With the Myer Melbourne Christmas windows now in full swing, Ian Falconer’s Olivia has become a popular gift choice. As well as Olivia, Olivia Saves the Circus, Olivia Starts a Band, Olivia Helps with Christmas, and Olivia and the Missing Toy (all PB $17), we now have an Olivia plush toy ($30) to partner the books. A cute story and a cute matching toy is surely a perfect present in the making!
H.I.V.E, or the Higher Institute of Villianous Education is not a typical spy-adventure series. Otto, Wing and their friends attend the institute because they have ‘special talents’, or because they come from crime dynasties evil enough to make the Corleones nervous. They are taught everything from self-defense to computer hacking and their teachers have high hopes they will be future leaders of the Global League of Villianous Enterprises (a.k.a G.L.O.V.E and H.I.V.E’s grownup counterpart), and indeed the entire crime world.
In this latest adventure, the fourth in the series, the Dreadnought, a cutting edge permanently airborne crime HQ (purposely designed for secret keeping and instant world wide access), is overtaken by a rival organisation. Lead by a rogue G.L.O.V.E agent, the enemy threatens to expose both H.I.V.E and G.L.O.V.E to the world, and generally cause a great deal of trouble. Though they are young, Wing and Otto are the best infiltration team H.I.V.E has and it falls on their shoulders to neutralise the threat, free their friends and teachers, and save billions of other lives while risking their own – maybe they are the good guys after all?…
If you loved the Cherub series, it’s time to get your spy-action thrills with H.I.V.E!
Everyone knows that friend or family member who seems to spend as much time out of the country as in it, and they can be pretty tricky to buy for. Here are some ideas to get you started…
Lonely Planet’s BEST IN TRAVEL 2010
The Lonely Planet franchise is a trusted name in the travel industry and this yearly guide never fails to disappoint. Organised into lists of the top 10 Everything Travel Related you’ll find out what music festivals you should go to, as well as the buzz countries and cities are for 2010. With the top ten places to cycle and even a list of the top 10 airports, this is intersting as well as inspiring! Sure to spark the travel bug in anyone, a great gift for the adventurous…or bored.$25.00 Paperback.
POSTCARDS FROM PENGUIN
This collection of 100 postcards of book covers is a great gift for a whole range of people from travellers to book or design lovers. In this technological age, sending a postcard may be a novelty, but with these postcards its sure got character. In a letterbox or a picture frame, these classic book covers have stood the test of time and will go very well under a christmas tree. $39.95.
Shannon Bennett’s PARIS: A personal guide to the cities best.
This is a beautiful hardcover book thats part travel guide, travel literature written by well known chef Shannon Bennett. A lovely gift for those that love the city of love, like Bennett himself, or those who have it at the top of their To Visit list. Because, after all, we’ll always have Paris. $45.00, Hardback.
Set to hit Australian shores in January next year, another Roald Dahl classic, Fantastic Mr Fox, has been adapted for the silver screen. The previews look promising (see trailer below) and with a cast including George Clooney, Meryl Streep, Bill Murray, Willem Dafoe and the list goes on, we might have another box office hit on our hands. It only makes sense that we should read up on Dahl’s original tale before experiencing it in 3D technicolour. Now available instore is Fantastic Mr Fox, the movie tie-in novel (PB $14.95), as well as the Fantastic Mr Fox Storybook (PB $12.95), which includes illustrations from the film, the Fantastic Mr Fox Sticker Book (PB $7.95) and the Fantastic Mr Fox Activity Book (PB $5.95).
This story is a lovely one in which Mr Fox plots to triumph over the evil men known as Boggis, Bunce and Bean. When the men try and dig Mr Fox and his family out of their hole, they, and all their friends, are on the verge of starving to death until Mr Fox comes up with a Fantastic plan. With help from their friend Badger, soon the family of foxes and all their friends are eating a wonderful, or even fantastic, feast. Many thanks to Boggis, Bunce and Bean for unwittingly providing the food, something they would be sure not to appreciate but luckily they are still waiting for Mr Fox to come out of his hole!
