Gleebooks Education 

February 2017

Gleebooks Bookshop - Monday, February 06, 2017


Gleebooks Education No 54 , February 2017

Greetings from Maija, Kate & Mandy 

Welcome to 2017 and happy Chinese new year!  Our international schools will be well into the swing of things but to our Australian teachers I trust that you are well rested, I’m happy to report that I had a wonderful month of leave spent variously in New Zealand, South Coast of NSW and the Snowy Mountains.

The 2017 Celebrate Reading National Conference: The Inside Story of Quality Australian Literature for Children will be held at the Children’s Literature Centre in Fremantle Western Australia from 27 – 28 October.  It will feature the following eight authors/illustrators : Jeannie Baker, Leigh Hobbs, Anna Fienberg, Mark Wilson, Glenda Millard, Gus Gordon, Meg McKinlay, and Kyle Hughes-Odgers.  Delegates are always full of praise for the Conference.  The format is especially interesting in that there are no concurrent sessions and a number of engrossing panel discussions.  For all the details check out the website

Our last newsletter came out before the 2016 CBCA awards announcement, so for any of you who missed this you can find the winners, honour books and shortlist on our website:

I’ve just updated the ever popular Big Books list, which can be found here:


Picture Books

The Fabulous Friend Machine by Nick Bland hb 9781760277659 $25.00
When Popcorn, the friendliest chicken at Fiddlesticks Farm finds a smart-phone in the barn, her friends watch helplessly as she becomes obsessed with her new online friends. She decides to have a party, bakes a big chocolate cake and invites all her fabulous new friends, who turn out to be scary wolves who don't want to eat cake! Luckily, her old friends come up with a brilliant plan to save her and the wolves are chased back to the forest. A cautionary tale, told with humour, about online safety for the very young. Australian. (4 - 6 year olds) MC

The Tale of Rickshaw Rooster by Sarah Brennan & Harry Harrison (illus) pb 9789881609878 $15.00
This is the latest in the Chinese Calendar Tales series. Set in 1920's Shanghai this hilarious story pits our local hero against the foreigners and their stinky cars.  Australian. (6-10 years) MC
Other titles in this series:
Tale of Run Run Rat 9789881888273    
Tale of Oswald Ox 9789881888280   
Tale of Temujin 9789881888297 
Tale of Rhonda Rabbit 9789881888259          
Tale of Chester Choi 9789881888266    
Tale of Sybil Snake 9789881609816   
Tale of a Dark Horse 9789881609830    
Tale of Rodney Ram
9789881609854   $15.00 each
Tale of Ming Kee Monkey 9789881609861  $17.00          

Is This An Emergency? Ambulance: The Adventures of Toby the Teddy by Catherine Buckley, Amelia Harrison & Emma Stuart (illus) hb 9780646952901 $24.95
What is an emergency? In this picture book, Toby is faced with both playful and serious situations, and he had to decide if it is an emergency or not, and then what to do. He learns how to save a life, how to call the Australian emergency number 000 and what to tell them. I don't love the illustrations, but this is an excellent book for parents and teachers, and is recommended by Australian Emergency Service Organisations. (6-9 year olds) MC

Du Iz Tak? By Carson Ellis hb 9781406368413 $25.00
 I love this book! An increasing cast of insects ponders a new arrival in the microcosm of their world. Using an invented language that seems more logical to us as the story progresses, the denizens of the garden marvel, firstly over the tiny green shoot and then at each stage as a magnificent flower blooms. Passing seasons are evinced by changes in the dapper and idiosyncratic clothing and pursuits of the tiny characters. Ellis’s extensive use of white space throughout the book focuses our attention on the minute details of the insects’ lives which are rendered in gouache and ink along the bottom of the page, suggesting the physical geography of the story. Did I mention I love this book? I love the language, and it matters not if the reader can’t decipher it, because the flow and heart of the book shine through regardless. I love the wee characters, their curiosity and imagination; the depiction of Nature, and I love the intoxicating originality of the entire book.  Expect to see Carson Ellis’s debut as picture book author/illustrator nominated for future awards. (3-6 years) LB

