Category: Children

Jeff Kinney, Author of “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid”, is in Melbourne next week.

Fans of “The Diary of a Wimpy Kid” may know that Jeff Kinney will be in Melbourne next week, and his only public event is on 20th May.  Penguin Australia is running a competition to meet Jeff, so if you think that you have a budding writer in the household, get him or her to put pen to paper this weekend as the competition closes on Monday.  For more details, click here.  

The Grimstones: Hatched

I just had to draw everyone’s attention to this gorgeous little book “Hatched” which is the first in “The Grimstones” series for children aged 9-12.  Based on a very successful children’s show where the story is told by marionettes, the book is illustrated with pictures of the marionettes and props from the show.

The story has been described as a gothic fairytale, and is told by Martha Grimstone who lives in a grand old house with her Grandpa Grimstone, her Aunt Gertrude, and her mother, Velvetta.  Her father, Mortimer died when she was a baby and her mother has never got over his death, crying all the time and dreaming of the babies that they would have had together.  The Grimstones are no ordinary family, but a magical one and her grandfather is well known for his potions to heal people. When he refuses to teach Martha the spell to make her mother the baby she desperately wants, Martha sneaks into his apothecary and tries to do it herself.  But things don’t work out, and little Crumpet emerges from his egg with three legs.

Here’s a little snippet from the show:

This is a story of how society doesn’t always accept people who are different – something that the author, Aspyhia, is intimately related to as a deaf person in a hearing society.  You can catch the show at The Famous Spiegeltent at the Arts Centre in Melbourne on Sunday 26th February 2012 at 11 a.m.

Skulduggery Pleasant Book 6 – Death Bringer

For those with children who love the Skulduggery Pleasant series, book 6 – Death Bringer – is out now and we have copies in store.  In this adventure, “the Death Bringer has risen.  Skulduggery and Valkyrie have seven days to uncover the Necromancers’ secret before it’s too late.  The clock is ticking.  Lord Vile is loose.  And after this one, nothing will ever be the same again”.
For those who are not aware of the series, it is suitable for upper primary school readers.   Here’s a synopsis of the first book in the series, “Skulduggery Pleasant”, from the publisher’s website:
Stephanie′s uncle Gordon is a writer of horror fiction. But when he dies and leaves her his estate, Stephanie learns that while he may have written horror, it certainly wasn′t fiction.  Pursued by evil forces intent on recovering a mysterious key, Stephanie finds help from an unusual source – the wisecracking skeleton of a dead wizard.   When all hell breaks loose, it′s lucky for Skulduggery that he′s already dead. Though he′s about to discover that being a skeleton doesn′t stop you from being tortured, if the torturer is determined enough. And if there′s anything Skulduggery hates, it′s torture… Will evil win the day?  Will Stephanie and Skulduggery stop bickering long enough to stop it? One thing′s for sure: evil won′t know what′s hit it.
This is a really popular series with the children, especially for the boys.

What is This Thing Called Love?

What is This Thing Called Love? is a lovely picture book written by Davide Cali and illustrated by Anna Laura Cantone.  In my opinion, it is gorgeous, so I just had to share the trailer that I found on the publisher’s website.  Here’s the publisher’s synopsis of the story: 
What is this thing called love? What colour is it, and what shape? Is it sweet or savoury? Is it big or small? Like a lot of kids, Emma would really like to know. The problem is: everyone Emma asks – Mum, Dad, Grandma and Grandad – seems to have a different idea of what love is. This entertaining and ultimately touching tale of questions and answers reminds us that, for a child, the most important love is that which lies at the heart of your own family.

Christmas is Coming! What do I get the children?

School breaks up in just over two weeks (less for some schools) so if you are looking for some gift ideas for the children, here are a few suggestions:

For the under sixes:

How cute is the Wonkey Donkey.  The store has both the book and CD set as well as a gift pack which comes with book, CD and cute cuddly toy.

