Category: Christmas Gift Ideas

Christmas Suggestions for Art and Design Lovers

A Place

in the Sun

Living in Australia and New Zealand is now more than ever about adapting to our unique environment. As broad interest in sustainability grows, and energy ratings for buildings become more stringent, architects must work with the environment in mind and design to make living spaces better and more efficient. From the sunny beaches of tropical Queensland to the terrace houses of inner-city living to rural retreats (snow-capped mountains) on the South Island of New Zealand,

A Place

in the Sun takes you on a journey through over 40 homes of stylistic distinction and functional design all built in harmony with the sun.

Living Modern:  The Source for Contemporary Interiors
Understanding ‘modern’ more as lifestyle than as style, it is all about clean lines, elegant colour combinations, maximising indoor-outdoor relationships, artfully collecting and displaying design objects and open areas for lounging, cooking and dining. It demonstrates conclusively that, whatever your living space, everyone can create a modern interior. From desert to jungle, city to country, Living Modern offers boundless inspiration for achieving your own personal vision of contemporary stylishness.
Fashion: Australian & New Zealand Designers
Featuring more than 350 plus colour images, Fashion is a visual feast, richly illustrated and stylishly designed. An indispensable who’s who of those in the industry, it celebrates Australia’s and New Zealand’s distinctive and innovative design talent.  From the well established Akira and Zimmermann, to the globally renowned Easton Pearson and sass & bide, and new generation artists such as Romance Was Born and Dion Lee, this luscious new book covers a vast spectrum of cutting-edge fashion including women’s wear, menswear, swimwear, haute couture and street wear collections.
Art: The Whole Story
If you’ve ever found yourself transfixed by a Renaissance painting, fascinated by an Inca textile, or filled with wonder by an exquisite piece of Ming porcelain, this is the book for you. Venture inside its pages and discover exactly what the great artistic periods and movements of the world were all about. Written by an experienced international team of artists, art historians and curators, this absorbing and beautiful book gives you priceless insights into the world’s most iconic images – those that bombard us every time we open a newspaper, visit a gallery, or look at the front cover of a novel
Shoes A-Z: Designers, Brands, Manufacturers and Retailers
“I did not have three thousand pairs of shoes. I had one thousand and sixty” – Imelda Marcos.
 Shoes A–Z provides an information-packed history of more than 350 leading women’s shoes designers and manufacturers of the last sixty years. The book is organized alphabetically and includes valuable cross-references to related designers and companies. A rich array of photographs, sketches and advertisements illustrate the entries. The text highlights how shoe designers have become heroes of popular culture, and the book includes a vast range of fashionable styles, from trainers to haute couture.
Still Life
Still Life is a unique and hauntingly beautiful photographic study of the Antarctic huts that served as expedition bases for explorations led by Captain Robert Falcon Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton. At the turn of the twentieth century Antarctica was the focus of one of the last great races of exploration and discovery. Known as the ‘heroic age’, from 1895 to 1917 Antarctic explorers set off from their huts in search of adventure, science and glory but some, such as Scott, were never to return. The World Wars intervened and the huts were left as time capsules of Edwardian life. Jane Ussher was invited by the Antarctic Heritage Trust to record ‘the unusual, the hidden and minutiae of these sites’. The Executive Director of the Trust, Nigel Watson, provides a fascinating introduction to the history and atmosphere of each hut.
I couldn’t resist these two pictures books – more as a gift for the creative person in your family, but I’m sure the kids will still love these fairytales.
The Three Little Pigs: An Architectural Tale
In this quirky re-telling of the classic tale of “The Three Little Pigs”, the homes of the three pigs are signatures homes of three famous architects Frank Lloyd Wright, Frank Gehry and Phillip Johnson (made out of scraps, glass, and stone & concrete), and the interiors are furnished by the architects and their contemporaries. Of course, not all the houses are going to protect the pigs from the wolf’s huffing and puffing. But when one of the houses holds up, it’s the wolf who’s in for a surprise ending.
Goldilocks and the Three Bears
Something is different in this retelling of the classic story of the girl with the golden locks. Goldilocks, as usual, discovers the three bears’ house in the woods. She ventures inside and makes herself at home, sitting in the chairs, sampling the meal laid on the table, and taking a nap. But the bears – they’re an entirely new breed! Steven Guarnaccia’s comical, stylized artwork delivers bears who are hip; they have a sense of style and a love of design. Their 1950s split-level home is filled with cool furniture created by an international crowd of celebrated designers, from Alvar Aalto to Charles and Ray Eames to Isamu Noguchi! This is not a typical cottage in the woods! Children and parents alike will delight in this new edition of the beloved story. And when they look at the endsheets, which provide the name of each decorative object and its creator, they may even pick up a design tip or two.
(Information sourced from the Thames and Hudson Australia and Murdoch Books websites)

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.