Somewhere Else by Gus Gordon hb 9780670078851 $25.00
This is an engaging book with a delightfully quirky sense of humour in the text and especially in the illustrations. There are many details, often collages taken from French advertisements giving the book its very different feel.  George Laurent is a goose who lives in France and is a wonderful cook, always cooking some delicacy for his friends who call in and invite him to fly off to some wonderful new place.  George always refuses saying he is too busy but his friend Pascal the bear discovers that George is embarrassed because he has never learnt to fly.  On seeing a wonderful advertisement from 1883 of a hot air balloon, they decide to make a balloon together and go off happily discovering new places.  Australian (3–5 years)  KS      

Ada's Violin: The Story of the Recycled Orchestra of Paraguay by Susan Hood & Sally Wern Comport (illus) hb 9781481430951 $25.00
The town of Cateura is the main garbage dump for the capital city of Asuncion, Paraguay. It's one of the poorest slums in South America. Over 2500 families live there on less than two dollars a day, and work long hours picking through the rubbish looking for things they can recycle and sell. Favio Chavez, an environmental engineer, was sent to Cateura to teach safety practices to the gancheros working amongst the dangerous heaps of refuse. He was also a musician and started teaching music to the children, but there weren't enough instruments. With the help of a carpenter and other gancheros, they transformed oil drums into cellos, water pipes into flutes, and packing crates into guitars, and over time, his music class became an orchestra. The Recycled Orchestra now plays all over the world, with  money from the concerts going back to Cateura to help families rebuild their homes. This amazing, inspirational story is told from the perspective of a young girl, Ada, whose violin was made from an old paint can, an aluminium baking tray, a fork, and pieces of wooden crates. Fascinating and uplifting! (6 - 10 year olds) MC

Bee & Me by Alison Jay hb 9781910646052 $25.00
This delightful wordless picture book tells the story of a little girl, and a bee she rescues. The plight of the world’s bees is well known, and this most charming book is full of encouraging sentiment for fostering all nature, especially bees. The little girl lives in the city, but has reminders of nature all around her. I particularly loved all the flowery and spotty patterns throughout the book, and there’s a list of flowers and herbs that bees love, for any nascent gardeners out there. A great one for reading with the very young, and older children will enjoy the details and humour throughout. Alison Jay's illustrations are gorgeous, as always - warm, colourful and full of detail. (4-7 year olds) LP & MC

Juana & Lucas by Juana Medina pb 9780763672089 $25.00
Juana lives in Bogota, Columbia and speaks Spanish.  Juana is appalled when she is told that the class will be learning English.  It is so difficult.  How will she ever learn how to pronounce “th”?  As she chats about her life and its difficulties, her story is sprinkled with Spanish words, the meaning of which can mainly be guessed from the context.  Her complaints about learning English stop when she learns that her beloved grandfather will take her and her mother to visit Spaceland in Florida, that convinces her that there is a purpose to learning English and with the help of friends and relatives, her English quickly improves.  The exuberant cartoon style illustrations add to the humour and liveliness of this book.  I was very pleased to see two different languages used in an illustrated book for young children where there is also discussion of the difficulties and advantages of learning a new language.  Although many children learn a second language, it is very unusual to find this depicted in a book for children.  Juana is delighted when she can talk to people in Florida and understand more of what is going on and is determined to continue learning English and maybe more languages!  (7–9 years)  KS

Lines, Squiggles, Letters, Words by Ruth Rocha & Madalena Matoso (illus) hb 9781592702084 $25.00
Translated from the Portuguese, this picture book describes the puzzling world of signs and letters that Pedro sees but doesn’t understand when he goes into the city.  There is the sign for his street and on the bus and for so many shops and buildings.   But when Pedro starts school and he learns first the letter A and then D, to his amazement it is as though these letters have suddenly been miraculously included in the signs.  Soon to his delight, he can read whole words and then so many signs start to make sense.  Ruth Rocha and Madalena Matoso have created an innovative picture book which tries to help us understand how the world looks to a young child who cannot read and then how it must feel when letters and words gradually make sense.  It would be so interesting to read this engaging book to a group of young children just learning to read.  (3–6 years)  KS

