Gleebooks Education 

October 2013

Gleebooks Bookshop - Tuesday, October 01, 2013

No 44,  October  2013


Hello from Kate, Mandy and Suzi

Greetings from Australia, where summer has certainly arrived early. Here in New South Wales we have just had terrible bushfires on the south and central coast, the Southern Highlands and worst of all in the Blue Mountains, where hundreds of homes were destroyed. Sadly, there were two lives lost but it is remarkable that the toll wasn’t higher given the ferocity, scale and unpredictability of the fires. A testament to our Rural Fire Service personnel and volunteers. Our Suzi lives in the Blue Mountains, as do a handful of Gleebooks staff, and we’re happy to report that all are safe and their homes intact. We all hope we’re not in for a really bad bushfire season once the summer really starts.

On a more positive note, we’re pleased to say that we have started working towards upgrading our website. This is a long process, as many of you may know, but once completed it will make your visits to our site a much more productive experience.

We’d like to take this opportunity to thank you for all your support.  We do enjoy receiving all your comments that the newsletters and lists of books are so helpful. And we especially appreciate getting your orders for this enables us to continue to do reviews, add new lists of recommended books and update others. We know that teachers and librarians are often under pressure from school Finance departments to place their orders with the cheapest supplier and have to fight to have their orders placed with their preferred supplier. Unfortunately we are unable to compete with the online giants on price; however, they certainly aren’t able to match our specialist service, reviews and lists of recommendations.  It is a shame that Finance departments don’t take into account the years of experience and knowledge that go into our reviews and recommendations which you all find so helpful, and which can save teachers and librarians much time and money. We are aware of the challenges, and so a special thanks to all those who do continue to support us.

Do bear in mind that we give a 10% discount off most of the books (with a few exceptions) and if you are overseas you are also exempt from GST (a further 10%). 

Attachments to this Book News:
• Aussie Bites, Nibbles and Chomps, Solos, Mates (updated list)
• PYP Fiction (updated list)
• PYP Non-fiction (updated list)
• Books on Performance – Dance, Acting, Singing (new list)

Thanks to Victoria Drew, Program Designer at the Cape York Aboriginal Australian Academy (CYAAA), for inspiring us to create the new Performance list. If you have any suggestions for new lists that may be helpful, do please let us know and we’ll do our best!

And now, to the books as we have quite a lot to share with you.


I have just had the pleasure of reading most of the picture books published so far by Budburra Books, a not-for-profit community organisation celebrating the strengths and creativity of an Indigenous school and community in southeast Queensland. Theirs is an inspiring story: “In 2008, the Cherbourg State School implemented a 'Strong and Smart' Early Years Literacy Project, engaging students and community members in the production of books, art and films, by drawing on the cultural strengths, historical ties and artistic skills in the community. This project has evolved into Budburra Books, a not-for-profit organisation, which encourages a love of learning and literacy, and cultivates pride in local Indigenous culture.” Importantly, the project is community driven and so the community has a strong sense of ownership. So far, they have produced 5 films and 12 wonderful picture books, two of which have been selected as CBCA Notable Books (Dingoes are not Dogs, 2012, and Budburra's Alphabet, 2011) and one of which has been added to the National Curriculum (Catching Blueys). The books are beautifully produced, full colour, and I loved all eight of the books I have read so far. Highly recommended! Thanks to Tanya Schneider at Budburra for sharing them with me (and to NIST International School for ordering a copy of Dingoes….. which led me to the Budburra website in the first place!). MC
Here are the picture books, in brief. I’ve read the first eight books and will review the last four once I’ve received them:

Dingoes are not Dogs by Chris Sarra & illustrated by the children of Cherbourg State School  pb 9780987134806  $24.00
A pack of boisterous young dingoes welcome Winston the black Labrador to join in their fun and games at the waterhole one hot afternoon. At the end there are Things to Talk About, a Glossary and A Note from the Author. Themes of friendship, tolerance, acceptance. (4-7 years) MC

