An ordinary boy in an ordinary world is followed around by tiny creatures, worries that eat at his confidence day by day. They grow stronger and have more and more impact. As each day progresses seemingly insignificant everyday moments have a severe and lasting impact:- he is the last one chosen for the team; he sits alone to eat his lunch; he is never part of the in-crowd. As further moments occur his feeling of hopeless, sadness and loneliness grows and easts away at his self confidence and self worth – as if he is loosing control. But this boy does learn that help is close by.
This wordless graphic novel is truly beautiful. The strong images are intricately detailed and allow the reader to peer into the this world silently and maybe tell their own story.
I adored devouring the words and the illustrations on the pages and both were read over and over again.
The Singing Bones – Inspired by Grimms’ Fairy Tales Shaun Tan (Allen&Unwin)
Shaun Tan creates amazing works and they never fail to please and this has once again continued with Shaun’s latest creation – The Singing Bones. For this title Shaun has created and photographed 75 clay figurine sculptures – one for each of the fairy tales that he has chosen to feature. Growing out of the 50 sculptures that were originally created as the illustrations for Grimms Märchen (Grimm Tales), Philip Pullman’s retelling of fifty classic Grimm’s fairy tales but only available in German, The Singing Bones also includes new sculptures created just for this title.
Each full page photograph of the sculpture is accompanied by a short fragment from the tale. The title includes well known tales such as the Frog King, Hansel and Gretel, Snow White and Rumpelstiltskin, as well as lesser known tales like Mother Holle, Strong Hans, and The Lettuce Donkey, all of which will send inquisitive readers searching for the original full length tale which are easily available from the public domain. Children will be encouraged to create their own fairy tale sculptures or craft their own tales based on these or other sculptures.
With forward by Phillip Pullman, an introduction by leading fairy tale scholar Jack Zipes and afterword from Shaun, this is a glorious work that will be savoured for years to come.
‘These little figures of clay, with their simplified features, their single attributes, are perfect realisations of the strangeness of the characters they represent.’ – Philip Pullman.
More details about the creation of this work on Shaun’s website at: http://shauntan.net/books.html
KidGlovz Julie Hunt & Dale Newman (Allen&Unwin)
There is a town in the mountains not far from here where people lock their pianos on the night of the full moon, It makes no difference – the keys move up and down and the air is filled with music ….
… and so begins – and ends – this beautiful book.
This a graphic tale beautifully told and illustrated, telling the story of a musical genius, KidGlovz who is imprisoned by his uncle Dr Spin, only leaving the apartment when a concert is to be performed. While in his 6th floor room, he is visited by Shoestring, a child of very different talents who is not all he seems. He helps KidGlovz to escape and embark on a perilous journey into a mysterious and none to safe world where he will find out more about is extraordinary talent, where he comes from and more about his gloves and the music that is so much a part of his world.
Close examination of the illustrations as well as rereading of the text opens up more of this fantastic world where friendship and freedom are explored. Just delightful.
Well these books are not really too scary and they are super reads …
88 Lime Street – The Way In Denise Kirby (Scholastic)
I couldn’t put this book down. I was hooked into he is right from the word go and i am sure many young readers will be also.
Ellen’s family has moved into an unusually, enormously, ramshackingly nice house that her parents bought at a very good price. The local kids at school say the house is haunted and Ellen can certainly feel something stirring. There is also a tower in the ouse – but there is no door to get into the tower – not until Ellen finds the secret to unlocking it – and the staircase behind the opening doesn’t lead to the expected room. And not only is there this strange room but time seems to alter, mysterious writing appears on walls, and an overgrown dried up garden suddenly has water flowing. what is happening at 88 Lime Street?
The Bad Guys – Episode 1 Aaron Blabey (Scholastic)
They sound like the Bad Guys, they look like the Bad Guys . . . and they even smell like the Bad Guys. But Mr Wolf, Mr Piranha, Mr Snake and Mr Shark are about to change all of that! They drive around in a really cool car and perform wonderful heroic deeds, like rescuing a cat in a tree, or their first mission … Operation Dog Pound.