The Nian Monster by Andrea Wang & Alina Chau hb 9780807556429 $27.95
The legendary Nian monster has returned at Chinese New Year. With horns, scales and wide wicked jaws, Nian is intent on devouring Shanghai, starting with Xingling! The old tricks to keep him away don't work anymore, but Xingling outwits him with Chinese New Year traditions. (5-8 year olds) MC

They All Saw a Cat by Brendan Wenzel hb 9781452150130 $30.00
This seems a simple picture book.  The refrain of “The cat walked through the world, with its whiskers, ears and paws” is repeated several times as various creatures see the cat.  However the cat looks very different to each creature.  The child sees a soft friendly animal, the flea sees long, long hairs, the mouse sees a terrifying huge menacing creature with teeth and piercing eyes and the bird sees a small creature far below walking through a meadow.  However there are still more differences.  When the bee sees the cat it sees it as dots of colour, while the bat sees just a dotted shape (presumably this is an artist’s impression of how it could appear from the waves the bat sends out).  There is so much to discuss about the way this cat is perceived so differently by different creatures.  It is a lovely idea and it has been beautifully illustrated.  (3–6 years)  KS


House of Secrets: Book 1 House of Secrets by Chris Columbus & Ned Vizzini 9780007490158 $15.00                                                                                       
The Walkers are moving into Kristoff house, as Mr Walker just lost his job. Brendan, Eleanor and Cordelia Walker hate this change and wish they could move back to their old house. Suddenly a woman appears at their doorstep calling herself the Wind Witch, sending the children into three Kristoff novels. Brendan, Eleanor and Cordelia have only one way of getting back home, to give the Wind Witch the book of doom and desire, a book whereupon anything you wish for comes true. Journey alongside the Walker children as they battle warriors, giants, pirates and the Wind Witch. What will happen to the children? What secrets are lurking in the books? Will they make it home alive? (10-13 year olds) RO'D (aged 12)           See also: Battle of the Beasts: 2 House of Secrets pb 9780007490172 $15.00
Brobot by James Foley pb 9781925163919 $15.00
The world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, Sally is so frustrated by her baby brother’s ubiquitous mess and smelliness that she undertakes building an ‘ideal’ brother. Unlike little Joe, who has many design faults such as leaking toxic waste from his nappy, and perpetual stickiness, Brobot is obedient, hygienic and not at all destructive. Done: A helpful, controllable brother with superior features! All is grand until Brobot’s remote control breaks, chaos reigns, and Sally recognises that there are some advantages to a human brother. Witty humour abounds in this short graphic novel—may there be many more!  Australian (7-9 years) LB

The Doldrums by Nicholas Gannon hb 9780062320940 $25.00
Eleven year old Archer B Helmsley has grown up in a house full of curiosities and treasures collected by his grandparents, who are famous explorers, but ever since they disappeared on an expedition to Antarctica two years ago, Archer's mother barely lets him leave the house. Longing for adventure, he and his friends, Adelaide and Oliver, make a grand plan to go and find his grandparents. This is a quirky adventure, with lovely use of language and absolutely gorgeous full-colour illustrations throughout. I loved this stunning debut and will be watching out for more from this wonderful storyteller. (10-13 year olds) MC

Iris and the Tiger by Leanne Hall pb 9781925240795 $17.00
A family plot to gain an inheritance from eccentric Aunt Ursula lands 10 year old Iris in Spain, and completely out of her depth; an unwilling pawn in her parents' schemes. An intriguing surrealist mystery. I loved the writing, and I loved Iris! Australian. (11-13 years) MC

