Archive for the ‘Book News’ Category

Stephen Michael King’s Baker’s Dozen – Classics you’ve read to your kids

Friday, June 7th, 2013

Every now and then it’s nice to reflect and remember the golden moments of yesterday. And nothing conjures up warm, snugly memories better than a magic word or two, shared and cherished with those you love. When I asked children’s illustrator author, Stephen Michael King, what his reading list looked like, he trumped the idea […]

The Emerging Writers Festival Digital Masterclass (and Overage Players)

Tuesday, June 4th, 2013

I almost didn’t go attend the Emerging Writers Festival (EWF), both because it’s in Melbourne and I’m not and because I’m still a bit puzzled that EWF consider Dave Graney ‘emerging’. My tweet about it probably earnt me a black mark from the festivals’ organisers, but the succinctness of Twitter didn’t allow me to explain […]

Doodles and Drafts – Charmed with Belinda Murrell

Monday, June 3rd, 2013

When bestselling, award-winning children’s author Belinda Murrell requested a chat, I was delighted to oblige. And with the dual release of The River Charm and the new Lulu Bell series this month, she has much to talk about. So froth up your café au lait, sit back and discover why squishy bananas, suits of chain-mail […]

Obligatory Gatsby Blog

Sunday, June 2nd, 2013

Baz Luhrmann’s multi-gazillion-dollar film adaptation of the iconic The Great Gatsby has received mixed reviews, and I swore I’d steer clear of an obligatory Gatsby-themed blog. But, having seen the film on a whim (it’s Saturday night and I felt as though I needed to have something other than work and study to show for […]

Review – Seadog

Monday, May 27th, 2013

In his youth, my shaggy-coated border collie had a fondness for rolling in guano, preferably just after bath time. The maturity and inability age brings to pursue such endearing past-times means I have not had to deal with that glorious dead-fish-wet-dog-poo smell for some years – until now. Thanks to the jolly new picture book […]

Review – Ferret on the Loose

Monday, May 20th, 2013

Stand in the kids’ section of any library and you’ll soon discover what under 10 year old readers gravitate towards; pacey, riveting chapter books, starring jump-off-the-page characters with the odd quirky picture thrown in to keep it all real. This is precisely what New Frontier Publishing is delivering with their dynamite Little Rocket Series. Like […]

On My Bedside Table

Friday, May 17th, 2013

Want to know who I like to curl up in bed with after a long day behind the flat screen? Curious to know how I spend the midnight hours? Well I can reveal that at least three of those listed below are amongst the many who keep me occupied into the wee hours of the […]

Doodles and Drafts – Shifting through the Haze with Paula Weston

Monday, May 13th, 2013

It’s not that I’m not fond of paranormal spec-fiction; it’s just a genre that happens to feature much further down on my reading list – picture books dance all over them in fact. But when Queensland author, Paul Weston announced the release of her first YA novel, I was simultaneously intrigued and fascinated and then, […]

Review – Somebody’s House

Monday, May 6th, 2013

Have you ever wandered down your street and wondered who shares it with you? Do you like to let your curiosity conjure up interesting occupants based entirely on the external appearance of a dwelling? I do. I’m not sure if young children do this as consciously as us more questioning grown up types but Katrina […]

Review – Bea

Monday, April 29th, 2013

Fitting in with your flock is important. Occasionally though, our sense of self is questioned, buried beneath the need to conform. Mixing like with like is not necessarily a bad thing. It’s safe, secure and reassuring. Bea, however, is a bird who favours being true to yourself in preference to self-preservation. She dares to be […]

Lest We Forget

Wednesday, April 24th, 2013

On the eve of ANZAC Day it seemed fitting to touch on the significance of the day. Young people are often faced with a barrage of ANZAC Day information whether they are involved in commemorative services and lessons at school or simply viewing a dawn parade on the day. Explaining the whys and how of […]

Review – Mr Darcy the Dancing Duck

Monday, April 22nd, 2013

The first time I met the acquaintance of Mr Darcy, I was much enamoured by his unassuming good looks, impeccable manners and sophisticated demeanour. If his reserved gentility left both Lizzy and me a little wanting and him rather lonely in the beginning, then it was only a question of time and persistence on behalf […]

Review – DON’T let a Spoonbill in the kitchen!