Budburra’s Garden by Budburra Books & illustrated by the children from Cherbourg Community & Cherbourg Yidding artists  pb 9780987134813  $24.00
Tired and hungry, with his tummy rumbling, Sammy eats his way through Budburra’s colourful, nutritious garden. The message is: eat a rainbow every day! At the end there is information about Bush Tucker, discussion points, healthy eating tips and 6 easy recipes (salad, fruit salad, wraps and smoothies). (4-7 years) MC

Budburra’s Alphabet by Cherbourg State School  pb 9780980589382  $24.00
One letter per page, with upper and lower case, and just a few words on full-page artwork: Tt Two tiny turtles; Oo Outrageous orange owls. The whole alphabet runs along the bottom of each page with a little budburra (echidna) sitting over the relevant letter. A short Glossary at the end.  (4-7 years) MC  

Counting created by Milbi Class, Cherbourg State School  pb 9780980589344  $24.00  Count from one snake, through three boomerangs, eight goannas and on to ten feet in this simple, colourful picture book. (3 – 5 years) MC

Where is Nana? by Cherbourg State School,  pb 9780980589399  $24.00
This is a book about positional words: outside, inside, over, under, with, behind, etc, which are explored in words and pictures while we search for Nana. (4-7 years) MC

My Body created by Guluin Pre-Prep Class, Cherbourg State School  pb 9780980589320  $24.00
A very simple book with photos of real kids with just two words: ‘my knee’, ‘my mouth’, ‘my shoulders’, etc. Colourful artwork frames the photo panels. (3-5 years) MC

Catching Blueys by Robyn Langton and illustrated by Cherbourg Artists  pb 9780980589375 $24.00
Blueys, also known as crawfish, crayfish or freshwater lobster, are delicious but tricky to catch by hand as they have such big claws. Young Mim is very brave and skillful and the whole family has a big feed when she and her brother bring home seven blueys after a day at the waterhole. (5-8 years) MC

Can You Find….. created by Googuhou Class, Cherbourg State School  pb 9780980589351 $24.00
This is a look-and-find book with a difference! Unusual and clever. In each photo a real child is positioned in front of an original artwork on a wall and they are clothed and painted so they are camouflaged, becoming part of the painting. There are lots of other things to spot as well. (4-8 years) MC

The Ration Shed by Cherbourg State School  pb 9780980589368  $24.00
Walking Through Cherbourg by Cherbourg State School  pb 9780980589337  $24.00
Mundagarra based on a story told by Aunty Venus Rabbitt & illustrated by Karbul Class, Cherbourg State School  pb 9780980589306  $24.00
Cherbourg Seasons by Cherbourg State School  pb 9780980589313  $24.00

Adele Geras & Shelagh McNicholas (illus)

The Ballet Class pb 9781843624134  $14.99 Tuesday is Tilly’s favourite day of the week because it’s ballet class day! She loves ballet so much that Mum calls her Tutu Tilly. This is the last lesson before their show and the class goes through their warm-up exercises, the five ballet positions, plies, jetes and curtsies. Tilly is dancing the role of a cat and all week she practices her cat-moves at every opportunity. Everyone is very excited, then very nervous before the show but it all goes well and the mums and dads clap loudly and proudly. I love the expressive illustrations, which portray the children so realistically. (4-6 years) MC

Little Ballet Star pb 9781846166198  $14.99 It’s Tillys birthday and she’s off to the ballet with her mum to see her Auntie Gina dance the starring role in The Sleeping Beauty. Tilly is given a fabulous fairy costume, Auntie Gina’s beautiful tiara and gets to do a special birthday dance on the stage after the show. She feels like a real ballerina and it’s the best birthday ever. (4-6 years) MC

