But then one day disaster struck –
the one thing Rodney feared.
While working at his drawing desk
his pen just …
Rodney loves nothing more than drawing. He does it night and day. But when his pen – his favourite, perfect pen named Penny – suddenly disappears, Rodney is frantic. he searches in vain, getting more and more upset until he totally loses it – at which time his pen magically reappears. What Rodney doesn’t know, but eagle-eyed viewers will, is that the pen is never lost – it is tucked safely behind his ear, viewable in some illustrations, depending on the angle – until he ‘loses it’ and his vigorous actions dislodge the pen.
Rodney Loses It is a humorous picture book, written in rhyming text which scans well and is a delight to read aloud. The digital illustrations show Rodney as a simple, but very expressive rabbit, with his eyes, ears and whiskers all used to show his emotions with delightful effect.
Sure to be loved by kids and adults alike.
Rodney Loses It, by Michael Gerard Bauer & Chrissie Krebs
He twisted his head from side to side enjoying the wintry scene. He looked up to admire the falling snow, but then he made a ghastly gasp.
I couldn’t see anything even when I squinted. Nothing.
i turned. Our snowman had turned a very bright pink!
Stuck inside on a snowy day in the Blue Mountains, Krystal is bored. When her father end her out on a fool’s errand, Krystal decides to build a snowman. her friend Jasper helps but, when the snowman comes to life, he has a very odd problem: he has turned pink. Krystal and Jasper must figure out what is causing the problem, and how to fix it.
The Pink Snowman is a short chapter book posing a humorous, unexpected problem. Complemented with black and white line drawings with pink highlights, this is an entertaining read.
The Pink Snowman, by Alan Horsfield
Big Sky Publishing, 2017
I wish I could laugh too but I can’t because I’m supposed to be the serious one. the one who toes the line and never takes risks; who wears her school dress below the knees and keeps a Bible in the drawer next other bed. Ma raised me that way.
May Callaghan has been raised to be a good girl. Her mother is a devout Catholic, and she thinks May will do the right thing; say her prayers, live devoutly, then marry well. But seventeen year old May has a secret boyfriend. Sam is a star footballer, and the way he makes May feel leaves her questioning what her mother has taught her. Fed up life in her small town, may lies to her parents and sneaks to Melbourne to visit Sam. there her eyes are opened to a whole other world: including a liberal thinking shared household heavily immersed in the anti-war movement.
With her parents struggling through problems of their own, and Sam called up for service in Vietnam, May finds herself very alone facing the biggest challenge of her life.
Set in the midst of the Vietnam War, Hello, Goodbye is a moving coming of age story. Whilst May’s relationship with Sam, and her journey through an unplanned pregnancy, are central to the story, subplots involving issues of the impact of war, conscription, family relationships, women’s rights and more are skilfully entwined.
A powerful, emotional read.
Hello, Goodbye, by Emily Brewin
Allen & Unwin, 2017
Oh! You again. Well, you’ll notice I’m back to being little, old, non-froggy, normal me. So, no point reading on because this book is very, very boring.
The little monster character from Do Not Open this Book is back, and back to his normal self, but he really doesn’t wanting readers opening the book, or turning pages. He tries everything to stop the pages being turned, finally revealing why: the wizard who turned him into a frog last book has fixed him – but if the end of the book is reached, he will be naked.
This laugh out loud, interactive book will delight young readers, and will be requested over and over again. With text by Andy Lee (best known as one half of Hamish and Handy) and digital illustrations from Heath McKenzie, Do Not Open This Book Again is good fun.
Do Not Open This Book Again, by Andy Lee & Heath McKenzie
Lake Press, 2017
In a high tree fork, a grey ball unfurls. Tall as a toddler, a dozy young koala sniffs at leaves. … Climb, little Koala,
it’s dinner time.
Following the adventures of one young koala as it becomes time for him to separate from his mother and find his own way in the world, Koala is a wonderful blend of narrative and fact. Koala must overcome hunger, predators, natural disasters, and even other koalas before, finally, he finds a new home where he can live safely.
Part of the wonderful nature Storybooks series, Koala uses narrative non-fiction to trace the life of a fictional koala, grounded in fact, and supported on each spread by additional facts. The text is lyrical, making it accessible and a joy to read, and the illustrations, by one of Australia’s best-loved illustrators, Julie Vivas, are superb.
A must have for Australian homes and classrooms, Koala is also sure to be enjoyed by overseas audiences.
Koala, by Claire Saxby & Julie Vivas
Walker Books, 2017
I just ate my friend.
He was a good friend, but now he’s gone.
What if I never find another friend again?
