A Pale View of Hills 

Dulwich Hill branch manager, radio personality, and book selling superstar, Morgan Smith tells us how it is.

November 2017

Gleebooks Bookshop - Wednesday, November 01, 2017
As this is the last column for the year I’d like to pay tribute to what is the lifeblood of gleebooks at Dulwich Hill—our children’s section. Mandy Clarke, our children’s book buyer does a wonderful job keeping the stock varied and interesting. And you, the children, parents and grandparents deserve our thanks for making the back of the shop such a lively, happy place. There is nothing more satisfying than having a child saying gleebooks is their favourite shop. And our Thursday morning story time with the wonderful volunteer, Robbie Kennedy, has really taken off this year with a delightful and adorable bunch of regulars vying for her attention.
All the excitement in the children’s book world this month has been the release of Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by debut Australian novelist Jessica Townsend. I don’t read children’s fantasy (or any fantasy) but those who have read it are raving, saying it is certainly deserving of all the hype. The publisher has really got behind it with lots of promotional material including a very impressive fairy light dumpbin. What’s not to love? We’re also loving Cressida Cowell’s (she of How To Train You Dragon fame) The Wizards of Once, which is very handsomely illustrated and full of adventure, magic and humour, with a story line, (I’m told) which will keep you hooked until the last page.
My favourite children’s picture book at the moment is a primarily non-fiction book about museums called The Curious Case of the Missing Mammoth by Ellie Hattie. The illustrations and design by Karl James Mountford are absolutely superb. The book combines a story about a boy and a mammoth with wonderful lift-the-flaps and fold-outs containing all sorts of facts about the kinds of objects to be found in a museum, providing hours of fun for the inquisitive mind.
And lastly on an adult read—I was mightily impressed with Dave Warner’s crime novel Clear to the Horizon, set in Perth and Broome. Warner has received the Ned Kelly Award previously but I hadn’t encountered his great PI Snowy Lane. Excellent plotting combined with pithy and witty observations, this is a perfect summer holiday read. Not content to write award-winning crime fiction, Dave Warner also released his tenth album, When, this year.
As well as the aforementioned Mandy, I’d like to thank Tim, Jodie, Isabel and Chris for all their hard work this year. A great little team for a great little bookshop. Have a wonderful summer and we’ll see you on D’Hill in the next few months for your Christmas shopping and holiday reading. Morgan

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