My Ballet Dream pb 9781408309803  $14.99 Tilly’s class are doing a dress rehearsal for the recital where they’ll be dancing as baby swans. They’re all terribly nervous but on the big night they dance beautifully without a single mistake. (4-6 years) MC

Silver Buttons by Bob Graham  hardback 9781406342246 $27.95
The story takes place over just one minute. At 9.59 on a Thursday morning Jodie is putting the finishing touches to her drawing of a rather dashing duck; her pen is poised and she’s just about to add the third silver button to his black leather boots. At that moment her little brother Jonathan pushes himself to his feet, sways, and takes his first step. Time slows and the pictures zoom out over the following pages. We see Jonathan’s mum sitting in the kitchen playing a tune on her tin whistle; outside, a pigeon nests, a feather floats, an ambulance shrieks by and a shoelace is tied; over in the park children sail boats in the fountain while Sophie and her granddad have made a house of leaves, and out in the bay a tanker heads off to China. So much is happening, everywhere, in that same minute! Then we come full circle back to Jonathan who pitches forward onto his little pink knees as Jodie yells out to mum that he’s just taken his first step.. As the clock strikes 10 mum scoops Jonathan up into a big hug and we are drawn into the personal joy of this momentous occasion. Bob Graham’s picture books seem so simple but there’s always so much more to be discovered and talked about in the details of his wonderful drawings. Australian. (4-7 years)  MC

Tari the Little Balinese Dancer by Pamela Noensie & Garretta Lamore (illus)  hardback 9780804843874 $16.99 This picture book for older children tells the story of Tari, a village girl who is learning a traditional dance for young girls called the Legong. Her Grandmother, who is unwell, presents her with a beautiful, shimmering headdress with tiny flowers of beaten gold and glittering red stones. The King of Bali gave it to Grandmother when she was asked to dance in Paris as a young girl, and it is the most beautiful headdress Tari has ever seen. Soon after, Grandmother dies and Tari and her family stop their daily tasks to prepare for the cremation ceremony. When Tari is chosen to be the lead Legong dancer for a special village performance, she decides to wear the beautiful headdress in honour of her Grandmother. Through the telling of this story we learn a little about the culture of Bali, rituals and daily life in a small village, the cremation ceremony, the Legong dance and the gamelan orchestra. (7-10 years) MC

Xander’s Panda Party by Linda Sue Park & Matt Phelan (illus) Hardback 9780702249983  $19.95 Xander planned a panda party, but there was just one catch: he was the only panda at the zoo. He sat and chewed bamboo and came up with a new plan. He’d invite all the bears, black, brown, grizzly, both the polars and the koala. But Koala isn’t really a bear, he’s a marsupial, and so he’s worried he won’t be welcome. Xander chews some more bamboo and decides to invite all the  mammals, but rhino won’t come without his bird, and then crocodile hears about the party and points out that reptiles are distantly related to birds…. Xander’s in a stew until Amanda Salamander comes up with a wonderful solution and invitations are handed out to all the creatures at the zoo. The party’s just about to start when a wooden crate arrives from China and out pops Zhu Zi, a panda friend for Xander! With its playful rhyming text this is a fun book to read aloud, and kids will learn a bit about animal families as well. (3-6 years)  MC
(Linda Sue Park is the author of the Newbery Award winning novel A Single Shard)

The Man With the Violin by Kathy Stinson & Dusan Petricic  Hardback 9781554515653 $30.00 When young Dylan hears wonderful, sweet, soaring music in the noisy, crowded subway, he begs his mother to stop, for just a minute, so they can listen to the violinist. But she’s in too much of a rush, like all the other adults bustling through the station. All day Dylan hears the music playing in his head and that evening there it is again, soaring out of the radio. At Dylan’s insistence his mother finally stops cooking to listen and is swept away, and they dance together around the apartment.
The story is based on a true event. In 2007 world-famous violinist Joshua Bell, dressed as a street musician, played his priceless Stradivarius in a station in Washington as part of an experiment. He played for 43 minutes, over 1000 people walked by and only 7 stopped to listen for more than a minute. Bell noticed that every child that passed by tried to stop but was rushed along by their adult. In the Postscript by Joshua Bell he says that music requires imagination and curiosity, which children have aplenty and which should be fostered in school and at home.  (5-8 years)  MC

