shepherd and Mandy Clarke, Austral Ed No 50, July 2015

Greetings from Kate, Mandy, Maija and Elissa.

For schools in Australia and New Zealand students and teachers are just coming back from the mid-year winter break and for overseas schools, it will soon be the beginning of the new school year. Our best wishes to everyone and especially to those at new schools. Do keep us up to date with contact information.

We have attached some information about the latest promotion involving students and writer ambassadors of an amazing organization called Room to Read. Many of you probably know or are even involved with them. How come I (Kate) hadn’t heard about them? Well, I did receive an email apparently back in 2009 but I was busy and it didn’t register and so now I have learnt to my surprise that in just under 15 years they have established over 17,000 libraries, built almost 2,000 schools, published 1,158 new children’s picture books in 27 local languages and by the end of this year they will have had an impact on 10 million children. The extraordinary story of how this was done is described in two fascinating books written by John Wood, the founder of Room to Read.

Leaving Microsoft to Change the World: An entrepreneur’s quest to educate the world’s children by John Wood 2006 pb 9780007237036 $17.99
Creating Room to Read: A Story of Hope in the Battle for Global Literacy by John Wood 2012 pb 9780670015436 $29.99
The first book is the absorbing personal story of John Wood who in 2000 was a very busy executive with Microsoft in charge of marketing in the Asia region and based in Beijing. He loved to trek and managed to take two weeks off to go trekking in Nepal. On the first day he happened to meet and started chatting to a Nepali man who was a resource officer for the Education Department. This man was lamenting the fact that although he was a resource officer there was no money for resources. They traveled the first day together and visited a school, where enthusiastic students packed 90 to each mud brick classroom. The Library was a room where a few books like a Lonely Planet Guide to Mongolia and Danielle Steele romances were kept under lock and key in a small cupboard because they were so precious. The headmaster said over a cup of tea, perhaps, if you return sir, you could bring some books? He also said that other travellers had promised to help but no one had ever returned. John was determined and returned some months later with books laden on a number of yaks. Many of us have perhaps also been inspired to help with second hand books into schools in poor parts of Asia. Getting the books from friends and contacts is easy; the hard part is getting them into the country with high costs of shipping and probably customs charges. However John succeeded and was so delighted with the response and dismayed by the enormous need from so many impoverished schools that he started to think that maybe he should leave Microsoft and set up a charity to concentrate on getting books into Nepal. It wasn’t an easy decision and caused considerable angst as he hated to let down colleagues but finally he came to the decision that the need for literacy for students was so much more important. His charity started in a small way but he was determined to think big and to run the organization by applying the business principles that he had learned working in organizations such as Microsoft. How John succeeded in doing this is an absorbing and exciting story. He writes well and is able to convey his own passion and also that of the staff and volunteers involved. By the end of the first book in 2007 Room to Read had set up over 3,000 schools, established over 4,000 libraries and funded nearly 4,000 girls’ scholarships to allow them to attend secondary school.

I really wanted to know more of the actual details of how the team at Room to Read managed to achieve such amazing results in such a short time, and the second book, Creating Room to Read does explain how their large staff has made a not-for-profit organization run like a very efficient business with low overheads and expanding each year at a phenomenal rate. They have now expanded into ten countries in Asia and Africa. In each country they employ local staff and only agree to help those communities contributing through their labour or time or land. This ensures that the community really wants to be involved and will look after the project. There is frequent monitoring of their programmes and checking to see how effective they are. This sometimes leads to discoveries where things have gone wrong; where staff have not had the same dedication as most of the team or those promising funding have not produced the money and in these instances the anguish John describes in the book seems very real. He also describes vividly the exhaustion and exhilaration which come from involvement in such an endeavour. Creating Room to Read may not be such a personal story as the first book and there is some duplication of material, but I found it a fascinating and inspiring story with many heartwarming stories of students and communities benefitting in so many ways from the programmes set up by Room to Read. Each of these books would be enjoyed by Middle and Senior students as well as teachers and community members. KS

The downloadable leaflets below give some information on Room to Read and also describe a new initiative involving children’s and young adult authors working with students to fundraise for the children of Nepal whose lives were devastated by the recent earthquake. This campaign, The World Change Challenge, was designed several years ago by Tristan Bancks and is now supported by quite a few Room to Read Writer Ambassadors. It has already been set up in Australia and in Hong Kong but Room to Read would welcome the participation of schools in other countries, as well.  