The Novice: Book 1 The Summoner by Taran Matharu pb 9781444923995 $16.00
Fletcher is an orphan in training as a blacksmith's apprentice when he discovers he has the rare ability to summon demons from another world. Compelling, page-turning fantasy highly recommended for readers who enjoy action, adventure and a bit of magic. (12-15 years) RO'D (aged 12)                                                                   
See also: The Inquisition: Book 2 Summoner pb 9781444924244 $16.00

Stars at Oktober Bend by Glenda Millard pb 9781743315897 $20.00
This is such a surprising book.  How is it possible to write so convincingly in the words of a girl who has been seriously injured in a brutal attack when she was twelve years old?  The attack has left her prone to episodes when her “electricals” go haywire.  She is only able to speak very slowly and her words are slurred, but she finds that she can write poetry.  She describes her love of poetry and for her family; her grandmother Gram, her fiercely protective brother Joey and her dog Bear and also for the countryside at Oktober Bend as she works out how to get her life back together again.  Manny James is the other most important character and he also tells his own story in his own words.  He was once a child soldier in Sierra Leone and lost his whole family but has found a loving adoptive family in Oktober Bend.  Manny’s chapters are told in a straightforward way, with normal punctuation.  The story of how Manny finds Alice’s poems and how they meet and together, gradually, find love and healing is beautifully told.  Highly recommended.  Australian (13–17 years) KS

Wormwood Mire: Book 2: A Stella Montgomery Intrigue by Judith Rossell hb 9780733333019 $23.00
I just loved the first Stella Montgomery Intrigue, Withering-by-Sea, and am thrilled that this sequel is just as satisfying. After her exhilarating adventures, the Aunts are most displeased with Stella, and so she is sent off to the old family home, Wormwood Mire, to stay with her odd (but endearing) cousins, Strideforth and Hortense, and their governess, Miss Araminter. The gardens are overgrown, 'dark secrets slither and skulk' and there is something lurking in the lake..... This gothic adventure, full of family secrets is once again a really attractive book, this time with green text and lovely green ink wash illustrations throughout. Thoroughly enjoyable and highly recommended. Australian. (9-12 year olds) MC
See also:
Withering-by-Sea: Book 1 A Stella Montgomery Intrigue hb 9780733333002  $23.00 (Winner 2015 Indie Awards, ABIA and Davitt Awards, Honour Book 2015 CBCA Awards,Shortlist 2014 Aurealis Awards)

Artie & the Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh pb 9781760292140 $17.00
Artie and Bumshoe have cracked a local crime gang. They're determined to expose it, but with the megalomaniac Mayor Grime in charge and toting a gang of shady characters, they may have bitten off more than they can chew. Luckily, Auntie-boy has a few tricks up her sleeve.... Lots of fun - very slapstick, with a cast of larger-than-life characters, and hilarious line drawings by the author throughout. Not only can he act, the talented Richard Roxburgh can write and draw as well! Australian. (8/9-11 year olds) MC

Chook Doolan:  Rules and Rules
by James Roy & Lucinda Gifford (illus) pb 9781922244932 
Simon is scared of so many things and so his nickname is Chook.  But he is a very likeable boy and this story of how he walked to school for the first time is engaging and funny.  This is the first in a new series about Chook for beginner readers. Other titles in the series are:
Chook Doolan: The Newest Pet 9781922244949
Chook Doolan: Saves the Day 9781922244956
Chook Doolan: The Tiny Guitar 9781922244963 Australian.  $8.00 each  (5–6 years)  KS

One Thousand Hills by James Roy & Noel Zihabamwe pb 9781742990750 $17.00
James Roy and Noel Zihabamwe have combined together to tell the story of a young boy and his family in Rwanda and their life leading up to the horrific massacre that took place in 1994.  Noel Zihabamwe is himself a refugee who survived the massacre and came to Australia. The story begins in Belgium in 1999 with an interview with a counsellor who is trying to understand more about this boy who has obviously suffered a terrible trauma.  The boy, Pascal reluctantly describes his family and the village, school and friends.  He tells his story through the eyes of his ten-year-old self who had very little understanding of what was going on around him as his parents tried to shield him from the growing tension.  The story is punctuated by the questioning sessions in Belgium and they add to our increasing dread of the horrors which are yet to be described.  Pascal’s story is devastating.  Evidently this story must not be forgotten and must be told but it is truly a shocking story, made all the vivid because so much of what actually happens is left to our imagination.  I found the story very well told but so disturbing that I would hesitate to give the book to children younger than eleven years.   Teachers would need to do some research on the historical background of this massacre if they wished to use this book in the classroom.  Australian (11–14 years) KS