Saturday, April 20th, 2013

Fun, Fun, Fun! Delicious, unrestrained, dive-head-first into it FUN, was my first impression of Narelle Oliver’s scrumptious new picture book, DON’T let a Spoonbill in the kitchen! Well OK, but why, I bet you’re wondering. I was and couldn’t wait to devour this book to find out. My indulgence was delayed though first by the […]

Review – Night Watch

Monday, April 15th, 2013

Who hasn’t watched an African wildlife documentary and not been enthralled by the lives of the majestic beasts that roam within? I may be easily amused but their appearances and antics still impress me, as does Phil Cummings’ and Janine Dawson’s latest offering, Night Watch. Our African stars are Giraffe, Elephant, Hippo, and Baboon. They […]

Talk Like Shakespeare Day – April 23

Friday, April 12th, 2013

April 23 is Talk Like Shakespeare Day! How to Talk Like Shakespeare: Instead of you, say thou or thee (and instead of y’all, say ye). Rhymed couplets are all the rage. Men are Sirrah, ladies are Mistress, and your friends are all called Cousin. Instead of cursing, try calling your tormenters jackanapes or canker-blossoms or poisonous […]

Children’s Book Council Awards Shortlists Announced for 2013

Friday, April 12th, 2013

The shortlists for this year’s Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards have been announced. The shortlisted titles in each of the categories are: Older Readers: The Ink Bridge (Neil Grant, A&U) Sea Hearts (Margo Lanagan, A&U) The Shiny Guys (Doug MacLeod, Penguin) Creepy & Maud (Dianne Touchell, Fremantle Press) Friday Brown (Vikki Wakefield, Text) The […]

New Tim Winton book Eyrie coming in October

Thursday, April 11th, 2013

New novel by Tim Winton to be published by Hamish Hamilton in 2013 Ben Ball, Publishing Director, Penguin Books Australia has revealed a new novel by Tim Winton will be published on 14 October 2013. “I’m delighted to be able to announce that on October 14 this year we will be publishing a new novel […]

The Secret Lives Of Men

Tuesday, April 9th, 2013

I’m not normally a short story reader. Short stories often feel—to me, anyway—as though they’re trying too hard to give us some grand moral lesson in a short space of time. They feel deliberate and laboured. And then, just when I’ve given myself over to the tale, they end. Georgia Blain’s Secret Lives of Men […]

Review – Grandpa’s Gold

Monday, April 8th, 2013

Once upon a time, not long ago, unearthing quality crafted, self-published children’s books was like fossicking for gold. They were out there, but often buried under layers of fools’ gold. Grandpa’s Gold is one of the genuine gems. For me, one of the greatest rewards of being a parent is being able to share the […]

Doodles and Drafts – An Interview with Lucia Masciullo

Wednesday, April 3rd, 2013

At a time of year when there are more new children’s book releases than autumn leaves drifting about, it’s nice to grab a cuppa, sit back and remember that what makes a book brilliant is the genius behind its creation. Today we meet one of those geniuses, the quietly charismatic illustrator, Lucia Masciullo. Her story […]

Review – No Matter Who We’re With

Monday, April 1st, 2013

It’s heartening to see the partner publishing arm of the kids publishing industry is not only thriving but consistently providing ways for rising Aussie authors to produce their work. IP Kidz, an imprint of Interactive Publications, is one such entity and Robert Vescio is one such author. His new picture book, No Matter Who We’re […]

5 Faves from Afar

Monday, March 25th, 2013

The volume of literary genius Australia possesses is staggering. Distill this down further to talented kids’ authors and illustrators and you’d still fill oceans, which is why I love showcasing our home grown children’s books. But it’s impossible to ignore the magnitude of offerings from overseas too. So every now and then I’ll give you […]

Not a Review – A Reflection of An ANZAC Tale

Monday, March 18th, 2013

Confession: The day I received Working Title Presses’ latest release, An ANZAC Tale, I was assailed with nostalgia and immense trepidation. How does one do justice to one of the most unjustifiable periods of human history? Ruth Stark and Greg Holfeld have done it and done it admirably well. The result is a meticulously researched […]

Review – The Windy Farm

Monday, March 11th, 2013

I’m not big on wind. Of all the meteorological marvels on offer, it’s the least appealing to me, perhaps because I endured a few too many tropical cyclones and missing roofs as a child. So when The Windy Farm blew onto my shelves, I instinctively hunched my shoulders and wondered what on earth could be […]

How it really feels to close a bookshop

Friday, March 8th, 2013

Bookseller Greg Field is an inspiration. While he closed the NSW bookstore he has run for 10 years, Sunset Books, last week in the face of tough economic realities, Field has also posted the first third of his new mystery novel on global story sharing community Wattpad and launched an app business. His is a […]

Janeen Brian – Part Two

Thursday, March 7th, 2013

Do you have an all time favourite book character you secretly aspire to be more like? Discover Janeen Brian’s… Q Who or what was your favourite book character as a child? If you could incorporate that character into one of your own stories, which would it be and why? How would you adapt that character […]

Review – Meet…Ned Kelly

Monday, March 4th, 2013

I have never felt so exposed by a picture book as I did when I first laid eyes on Meet…Ned Kelly. The piercing stare of Australia’s most infamous bush ranger peering from the slit of his armoured headgear sliced through to the very marrow of my bones, anchoring the outlaw’s stare there as if to say, […]