If you’d like more information, please contact Jennie Orchard in Australia ( or Jodi Mullen in Hong Kong ( You could also investigate the Room to Read website,


Picture Books

Jennifer Berne & Vladimir Radunsky (illus)
On a Beam of Light: A Story of Albert Einstein hardback 9780811872355 $27.95

A delightful and somewhat quirky introduction to Albert Einstein for young children. The authors show the curiosity that Einstein had as a young child. He questioned everything and wanted to work out the hidden mysteries of the world. The illustrations are simple, often amusing and very effective in drawing attention to Albert’s thoughts and interests. The book endeavours to describe Einstein’s life and discoveries in a way the authors hope will interest young children and engender a love of science. (5 – 8 years.) KS

Aaron Blabey
Pig the Fibber hardback 9781743629062 $16.99

The talented and prolific Aaron Blabey has produced this second delightful book about the slightly manic, very naughty pug named Pig (Pig the Pug is on the 2015 CBCA Shortlist). Pig would often tell lies to get his own way and when he gets into trouble he blames the long-suffering sausage dog Trevor. In this latest episode, Pig’s plan to gobble up all the dog treats kept on the top shelf of the closet ends in disaster when an old bowling ball comes tumbling down on top of him. Once again he gets his come-uppance, this time learning a lesson about telling fibs. Australian. (3-6 years) MC
See also:
Pig the Pug hardback 9781743624777 $16.99 (reviewed in our CBCA Shortlist attachment May 2015)

Marie-Louise Gay
Any Questions? hardback 9781760113179 $19.99

Marie-Louise Gay is both an author and an illustrator and in this lively picture book, she has a lot of fun describing some of the many questions that young children ask her about her writing and how she gets her ideas. She shows that different coloured papers can set the scene for very different illustrations; blue can be a sea scene, white a snow storm and purple a rain storm. Words too can be a catalyst for a story and she plays with ideas and words as though she is in a classroom and asking the children what they think. Then she begins a story which she imagines the children continue. This is a fun exploration of how stories and their illustrations are created. (5 – 8 years) KS

Tania McCartney & Christina Booth (illus)
This is Captain Cook hardback 9780642278692 $24.99

This is the story of Captain Cook as portrayed by Miss Batts’ class in an evening school performance. There are many layers to this clever book, which places the reader in the audience. The written text, which makes me think of a voice-over, is a simple telling of James Cook’s life; how he grew up on a farm, moved to the seaside, joined the Royal Navy, was promoted to Captain and given his own ship, the Endeavour, to sail to Tahiti and find the Great Southern Land. After mapping New Zealand and the east coast of Australia, he returned home to see his family before setting off on more voyages. He was very good at navigating by the stars and drawing maps and apparently he loved the shiny buttons on his uniform! This story is played out by the children on stage, with the imaginative use of various props, and an anxious Miss Batts hovering in the wings and guiding proceedings. The front row of the audience is silhouetted along the bottom of each page and we follow their reactions, both visually and in the form of occasional speech and thought bubbles. Also, at the beginning of the play a chicken escapes from a little boy’s arms and throughout the play there are many attempts to re-capture it as it wanders around the stage. The illustrations in this charming book capture all the earnestness, innocence and chaos of a school play, and there are lots of visual elements to explore. At the end of the book you’ll find Cook’s Gallery, featuring several items from the National Library of Australia and a link to their website if you’d like to see more. Highly recommended. Australian. (4-7years) MC

Sandra Moore & Kazumi Wilds (illus)
The Peace Tree from Hiroshima: The Little Bonsai with a Big Story hardback 978805313473 $19.99