Colour for Curlews by Renee Treml  hardback 9781742759210 $19.95
This cool picture book introduces young readers to the concept of colour mixing through a cast of Australian birds and one sleepy wombat. The fun begins when two cheeky curlews make off with a paintbrush and three tubes of paint: yellow, blue and red. They give themselves golden eyes, bowerbird paints his treasures and his feathers blue and brolga insists on a splash of red. Then the quails arrive and their soft bellies slide the yellow paint into the red, making orange; lorikeet ruffles her feathers around, stirring yellow into blue to make green; Fruit Dove loves that green and paints his back, then mixes red and blue for a beautiful purple chest, and the little Gouldian Finch joyfully dips and dives and flips around, coming out all the colours of the rainbow! Wombat, ready for a lie down, rolls around to get comfy and muddles all the colours together, making brown. An most unusual look at colours. There are a couple of pages at the end with some information about the birds. Australian.  (4-7 years)  MC

Alone in the Forest by Gita Wolf & Andrea Anastasio & Bhajju Shyam (illus)  Hardback 9788192317151  $22.00 Feeling all grown up, young Musa sets off into the nearby forest to collect firewood for his mother. Terrified by a great crashing noise he leaps into the hollow of a large tree, his heart beating loudly and his imagination running wild. Too afraid to move, he crouches in the dark waiting for something terrible to happen. Eventually his heart calms and after the longest time a curious squirrel pokes its head in, somehow breaking the spell and giving Musa the courage to emerge. He grabs the tail of a cow ambling by and is thus safely led home to his village. This is a familiar story arc about the psychology of fear but is made fresh by the wonderfully intricate and colourful artwork of Bhajju Shyam, a Gond tribal artist from Madhya Pradesh in central India. (5-8 years)  MC


View from the 32nd Floor by Emma Cameron  Pb 9781922077295  $16.95  From his home on the 32nd floor, William – or Gregory Faust as he is calling himself that day – watches with interest as a new family moves into the apartment block across the street. New tenant Rebecca immediately captures his interest – she is around William’s age, her left leg moves in an unusual way when she walks, and she has shelves of books. Would she go to his school, might he see her at the gardens, would they be friends? It turns out the two have much in common and a firm friendship springs up between them. William is brimming with good humour and energy and Rebecca’s arrival becomes a real catalyst for change in the neighbourhood as their friendship starts to ripple outward to include neighbours of all ages. And it’s here that William’s keen observations of the neighbourhood come in handy. This is a gentle tale of friendship, respect, creating community and overcoming loneliness, with lots of delicious food helping to bring everyone together. From delightful cover to satisfying end, this short novel comes highly recommended. Australian.  (9-12 years)  LE

Flora & Ulysses: The Illuminated Adventures by Kate DiCamillo & K G Campbell (illus)  Hardback  9780763660406 $19.95  This hilarious, quirky illustrated tale features 10-year-old Flora Belle (a natural-born cynic), a most unattractive little shepherdess lamp named Mary Ann and Ulysses the squirrel, a superhero born of ridiculous and unlikely circumstances. Flora is no stranger to unlikely superheroes or ridiculous circumstances, being such a fan of The Illuminated Adventures of the Amazing Incandesto! and its bonus comic Terrible Things Can Happen To You! which is full of helpful advice. Enter 11-year-old William Spiver, an eccentric lad suffering temporary blindness brought on by trauma. His mother sent him away after he pushed his stepfather’s truck into a pond in a fit of rage. Although funny from the very first page, there is a thoughtful layer to this novel which addresses the loneliness felt by children who feel they don’t fit in, and also their confusion following the divorce of their parents. Kate DiCamillo, who wrote The Tale of Despereaux, is one of my favourite authors for children of this age. (10-13 years)  MC (published 4 Nov)