All Through the Year, a picture book by Jane Goodwin and Anna Walker, is a delightful story which tells the story of a year in the life of an Australian family so all the seasons are perfect for us downunder.

For the girls, we have a range of Fancy Nancy books complete with glitter covers, some beautiful fairy pop up books, as well as Precious Little about a little girl in a circus, and Angelina Ballerina’s Sleepover Party and Musical Theatre pop up books.

For the boys there is Graeme Base’s new book The Legend of the Golden Snail, Roadworks featuring all sorts of machinery as well as our pop up book, Amazing Big Marchines featured in the big photo above.

For everyone, there’s Nic Bland’s wonderful stories Twinkle, The Wrong Book, and The Very Itchy Bear, and I hope to have a gift set of The Very Cranky Bear in soon.

For the Older Children:

For our beginner and newly confident readers, the Billie B Brown series is a great introduction to chapter books for girls (well priced stocking filler!), the Great Big Enormous Book of Tashi with all 31 stories, Zac Power Spy Camp pack of five books and a stacker game for the budding spy.  Also available are the Zac Power compilation books Extreme Missions and Mega Missions that feature 4 books in one.

Seen the movie, now read the books:  In stock are the The Legend of Ga’hoole series both as individual books and a collection, The Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, and coming soon, the latest in the Narnia series to be made into a movie, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.  Also on the shelves is the Lemony Snicket series of books that was made into the movie, A Series of Unfortunate Events, and of course, the Harry Potter books.

Other books that are popular with our younger people are Heroes of Olympus: The Lost Hero where we return to the world of Percy Jackson, and the latest in the Ranger’s Apprentice series, The Emperor of Nihon-Ja

We have a range of beautiful gift versions of the classic Roald Dahl books, The Wind in the Willows, The Secret Garden, The Muddle Headed Wombat, and Snugglepot and Cuddlepie to name a few.

Stuck for Ideas for Teens and Young Adults:
A common theme in books for this age group is where children have to take over the decision making. John Marsden’s Tomorrow, When the War Began is one such book as is Gone by Michael Grant. I really liked Genesis, the first book in a new science fiction series for 13 plus girls called Rosie Black Chronicles, which is an adventure set 500 years in the future and features strong female characters.   For the older teens, If I Stay  is a compelling read (for my review click here).
In the magical and supernatural genre for this age group, there is The Laws of Magic series by Michael Pryor, combining both magic and history and for older readers, Cassandra Clare’s Mortal Instruments series features a war between vampires and werewolves.  For the girls, Torment is Lauren Kate’s follow up to Fallen described as a gothic love story. For more information go to the author’s website here.
Don’t forget the children’s non fiction section in the store with books on a range of subjects such as: Whittakers World of Facts 2011, Ripley’s Believe It or Not: 2011, Richard Hammond Blast Lab: Bright Ideas, Dinosaur Diorama, Greek Myths, Big Book of Science Things to Make and Do and Double Daring Book for Girls to name a few.
Hope we see you soon.

For the Julia Donaldson Fans

For all the customers who have asked me about stocking Julia Donaldson’s picture books, I now have some in store.  Julia Donaldson is probably known for her books The Gruffalo and The Gruffalo’s Child which were illustrated by Axel Scheffler, and as well as these, the store now has two other books by the same team.

HB, $27.99

Zog is the keenest dragon in school, but will he ever win a golden star.  At Zog’s school he must learn to fly, roar, breathe fire, capture princesses and fight knights. But whenever he gets a bump or a scrape, a mysterious little girl is always there to nurse him better. Perhaps Zog  has a different destiny after all . . .

HB $27.99, PB $15.99, Board book $12.99

The smallest fish can tell tales …
“Sorry I’m late, Miss.  I set off really early
But on the way to school I was captured by a squid.
I wriggled and I struggled till a turtle came and rescued me.”
“Oh, no, he didn’t” “OH, YES, HE DID.”

Do you believe Tiddler’s story?