It was back in 1625 that this pine tree was taken from the forest and cared for and trimmed and pruned so that it would always be small, a bonsai. The skills of caring for the tree were passed from father to son over many generations. In 1945 the tree amazingly survived unharmed the bombing of Hiroshima and in 1976 the family decided to give the ancient tree as part of a gift which came to be an emblem of the peace between the United States and Japan. The story is told in the first person by the tree itself and the beautiful illustrations show us details of the family and how they cared for this tree over the centuries. At the end of the book some facts about the art of bonsai and a glossary are included. (5 – 9 years) KS

Michael Wagner & Tom Jellett (illus)
Why I Love Footy hardback 9780670077878 $19.99

A young lad and his family are off to a football game (AFL or Aussie Rules as it’s also known). A proud Swans supporter, he’s full of excitement as he dons his jumper, hat and scarf before they set off to catch the train with all the other fans. At the grounds they have a laugh at the mascots, get good seats and sing the team song when the banner goes up. It’s an exciting game, with footy food at half-time, and when it’s over he kicks the ball around with other youngsters before catching the train home, listening to the fans talking about the game and the players. Back home, he spreads his footy cards on the floor as the family settles in to watch the replay on tv, and he dreams of one day growing up to be a great footy player. Perfect for young fans, with the endpapers depicting the scarves of all the different teams. Australian. (4 – 6 years) MC

Margaret Wild & Judith Rossell (illus)
Bogtrotter hardback 9781921977558 $24.95

Bogtrotter runs all day, up and down and around the bog, until it’s time to go home. Although he seems happy enough, he sometimes felt a little bored and wished things would change, but he didn’t know how or what or why. A chance encounter with a frog quietly challenges him to change his routine, to stop and smell the roses, and he gradually adds new experiences to his daily rituals. Ah, much happier! A gentle exploration of the positive things that can happen when we challenge ourselves, try new things, think outside the square. Australian.
(4-6 years) MC

Picture books in brief:

William Shakespeare by Mick Manning & Brita Granstrom hardback 9781847803450 $29.95. Scenes from the life of Shakespeare; includes graphic-novel versions of some of the plays (8-11 years)
My Name is Lizzie Flynn: A Story of the Rajah Quilt by Claire Saxby & Elizabeth Newcomb (illus) hardback 9781922179913 $24.95. Based on the story of a quilt made by convict women on board the Rajah, bound for Australia (6-8 years) Australian.
Tiny: The Invisible World of Microbes by Nicola Davies & Emily Sutton pb 9781406360707 $16.95 (non-fic picture 6-8 years)
Possum Magic Cookbook by Mem Fox & Julie Vivas (illus) hardback 9781742991214 $16.99. Fun recipes based on the classic Australian foods in Possum Magic. Australian.
Whoever You Are by Mem Fox & Leslie Staub (illus) pb 9781760152871 $15.99. Back in print! This story weaves its way across cultures and generations, celebrating the bond that unites us all. Australian.
Red Feather by Ben Kitchen & Owen Swan (illus) hardback 9780957988439 $24.99. The storyline of this lovely picture book is centred around creative play, imagination and sharing. Australian. (3-6 years)


Anna Branford & Lisa Coutts (illus)
The Precious Ring: Book 1 Lily the Elf pb 9781925081046 $7.95

Anna Branford, author of the excellent Violet Mackerel books, has started this charming new series for much younger readers. Lily lives with her dad in a tiny elf house, hidden away under a bridge in a busy city. In their lovely moss garden is an even tinier house where Lily’s granny lives. One morning Lily finds a jewel-encrusted ring in the garden and even though Granny says it’s just painted plastic and glass, Lily thinks it’s beautiful, with the jewels making rainbows all over the garden. Filled up with water from overnight rain, it makes a paddling pool fit for a princess! When the little girl who lost it, clearly upset, returns to the bridge with her mother, Lily decides to do the right thing and return the ring. With just five short chapters and black and white illustrations throughout, this is perfect for very young readers. Australian. (4 – 6 years) MC
Also in this series:
The Midnight Owl: Book 2 Lily the Elf pb 9781925081053 $7.95
The Elf Flute: Book 3 Lily the Elf pb 9781925081077 $7.95
(due 1st Aug)
The Wishing Seed: Book 4 Lily the Elf pb 9781925081060 $7.95 (due 1st Aug)

