Children's New Releases 

June 2018

Gleebooks Bookshop - Monday, May 28, 2018

For the Very Young

This is a very appealing little book about a hungry bear, a cake and a very tall window. Visually very amusing, despite its simplicity, and it has a very clear message about cooperation and generosity. For babies to 4 year olds. Louise

A staff favourite, Scottish picture book creator Alice Melvin now explores the world of toddlers. In bold paper-cut illustrations, My Day follows a very relatable family’s day with a young child. From waking, through eating and other everyday activities up until bedtime and a story, it depicts a typical day in the life of little ones. ($15, BD) Lynndy

Picture Books

A Quiet Quiet House by Georgiana Deutsch (ill) Ekaterina Trukhan ($20, HB)
A very inventive use of die cuts is what makes this picture book so appealing. Much to the dismay of the cat next door, a bevy of mice enter a very tall house, one at a time, until it’s bristling with rather noisy, mousie music. Different vehicles, an assortment of  instruments and changes in the weather are all illustrated in bright, clear colours. A great book for the very young. Louise

The natural world is a perfect realm for picture books, particularly the world of insects. Carson Ellis’ brilliant Du Ist Tak? was a trailblazer, (and the only book I’ve ever seen written in Bug) and there have been several buggy books since then. Gus Gordon’s latest picture book is a very amusing, gentle story about two bugs who discover a perfect peach. What follows is an entertaining dialogue as the bugs face the dilemma of leaving the peach, or eating the peach. Illustrated with appealing collages and engaging characters this is a book that reveals more on each reading, and it’s also great fun book to read aloud. It also has one of the sweetest endings I’ve seen for a long time. It’s a peach of a book! Louise

by Sophie Blackall Sophie Blackall has created a book that describes an occupation and a way of life long gone, the life of a lighthouse keeper. Poetic language, and marvellous illustrations full of detail and movement (and circles and light), and the ever changing ocean, all help to set the scene, the feeling of this book, and the acute, entrancing  attention to detail. I’m not going to say much more about this marvellous book, but I do urge you to see it for yourself. It’s a glorious celebration of the circularity of life. For ages 5 to adult. ($34, HB)  Louise


If, like me, you love language and lament the decrease of vocabulary in everyday use, this is an essential addition to your personal library. One of the joys of English is the adoption of expressions from other languages; why not enrich yourself with these? ‘Have you ever wished there was a word for friends who are like family to you, or for the way you hesitate when you’ve forgotten someone’s name? Did you know there was a special word for the distance a reindeer can travel before needing the toilet? Or for when you search for something in the water using only your feet? This hand-picked collection of untranslatable worlds from all over the world celebrates the magic of language, with gorgeous original artwork and fascinating facts about each word and the culture it comes from.’  Even better, team What a Wonderful Word with Other-Wordly: Words Both Strange and Lovely from around the World ($28, HB), previously reviewed in the Gleaner, and luxuriate in the wonders of communication.

Look at the Weather by Britta Teckentrup ($30, HB)
A reason to rejoice: another new release from Teckentrup, creator of simply gorgeous books. Turning her attention to the weather, she addresses ‘Sun’, ‘Rain’, Ice and Snow’ and ‘Extreme Weather’ in brief explanatory text, as well as offering lyrical observations and accompanying atmospheric art. Differing from her previous books, this is a meditative exposition of weather, prompting us to muse on natural phenomena and their effects, recognising human responsibility in climate change, and inspiring reflection on how the weather—that ever-present entity—affects each of us. More impressionistic in style than her other nonfiction books, Look at the Weather educates while urging us to do exactly as the title bids. An extensive glossary and author notes extend the suitability from 5-10 years old. Lynndy


The Mystery of the Magic Stones: 2 Polly and Buster series by Sally Rippin ($20, HB)
I can wholeheartedly recommend this second book in the series about Polly the young witch, and her unlikely best friend Buster, who is a monster. This time Polly and Buster must weigh up their own safety versus risking the forbidden haunted mines to save the day, and strengthen their bond. Book 1 was highly acclaimed, and readers of 8+ are sure to embrace this next volume of illustrated adventures. Lynndy

Probably better known for her fantasy novels for teenagers, in Ice Wolves Kaufman embarks on a series for younger readers of 10+. Anders is used to his twin sister Rayna taking the initiative in everything they do to survive as homeless orphans on the island of Vallen; a life that by necessity includes minor theft in their territory ruled by the shape shifting ice wolves. When at the age of twelve the twins are forced to either admit to picking pockets or take part in the monthly public ritual to ascertain which children have the coveted gift to transform into ice wolves, everyone is shocked at Rayna’s change into a scorch dragon, a sworn enemy of the ice wolves. Herded away by two other dragons, Rayna disappears, leaving Anders bereft. His subsequent transformation to an ice wolf should be impossible: no family mixes wolves and dragons. Realising his only way of finding answers to their own family; to survival; to tracing his sister and rescuing her, Anders submits to the Academy to train as an ice wolf. There he finds unexpected family and friendship, retaining his secrets and encountering even more puzzles, until the opportunity arises to hunt for Rayna. Gripping fantasy adventure, this is a great start to the Elementals Trilogy. Lynndy

Kim Slater’s previous books have all skilfully encompassed big issues while focussing on interesting characters, and I’ve loved the compassion she brings to the situations in her novels so I’m recommending this exploration of a family divided. ‘Fourteen-year-old Ed Clayton is a liar. It started when his dad went to prison and now he can’t seem to stop. When Ed’s younger brother Sam goes missing one day under his supervision, nobody believes him when he says he can’t remember what happened.’ A contemporary mystery fraught with secrets and emotion. ($15, PB) Lynndy

In 1928, 12-year-old Adversity is left at the Emu Swamp Children’s Home by her parents who are travelling actors, intending to return for her in better times. Things don’t go according to plan, and when a villainous theatrical agent hears the talented Addie sing he plots to use her in his next money-making venture. Meanwhile Adversity flees. Together with Macbeth, her Shakespeare-quoting cockatiel, Addie is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime. ($18, PB) Lynndy

For Tweens

We’re proud to stock KOOKIE: a quarterly journal for and by tweens, ($12.50, PB). Targetting girls, it contains nary a commercial product placement, nor does it lionise celebrities, instead promoting individuality and possibilities. Already available in the UK, KOOKIE now publishes a version suited to Australian readers. Editor Nicky Shortridge elaborates on this welcome addition: KOOKIE (as in smart KOOKIE) is an inspiring new print magazine for girls aged 8 to 12+. In a world that often says there’s only one way to be a girl (think pink), KOOKIE strives to provide a genuine alternative—one that offers girls a rounded and optimistic sense of who they are and what they could become. There are interviews with remarkable women and girls from around the world, profiles of pioneering women in history, original fiction and comics, plus lively content on science and nature, art and activism, sports and technology, as well as craft, debate, puzzles, pets and more. ‘KOOKIE is surprising, informative, inclusive and most of all… fun!’  I’m not the only Gleestaffer willing KOOKIE to be a success; Tania commented to KOOKIE editor ‘Being a mother of three young girls I was impressed with your publication and would be happy to help get the word out about it.’ In full colour, with high production values, breadth of content and contemporary relevance, KOOKIE is definitely worth the investment! Lynndy 
Issue 1 and Issue 2  both $12.50

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