The Bush Book Club, by Margaret Wild & Ben Wood

Echidna loved reading snug in bed,
with platters of ants and buttered bread.
Kangaroo loved reading as she hopped along,
trying not fall in the billabong.

All the animals love reading, and are members of the Bush Book Club. Everyone, that is, except Bilby. Bilby has never found a book that interest him. he is too busy twiddling and fiddling, skipping and hopping. Until one day he finds himself alone with nothing but a room full of books.

The Bush Book Club is a lovely story about books – and the importance of finding the right one. The resolution makes clear the premise held by many teachers, librarians, authors and other book people that there is a right book for every reader, and that a child who doesn’t like books hasn’t been given the right book yet.

Bilby and his friends have been beautifully brought to life in the water colour and pencil illustrations by Ben Wood, and youngsters will also enjoy the settings, especially the tree-home of the Book Club.



The Bush Book Club, by Margaret Wild & Ben Wood
Omnibus Books, 2014
ISBN 9781742990149

Available from good bookstores and online.

All I Know, by Mary Coustas

This is a story about life and death, a memoir based on a part of my history about which I never imagined writing. But loss has driven me to try to find answers in what remains, to airlift myself to a place that serves me better than helplessness and misery. To reach out. This is my love letter to what lives on beyond the devastation.

The child of Greek immigrants and raised  in Collingwood and Doncaster, Mary Coustas grew up to become one of Australia’s best loved television actresses, particularly for her portrayal of  Effie in Acropolis Now. Now, in her autobiographical book, she shows another side from her funny girl image.

All I Know shares Coustas’ life story, with a focus on the loss of her much-loved father, and her attempts to fall pregnant after meeting the love of her life, George.  Coustas is honest and open,at times funny and often rawly heartbreaking.

Fans of Coustas will love the chance to get to know her more intimately, and those who have struggled with infertility may find hope in her story.


All I Know

All I Know, by Mary Coustas
Allen & Unwin, 2014
ISBN 9781743319635

Available from good bookstores or online.

Meet My Book: Roses are Blue, by Sally Murphy

Usually, this feature hosts guest bloggers telling us about their latest book – but today it’s my turn, because it’s the release date for my own new book.  SO, I’m going to answer the same ten questions I usually ask other visitors.

1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.Roses are Blue

Roses are Blue, illustrated by Gabriel Evans, published by Walker Books and released July 1 (That’s today!)

2. Why did you write the book?

The story came to me from a thought about how embarrassing it is for my own children to have a mum like me. Then I started wondering what it would be like to have a mother who was really really different from other mums. I started exploring the idea and realised the story I needed to tell was about a mother who is disabled as the result fo a car accident, and the struggle for her daughter Amber. As I wrote it, I realised the real issue for Amber was missing her mum, and having to cope with the loss of what they had.

3. How long from idea to publication?

Years. About five years. My previous verse novels, Pearl Verses the World and Toppling were much quicker. I think this one took so long because it was hard to get the balance between the sad topic and the sense of hope I wanted to evoke.

4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?

Getting that sense of hope developed enough. I don’t mind if people cry when they read my books, but I do want them to also find something to smile about. When the topic is so sad, it can be difficult to get that balance right.

5. Coolest thing about your book?

Getting  to work with talented young illustrator Gabriel Evans. He’s amazing.

6. Something you learnt through writing the book?

The value of a good and patient editor. Actually, I already knew this, but the efforts of Sue Whiting and Jessica Owen to get the best out of me were invaluable!

7.  What did you do celebrate the release?

I had a launch at the National Conference of the CBCA in May, and will be having a local launch in August. I also bought a block of my favourite chocolate this morning and will open something cold and bubbly this evening.

8. And how will you promote the book?

As well as the launch,  later in the year I’ll be doing some touring in the Eastern states and in WA, and of course lots of online stuff like blog tours and interviews.

9. What are you working on next?

A couple of things.  I’m finishing up a  war story due for release early in 2015, and fine tuning some picture books. I’m also working on a Doctorate in Creative Writing and, for that, writing lots of poetry and another verse novel.

10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?

On my website,

Or my Facebook author page:

My Twitter handle is @sallymurphy

You can also visit the Walker Books website

And, of course, the book can be bought from any good bookstore (if they don’t have it, ask!) or online.