Figaro and Rumba and the Cool Cats: Book 2 Figaro and Rumba by Anna Fienberg & Stephen Michael King (illus)  hardback  9781743313497 $19.99  The second book in this series by the author of the very popular Tashi books. Figaro, a fun-loving adventurous dog, and Rumba, a talented cat who used to sing and dance in his homeland of Cuba, are best friends. Rumba writes songs for the Cool Cats, proud owners of the Cool Cats Café, abuzz with laughter, music and delicious food. Their temperamental singer Marta has forbidden Figaro to sing because she says he howls out of tune. With his enthusiasm only temporarily dampened, Figaro sets off on an adventure with the guitarist Dora, a little ginger cat who has the keys to Marta’s classic Catmobile. Their adventure turns into misadventure but ends happily when Figaro discovers his hidden talent for playing the congas. He may not be able to sing but man, has he got rhythm! This is a fun early chapter book filled with music and friendship and lovely watercolour illustrations by the very talented Stephen Michael King. Australian. (8-10 years)  MC See also Figaro and Rumba and the Crocodile Café: Book 1 Figaro and Rumba hardback 9781742373119  $19.99  pb 9781743314883  $14.99 (published Jan 2014)

Dingo: the Dog who Conquered a Continent  by Jackie French  pb 9780732293116  $14.99
The dingo is a recent arrival in Australia.  These dogs probably came about five thousand years ago from the islands of Indonesia to the north of Australia.  Dingoes are very different from animals such as kangaroos, which have been in Australia for so much longer, and they are Australia’s largest terrestrial predator.  In this story Jackie French relates one of the ways dingoes could have arrived in Australia.  It is an absorbing story of how a young boy and a dog from an island to the north of Australia get blown off course while in a canoe and end up in northern Australia where they learn to survive in this strange new land.  The story is told in alternate chapters from the point of view of the boy, Loa, and of the Dog, which of course makes the story so much more interesting. Australian.  (9 – 15 years) KS

Don’t Look Now: Book 1: Falling for It & The Kangapoo Key Ring by Paul Jennings & Andrew Weldon (illus) pb 9781743311233 $12.99Ricky is an ordinary boy who spends a lot of time imagining things. He knows he’s a bit of a dork and the other kids think he’s a weirdo, but he has a secret talent and if he could only share it they’d be so impressed. They would like him. More than that, he’d be FAMOUS! You see, Ricky can fly. Yes, really. The only catch is that if anyone - human, animal, bird - sees him flying he plummets to the ground immediately. Dangerous, and very, very embarrassing. There are lots of laughs as Ricky tries to refine his skill without being seen. This is the first book in a four-book series, published in quick succession, and each book contains two stories with lots of black and white line illustrations. Paul Jennings, renowned for his quirky humour, is the author of such popular series as Rascal the Dragon, Singenpoo, Cabbage Patch, Deadly, Wicked, The Gizmo, and the short story collections Unreal!, Unbelievable!, Unseen!, etc, Funniest, Weirdest, Spookiest and Trickiest Stories. (8-10 years) MC
Also in this series: pb $12.99 each:
Don’t Look Now: Book 2: A Magician Never Tells & Elephant Bones  9781743311400
Don’t Look Now: Book 3: Hair Cut & Just a Nibble  9781743311417
Don’t Look Now: Book 4: Hobby Farm & Seeing Red  9781743311424

Definitely No Ducks! by Meg McKinlay & Leila Rudge (illus)  pb  9781921977855 $13.95  The children have been working hard making their Antarctica display for Friday’s end-of-term assembly, the ‘most important assembly in the history of assemblies’, and now it is in ruins; the icebergs, the papier-mache penguin, the seal, the whale, all destroyed. Something has got into the storeroom and run amok and it looks like Max, the class pet, is responsible. Mr Oswald, the principal, is furious. Max is expelled, but if he goes so does their teacher Mrs Melvino, for they are inseparable. Abby and Noah must prove Max is innocent but this means exposing Melanie and her pet Chihuahua Lulu. Themes of honesty, acceptance and friendship. (8-10 years)  MC
This is the sequel to the equally delightful Duck for a Day (9781921529283  $13.95) which was shortlisted for the CBC Awards 2011 in the Younger Readers category.