Ally Carter
All Fall Down: Book 1 Embassy Row hardback 9781743628942 $19.99

The latest from this NY Times best-selling author. This is the start of an exciting and fast paced series, bound to attract a large following. Centred around 16 year old Grace Blakely, the story follows her unwavering quest in solving her mother’s murder and bringing the killer to justice. Entertaining and easy to read, and with a great mix of tension, politics, power and mystery, this is a great book for readers transitioning from teenage to young adult literature. (13-16 years) HL

Paula J Freedman
My Basmati Bat Mitzvah pb 9781419713682 $11.99

Tara Feinstein has many definite ideas about what she likes and dislikes but at times wonders about her ethnicity since her father is Jewish and her mother Indian. This often leaves her in a state of confusion about where her loyalties lie and leads to many amusing situations. However she manages a lively resolution at her bat mitzvah, a Jewish ceremony where she also manages to strongly acknowledge her Indian family and show her pleasure in a delightful mix of cultures. (12 – 16 years) KS

Jacob Grey
The Crow Talker: Book 1 Ferals series pb 9780008139377 $14.99

The World is in danger. It has been for many years. In countries around the world there are people who can speak to animals; they are known as Ferals. When three very deadly Ferals escape from Blackstone Prison, who is going to stand up to them? Join Caw and his crows, Screech, Glum and Milky, in an amazing adventure to stop the spinning man. Will he need friends or will he not? I recommend this book for kids who like fantasy and adventure. (10-12 years)
RO (review by Ryan O’Dempsey, age 10)

B Hellard & L Gibbs
Hooked on Netball: Book 1 Netball Gems series pb 9780857987631 $12.99

This is very much a series for the enthusiastic netball player. Maddy is playing in a team for the first time and is apprehensive. However her enthusiasm grows as her skills improve. Most of the interest of the book revolves around the team practices and the excitement of playing in a match. Each book in this new series will focus on another player in the team, the Gems. Additional information about netball tips and drills is included at the back of the book. (7 – 9 years) KS
Also in this series:
Chase Your Goal: Book 2 pb 9780857987662 $12.99

Sue Lawson
Freedom Ride pb 9781925126365 $17.95

This is a very ugly depiction of the racism prevalent in country towns in NSW and elsewhere in Australia in the 1960s. At that time Indigenous kids could not swim in the local pool when whites were present, they could not go to the local school and were subject to racial taunts and vilification. Robbie is a decent kid but there are huge pressures from his friends, his father, grandmother and most people in the town to behave in the same prejudiced way. However when he gets a job at the local caravan park, he meets people who have a different attitude and when he meets and works with Mickey, a local Aboriginal boy, his confusion and unease increase as he likes Mickey but is not confident enough to go against the racism of friends and family. Events are brought to a head when the Freedom Bus comes to town bringing Charles Perkins and university students who want to highlight the racism and living conditions of Aboriginal people in NSW country towns. There are many confronting and violent scenes in this book which will shock, however the book is based on true events. The Freedom Bus and the events described occurred in 1965 and form an important part of our history. The town is fictional as are the main characters but the novel gives a very realistic impression of the tensions and hatreds that built up in these towns. This is a difficult topic but overall the characters are believable and the rising tension in the town is vividly described. Robbie matures as a person and gains strength from his experiences. At the end of the book several pages describe the events of the actual Freedom Ride and there is also a list of those who took part. Australian (12 – 16 years) KS

Kyle Mewburn & Donovan Blixley (illus)
Fire! : Book 1 Dragon Knight series pb 9781775432593 $4.99 (for a limited time)