This is Not a Book (PB $16.95) by Keri Smith, creator of Wreck This Journal (also PB $16.95) is a ‘recording device’ for ideas, events, daily happening and general musings. With quirky ideas and tasks to complete on every page, this journal is an exercise in creativity. Often funny and always imaginative, Smith aims to inspire the reader into creating their own story, rather than providing one for them. Managing to be thought provoking and cool at the same time, this would make a great gift for a trendy, arty teen with a whole summer on their hands.
Cadel is a fifteen-yr-old genius. An expert in computer programming and hacking, his whole life has been devoted to getting the best criminal education his father, Prosper English, can buy him. At the Axis Institute he learns how to use his computer skills for evil, how to disguise himself as a girl, how to make fake passports – basically everything a criminal mastermind of the internet age needs to be successful and get away with it. But Cadel is also just a kid, a kid who’s realising that maybe he wants his life to be something more normal, something better, than a life of crime can give him.
This trilogy by Catherine Jinks has it all – adventure, unexpected twists, and all surrounding normal kids with normal kid issues, as long as normal means being an orphan computer genius.
A cross between Alex Rider and Artemis Fowl, this trilogy is a winner for 12 to 17 -yr-olds. #1: Evil Genius, #2: Genius Squad & #3: The Genius Wars (all PB $19) available instore now.
Nancy is a little girl prone to slight, shall we say, extravagance. Fond, as I am, of all things frilly, glittery or otherwise adorned with frivolous embellishments, she is always struggling to find things as fancy as she might like.
In this Christmas episode, Nancy and her family are preparing for the silly season. Nancy LOVES Christmas because, in case you haven’t noticed, Christmas is really just an excuse to decorate and glitterise everything in sight. Ever charming, your girly girl is sure to love Nancy, especially when she’s wrapped in tinsel!
Anthony Horowitz has been a go-to author in the young adult genre for years now and his ever popular Alex Rider series is still going strong! The eagerly awaited number 8 entitled Crocodile Tears arrived today with a great metallic crocodile skin effect on the cover! We’ve got a nice big stack but are expecting it to sell well so if you’ve got an Alex Rider junkie in your house this one will go down well. PB, $17.95.
Battle Boy is an exciting new series for first readers by Charlie Carter. Similar to the popular Zac Power and Zac Power: Test Drive series by H.I. Larry, this series is about a mini-James Bond-type character, with a bit of history thrown in for good measure.
Napoleon Augustus Smythe is 11-yrs-old and younger brother to Monty and Caesar. While his family is practising for the army parade to be held the following day, a strange note appears on his desk at the town library. He follows its instructions and meets Miss Perdu, the librarian, who actually isn’t a librarian at all, but a talented inventor and the person in charge of Operation Battle Book. Napoleon’s, or BB005′s, mission, should he choose to accept it, will be to travel back in time to one of Sir Francis Drake’s most famous battles and collect whatever information he can. His special suit, or SimulSkin, will even allow him to collect the great sea captain’s DNA. One can only imagine the adventures that ensue!
The first Battle Boy story, Open Fire, is available at the special price of $5. The sequel, Red Devil Down, in which Napoleon explores the battles of the great pilot, the Red Baron, is also available for $10. The next two books in the series, Destroy Troy and Bloodaxe (both PB $10), will be available in December.
Highly recommended for boys aged 7 to 9.
There are just some books every child should have. Following on from our top ten book for babies and then toddlers, these are our top picks for preschoolers. No bookshelf is complete without them!
Animalia by Graeme Base
The Elephant and the Bad Baby by Elfrida Vipont
The Gruffalo by Julia Donaldson
Lavender’s Blue by Kathleen Lines
Let’s Get A Pup! by Bob Graham
Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans
The Story of the Little Mole Who New it was None of his Business by Werner Holzwarth
The Tiger Who Came to Tea by Judith Kerr
Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak
Wilfred Gordon McDonald Partridge by Mem Fox
These stories, and the rhymes in Lavender’s Blue, are tailor made to delight the 3 to 5′s and with a range of local and international authors, there is something to suit every taste.