One Whole and Perfect Day, by Judith Clarke

Lily knew that it wasn’t the absence of a father, or even the smallness of their family (only the three of them – five if you counted Nan and Pop), which marked them out. No, thought Lily irritably, it was the sheer peculiarity of the people in it that made her family not quite right.

Lily is the sensible one in her family. She cleans the house and cooks the emails, and always makes sensible decisions. But then she starts to notice Daniel Steadman and suddenly she wonders if she’s as sensible as she thought.

In the meantime, Lily’s nan decides it’s time for a party. Lily finds herself determined to make this party a perfect day for her less than perfect family. But it’s going to take some effort.

One Whole and Perfect Day is a warm story of family relationships, falling in love and the concept of perfection. Lily is a likeable protagonist with a wryly humorous take on life and a family who are as endearing as they are odd.

Aimed at teens, there’s a lot to be enjoyed by adult readers as well.

One Whole and Perfect Day

One Whole and Perfect Day, by Judith Clarke
Allen & Unwin, 2006

Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair, by Lee Fox

Ella Kazoo will not brush her hair.
She hides in the cupboard and under the stair.
She roars at her mum
Like a big growly bear,
she whines and she moans
and she howls in despair,
but Ella Kazoo will not brush her hair.

No matter what Mum tries, Ella Kazoo refuses to brush her hair – or to have it brushed for her. While her hair keeps growing, it gets more and more tangled, but Ella will not back down. But, when it finally gets too much for her she offers a solution of her own – a haircut.

This is a fun rhyming tale with wonderful rhythm and a quirky use of end sounds which are repeated multiple times rather than just in pairs. Adults will enjoy reading the text aloud, whilst kids will love listening to it. The acrylic illustrations, by Cathy Wilcox, are a wonderful complement, with the golden locks especially brought to life.

Well able to endure repeat readings.

Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair

Ella Kazoo Will Not Brush Her Hair, by Lee Fox, illustrated by Cathy Wilcox
Lothian, 2006

Secrets, Lies, Gizmos, and Spies, by Janet Wyman Coleman

Telling a friend may mean telling the enemy…

Secrets, Lies, Gizmos, and Spies is a history of spies throughout the ages. From tales from the Cold War to tales of Austin Powers this book brings to life the amazing stories of espionage, spies, moles and double agents. This intriguing book covers from the year 1800 BCE throughout history to present day.

This book contains numerous photographs of all manner of spy gadgets, from disguised weapons to astonishing tools and documents as well as guides to the more complicated words and terms coined throughout history.

This book offers an intriguing view of the world of spies and espionage throughout history. A must have for all would be spies. Suitable for both school library and private reading.

Secrets, Lies, Gizmos and Spies: A History of Spies and Espionage

Secrets, Lies, Gizmos, and Spies, by Janet Wyman Coleman
Scholastic, 2006