ALS Gold Medal Longlist 2013 announced

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

The longlist for the 2013 ALS Gold Medal has been announced. The longlisted titles are: Lola Bensky (Lily Brett, Hamish Hamilton) Darkness on the Edge of Town (Jessie Cole, Fourth Estate) Questions of Travel (Michelle de Kretser, A&U) Montebello (Robert Drewe, Hamish Hamilton) The Engagement (Chloe Hooper, Hamish Hamilton) Cumulus: Collected Poems (Robert Gray, John Leonard Press) Like a House on […]

The Stella Prize Longlist

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

The inaugural Stella Prize longlist was announced today, something met with much frisson (at least it was in my one-person household). The announcement has been a long time coming, both because Australian female authors have traditionally been overlooked when it comes to literary prizes and because it’s taken some time for the Stella Prize to […]

Review – The Treasure Box

Monday, February 18th, 2013

Many of my generation (sadly not all) and those of the next, fortunately have not endured the atrocities of war like those seen during the Holocaust. That we are able to feel its impact, appreciate the drama and acknowledge its implications is the unique potency of a picture book. Margret Wild and Freya Blackwood exploit […]

Doodles and Drafts – Peter Allert Part Two

Monday, February 11th, 2013

Today we continue to follow exciting new Queensland talent, Peter Allert and have a sqizz at his first published children’s picture book, Long Live Us! Q Where has your work appeared? My first book was ‘Long Live Us’ written by Edel Wignell and published by IP Kidz in 2011. Since then I have been focussing […]

Doodles and Drafts – An interview with Peter Allert Part One

Monday, February 4th, 2013

I struggle to decipher my own handwriting. I can barely make a stencil look decent and my attempts at creating hangman stick figures always fills my opponents with pitiful glee. This is why I admire anyone who has even an infinitesimal amount of artistic flair. The process of anything emerging be it writer, illustrator, butterfly, […]

Review – The Emu That Laid the Golden Egg

Monday, January 28th, 2013

As I smack down some lamingtons over the Straya Day long weekend, I am reminded of how my first encounter with half of the Aussie Coat of Arms filled me with unaccountable terror. A bristling periscopic neck thrust its way deep into our car’s interior in search of edible morsels as I shrank deep into […]

Review – Not a Nibble!

Monday, January 21st, 2013

Family holidays are the stuff many childhood memories are forged from. With just a couple more weeks of summer holidays left, I revisited an old favourite and evoked some happy would-be memories (if mine had been the type of family to embark on seaside camping trips). The excitement is palpable as Susie’s family head to […]

Dandelion Bullying Book to be published by Random House

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Random House Australia has acquired the rights to an ebook and print book version of Dandelion, a popular anti-bullying app for children that was created by Sydney writer and creative director Galvin Scott Davis. Random House will publish the Dandelion ebook on 15 March, followed by a hardcover picture book on 1 April. Davis created the Dandelion app in 2012 in […]

Is your life lacking some Random Romance?

Saturday, January 19th, 2013

Random Romance is the new Random House Australia digital-first romance list and is launching next month – just in time for Valentine’s Day – with five indulgent titles, including two romcoms, two erotic novellas and a scintillating outback romance. Another five titles will be published throughout the year.   One Little White Lie by Loretta HillThis […]

Reading our leading women

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Are you up for a reading challenge this year? I’ve already started mine, with a Miles Franklin-related project called Reading Stella, which you can learn about on a new dedicated blog, but it ties in with the broader national Australian Women Writers Challenge (see previous post), and I’ll be broadening my reading list accordingly. With […]

Dan Brown Thriller Inferno to be published globally in May

Thursday, January 17th, 2013

Da Vinci Code author Dan Brown has penned a new thriller, Inferno, which will publish globally on May 14. In his eagerly awaited follow-up to The Lost Symbol renowned Harvard symbologist Robert Langdon returns. Set in the heart of Europe Langdon is drawn into a harrowing world centred on one of history’s most enduring and mysterious literary masterpieces. From […]

Pink Popular Penguins

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Penguin Books has announced that it will publish a limited edition set of 12 of its ‘Popular Penguins’ books with pink covers in March to help raise money for the McGrath Foundation. $1 from the sale of each of the ‘Pink Popular Penguins’ will be donated to the McGrath Foundation, which aims to increase breast health […]

NYR12 and beyond

Monday, January 14th, 2013

Those of you who read my last post about the year that was 2012, may have notice something missing. I made no mention about the National Year of Reading (NYR12). That’s because I figured it deserved its very own post. So here goes… 2012 was the National Year of Reading in Australia. It was a […]