This super graphic novel for younger readers will have them totally absorbed in the Bad Guys’ first heroic mission. Episode 2 (to come) will find them rescuing chickens – although all is not well with the Bad Guys. Totally crazy, humorous and oodles excitement.
The Human Flytrap (Scream) Jack Heath (Scholastic)
Just be prepared for the constant opening and closing of the cover as readers listen to the inbuilt scream!
Another family moving into a new house, but this house is spooky, run-down and it is an old ruin. There are a lot of mysterious and unusual events in the town where this house is located. A new third floor appears on the public library when a fog dissipates, there are flickering street lights, and this house where the neighbour yells GET OUT as the family moves in. At school Josh’s best friend Dale’s science experiment with the Venus Fly Trap goes horribly wrong and in pursuit of further plants things go from bad to worse … and soon Josh’s friends are missing.
A young Aboriginal girl is taken by the Child Protector of Aboriginals to live in a new home with other Aboriginal children. At night she whispers to herself her Aboriginal name and she sings songs, imagines and dreams. She remembers her early life and upbringing with her mother and the Elders. She hears of the ‘lucky’ girls who are taken as domestic help and decides she doesn’t want to be that lucky. One day the time has come and she takes her first steps back to her home.
This fictionalised account is a great way to introduce young readers to the Stolen Generation. The story is beautifully and emotionally told and accompanied by lovely water colour illustrations.
Ubby’s Underdogs : The Legend of the Phoenix Dragon Brenton E. McKenna (Magabala Boooks)
The cast of Ubby’s Underdogs – a small rag-tag group of misfits who makeup the town’s smallest gang but are often underestimated by the other town gangs includes Ubby, a street-wise Aboriginal girl, Sai Fong, a Chinese girl just off the boat from Shanghai, Fin a cool Irishman and Sel a big friendly giant and a New Zealander descended from Maori warriors called Gabe.
Set in the 1940s in the small pearling settlement of Broome this graphic novel is a heroic tale of fun and adventure, with themes that include courage, bravery and friendship, and the weak and the strong and the battle of the underdogs. It is intertwined with myths and legends.
This is a fun read – especially if readers like graphic novels. It is the first Australian Indigenous novel (and the first in the Ubby’s Underdogs trilogy).
A picture book to celebrate amazing mummies an adventurouse graphic picture book and a wordless illustrated text … check these out!
The Hero of Little Street Gregory Rogers (Allen & Unwin) Greg Rogers creates great books … and this is another! This wonderfully illustrated wordless title is the third title in his BOY BEAR series. This time the boy, escaping from a gang of bullies winds up in the national gallery in London and gets transported back in time as one of the famous art works comes to life when the little dog in van Eyck’s The Arnolfini Portrait escapes and with the boy leaps into a painting by Vermeer an they are back in 17th century Holland!! But danger dwells here too! Characters from the previous titles dwell in these pages too. There is much to look for in the illustrations. Terrific for schools looking into history and art!
Captain Congo and the Crocodile King Ruth Starke & Greg Holfield (Working Title Press) This graphic picture book is fun! With spies, mysteries, adventurers, and scorpions, it should really get the boys hooked! It tells of the adventures of two adventurers who are sent by the Agency on missions … this time they are sent to rescue a lost anthropologist searching for the legendary Treasure House of the Queen of Sheba. Will they find the missing professor? Will they achieve their goal? What mysteries and treasures will crocodile heads reveal? And like all good rescuers they have special ‘tools’ to help them in emergency situations! This title is the first in a new series – really good story line and terrific illustrations that really have an adventurer feel about them!
Mummies are Amazing Catriona Hoy & Annie White (Lothian) Why are mummies amazing? Here is one book that tells you why? They make snakes out of stockings, mermaids out of sand, solving splinter problems and fixing things and a whole lot more! Fun illustrations accompany the fun text. Just in time for Mother’s Day!