This new series is sure to be a winner with confident young readers or those at primary level who haven’t yet formed a reading habit. Passing as a human boy, Merek is a shapeshifting dragon who longs to be a knight, and his ambition seems to be under way when he is chosen to attend Knight School. As in every group, there is another student who seems determined to quell the eager young unknown; and Merek also faces the difficulty in keeping his identity secret, especially when his control of fire is imperfect, plus he’s in a profession that slays dragons! This novel is great fun, crammed with wordplay, ‘facts’, humour, surprises and action. Much of the wit will appeal to adults as well, and there are handy information panels that play with medieval history. Colour illustrations throughout. New Zealand. (6-9 years) LB
Also in this series:
Rats! : Book 2 Dragon Knight pb 9781775432609 $9.99
Witch! : Book 3 Dragon Knight pb 9781775432616 $9.99
(due 1st Aug)
Dragons! : Book 4 Dragon Knight pb 9781775432623 $9.99 (due 1st Sept)

Gary Northfield
Julius Zebra: Rumble with the Romans! hardback 9781406354928 $17.95

This is the first book in a funny series about the adventures of Julius Zebra, who’s a bit daft and quite naïve. Fleeing from a stinky, crocodile-infested waterhole in the Serengeti, he falls into a hole, along with a warthog named Cornelius and a very grumpy lion called Milus. They are captured by a centurion and his army and transported to Rome, destined to become part of the entertainment in the dangerous gladiator’s arena at the Colosseum (upon hearing they were headed for Circus Maximus, Julius is delighted, believing he is off to the circus…..). By a stroke of luck Julius becomes the People’s Champion, earning the right to fight for his freedom in the gladiator championships being held for Emperor Hadrian’s birthday bash. The zany humour of the text and prolific black and white cartoon-style illustrations will have particular appeal to young boys and, as Northfield cleverly weaves in historical elements, they’ll learn a bit about gladiators and Ancient Roman times. The Glossary at end explains many of the historical terms used in the story. (8-10 years) MC

Helen Peters
The Farm Beneath the Water pb 9780857632616 $13.99

Hannah and her sisters (and brother) are back in this marvellous second book by English writer Helen Peters. We first met this family in The Secret Hen House Theatre, when Hannah and her friends revive a very old, disused hen house on their farm and recreate it as a theatre. In this book, their ancient, beautiful old farm is under threat from developers, and once again Hannah tries to rally the troops and save the farm. I really loved this book – with its wonderfully rich pastoral descriptions of all the flora and fauna, the group dynamics between Hannah and her friends, and the developing narrative of the family. It’s suspenseful, funny and inventive, with a truly original, stirring denouement. I was engrossed in this story, and I would have absolutely loved it when I was young. (10-13 years) LP
See also:
The Secret Hen House Theatre by Helen Peters pb 9780857630650 $14.99
Louise, Lynndy and Mandy all loved this book, reviewed in our Feb 2013 newlsetter.

Ted Sanders
The Box and the Dragonfly: Book 1 The Keepers pb 9781471403590 $16.95

When a boy named Horace F Andrews encounters the H.F.A sign he feels compelled to investigate. When he gets off the bus he encounters a big, skinny spider-like man striding towards him. As he nears the H.F.A sign he can feel something pulling him towards it, but can he get there before the Kesh-Kiri comes? I recommend this book for people who like fantasy with a twist of mystery, and I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel. (10 – 12 years)
RO (review by Ryan O’Dempsey, age 10)

David Solomons
My Brother is a Superhero pb 9780857634795 $12.99

Relationships between brothers in any family can be fraught with emotion. It’s completely understandable that Luke is brimming with petulant jealousy and resentment when he discovers his homework-addicted, superhero-ignorant older brother Zack has been visited by an alien, AND given superpowers, while Luke ducked out on a bathroom break. Not only that, but Zack is maddeningly casual about his enhanced status. Thank goodness comic-obsessed Luke knows how superheroes are supposed to dress and comport themselves; soon Zack has a new name (Star Lad), has rejected the cape made from the downstairs bathroom shower curtain, and is regularly flitting off to rescue people while retaining his secret identity. He also has a Grand Mission to save two universes, but being kidnapped by his nemesis threatens that mission. With the help of Luke and his best friend Serge who are equipped for galactic survival through their encyclopaedic knowledge of comic books and superheroes, along with the dauntless rebel Lara who is equipped with curiosity and endless malapropisms, perhaps Zack can succeed. I loved this novel. It features characters that are full of heart, surprisingly innocent, and completely credible. Warm, mad and very, very funny. (10-12 or 13 years). LB (I loved it too – highly recommended! Mandy)

