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Posts from the ‘Picture Books’ Category

The Poesy Ring

A Love Story
Bob Graham (Walker Books)

It’s always a joy to open a new book from Bob Graham and this title continues that tradition. A gifted and masterful storyteller, in words and pictures, his latest creation is the Posey Ring.

Follow the journey of a posey ring, engraved with the message Love Never Dies, as it is tossed by a tearful woman on horseback in Ireland in 1830, and then makes its way over land and in the sea until it is purchased by two loving buskers in a Cash for Gold store in New York in 1967.

Symbolism abounds in the pages of the book, in the animals, the acorn, the oceans, the buskers on the street and the hands. Through the images the gold ring glistens whether it is lying in the field, or a the bottom of the sea or while carried in the beak of one starling in the midst of the murmur, or in a school of fish.

Exquisitely illustrated in his unique style, this a glorious book to share and devour, over and over. Another life and love-affirming story from the picture book master, the multi award winning Bob Graham.

Love is always there, it just needs to be found…

Read an interview with Bob here.

Danny Blue’s Really Excellent Dream

Max Landrak (Lothian)

A curious boy, and an inventive exploration. Readers won’t feel blue after reading this title.

Danny sees blue everywhere; it’s hard not to when in your whole world  everything is blue, even your dad is known as Mr. Blue. His favourite things are all blue and he dreams are blue too so when Danny has  a dream where he doesn’t see blue, he first sets about finding a resolution for his non-blue dream.

When that doesn’t come to fruition he begins to investigate how to reproduce his dream colour from his Really Excellent Dream (or R.E.D.). Of course not everyone in the community is pleased with the results of his experiment. Many are even unhappy when the change starts to appear but eventually a wonderful result occurs.

The endpapers are cleverly coloured as they investigate blue so make a great discussion point too. Kids will love finding and discussing other ‘blue‘ things.

This is a lovely book that will have many readers loving Blue even more.

Flapper, VC

Mark Wilson (Lothian)

Based on the true story of an Australian carrier pigeon during World War II, Flapper VC (a terrific title) is the tale of an Australian born and raised carrier pigeon. It is the story of the training of the pigeon in Australia, the training of this pigeon for military duties and then what happens when the bird is sent to war. His first mission was a failure, the message strapped to his foot was lost in flight, but then came the mission to save his patrol who were surrounded by enemy fighters. Flapper was their last hope for rescue. Facing bullets, explosions, and pounding rain deep in the jungle Flapper flew to his loft.

Flapper (carrier pigeon D D43 Q879) was awarded the animal equivalent of the Victoria Cross (the Dickin Medal) for his actions that day, and his medal is proudly displayed at the Australian War Memorial in Canberra.

Mark Wilson creates these moving books of wartime animals and their true stories so wonderfully well. They reach out to readers of so many ages with the intricate art and well crafted narrative. A perfect Anzac Day read. Uncover more about Mark at and especially for the coming Anzac Day, his military themed picture books.

Welcome To Country

Joy Murphy & Lisa Kennedy (BlackDogBooks)

Wominjeka Wurundjeri balluk yearmenn koondee bik. Welcome to Country.

This book is a rich and beautiful celebration of the traditional lands of the Wurundjeri People, the Manna Gum People – Melbourne’s traditional owners. Through these pages aspects of the Creation stories flow and an imploring for those of us who journey to this country to only take from the land what can be given back. Respect for elders, respect for the land, and the bond with the land beneath the feet are all woven into Welcome to Country.

“Aboriginal communities across Australia have boundaries that are defined by mountain ranges and waterways. Traditionally, to cross these boundaries or enter community country you needed permission from the neighbouring community. When this permission was granted the ceremony now called Welcome to Country took place. Each community had its own way of welcoming to country, and they still do today.”

Exquisitely detailed illustrations, painted with acrylics, of peoples, the skies, and country, unite with a simple and emotional text on each double page. This is beautiful. This is expansive. This is wonderfully crafted in text and illustration and this book should be in every Australian home and library.

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.

Mulga’s Magical Musical Creatures

Mulga’s Magical Musical Creatures
Mulga (Joel Moore)

So just where does the music that musicians create come from?
What is the inspiration behind the words for those songs or for the music they score?
According to Mulga – it is in the dreams!

In this bold and bright rhyming picture book Mulga tells of the creatures that appear in musician’s dreams that then inspire the newly created songs: fishes in poncho plucking guitars, trumpet playing elephants swaying the moonlight, drum playing gorillas and a host of other exotic fauna. The animals are quirky (the banjo playing owls wear blue runners!) as are the natural environments the animals inhabit (the cymbal banging bison are surrounded by snow-covered mountains with a full creatures moon on the horizon). The illustrations are intricate with lots of line work and textured patterns popping through. Each page is quite a visual feast.

This is a colourful world worthy of exploring, crafted by the creator who runs the Mulga clothing label and who paints murals that can be seen all over the country. There is also a colouring book available too.