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PICTURE BOOKS

Finding Francois by Gus Gordon ($25, HB)
Alice wishes she had someone her own size to talk to. Then one day her wish comes true. Through hope and chance, love and loss, two little ones who need each other find each other. Gus Gordon’s first picture book, Wendy, was a Notable Book in the 2010 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Awards. His second picture book, Herman and Rosie, is now published in twelve countries—internationally acclaimed and awarded.

Family by Aunty Fay Muir and Sue Lawson ($25, HB)
Family/ Heart and home/ Yarning old people/ Endless sky. Family is a thoughtful contemplation for all to learn the different ways that family makes us whole. This beautifully illustrated children’s picture book shows everyone that ‘family’ can be about heart and home; an endless sky; stories and songs. It  ‘learns’ us how to be with each other and with Country. Age range 3 to 9

Paolo, Emperor of Rome by Mac Barnett  (ill) Claire Keane ($25, HB)
Paolo the dachshund lives in Rome, a city filled with history and adventure—but he is confined to a hair salon. Paolo dreams of a dolce vita-in the Eternal City. And then, one day, he escapes—throwing himself into the city, finding adventure at every turn—discovering the wonders of Rome: the ruins, the food, the art, the opera, and-of course-the cats.

Found by Bruce Pascoe ($25, HB)
A small calf who becomes separated from his family—all alone in the rugged Australian bush he simply wants his mother, sisters and brothers. He can see other animals, and after running to the river, manages to ask some horses if they are his family. The calf’s family have been taken away in the back of a noisy truck. So begins the little calf’s journey to find his family. Share the calf’s point of view in his journey home, accompanied by Charmaine Ledden Lewis’ beautiful illustrations.

Little Lon by Andrew Kelly ($25, HB)
Behind the grand buildings of the big streets in a post-settlement Australia city was Little Lon. A working-class district of little houses and narrow lanes, bursting with life and the stories of the people who lived there. In traditional histories the poor of the time are not often celebrated, but Little Lon Little Lon scrapes back the layers of history to show how people lived and worked.

NON FICTION

Oxford Roald Dahl Thesaurus
This is a real thesaurus for all chiddlers and even some adult human beans. It features hundreds of spliffling words used and created by the world’s best storyteller, Roald Dahl, together with useful synonyms, related words and phrases, idioms and word origins. Cleverly organised into phizz-whizzing themes, from vegitibbles to outer space, it is easy to find new and interesting words while you are writing. This mischievous thesaurus captures Oxford University Press’s language expertise and mixes it with the magic of Roald Dahl. ($30.95, HB)

Philosophy for Beginners by Jordan Akpojaro et al, Ill Nick Radford ($20, HB)
Philosophy is a way of thinking about just about anything. It asks big questions from nature of reality to what beauty is. Using lively examples and thought experiments, this book provides an accessible introduction to a wide range of philosophical questions and invites the reader think about things in ways they may not have done before. 

Lift-the-Flap Atlas Lonely Planet
This interactive and colourful atlas takes young readers on a hands-on journey all around the world. Each page turned brings a new continent to life with a total of more than 100 flaps to lift, beautifully detailed illustrations, and fun facts about different cultures, species of wildlife and places to visit along the way. ($25, HB)

FICTION 6 to 8

Rocky Lobstar #2: Time Travel Tangle! by Rove McManus ($15, PB)
‘Hi! I’m Rocky Lobstar. I’m part-boy, part-lobster!’ Rocky and his best mate, Goober, accidentally break Mr Felidi’s prized tea set. But as luck would have it, a visiting professor has brought her time machine along to Felidi’s Fabulous Sideshow Carnival. Can Rocky and Goober turn back time? Or will they cause an epic time travel catastrophe?

Hodgepodge: How to Make a Pet Monster 1 by Lili Wilkinson ($15, PB)
I’m Artie. I’m eleven years old. I do not believe in ghosts, or monsters. I do believe in science. I also believe that my step-sister Willow is kinda terrifying. Willow and I found a weird old book in the attic of our new house. It’s called the Big Boke of Fetching Monsters.And it tells you how to make your own monster. But that’s impossible. You DEFINITELY can’t make a monster, because MONSTERS DO NOT EXIST—and my step-sister Willow is kinda terrifying …

League of Llamas 3: Undercover Llamas by Aleesah Darlison ($10, PB)
After failing to apprehend some dangerously peck-happy hens, the League of Llamas are going undercover! But these aren’t any ordinary secret identities—Phillipe, Lloyd and Elloise are joining Bruno Llamars (and his grumpy manager, Wally Chimpopo) as band members on the pop star’s next tour — to Chickenlovakia. Will the LOL agents’ cover be blown before they can track down their feathery foes? Only time and some rather alarming discoveries will tell!

Ninja Kid #6 Ninja Giants by Anh Do ($10, PB)
The fair is in town! Nelson and Kenny want to go on ALL the rides! But after testing Grandmas new invention, they’re suddenly TOO SMALL to go anywhere! Luckily, Nelson and Kenny have a plan to get TALLER again… way, WAAAAY TALLER!

