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Posts from the ‘Non Fiction’ Category

Rock Pool Secrets

Rock Pool Secrets
Narelle Oliver
Walker Books

“Down on the rocky shore,
waves crash and smash.
Then the tide goes out and the sea is calm.
It’s a good time to explore the rock pools.”

This is a lusciously created book full of the joys of some of the creatures that dwell in the rock pools – just lift the flaps and discover.

The book follows the flow of the ever moving sea as the tide goes out and then comes in allowing the reader to journey through the changing rock pools. Discover Hermit Crabs making their homes in empty shells, Turban sea snails by the rock pool’s edge, Goby fish and sponges and more. Carefully and very closely look and read each spread to discover the treasures deposited onto each page. The illustrations are thoughtfully created and the words, in both the narrative and those at the conclusion of the text, are full of natural history.

Constructed from solid pages with cutout flaps that often reveal hidden secrets, this book will handle the continual examination that it deserves.

As a child, I loved nothing better than tromping along the rock pool edges and feeling the warm water and then the sand squidgy beneath my toes and watch the creatures that were nestling there. This beautiful book will surely inspire another generation of rock pool hunters to go and reveal the secrets hidden there.

Over the years Narelle has crafted many books filled with the wonder and the joy of the natural environment including The Best Beak in Bonaroo Bay, Baby Bilby, Where Do You Sleep and The Hunt. We have been so privileged to have Narelle craft her wonderful books to share with the children of the world.

And Classroom notes are also available –

Vale Narelle Oliver.

it’s ICKY

ickypediaactually it’s …

Ickypedia A Dictionary Of Disgusting New Words Matt Kelly & Richard Higgins (Penguin)

… and now that I am back from Holidaze, it is time to add more new books.

So, if we begin by saying that the first word in this dictionary of disgusting new words is Achoospewwhen you spew out your nose, and that the last word is Zzzendto fall asleep before the end of something, like during a movie or reading a book or writing this senten and that there are other really icky words like Imburpanationto attempt to belch like someone else or Pootiful – A beautiful poo. See also Spewtiul, then it is understandable that this book will be thoroughly poured over and consumed by readers (especially boys with a wicked sense of humour) who want the icky side of life and those who want to have some fun playing with words. There is also a short puzzle and quiz at the end and lots of zany visual pieces appropriately placed throughout the book.

The book also come with a Warning – Rated S for Stupid!

Created by Richard Higgins and Matt Kelly who are the comedy duo The Listies, this book is filled with all sorts of funniness in both text and illustrations for kids 9-12 years old. There will be many giggles and lots of sniggering as it is being consumed and probably many requests for more! Expect lots of independent made up words creeping into the reader’s conversations too!

Picture Books

Late last year these books appeared and they are wonderful. The text and the art within the pages are just wonderful.

my-two-blanketsMy Two Blankets Irena Kobald & Freya Blackwood (LittleHare)

This is a wonderful touching story with the Freya Blackwood’s unique and evocative art, of a child, Cartwheel who, because of the ravages of war travels with her family to a new land where everything, including the plants and animals, the food, the way people spoke was foreign. Her only security was the made by her own words and sounds. She creates a safe place under this blanket from the memories and thoughts of home.

Scared, she doesn’t return a smile from a girl I the park but eventually barriers are broken and a ‘new blanket’ is created as Cartwheel learns words and sounds from her ‘friend’.


my-first-animaliaMy First Animalia Graeme Base (Penguin)

Within the pages of this book,
You may discover, if you look,
Beyond the spell of written words,
A hidden land of beast and birds.

But there’s so much to find and name –
Let’s start off with a smaller game.
Just four for now – some big, some small.
Now off you go to find them all!

When this book first was published in 1986 I poured over every page absorbing the illustrations and marvelling at the glory in this illustrated work so it is a joy to find this version of Animalia for a very young audience.

Each featured animals from the original appear as a single image with four words from to be discovered from the original work. The double page also has a flap that reveals the relevant original image.

This is a wonderful introduction for youngsters to the mastery of Animalia.


ice-wind-rockIce, Wind, Rock, Douglas Mawson in the Antarctic Peter Gouldthorpe (Lothian)

Narrative non-fiction, wonderfully written with ample text telling the story of Mawson’s journeys to the Antarctic. He was the first man to reach the South Magnetic Pole, and led Australia’s first Antarctic expedition. A base is now there named after him.

Gouldthorpe’s intricate illustrations enhance his well written text that shows Douglas Mawson’s determination and endurance. He faced many challenges and trials in his journeys, including falling  into a crevasse and seeing companions succumb to the conditions. Mawson is a true Australian hero and one of the great Antarctic explorers.

Picture books and non Fiction

Here we go with some delightful reads … and don’t forget the stories that are in the illustrations too.