A glum yellow character is lonely: because he just ate his only friend. Now he is regretting his actions, and is searching for a new friend. But the other creatures he finds are too big or too small, or even too frightening. When he does finally find a suitable friend, the tables are turned, in an unexpected ending which makes even adults laugh out loud.
With a potential message about belonging and the importance of impulse control, this hilarious offering is mostly just good fun. the whimsical digital illustrations feature dark, night-time backgrounds and a cast of deceptively simply rendered characters (which might be described as monsters or beasts) in a range of shapes and sizes.
Suitable for children AND adults, I Just Ate My Friend is a wodnerful debut for Heid McKinnon.
I Just Ate My Friend , by Heidi McKinnon
Allen & Unwin, 2017
What are these ghostly figures?
Stark, angular and bright
against the salt lake’s crystal surface
they disturb its blinding light…
Since 2003, a remote salt lake near Wiluna, in Western Australia, has hosted a set of sculptures installed, as part of the Perth Arts Festival’s 5oth anniversary, by internationally renowned artist Antony (now Sir Antony) Gormley. based on the townsepople, the figures dot the crystal white sal lake and attract visitors from around the world, drawn to this remote part of the country to view and talk about art.
The Figures on the Lake a selection of poems, sketches and paintings recording and responding to the beauty of the figures. Artist and poet Peter O’Shaughnessy has visited the sculptures many times, and, following the success of an exhibitions of paintings interpreting the sculptures, was moved to produce a book honouring the sculptures and their story.
The idea of a series of art and poetry inspired by another series of artworks is a wonderful one, and the book is a delight to browse. Proceeds from sales of the book help to support cancer charities.
Available from the author, in Bunbury Western Australia, or through the Wilunatic Press Etsy Store.
The Figures on the Lake, by Peter O’Shaughnessy
Wilunatic Press, 2017
Seeing Claire’s anxious face, Mum added, ‘But I love you. And your dad loves you. It’s just that we don’t love one another. Now I’ve found Mac, someone I like more than your dad. And I want to live with my two favourite people – you and Mac. Do you understand?’
Claire nodded, but didn’t really understand. All she understood for sure, was how she felt. She wanted to live with Dad forever.
Claire loves both her parents, but her mum has been keeping secrets from her dad, and now she’s told Claire that they have to leave. Mum and Dad have had lots of fights, and Dad has even hurt Mum sometimes. But he’s never hurt Claire, and she isn’t happy about leaving him behind and going to live with Mum’s new friend, Mac. Hopefully, it will only be temporary and Mum and Dad will reunite so Claire can live with her ‘real’ family.
For younger readers, To the Moon and Back explores the issue of family breakup, and the impact of both domestic violence and new relationships on children. Claire faces problems which all too many young readers will be familiar with, either in their own lives or in the lives of their peers and Bates tries to make the issues accessible by showing them through the eyes of a child.
To the Moon and Back, by Dianne Bates
Big Sky Publishing, 2017
The post office didn’t hire echidnas
(or any other animals for that matter).
But this wouldn’t stop Eric.
he would do anything to fulfil his dream!
Eric knows he could be the best postman ever – he can stay dry, avoid dogs, lick the envelopes, and even help open letters. If only he had some mail to deliver. But, no matter the obstale, Eric is determined to follow his dreams.
Eric the Postie is a delightful picture book about following dreams, even if they are big and you are little. Young readers will enjoy both the silliness of an echidna wanting to be a postman, and the rightness of the solution. the illustrations, in watercolour with white backgrounds, are gorgeous in their apparent simplicity.
Suitable for at home reading or sharing at school, Eric the Postie will also appeal to adult readers.
Eric the Postie, by Matt Shanks
There is only one reason why Arg is bored:
1. He is never allowed to do anything exciting.
Arg is not allowed to go hunting with his dad. He is not allowed to explore the jungle, or play by the lava pits. Arg’s mum thinks everything is too dangerous.
Arg is bored AND hungry. He isn’t allowed to go hunting, or do anything else interesting. But when Mum brings home some eggs, Arg finds out this egg is more interesting that expected. There’s a cute dinosaur inside. Arg’s the only one who knows, and he wants to keep it that way so that his new friend isn’t eaten.
The Great Egg Stink is the first book in the new Dinosaur Trouble series, featuring cave boy Arg and his Stone Age family. the second book, The Lava Melt shake, shows Arg figuring out a way to stop lava from wiping out the village.
Both books are easy to read, short chapter books with black and white illustrations on every spread, and lots of humour mixed with action.
Suitable for newly independent readers, each book stands alone.
Dinosaur Trouble: The Great Egg Stink ISBN 9781775433668
Dinosaur Trouble: The Lava Melt Shake ISBN 9781775433675
By Kyle Mewburn & Donovan Bixley