612ABC: Bookworms

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Tonight on 612ABC Brisbane I’ll be talking my favourite books of the past month or so with Trevor Jackson. You can click on the title links to read more about each book or purchase a copy for your home or school library! Still can’t believe they let me loose on a microphone…

‘At the Beach I See’ by Kamsani Bin Salleh

‘I Want to Be in a Book’ by Narelle Oliver

‘The Very Sleepy Bear’ by Nick Bland

‘A is for Australian Animals’ by Frane Lessac

‘Koala’ by Claire Saxby and Julie Vivas

‘Pippa’s Island’ by Belinda Murrell

‘How to Bee’ by Bren Drabble

‘The Fall’ by Tristan Bancks

‘At the Beach I See’ by Kamsani Bin Salleh

This delightful book for Early Childhood is part of a really lovely series which Indigenous publishing house, Magabala  Books  has been adding to for some time now, the ‘Young Artists’ series. This one features exquisite black linework and colourful wash backgrounds of sea creatures which work beautifully with the lyrical text. Together they introduce extraordinary creatures and birds that we can discover and observe around our Australian coastline. Lines such as ‘Dancing jellyfish’, ‘scuttling crabs’, ‘beautiful shells’, ‘tangled seaweed’ and a ‘soaring kite’ evoke the wonder of our beaches and the treasures to be found.

‘I Want to Be in a Book’ by Narelle Oliver

Such a hard book for me to be objective about as Narelle, who very sadly passed away in 2016, was a dear friend of mine. I remember her showing me the idea for this book and us talking about how it might work and if it would work. I can claim no credit whatsover for this book, but I do remember telling her that this was a much needed book for school libraries and teachers as it gently introduces the idea of picture book creation and where ideas come from. I shall only claim credit for one part of this book – I sent her in the right direction for ‘desk accessories’ which appear in the book! The book is just gorgeous and I’m very honoured to be working as part of a team to bring this book to life in exhibition form, opening in September this year. For most of his life, Cecil waited patiently on a pinboard, dreaming of being in a book, like all the other creatures he saw come and go. Cecil is only a sketch, but he has a name, and he wonders, if just maybe, he might be destined for greater things. Cecil is the reader’s eyes as we see books created in front of us. Cecil’s imagination soars as he dreams of what book he might land in. And then one day, he does land in a book. And a new, exciting, and even dangerous, adventure begins. Narelle created this work using collage – a magical mixture of photography, sketches, lino cuts and objects. Narelle had not quite finished her work before she died h in late 2016, but her vision for Cecil, and his story, were complete, so that Cecil, and Narelle’s work, could become the book they were meant to be.

‘The Very Sleepy Bear’ by Nick Bland

On a Jingle Jangle Mountain, as the snow fell on the rocks A sleepy bear was being followed by a very sneaky fox. But Bear was in a hurry, he was running very late Winter had arrived and it was time to hibernate! The Very Cranky Bear is back and he has a mischievous fox to contend with…

‘A is for Australian Animals’ by Frane Lessac

Australia is full of the most amazing animals on the planet! What animal has six thumbs? What animal produces square poo? What animal is made up of 95 per cent water and is highly venomous? Discover the answers to these questions and more in this factastic tour of Australian animals.

  • A celebration of Australian animals and places.
  • Includes high interest facts and full colour illustrations of diverse animals throughout Australia. Includes species distribution maps.
  • Companion to A is for Australia, which was a Notable Book for the 2016 Eve Pownall Award for Information Books.Support one of favourite local (and online) bookstores in Brisbane, ‘Where the Wild Things Are’/’Avid Reader’ by purchasing through the link below. If you are local to Brisbane you can order online and pick up in-store. 

‘Koala’ by Claire Saxby and Julie Vivas

It is time for Little Koala to leave the protection of his mother. But many challenges and dangers lie ahead for him as he searches for his own home eucalypt and learns to be independent. During his search he encounters other territorial koalas, wanders through a bushfire-ravaged landscape and endures a night of storms. ‘Koala’ is written by award-winning nonfiction picture book specialist Claire Saxby, and illustrated by the much-celebrated Julie Vivas, one of Australia’s premier illustrators. This is a fabulous addition to the award-winning Nature Storybook series with its combination of lyrical narrative with factual information.

 ‘Pippa’s Island’ by Belinda Murrell

‘Pippa’s Island’ by Belinda Murrell follows the adventures of ten-year-old Pippa Hamilton as she moves all the way from London to Kira Island and navigates making new friends, her mother’s potentially disastrous business plans and life a world away from what she’s always known. Award winning author Jacqueline Harvey has done a fabulous interview with Belinda Murrell here. 

‘How to Bee’ by Bren MacDibble

A story about family, loyalty, kindness and bravery, set against an all-too-possible future where climate change has forever changed the way we live. Sometimes bees get too big to be up in the branches, sometimes they fall and break their bones. This week both happened and Foreman said, ‘Tomorrow we’ll find two new bees.’

Peony lives with her sister and grandfather on a fruit farm outside the city. In a world where real bees are extinct, the quickest, bravest kids climb the fruit trees and pollinate the flowers by hand. All Peony really wants is to be a bee. Life on the farm is a scrabble, but there is enough to eat and a place to sleep, and there is love. Then Peony’s mother arrives to take her away from everything she has ever known, and all Peony’s grit and quick thinking might not be enough to keep her safe.

How To Bee’ is a beautiful and fierce novel for younger readers, and the voice of Peony will stay with you long after you read the last page.

‘The Fall’ by Tristan Bancks

The wonderful Sue Whiting reviewed ‘The Fall’ for me here. Sue says: The action in this gripping story takes place over a tense 24-hour period that begins in the wee hours when 13-year-old Sam Garner witnesses a body falling from the sixth floor of the apartment block he is staying in with his crime reporter father – a man he hardly knows. Sam watches as another man checks on the body, but this man, a possible murderer, also sees Sam. Sam goes to wake his father, only to discover he is not there. This sets off a chain of events that leads Sam into much peril and forces him to take on the dangerous role of crime investigator.

Marketed as a crime thriller for readers aged 10+, ‘The Fall’ offers this and much more. The plot is tight and tense, and filled with all the twisty-turny surprises you would expect from a Hitchcock-style crime thriller, and readers should be kept on the edge of their seats to the last page. But what sets this middle grade thriller above many others are the layers woven into the crime plot and the nuanced and complex characters, especially the less-than-perfect protagonist, Sam.

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The titles of each book takes you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.

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