My Awesome Japan Adventure: A Diary About the Best 4 Months Ever! By Rebecca Otowa (author & illus)  hardback  9784805312162  $16.99 Eleven year old Dan is part of an exchange program, spending four months with a Japanese family, the Muratas, who live in a small town outside Kyoto. Dan and Daisuke have been emailing for months and Dan is excited, curious and a little nervous about how different everything will be. His diary is presented in a format similar to a graphic novel, and through his experiences we learn much about Japanese culture, rituals and traditions, and how some things are the-same-but-different from his life at home in America. Dan writes about domestic activities such as bathing, sleeping on a futon and eating; martial arts and games, harvesting rice, the different forms of Japanese writing; the importance of showing respect by bowing, the tradition and intricacies of the tea ceremony; his visit to a Shinto shrine and a Ninja Village; the celebration of Christmas and, more importantly, New Year. And Daisuke shows how to make an origami flower to give to your grandmother on Respect Aged Day. (9-12 years)  MC

Amina by J L Powers (Through My Eyes series)  pb 9781743312490 $15.99 
There has been so much strife and terror in Somalia over the past years that the situation has seemed totally despairing and so it is so surprising to read this book about a young girl called Amina, who lives in Mogadishu and tells us so much about her life in this war torn country and the fresh hope that has arisen over the last few years.  Amina’s family is well educated but chose to stay in Mogadishu, rather than flee, because they felt they could do some good for the country.  The novel is set in 2011, a time of great violence but also a time when the terrorist fundamentalist group al-Shahaab is forced from the capital. Amina’s father is an artist and Amina also needs to express her feelings about her country and its people through her own poetry and art, which she often paints on the walls of bombed out and derelict buildings.  This makes their situation all the more dangerous since art and its expression has been strictly forbidden.  There is an ever present threat of bombs or arrest. J L Powers is a skilful storyteller and this story is convincing and involving, giving us some understanding of the background to this devastating conflict.  She is knowledgeable about the area as she has worked with Somali refugees over a number of years and has also studied African history. Additional information is given through an Author’s Note, a Timeline since 1960, a Glossary and suggested other reading and websites.  Although the situation in Somalia is still precarious I am pleased that I feel that I can now follow any progress with more understanding and certainly more empathy having read this moving story.  (10 – 16 years) KS

Recently, in the September newsletter, I reviewed Shahana by Rosanne Hawke pb 9781743312469  $15.99, set in Pakistan.   It is in this same new series called Through My Eyes edited by Australian Lyn White.  The series looks at the difficult lives of children living in contemporary war zones.  Another title in the series will be:
Naveed by John Heffernan  pb 9781743312483  $15.99 due to be published in March 2014. It is set in Afghanistan.  KS