R A Spratt
Friday Barnes, Girl Detective: Book 1 Friday Barnes series pb 9781742759623 $15.99

With her academic parents distracted by theoretical physics and such, 11 year old sleuth Friday Barnes is left to get on with things. When she solves a case with a $50,000 reward, she uses the money to enroll herself in Highcrest Academy, one of the most elite boarding schools in the country. Extremely well-read, highly intelligent, eccentric and quite the dag in her brown cardigan and green hat, Friday is a social misfit. She soon discovers that Highcrest is not the respectable school it appears to be. In fact, it’s a hotbed of crime and Friday’s detective skills earn her enough money from her wealthy peers to cover her ongoing expenses. Most satisfying of all, though, she solves the mystery of the rare birds being smuggled out of the school swamp. A fast-paced, clever and highly entertaining read. Australian. (9 or 10 – 12 years) MC
Also in this series:
Friday Barnes, Under Suspicion: Book 2 pb 9781742759647 $15.99
Friday Barnes, Big Trouble: Book 3 pb 9780857986993 $15.99
(due 3 Aug 2015)

Fiction in brief:

65-Storey Treehouse series by Andy Griffiths & Terry Denton (illus) pb 9781743533222 $12.99. (7-10 years). Due mid Aug.
Lone Wolf: Book 12 CHERUB series by Robert Muchamore pb 9781444914115 $17.99 (Teen fiction/thriller).
A Song for Ella Grey by David Almond pb 9781444922134 $14.99 (Teen fiction).
Beast Quest series by Adam Blade #83 Wardok the Sky Terror 9781408334874, #84 Xerik the Bone Crusher 9781408334898, #85 Plexor the Raging Reptile 9781408334911, #86 Quagos the Armoured Beetle 9781408334935. All pb $12.99 (fantasy fiction 7-9 years)
Ophelia: Queen of Denmark by Jackie French pb 9780732298524 $16.99 (historical fiction 10-13 years) Australian.
Shadows of the Master: Book1 Star of Deltora by Emily Rodda pb 9781742990620 $9.99. New series by author of Deltora Quest, Rowan of Rin, Rondo and Three Doors series (fantasy 9-12 years) Australian. Due Aug.
Vietnam: My Australian Story series by Deborah Challinor pb 9781743628003 $16.99 (historical fiction 10-13 years). Australian.
Verity Sparks & the Scarlet Hand: Book3 Verity Sparks by Susan Green pb 9781922244895 $16.95 (mystery fiction 10-13 years) Australian. I loved Bks1&2!
Super Weird: Book 4 Weirdo series by Anh Do pb 9781743629314 $14.99 (fiction 8-10 years). Australian. Hugely popular series!
Cyclone Fever: Mates series by Sally Morgan & Beth Norling (illus) pb 9781742991030 $12.99 (fiction 7-9 years) Australian.
Eve & the Runaway Unicorn: Book 1 Keeper of the Crystals series by Jess Black & Celeste Hulme (illus) pb 9780957988415 $14.99 (fantasy 8-10 years) Australian.
Marly & the Goat: Book 3 Marly: Our Australian Girl series by Alice Pung & Lucia Masciullo (illus) pb 9780143308515 $14.99 (historical fiction 8-10 years) Australian.


