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A Selection for Spring


A Stone Sat Still by Brian Wenzel ($25, HB)
Acclaimed creator of They All Saw a Cat and Hello Hello, Wenzel brings a philosophical element into play in his newest book, presenting a stone from the varying perspectives of different creatures. Is the stone somewhere to live, or a place to rest; somewhere to feed or a place to shelter? Exploring Nature and the progress of Time, Wenzel reveals the stone to be all these and more. For me part of the appeal is Wenzel’s use of assorted media including coloured pencil, cut paper, computer and oil pastels to portray the textures. From the cover: the stillness of the stone on the dust jacket to the underlying cover—a microcosm of a stone debossed with the meandering route of a little snail, and throughout, the book bears repeated viewing and anyone from age 3 to adult will find aspects to discuss. Lynndy

Kindness Grows by Britta Teckentrup ($25, HB)
In her latest book, staff favourite Teckentrup treats us to her perspective on behaviour & its effects both on people & on a totemic tree, shown in her distinctive cut-outs. In each double spread she uses contrasting palettes & actions, with non-nurturing behaviour in bleaker tones featuring glum people; compared with the opposing page of brighter hues, connections between characters, and a tree that is thriving. Far from simple didacticism, this gorgeous addition to Teckentrup’s work offers a physical & artistic dimension to the urge towards more compassionate lives. Lynndy

Welcome to Country by Marcia Langton ($30, HB)
Now fully adapted for younger readers of 11+, Langton’s bestseller is a vital book which deserves longevity. ‘Written by one of Australia’s most prominent Indigenous voices, this is essential reading for every young Australian. The chapters cover prehistory, post-colonial history, language, kinship, knowledge, art, performance, storytelling, Native Title, the Stolen Generations, making a rightful place for First Australians & looking to the future for Indigenous Australia. This book is for the new Australian generations & works towards rectifying the wrongs of this country’s past. You will quickly appreciate how lucky we are to be the home of the world’s oldest continuing civilisation—diverse & thriving in Australia today.’

The Big Little Thing by Beatrice Alemagna ($25, HB)
Alemagna’s The Big Little Thing lives up to its title. It is really big! A little thing has a far reaching impact, is it happiness? Is it sadness? No matter what, it affects many people. The illustrations are quite extraordinary, detailed, yet abstracted, simple but rich with meaning. Alemagna has used colours & textures to great effect, with each picture taking us further into the journey of the big, little thing. This is a stunning picture book from a favourite illustrator. Louise


Beverly, Right Here by Kate DiCamillo ($20, HB)
I’m really looking forward to reading this third book about a trio of friends Raymie, Louisiana & Beverly. Set in Florida in the 1970s, these books are mainly about friendship & the travails of childhood. None of the characters come from ideal backgrounds, and they all have more than their fair share of troubles. Written with a light touch, and a great sense of humour, Kate DiCamillo has created a completely believable set of characters, and the world they inhabit. Raymie Nightingale is the first book, Louisiana, Going Home the second, both equally compelling, although Louisiana is probably my favourite. These are terrific books for middle school aged children, and would be equally good to read aloud to slightly younger readers. Louise

A Spoonful of Murder by Robin Stevens ($17, PB)
Robin Stevens’ Murder Most Unladylike series feature two schoolgirl detectives, Hazel Wong and her school friend Daisy Wells. The plots are always fairly far fetched, but quite believable and very entertaining, with the rather serious Hazel narrating the story. Her aristocratic co-detective, Daisy, is a foil for Hazel, with each of them playing off each other. In A Spoonful of Murder, Hazel is called back from her English boarding school to Hong Kong, as her grandfather has just died. Daisy joins her there, and realises what a different world Hazel comes from. The pair uncover a murder, and set out to find the culprit, who might be a bit close for comfort. I like these books for their authentic sense of time and place, for the rich detail, and the carefully thought out plotlines. It’s a fascinating background in this book, with the complicated family arrangements of Hazel’s extended family well described. Look out too for the latest book Top Marks for Murder. Great books for 9-12 year old readers. Louise


Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street: A Collection of Recipes to Share
by Felicita Sala ($28, HB)

Is this a picture book? Is it a cookery book? Lunch at 10 Pomegranate Street is hard to categorise. Something smells delicious at the wonderfully international 10 Pomegranate St, and as you read the book you see why. Everyone who lives at 10 Pomegranate Street is cooking up a storm—from Mr Ping’s Little Trees (of sesame soy broccoli), to Mr Melville’s Sole Meunière, to Jemima and Rosie’s Banana and Blueberry Bread. This book is a celebration of diversity of both people and food, community and sharing. The illustrations are warm and detailed, with lots of humorous touches. I’m looking forward to cooking quite a few of these recipes with the younger members of my family, but they are certainly sophisticated enough for the whole family to enjoy eating. Louise

Ghost: Thirteen Haunting Tales to Tell by Illustratus ($45, HB)
While spooky stories are not everyone’s first choice, this lusciously presented collection of original tales and poems (according to this book itself, the only true ghost stories in existence) is unquestionably one to delve into. The promise of the visually arresting cover is fulfilled within on high quality paper, showcasing various talents from the Illustratus studio of authors, illustrators and animators. Framed inside the overarching story of boys at camp listening to ghost stories, the book twists back to include the boys as victims of the thrilling sagas. Sumptuous art lures you into this instant keepsake of timeless tales for discerning readers of 9 to adult who enjoy a frisson or two of dread. Lynndy


It Sounded Better in My Head by Nina Kenwood
When the perfect family, ‘perfect’ sister and perfect friendship waver from their axis Natalie’s life seems to stop making sense, so she makes some uncharacteristic decisions. Frothy yet with some very full-bodied themes, this debut novel is an absolute joy. Fresh and original contemporary realism leavened with humour, beautifully crafted with relatable characters—this is a novel to relish. I loved it, and can easily imagine it as a film from which the audiences would emerge beaming. ($20, PB) Lynndy


Tim & Tigon by Tim Cope ($19, PB)
Award-winning Australian filmmaker & adventurer Tim Cope’s childhood dream was to travel the 10,000 kilometres from Mongolia to Hungary on horseback—a journey undertaken by the legendary leader of the Mongols, Genghis Khan. Cope made this epic journey across the windswept wilderness & wolf-infested plateaux of Mongolia & Kazakhstan with his dog Tigon (a half Kazakh Tazi breed (a sight hound), and half shepherd dog). On this 3 1/2-year odyssey Cope immersed himself in the traditions & histories of the people of the steppe, marvelling at their ingenuity and resilience, and the nomadic lifestyle they have followed since the Mongols first travelled there in the C13th. Copes’ trek compares with the pioneering spirit of the explorers of old—something for the kids to aspire to. But, above all, it is the story of the extraordinary friendship between Tim and Tigon.’ For his personal story, the foreignness of the culture, and the presence of Tigon I am very keen to read this account. Lynndy

Searching for Cicadas by Lesley Gibbes and Judy Watson ($20, HB)
In the summertime, Grandpa & I go cicada-watching. We put our camping gear into my wagon and walk down to the local reserve. Last year we saw five Green Grocers, three Yellow Mondays & one Floury Baker. Can we find the rare Black Prince this year? This nonfiction picture book is written by award-winning author Lesley Gibbes & gorgeously illustrated by Judy Watson.

Plastic: Past, Present and Future by Eun-ju Kim ($28, HB)
Journey through the life cycle of plastic­—how plastics are produced, the many uses of plastics throughout the last century, how our plastic use has spiralled out of control, and what we can do about it.

Argh! There’s a Skeleton Inside You! by Idan Ben-Barak and Julian Frost ($20, HB)
Quog and Oort are on their way to Kevin’s birthday party. Unfortunately, their spaceship has crashed. Pick up this book to lend them a hand! An interstellar exploration of hands and what’s inside them, from the award-winning creators of the internationally successful Do Not Lick This Book—It’s got germs