My Brother is a Superhero by David Solomons pb 9780857634795 $13.00
Luke is obsessed with comics and superheroes, unlike his older brother, Zack, who is a bit of a maths nerd. One day they're up in the treehouse and Luke needs to go for a wee. While he's gone, aliens arrive and bestow superpowers on the undeserving Zack. Luke is outraged! Zack is a pretty reluctant superhero and it's up to Luke, and his friend Cara, to make sure he does it properly. After all, there are two universes to be saved. Highly entertaining. Winner of the Waterstones Children's Book Prize. (10-13 year olds) MC  
My Gym Teacher is an Alien Overlord pb 9780857637338 $13.00 
Luke, who MISSED OUT on receiving superpowers from Zorbon the Decider, once again has to come up with a plan to defeat the invaders, and save the earth. The fate of the world rested on his shoulders. His brother Zack (aka Star Lad) rested in bed with the flu...... Excellent sequel to My Brother is a Superhero. (10-13 year olds) MC

The Book of Whispers by Kimberley Starr pb 9781925355512 $20.00
Set in Tuscany in AD 1096, this is a great YA fantasy novel about Luca de Falconi, a knight in training. Luca is the heir to the Conte de Falconi, and he lives in a small village aided by the Emperor of Byzantium, Alexios. When his father gives him a book that has been passed down through the generations, Luca begins to discover his true talent: the ability to see demons. Each demon relates to one of the seven deadly sins. Pride, greed, rage, envy, gluttony, lust and sloth. Luca discovers the plans that the demons have made to control the world, so he and his friends must head to Jerusalem in order to stop the demons. History, page-turning adventure, and a bit of romance -  I couldn't put this down, and am really looking forward to the sequel!  Australian (12-15 year olds). RO'D (aged 12)

Truly Tan by Jen Storer pb 9780733331213 $17.00
Tan has three older sisters, Emerald, Amber and Rose, all named after colours.  When she was born her father did the naming, it was still a colour but her father chose Tan.  Tan is very different from her sisters.  She is feisty, adventurous and always investigating.  In fact she considers herself a detective and is always looking for mysteries to solve.  When the family shifts to the country with their various animals, there is lots of action and very funny situations.  This is a most enjoyable series.  Other titles in the series all showing Tan’s investigative skills are:
Truly Tan: Freaked 9780733333187
Truly Tan: Hoodwinked!  9780733334115
Truly Tan: Jinxed!  9780733331220
Truly Tan: Spooked! 9780733331237
Truly Tan: Trapped! 9780733334122  Australian.  $17.00 each (8–11 years)  KS

Forgetting Foster by Dianne Touchell pb 9781760110796 $20.00
This novel is a tremendously powerful depiction of a young family facing dementia. Seven-year-old Foster adores his lively prankster dad whose endless imagination allows him to weave marvelous stories around anything at all. When his dad starts to forget everyday things, none of their family is concerned—after all, everyone forgets things at times. However with more frequent forgetting comes a decrease in joking, and changes in his dad’s personality, then his mum becoming very angry and overwrought, so that even optimistic Foster realises something very serious is wrong in his family. ‘Foster’s feelings were tangling him up. No one was explaining to him how he should be feeling and he didn’t understand the feeling that was bothering him now… Dad was going away somewhere all on his own. And Foster was already missing him.’ Indiscriminate and tragic, dementia is far more commonly known as a disease that strikes older people but it affects much younger people too, and in this heart-wrenching story we share Foster’s amusement, confusion and ambivalence as his family dissolves then adapts around his dad’s illness. Unsettling, compassionate and just superb. Australian (10-14 years) LB