Maudie And Bear Jan Ormerod & Freya Blackwood (Little Hare)

Some books you just don’t want to put down, and you definitely don’t want them to end… and this is one of those books. five short stories, lavishly illustrated are bound into this glorious hardcover book, that also includes a ribbon marker.
Maudie and Bear have a very special friendship. their lives are entwined and revolve around each other. Maudie is the youngster who is always occupied, who always has great ideas, who has tantrums. And Bear is patient, trustworthy, and the one with undemanding and never ending love.
In the first story Maudie thinks it would be a great idea for exercise, a bike ride and in the end a bike ride is taken – and it is Bear who completes the exercise. The stories and the illustrations are simple and loving.
A book worthy of every shelf house.

Town Possum, Outback Possum Yvonne Morrison & Heath McKenzie (Little Hare)
Told in rhyming verse, this picture books is the tale of two possum cousins, one for the outback and the other from the city, and when the city cousin comes for a visit to the country she soon is bored by the slower pace of life and three days of bush food and bush views. So an invitation to the outback cousin to accompany her to the city and is accepted. Of course when outback possum arrives in the city the noise and the rush and the frantic pace of life is too much and home he heads to the safety of his tree … or is it!

Wicked Warriors and Evil Emperors, The True Story of the Fight for Ancient China Alison Lloyd & Terry Denton (Penguin)
Now this is fun!
Wicked Warriors tells the history of the unification of early china – when all the waring states were gathered into the fold – how a 12 year old king became the first emperor of china.
Filled with History from a period of time in China we rarely mention or know about. There is information on the building of the Great Wall of China, the burial (and superstitions) of the first emperor, the weapons crafted to defeat the enemy, the waring states, the armies … and much much more. There are maps, timelines, and wonderfully comical illustrations which add to the telling of this history! and it makes history FUN!

More soon ….

Holiday Trivia and Drawing Time

Here are few books that are great for holiday time fun!

Monster Book of Drawing Bind-up Marc McBride (Scholastic)
Monster Battles, Dangerous Beasts, Mythical Creatures … learn to draw all of these with this wonderful book from the master of fantasy illustration, Marc McBride.
With simple and well presented step-by-step instructions drawing monsters in battle, in flight, and creating your own mythical beast has never been this easy.
As well there are examples of lettering styles for the creatures.

Australia and World Records 2011 Morse & Harris (Scholastic)
Beginning with a section dedicated to just Australian records this book is for the readers who has lots of questions …. like

  • What is Australia’s driest town?
  • What is Australia’s wettest town?
  • Which AFL player has kicked the most goals?
  • What is Australia’s coldest place?
  • What is Australia’s hottest town?
  • Who scored Australia’s highest test innings?

All of these questions and many more world records are answered in the pages of this full colour book. There is even a section on technology, human endurance, music and movies.

World Cricket Records 2011 (Scholastic Australia)
Cricket is not over yet … there’s more to come so here is the book for the fanatics who want records …

  • Who is Australia’s highest test run scorer?
  • Which country has the longest unbeaten streak in test cricket?
  • Which Australian bowler has the Australian record for the most ducks?
  • Who holds the record for the most test dismissals by a wicketkeeper?
  • Who is the only batsman to make three double-centuries in a single test series?

These questions can all be answered in this new edition. Full of cricket trivia and fascinating facts from all formats of the game including test, 20-20 cricket, domestic and women’s cricket, and information about some of the stars past and present, this is a must for cricket buffs.

 Enjoy the facts …..

Cooking and giggling!!!

Here are a two non-fiction titles that are sure to be popular … a great kid’s cookbook and a joke book!

Stew A Cockatoo, My Aussie Cookbook Ruthie May & Leigh Hobbs (Little Hare)
With cooking shows being a star this book is wonderfully well timed. This is just perfect for kids to read and to investigate and then to jump into the kitchen. Mum’s and dad’s beware – the kids are set to take over the kitchen. As the introduction says … this is a book for the whole family – kids and oldies alike, full of old-time recipes, with a few new ones added in.
There are recipes for Bush-Pig fairy Bread, Lamingtons, banana benders (especially for the chocoholics), even BBQ burgers.
The book also has terrific Leigh Hobbs illustrations that will bring on more than a few giggles, and to give it an authentic Aussie voice (as if Dinky-di meat Pie wasn’t enough) slang like “arvo-tea” and “fair dinkum” are added. For the purely Aussie twist to chocolate crackles – Roo Doo in a Patty Case is a must. Ripper mate!
365 Awesome Aussie Jokes (Scholastic)
Here is a book with a joke for every day of the year … so be warned. If you give this book as a present this year expect to be hit with a joke or two every day.
What Aussie bird is a master chef? A cook-aburra!
What do you get when you cross a kangaroo with sheep? A woolly jumper!
Why did the cockatoo sit on the clock? So he would be on time!

This book is the annual joke book that supports the wonderful work of Camp Quality … and just in case your young readers have a joke that is not in here there is also the web or postal address where they can submit jokes that might just end up being published in next year’s joke book.

Cook up a treat and giggle as you do with these two books!