Mary Hoffman & Ros Asquith (illus)
The Great Big Green Book hardback 9781847804457 $27.95

Amusing, lively illustrations and text combine to give us a delightful picture of our wonderful world for younger children. The book shows children the importance of having clean air, saving water and protecting animals and discusses how children can contribute by helping to save water, recycle, and grow food. The book also suggests that children can ask questions and may have smart ideas since adults don’t always get everything right. There is an index of useful works and websites on how to keep our planet green. This is a lively and interesting introduction to the importance of a green planet and how children can contribute. (5 – 8 years) KS

Steve Jenkins & Robin Page (illus)
Egg: Nature’s Perfect Package hardback 9780547959092 $24.99

I love the books produced by husband and wife team Steve Jenkins and Robin Page. Their take on the natural world is always engaging, accessible and informative, with gorgeous illustrations and information given in a conversational manner. This book is no exception. It takes a look at an amazing variety of eggs laid by an equally amazing variety of birds, insects, sea creatures, reptiles, spiders, and two mammals – the echidna and the platypus. Some lay just one or two eggs, others millions, in many different shapes, colours and sizes. I was fascinated by the different places that these creatures place their eggs, and how they care for them until they hatch; some bury them, others carry them or guard them, and some just leave them alone. Regardless of how it’s done, each egg contains everything needed to create a new living creature. At the back is a double page spread with information about the size, habitat and diet of each of the creatures in the book. (7-10 years) MC

Daniel Nassar & Julio Antonio Blasco (illus)
Animal Architects: Amazing Animals Who Build Their Homes hardback 9781780676531 $22.99

This attractive and fascinating book explores how different birds, animals and insects from around the world build their homes. Monarch butterflies, chimpanzees, termites, gladiator frogs, satin bowerbirds, honeybees, African tree frogs, beavers and more – all build such amazing and clever structures to protect and feed themselves and raise their young. Each double page spread contains beautiful illustrations of the animal and its home, with lots of facts about how and where they build, and there is a fold-out panel with stats and information about habitat, behaviour, feeding, enemies and materials used, along with a simple architectural diagram. (6-10 years) MC

Claire Saxby & Jeremy Lord (illus)
Meet Weary Dunlop hardback 9780857985361 $24.99

Another excellent addition to the Meet…. series, picture books introducing young readers to the extraordinary men and women who have shaped Australia’s history. Sir Edward ‘Weary’ Dunlop was an Australian Army surgeon during World War II. After growing up on a farm, he studied medicine at Melbourne University and later attended St Bartholomew’s Medical School in London, becoming a Fellow of the Royal College of Surgeons. When WWII began he enlisted in the Australian Army Medical Corps, serving in Greece and Crete before being transferred to Java in Indonesia as the war worsened in the Pacific. When Java fell to the Japanese, Weary and other POWs were eventually transferred to Thailand to build the Thai-Burma Railway, and his bravery and compassion helped to save the lives and bolster the spirits of his fellow POWs. So respected was he that more than 10,000 people lined the streets of Melbourne for his state funeral in 1993. You’ll find a Timeline at the end of the book. Australian. (5 – 8 years) MC
Others in this series:
Meet Douglas Mawson by Mike Dumbleton & Snip Green (illus)
hardback 9780857981950 $24.99, pb 9780857981967 $16.99
(due Aug 2015)
Meet the ANZACS by Claire Saxby & Max Berry (ill) hardback 9780857981929 $24.99, pb 9780857981936 $16.99 (due Aug 2015)
Meet Banjo Paterson by Kritstin Weidenbach & James Gulliver Hancock (ill) hardback 9780857980083 $24.99
Meet Nancy Bird Walton by Grace Atwood & Harry Slaghekke (ill) hardback 9780857983879 $24.99
Meet Captain Cook by Rae Murdie & Chris Nixon (ill) pb 9780857980182 $16.99
Meet Ned Kelly by Janeen Brian & Matt Adams (ill) hardback 9781742757186 $19.99, pb 9781742757193 $16.99
Meet Mary MacKillop by Sally Murphy & Sonia Martinez (ill) hardback 9781742757216 $19.99, pb 9781742757223 $16.99

Kate Shepherd and Mandy Clarke

KS Kate Shepherd
MC Mandy Clarke
RO Ryan O’Dempsey (age 10)
LP Louise Pfanner
LB Lynndy Bennett
HL Hannah Ley

If you would like to order any of the books reviewed in this newsletter or in the accompanying lists, send orders to Austral Ed by email:

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For further suggestions visit the gleebooks website

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