Time Travelling with a Hamster by Ross Welford pb 9780008156312 $15.00
Twelve year old Al Chaudhury has a chance to save his dad's life, but to do it he must travel back to 1984 in a home-made time machine. Understandably, he's a bit nervous and so decides to test it out on his hamster first. When he realises that the laptop that controls the time machine is about to disappear along with his hamster, he jumps in too. A funny, thoughtful, heart-warming and thoroughly enjoyable read. Great storytelling - this will be an author to look out for. His next book (not a sequel) looks great and is on top of my reading pile. (10/11-13 year olds) MC                                      
See also: What Not To Do If You Turn Invisible pb 9780008156350  $15.00

Today I Will Fly by Mo Willems 9781406338485 pb $12.00
The sparse text in Mo Willems’ Elephant and Piggie books belies the depth of story, while minimalist expressive illustrations allow focus on the text which is all in speech or thought bubbles. Best friends Elephant and Piggie encounter relatable events, such as going to a party, feeling sad, learning new skills, the difficulty of waiting, and other childhood dilemmas. These are endearingly joyful books pitched at starters on the reading trajectory. LB
Other titles in the series are:
My Friend is Sad 9781406338478
There is a Bird on Your Head! 9781406348248
I Am Invited to a Party! 9781406338430
I Love My New Toy! 9781406348262
I Will Surprise My Friend! 9781406338461
Are You Ready to Play Outside? 9781406348255
Watch Me Throw the Ball! 9781406348279
There is a Bird on Your Head! 9781406348248
Let’s Go For a Drive! 9781406373578   $12.00 each

by Fiona Wood pb 9781743533123 $20.00
This book is a delight.  Van Uoc attends Crowthrone Grammar where she is in the first year of the International Baccalaureate programme.  However she is on a scholarship and as the only daughter of Vietnamese refugees who live in housing commission flats, she tries to keep a low profile since she feels her difference keenly from the other wealthier students.  This is the same school as provided the setting for the earlier books of Fiona Wood; Six Impossible Things and Wildlife, both of which were highly recommended.  Van Uoc struggles to reconcile her life at school with the life of her parents who gave up so much so that she would have a good education and a chance in life.  The book is written in the third person but appears to be such an intimate and authentic portrayal of this young Vietnamese woman.   We feel we get to know Van Uoc as she discusses her feelings, her fantasies and her feelings of detachment from the other students.  Van Uoc enjoys the challenges of her studies and there are interesting discussions of her work for the Theory of Knowledge and also of a major art project.  There is a touch of magic which is a surprise, and a beautifully depicted romance which gradually grows between Van Uoc and Billy Gardiner, one of the school heroes. This is a lovely relationship and brings changes in both Van Uoc and in Billy.  All in all this is a wonderful portrait of the difficulties facing a young Vietnamese girl trying to make her own way in a world full of challenges. Australian  (13 – 18 years)  KS 
Winner CBCA Book of the year for older readers 2016


Diary of a Tokyo Teen: A Japanese-American Girl Travels to the Land of Trendy Fashion, High-Tech Toilets and Maid Cafes written and drawn by Christine Mari Inzer pb 9784805313961 $20.00
This would be such fun to use with senior students studying Japanese.  It is full of many lively observation of Japanese life that teenagers would love to hear about.  In 2013, just before she turned 16, Christine Mari Inzer spent 8 weeks reacquainting herself with her Japanese grandparents and many of the places she knew when she had lived there as a young child with her parents.  Christine illustrates the book in cartoon style and delights in making personal, funny observations about the way-out fashions she sees, the wonderful food she eats and the places she visits, as well as the high tech toilets which are so difficult to figure out!  She also writes about her feelings of apprehension and anxiety on this her first trip away on her own and because her Japanese was not so good.  She also describes visits to places like Kyoto with her grandmother and also her memories of living in Tokyo when she was only little.  Teenagers will find this a fascinating and fun look at Japan.  (13–17 years)  KS

