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October Fun

PICTURE BOOKS

Sandcastle by Einat Tsarfati ($28, HB)
A little girl builds a sand castle complete with domes, turrets, crocodile moat and a sea view. The royals arrive to admire the sandy architecture and partake in the grand party in the Ballroom. But by morning, trouble’s afoot—sand in the strudel, sand in the suit of armour, sand in bath!’ In fact, there’s sand everywhere. How to appease the royal guests? And here comes the tide.

Our Girl by Anthony Browne ($26, HB)
She’s lovely, our girl! Award winning ex-Children’s Laureate Anthony Browne offers a joyful and empowering celebration of daughters, granddaughters, sisters and girl-children everywhere—showing all the many things that girls can be.

The House by the Lake by Thomas Harding
(ill) Britta Teckentrup ($28, HB)

On the outskirts of Berlin, a wooden cottage stands on the shore of a lake. Over the course of a century, this little house played host to a loving Jewish family, a renowned Nazi composer, wartime refugees & a Stasi informant; in that time, a world war came & went, and the Berlin Wall was built a stone’s throw from the cottage’s back door. Thomas Harding has rendered his Costa short-listed biography into a deeply moving picture-book for young readers—with magnificent artwork by staff favourite, Britta Teckentrup.

Night Walk by Marie Dorleans ($32, HB)
Mama opened our bedroom door. ‘Come on, you two,’ she whispered. ‘We need to go now, to get there on time.’ Excited, the sleepy family step outside into a beautiful summer evening. They’ve entered a night-time world, quiet and shadowy, filled with fresh smells and amazing sights. Gorgeous illustrations evoke the awe & mystery of childhood adventures in the dark.

NON-FICTION

The Bushfire Book: How to Be Aware and Prepare
by Polly Marsden (ill) Chris Nixon

Written by Polly Marsden, the creator behind the concept for the documentary series Big Weather and How To Survive It, hosted by Craig Reucassel, this a practical and reassuring book for children to help them understand bushfires and what action they can take to feel less anxious and more prepared as Australia faces longer and more intense bushfire seasons. ($20, HB)

Wild Cities by Ben Lerwill ($30, HB)
Wild stories of animals adapting to live in our urban world—like the swampwallaby spotted hopping across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, or the fox who took up residence on the 72nd floor of the Shard in London. The small furry rock hyraxes (or dassies) of Capetown—whose closest relative is the elephant, high flying Parisian kestrels or the skunks of New York. A charming companion to the animal poetry collection—lots of subject matter for your own poems.

POETRY

Tiger, Tiger, Burning Bright! An Animal Poem for Every Day of the Year
(ed) Fiona Waters (ill) Britta Teckentrup

Speaking of animals & poems—this lavishly illustrated collection of 366 animal poems—for every day of the year—ranges from classics to contemporary works from around the world, including poetry in translation. Hard to limit yourself to just one poem—I’ve just spent an hour immersed in this book, and googling all the poets. But if you are strong-willed enough to take it one poem day—and commit each to memory. ($50, HB)

FICTION 6-8

What Zola Did on Tuesday ($13, PB) by Melina Marchetta (ill) Deb Hudson
Zola loves living on Boomerang Street with her mum & nonna. Every day is an adventure—and no matter how much she tries, she can’t keep out of trouble! This the 2nd in a series of seven Zola stories—one for every day of the week.

Sherlock Bones and the Sea-creature Feature by Renée Treml ($15, PB)
Sherlock Bones is a tawny frogmouth skeleton (really) and a mystery-solving superstar! In this new cartoony outing, Sherlock B & his trusty partners, clever Watts (technically a stuffed parrot), sassy Grace and a new hard to track sidekick aim to solve the mystery of the monster in the museum.

Meet Matilda at the Festival by Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern (ill) Tania McCartney ($13, PB)
Matilda goes to a festival at the Japanese Embassy where her friend Hansuke lives. But Hansuke is going back to Japan soon and Matilda doesn’t want to say goodbye.