Surviving the Applewhites: Book 1 The Applewhites by Stephanie Tolan pb 9780064410441 $11.00   The Applewhites run a home school in their family farm (more of an unschool really), in the countryside of North Carolina. The Applewhite children devise their own curriculum, and are rather haphazardly taught by their relatives, when there is time. It is here that Jake Semple, misfit and general juvenile delinquent, is sent when he is kicked out every school in the state. Whether deliberately or not, the Applewhites all ignore Jake’s spiky hair and facial piercings, and they just expect him to find his own way, in his own time. Inspiration and salvation come in the form of a production of The Sound of Music, directed by an Applewhite, with every member of the family contributing in some way. Jake discovers a hidden talent, and with it a place not only in the family, but in the broader community. Many other threads of narrative combine to form this very satisfying novel – each character is completely individual, and has their own story. The details of the daily life of the family (which are being observed and recorded by a star struck young journalist) are completely credible and entertaining, as is the process and machinations of putting on a stage show. This is a story about transformation, tolerance and resilience, with themes of creativity, individuality and cooperation. Highly recommended. Newbery Honor Book.  (10-14 years)  LP
The sequel is The Applewhites at Wit's End: Book 2 The Applewhites pb 9780060579401  $11.00. In which the Applewhites fall on hard times and turn their 16-acre home, Wit’s End, into a summer camp for creative children. (10-14 years)


Girls, Goddesses & Giants: Stories of Heroines from Around the World by Lari Don hardback 9781472903068  $26.00   It is so easy to hear Lari Don’s own voice telling these stories aloud.  She must be an excellent storyteller.  These twelve lively folk tales come from all round the world and Lari Don has adapted them all in her own very expressive way.  At the end of the book she describes how originally she found stories and adapted them so that the hero became a heroine.  However she later discovered that there were plenty of excellent stories about heroines – it was just a matter of searching a little further for them.  These stories are often witty and full of fun as the heroine often has to use her wiles to win out. At the end of the book Lari Don also gives brief descriptions of how she came across these stories which come from China, Sumer, Greece, India and Venezuela and others.(6 – 10 years) KS


Because a Fire Was in my Head 101 Poems edited by Michael Morpurgo, illustrated by Quentin Blake pb 9780571303113  $15.99  In his brief introduction, Michael Morpurgo describes how the best of poets write in “such a way that we never want to forget what they have written.  The poems they compose can be so fine, so memorable, so funny, so intense, that you want to hear them again and again inside your head, so that that they never leave you, so that they become part of you.”  This collection published by Faber Classics is indeed a wonderful and varied selection of poems.  Some poems were written for children but others are well loved verses from Kipling, Shakepeare or W B Yeats, from Lewis Carroll, Spike Milligan, Robert Frost and that very popular Anonymous.  There are a few translations but not many as this is mainly a selection of well-loved English verses to treasure.  Blake’s whimsical illustrations don’t intrude on the poems – they just add an extra element of delight.  This is a new edition just published in 2013 in paperback. (8 – 15 years) KS


Healthy Kids by Maya Ajmera, Victoria Dunning & Cynthia Pon  pb  9781580894371  $12.95   Large colourful photos show healthy children from around the world.  The vibrant photos show the ways children can be healthy - eating nourishing food, drinking clean water, brushing their teeth and exercising.  The text is very simple and written in large print.  There is a lot to discuss with young children.  (4 – 7 years) KS

Music: The Definitive Visual History by Dorling Kindersley Hardback 9781409320791  $49.99 (Published in September 2013)   The subtitle of this large, handsome hardback is no empty boast! It starts at 60,000 BCE and ends with the Digital Revolution, covering absolutely everything in between. It examines the shared experience of music across cultures from a chronological and global perspective. All genres and instruments are explored and there are timelines, brief biographies and extended profiles of influential composers and musicians. Also, text boxes with recommended key works to listen to are scattered throughout. There are 15 contributing authors and a consultant and, in typical DK style, the book is packed with full-colour photos. You’ll find an index and comprehensive Glossary at the end of the book. This would be an excellent addition to every library. (13 years to adults)  MC

Little Treasures: Endearments from Around the World  by Jacqueline K Ogburn & Chris Raschka (illus)  hardback  9780547428628   $24.99 This is a delight.  All over the world people express their love for their children through endearments such as “angelito” (little angel in Spanish), “mon petit chou“ (little cabbage in French), “karapuz” (dumpling in Russian) and “habibi” (beloved in Arabic).   This book contains a range of endearments in fourteen languages, with translation into English and also a suggested pronunciation guide.  Children will enjoy giving their own suggestions of additional terms of endearments used by their families.  Zany illustrations add to the pleasure.  (4 – 9 years) KS