Einstein by Corinne Maier & Anne Simon (illus) hb 9781910620014 $28.00
Distilling the thoughts and life of one of the world’s greatest ever thinkers into smart witty dialogue and caricature-like illustrations, the collaborators lend Einstein an accessibility that many may have struggled with until now. Uncontained thoughts and images explode out of the contained boxes, representing the chaos and creative exploration of Einstein’s genius and the influences upon him. For teens interested in science, or Einstein, this is an informative visual approach to the giant of C20th physics. (12-15 years) LB

Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst pb 9781408876985 $15.00
With her pedigree as a descendant of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, Kate Pankhurst has found the right niche to present to us some of the hugely influential women who’ve shaped our world during the past three centuries. Against the difficulties of their respective eras, these women contributed in fields such as literature, social activism, science, exploration, sport, fashion design, art and medicine. Whether as an overview, or as an introduction prompting further reading, this is a lively start. (7-10 years) LB


National Theatre: All about Theatre by National Theatre hb 9781406358698 $28.00
As the excellent short introduction explains, “It’s not all about acting”.  Theatre is an amazing way to tell stories and it involves many different people with many different skills.  This book describes and shows how they do it at the National Theatre in London and they hope that this book will inspire students to get involved because plays can happen everywhere.  The book has a lively design with many colour photos and clear explanatory text describing the many various aspects involved in getting a play ready.   There is a brief history of theatre, of the different types of plays and theatrical form.   All the different aspects of theatre including acting, casting, auditioning, different methods of acting, stagecraft, choreography, the set, the design, costume, props, special effects, lighting, and sound and music are discussed.  In each section, there are short portraits of writers, actors, special effects people or costume designers who describe their work or how they got into theatre.   Even more interesting are the descriptions and photos showing aspects of various recent productions such as War Horse (from the novel by Michael Morpurgo), Treasure Island and Emil and the Detectives.   We get to see how the huge horse puppets were made and the sets and props for Treasure Island and Emil and the Detectives.  This is an excellent introduction to the world of theatre. (10–15 years)  KS

A School Like Mine: A unique celebration of schools around the world hb 9780241207369 $36.00    
The original edition of A School Like Mine was published in 2007.  This updated edition was published in 2016.  It features children usually from 8 – 11 years old from countries round the world and describes their families, their schools and their likes and dislikes.  Many small photos show the daily routines of the children and also the similarities and differences between schools around the world.  The book is organised round continents and there are detailed maps showing the various countries in which the children go to school. (8–11 years)  KS

Worms For Breakfast: How to Feed a Zoo!
by Helaine Becker & Kathy Boake (illus) hb 9781771471053 $25.00 
If you encountered a dish of crayfish, earthworms, mealworms, and fly pupae, all live and wriggling, would you immediately think ‘Ah, platypus party mix!’ Most of us wouldn’t, but those entrusted with preparing food for zoo animals are familiar with this and many other recipes for food specific to their charges. The lighthearted approach of Worms for Breakfast renders palatable this introduction to the very serious business of optimal care for animals in captivity—whether that is daily feeding, treats for invalids, or catering to highly specialised diets for animals from other regions. Amongst the facts, recipes, and interviews with zoo keepers around the world are puzzles, bright photo-collage artwork, and an emphasis on the importance of conservation. Whatever your standpoint on animals in zoos, this book presents some of the behind-the-scenes methods of nourishing and stimulating them. Gross factor is fairly high if you are squeamish about mashed larvae, or fresh intestines; interest factor is extremely high. For all sorts of readers: thoughtful, reluctant, lovers of odd facts, or those with an interest in nature—compelling! (7-10 years) LB