FICTION 8 to 12

Storm by Nicola Skinner ($17, PB)
‘You were born raging, Frances Frida Ripley. That’s what happens when you’re born in a storm.’ Frances’s parents were not prepared for her birth: they had a blanket and an easel and some paint, but not anything useful, like a car or a phone. So it’s no wonder Frankie has always had a temper. She was born on a BEACH, in a STORM. What she was not prepared for was dying in a freak natural disaster that wiped out her whole town. Waking up 100 years later, Frances finds a whole load of new things to be angry about. And that’s before the visitors start turning up, treating her home like it’s a tourist attraction. Which it is. Only there are worse people out there than tourists—and they’re coming for Frankie.

The Water’s Daughter by Michelle Lovric ($16, PB)
Twelve-year-old Aurelia Bon can see what happened in a place by merely pressing her fingertips up against the walls. So when young boys start disappearing around an old palace, Aurelia must use her ability to find out what has happened, before the boys of Venice disappear forever. This is an exquisitely imagined fantasy novel about a girl who can see history with her touch. Set on the canals of Venice, this is a perfect book for fans of Frances Hardinge (Deep Light, Face Like Glass) and Jennifer Bell (Frozen Telescope, Smoking Hourglass) for 9+ readers.

The Line Tender by Kate Allen ($16, PB)
Wherever the sharks led, Lucy Everhart’s marine-biologist mother was sure to follow. In fact, she was on a boat far off the coast of Massachusetts, collecting shark data when she died suddenly. Lucy was seven. Since then Lucy and her father have kept their heads above water—thanks in large part to a few close friends and neighbours. But June of her 12th summer brings more than the end of school and a heat wave to sleepy Rockport. On one steamy day, the tide brings a great white—and then another tragedy. To survive the fresh wave of grief, Lucy must grab the line that connects her depressed father, a stubborn fisherman, and a curious old widower to her mother’s unfinished research on the Great White’s return to Cape Cod. If Lucy can find a way to help this unlikely quartet follow the sharks her mother loved, she’ll finally be able to look beyond what she’s lost and toward what’s left to be discovered.

TEEN FICTION

The Lost Soul Atlas by Zana Fraillon
Twig is all alone after his dad goes missing. But when he meets Flea, a cheerful pickpocket, the pair become fast friends. Together, Twig and Flea raise themselves on the crime-ridden streets, taking what they need and giving the rest to the even-poorer. Life is good, as long as they have each other. But then Twig wakes up in the Afterlife. With just a handful of vague memories, a key, a raven & a mysterious atlas to guide him, he tries to piece together what happened, and to find his way home ($20, PB)

TRUEL1f 3 by Jay Kristoff
For Eve and Lemon, discovering the truth about themselves—and each other—was too much for their friendship to take. But with the country on the brink of a new world war—this time between the BioMaas swarm at CityHive and Daedalus’s army at Megopolis—loyalties will be pushed to the brink, unlikely alliances will form and with them, betrayals. But the threat doesn’t stop there, because the lifelikes are determined to access the program that will set every robot free, a task requiring both Eve and Ana, the girl she was created to replace. In the end, violent clashes and heartbreaking choices reveal the true heroes—and they may not be who you think they are. ($20, PB)

This Light Between Us by Andrew Fukuda
In 1935, 10-year-old Alex Maki, from Bainbridge Island, Washington, is disgusted when he’s forced to become pen pals with Charlie Lévy of Paris, France—a girl. But in spite of Alex’s reluctance, their letters continue to fly across the Atlantic, along with the shared hopes and dreams of friendship. Until the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor and the growing Nazi persecution of Jews force both young people to confront the darkest aspects of human nature. From the desolation of an internment camp on the plains of Manzanar to the horrors of Auschwitz and the devastation of European battlefields, the only thing they can hold onto are the memories of their letters. But nothing can dispel the light between them. ($20, PB)

ACTIVITIES

Secret Message Origami (ill) Jane Cide ($17, PB)
Write a phrase (or more!) on an origami sheet from the book, fold it using the super-secret technique, and pass it on to someone close to you! If they know your secret folds, they’ll be able to see what you wrote. But for those who don’t know the folds, they’ll never guess what you’re passing along!

Australia’s Deadly Animals Bingo: And Other Dangerous Creatures from Down Under by Chris Humfrey (ill) Marcel George ($35, BX)
Boasting 64 of Australia’s most deadly, beautiful and just downright surprising species. Filled with fun facts and glorious illustrations that are guaranteed to delight kids and adults alike. Mark each species off on your card as it’s called and be the first to shout BINGO! 

I Saw It First: Jungle A Family Spotting Game ($30, BX)
300 jungle animals populate the board of this game—some are familiar, others less so, like the eyelash viper or the giraffe weevil. Pull a counter from the box and be the first to spot that animal on the hexagonal double-sided board! This game features charming illustrations by Caroline Selmes. Simple to understand but addictive to play, is great for kids and adults alike will delight adults and children alike. 

Art at Home: 200 activities for kids by Lorna Scobie ($20, PB)
Lorna Scobie grew up in the depths of the English countryside, climbing trees and taking her rabbit for walks in the fields. She is an illustrator and designer, now based in south London. This creative ideas book features carefully adapted activities from her 365 series, in a larger format, perfect for kids aged 5-10. Activities vary from relaxing colouring & pattern-drawing tasks, to thought-provoking challenges such as designing a superhero or sketching a self-portrait. With no rules, and plenty of encouragement to explore, play & develop artistic skills, kids will end up with a book they feel proud of, as well as plenty of inspiration for further artistic projects.