Meet Dooley on the Farm by Sally Odgers (ill) Christina Booth
Dooley’s cousin is visiting his farm. We’ll swim in the river, feed the calves and collect berries. But best of all, we’re going to sleep out in the barn! ($13, PB)

FICTION 8-12

The Puffin Book of Big Dreams ($33, HB)
This collection is perfect for reading aloud or reading independently at bedtime, with brand new stories, poems and illustrations from exciting new Puffin talent including Jacqueline Wilson, Malorie Blackman, Anne Fine, Jamie Littler, Jeremy Strong, Tom Fletcher, Sam Copeland, Ed Vere, Nadia Shireen, plus carefully curated extracts from Puffin’s classic family favourites like Eric Carle, Beatrix Potter, Allan Ahlberg, Michael Morpurgo, Julia Donaldson and Roald Dahl. With quotes & motivational pieces from inspiring leaders, scientists & actors sharing their own big dreams.

The Silver Arrow by Lev Grossman ($15, PB)
Kate wasn’t expecting much when she wrote to her wealthy estranged uncle to ask for a birthday present. Certainly she wasn’t expecting a colossal steam train called the Silver Arrow to arrive on her doorstep. When Kate & her brother Tom climb aboard the train’s engine to roar into life, taking them to a train station where an assortment of strange & beautiful creatures are waiting with tickets in their mouths—it’s their job will be to see them safely home—if they can. A rip-roaring adventure from desert plains to snow-covered mountains packed with creatures like the indignant porcupine, the lost polar bear and an adorable baby pangolin.

Funny Kid Belly Flop (Funny Kid, #8) by Matt Stanton ($15, PB)
Max and Abby hardly ever agree on anything … until now! They are both desperate to get out of this Friday’s swimming carnival. Max is the funny kid, and there’s a swimming carnival that needs cancelling! A sea-monster, the maths olympiad, spotty rashes, good twin vs bad twin and a swimming instructor named Chad are just some of the things in store for Max and his friends.

TEEN FICTION

Challenger Deep by Neal Shusterman
Caden Bosch is on a ship that’s headed for the deepest point on Earth: Challenger Deep, the southern part of the Marianas Trench. Caden Bosch is a brilliant high school student whose friends are starting to notice his odd behaviour. Caden Bosch is designated the ship’s artist in residence to document the journey with images. Caden Bosch pretends to join the school track team but spends his days walking for miles, absorbed by the thoughts in his head. Caden Bosch is split between his allegiance to the captain and the allure of mutiny. Caden Bosch is torn. ($19, PB)

Clancy of the Overflow (The Matilda Saga, #9) by Jackie French ($20, PB)
Jed Kelly has finally persuaded her great aunt Nancy to tell the story of her grandparents. The tale that unfolds is that of Clancy of the Overflow, who gave up everything for Rose, the woman he adored—but Nancy’s story is not the history that Jed expects. The stories of the women hidden in Australia’s long history, the story of Clancy’s growing passion for the bush, immortalised in
Banjo Paterson’s poem, and Nancy’s need to pass on her deep understanding of her country. And also the love story that never happened, between Matilda O’Halloran & Clancy of the Overflow. As Jed brings all of these stories to life in her book, Matilda & Clancy will once again waltz beside the river and the forgotten will be given a new voice.

The Other Side of the Sky by Amie Kaufman & Meagan Spooner ($20, PB)
Prince North’s home is in the sky, in a gleaming city held aloft by intricate unknown technology. But North believes his sky island is sinking. Its engines are failing, and the key to saving his home is to venture to the place the engines were first created. Nimh is the living goddess of her people on the surface, responsible for providing answers, direction—hope. But in the midst of the surface’s worst crisis yet, a mist that spreads madness and poison, doubts have arisen among the people about Nimh’s divinity. She must find a way to manifest her power – before she is overthrown, and all is lost. North’s and Nimh’s lives are entwined—though their hearts can never be. Linked by a terrifying prophecy and caught between duty and fate, they must choose to either save their people, or succumb to the bond that is forbidden to them.