Every Breath by Ellie Marney
Rachel Watts is living in a tiny house in a Melbourne suburb, her parents and older brother working all the hours they can to keep a roof above their heads. None of them want to be there, but the banks foreclosed on the family property and they are reduced to near penury.
Rachel resents the loss of her wide-open country life, but there is one consolation - her friendship with charismatic neighbour and near-genius James Mycroft. He attends the same school (when he hasn't been suspended - a regular occurrence) and there are hints about a troubling past. His abiding passion is forensic science, and he runs a website dedicated to criminal forensics. When they find a friend of theirs, a homeless man, dead near Melbourne Zoo, they begin their own investigation. A page-turner for older teen readers!
That is Not a Good Idea by Mo Willems
A fox and a goose meet and there is instant attraction. Dinner! thinks one of them. Fox asks goose to go for a stroll, and she accepts. That is NOT a good idea! says a little gosling. They stroll into the dark woods (NOT a good idea!) and visit his kitchen (really NOT a good idea) where dinner is eventually served… A very simple picture book with Willems' trademark cartoon-graphic illustrations, text presented like a silent movie to move the story along, and repetition which invites young readers' participation. Ages 4-6.
The Dance Teacher by Simon Milne
Isabelle wants to be a ballerina. Her teacher, Miss Sylvie, tells her dancing is hard work and practice is necessary, and asks whether she can work hard. So starts Isabelle's love affair with ballet. Her best friends start classes with her, until life gets in the way for the others, but Isabelle persists, until she realises her ambitions to be a ballerina. But one day she realises she wants something else… A sweet and charming picture book about the thrill of dance, and of working hard to achieve your dreams, and then the satisfaction of giving back. Expressive illustrations by Chantal Stewart.
The Vanishing Moment by Margaret Wild
The respected and award-winning picture book author has produced a fascinating and intriguing novel for older readers. Three people's lives are followed, in fragments. Bob has an awful stepfather who makes his life hell. The only bright spot is his little half-sister, who he loves with all his heart. Arrow is adrift, and has never felt comfortable since early adolescence, when a terrible tragedy split her life into 'before' and 'after'.
Marika can't stop weeping after her little brother is kidnapped in a public place when she was was in charge. Arrow and Marika's lives intersect in a small coastal town which has significance for both of them - and for the magician, Bob, who tells them both of his theory about multiple universes. And even though their present lives aren't what they want, what would Marika and Arrow lose if they could change their pasts? A very satisfying read!
Just So Stories by Rudyard Kipling illustrated by Robert Ingpen
This is one in Ingpen's beautifully illustrated classics for children - but as with all the others he has done (eg Wind in the Willows, Secret Garden, Treasure Island, Alice in Wonderland) their appeal is widespread and certainly not limited! The text is unabridged and brings to the reader all Kipling's charming and colourful tales of how certain animals got their characteristic features. They are delightful and entertaining, and still worth sharing with younger readers. The gorgeous illustrations add to the experience, Ingpen's warm and soft colours in realistic shades of golden greys and browns enlivened with greens and blues are so beautifully expressive! For readers and book collectors, young and old.
~ Lindy Jones (ABA Text Publishing Bookseller of the Year 2011)
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