The World in My Kitchen: Global Recipes for Kids to Discover and Cook
by Sally Brown & Kate Morris pb 9781848992979 $30.00
A dynamic introduction to food from various countries around the world.  There is an emphasis on the parent being the sous-chef, always there to help.  It is not simply a recipe book as there is additional information given about the food in different regions and descriptions of various herbs and spices.  The recipes are well set out with a simple ingredients’ list, instructions and a photo of the finished dish.  Some recipes are very simple such as cucumber and dill salad whereas others like Spanish chicken are considerably more complicated and would need more assistance. All the recipes contain fresh healthy ingredients.  (10–13 years)  KS     

Transport Around the World by Moira Butterfield (Children Like Us series) hb 9780750296113 $28.00
This is a simply written book showing various methods of transport and the ways people can travel.  Double page spreads show how people can travel on water, through snow, by air, across a desert and also give examples of decorated transport, travelling by horse and transport for festivals.  The photos are colourful and the text is simply written.  Other titles in the series are:
Clothes Around the World 9780750296106
Food Around the World 9780750296120
Homes Around the World 9780750296090
Schools Around the World 9780750296137
Toys and Games Around the World 9780750296144
  all $28 (7–10 years)  KS

The Hello Atlas by Ben Handicott & Kenard Pak (illus) hb 9781847808493 $33.00
Around the world, some 7,000 languages are spoken but of this huge range, 80% of the world’s people communicate with just one of 83 languages.  That means that some 3,500 languages are kept alive by only .2% of the population.  This is a fascinating book and includes so much interesting information about the world’s languages.  The book is organised by continents and on the map of each continent, the main language groups are described briefly and their approximate regions are shown.  For example in Europe, there are Romance languages which evolved from Latin, and also Germanic and Slavic languages but there are also Finnish and Hungarian which may or may not be related.  For each continent, charming illustrations show children giving simple greetings and expressions such as What is your name? and How are you? in their own language.  These greetings are given in over 100 languages, and are also translated into English.  The illustrations also show the children doing various everyday activities, showing differences but also similarities in activities between children round the world, whether they live in cities or in villages, in cold or warm climates.  There is a free app which can be downloaded to accompany this book so that kids can listen to children speaking one of the many well known or unusual languages included in the book.  (7–11 years)  KS

From Farm to Table: Veggies by Charles Hope pb 9781742034393 $14.95
Discover how our foods get from the farm to our tables. Brilliant photos illustrate each stage, and there's nutritional information about vegetables and how we enjoy them. (5-8 year olds) MC

Other-Wordly: Words Both Strange and Lovely from Around the World by Yee-Lum Mak & Kelsey Garrity-Riley (illus) hb 9781452125343 $28.00
For many reasons this book will grace my bookshelves at home, not least because it is a joyful presentation of expressions to hoard, to savour, to produce with relish in conversation in the perfect context. Who could resist the Icelandic verb ‘hoppipolla’, and how much more descriptive is it than the mundane English ‘jumping into puddles’? The particular sunlight that filters through the leaves of trees is contained in Japanese in the word ‘komorebi’. Each page offers a single word with its origin, part of speech and English description, amidst gentle illustrations that betray the illustrator’s European heritage and Asian interest. Languages around the world have been plumbed for words for traits, phrases and qualities you’ve long searched for, or maybe didn’t know you needed. (8-12 years) LB

Professional Resource

Reading Picture Books with Children by Megan Dowd Lambert hb 9781580896627 $40.00
If you really want to know how to read a picture book, to a child, or to yourself, this will be the most useful book you’ve ever read. Written primarily for educators, it shows a most immersive approach to really reading a picture book. All aspects of a book are discussed—its shape, its size, the structure of the pages, the covers, the endpapers, this book will show you how to enjoy them all, and in the process, heighten your visual intelligence and understanding. Written by a lecturer in children’s literature, who had the privilege of working at the Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, Megan Dowd Lambert has truly shared her knowledge and enthusiasm. This is an important and intelligent book, but it’s also accessible and very engaging, and very visually appealing—most fitting given its subject matter. LP

KS Kate Shepherd
MC Mandy Clarke
LB Lynndy Bennett
LP Louise Pfanner
RO’D Ryan O'Dempsey

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