Look at This! Series  by Ifeoma Onyefulu Hardback  $27.95 each
Play 9781847802675
This very simple book has minimal text, with just one or two words for each double page photographic spread. The real-life photographs were taken in Mali, West Africa, and show many different ways that children play. Some games will be familiar to children around the world, like skipping and football, while others are traditional African games. A culturally diverse word book with lots to look at and talk about.
Food 9781847802651
Home 9781847802668
Clothes 9781847802644
(4-7 years)

Through Time: London From Roman Capital to Olympic City by Richard Platt & Manuela Cappon (illus)  hardback 9780753417331  $19.99  pb 9780753431061  $14.99
London is the vibrant hub of the English speaking world and this book shows how London gained that position and has maintained it for so many years.  The Contents page is laid out as a Time line from Neolithic times in 3500 BCE when there was just a camp, through to the time of the Romans in 43 CE, to the Vikings and through other important events such as the age of print in 1476 CE, Shakespeare’s London in 1602 CE, the Great Fire and how London was rebuilt, the Industrial era, the Blitz of World War 2 and finally to the London of today.  A double paged spread for each period shows a very detailed scene from that time through lively illustrations and Platt gives an additional description.  Marvellous illustrations contain so much detail that they demand careful concentration.   There are cross-sections of buildings etc showing us how buildings etc were constructed.  There are  maps as well as a Glossary and an Index.  (8 – 14 years)  KS
Also in a similar format by Richard Platt & Manuela Cappon (illus):
Through Time Beijing hardback 9780753415764  $19.99
Through New York City hardback 9780753419113  $19.99
Through Time Pompeii hardback 9780753413869  $19.99
Through Time Olympics From Ancient Greece to the Present Day hardback 9780753430743  $19.99  (8 – 14 years)

My School in the Rainforest:  How Children Attend School Around the World  by Margriet Ruurs hardback  9781590786017  $27.00   Thirteen very different schools around the world are described.  In Australia some children in remote areas stay at home and learn through the School of the Air which now combines radio and increasingly the internet.  In Cambodia the school is a floating one on the huge lake, the Tonle Sap.  The school in Kenya has no roof but is held under a shady tree.  In Myanmar the school is in a monastery and in Kuala Lumpur the school is a wealthy international school.  The text gives a brief description of each school and also describes one or two of the students and the activities they enjoy.  Photographs show the children and also the school.  A map, flag and brief additional information about each country is also included.  (8 – 12 years)  KS
Margriet Ruurs has also written another book about children, books and mobile libraries around the world with the intriguing title of  My Librarian is a Camel: How Books are brought to Children Around the World hardback  9781590780930  $26.00  This picture also has a similar format and there are examples from thirteen countries of how books are transported to remote areas by bus, boat, train, elephant, donkey or camel.  (7 – 12 years)  KS

The Book of Languages by Mick Webb  Hardback 9781445116266  $31.00   This fascinating book looks at 21 of the world’s languages. It starts with a brief history of language and why it is important, and looks at language families, giving a breakdown of the main ones – Indo-European, Afro-Asiatic, Austronesian, etc. Then each double-page spread looks at a different language, providing a short history, pronunciation points, numbers, greetings and a few phrases, basic information on grammar and other matters, and a map showing where it is spoken in the world. Running down the side of the page is the alphabet of that language with a phonetic pronunciation of each letter in English. There is also a chapter about non-verbal languages such as smoke signals, drumming, sign language, semaphore and Morse code, and a brief look at how some animals communicate. You’ll find a Glossary and Index at the end of the book. (While the main text is suitable for children of about 10-12 years many aspects of this book such as greetings and numbers could be used with younger children). MC

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