The Real Food Companion
A couple of weeks ago I was at a conference in Hobart and for one of the dinners Matthew Evans and his team took over the Hotel kitchens and produced an amazing meal for us all. We had cassoulet and fish pie amongst some other great dishes. It could have been a bit ‘down home’ but because of the care taken with ingredients everything was delicious. His new book, The real food companion shows the passion he has for good food, eaten as soon as possible from growing or production and cooked simply and with respect. The book is a brick, and will become one that is constantly referred to because of the wide range of recipes. It isn’t fancy smancy food, but things you will be happy to prepare and eat frequently. Hardback, $89.95 Heather
Just arrived at Fairfield Books are the fabulous O’bon pencils. Made from rolled up recycled newspapers, these pencils are fantastically clever AND environmentally friendly. Available in either colour or grey lead and in a variety of different designs, there is something for everyone. Our personal pick is the O’Bon Fruit Pencil Packs, a bonanza a colour inside and out! Also available are O’Bon Wildlife Pencils and many other colourful varieties.
Single pencils $1.40, twin packs $2.75, 10 packs $7.70 and 12 packs $8.80.
O’Bon pencils are also perfect for the coolest looking sharpenings ever!
How about yours?
Well, Loani Prior is here to help rectify this situation that has no doubt been plaguing your thoughts with her new cuter than cute title really wild tea cosies [follow up from her earlier wild tea cosies]. The whimsical designs in this book are the perfect winters day project. Intended to be appropriate for all levels of knitters it is not, however, a how to guide on knitting. Some things aren’t explained in great detail, but the author does say that if it looks complicated, its just lots of little bits put together. And if you get sick of tea cosies, there is a small section that shows you have to make some cute extras including small felt balls, knitted cupcakes and pompoms! A super cute gift for a crafty tea-lover, $19.95.
My five year old is at that stage where he is interested in reading, but hasn’t quite acquired the skills yet. He is also very impressed by the chapter books that he sees his big sister reading – so grown-up! – but they’re a bit beyond him. Very tricky! But I’ve found the perfect solution – the Zac Power Test Drive Series.
Zac Power is a 12 year old spy who works for the GIB agency. He’s often summoned from his schoolwork to foil the evil plots of the rival agency BIG and save the day – as his catchphrase says “24 Hours to Save the World… and Finish his Homework”! In the Test Drive Series, he also gets to try out lots of cool gadgets and vehicles that have been developed by his brother Leon (a.k.a Agent Tech Head).
The Test Drive Series is a simplified version of the Zac Power series that is aimed at older kids. The print is much bigger, so that beginner readers can follow the words more easily, and there are plenty of illustrations to keep them interested. They’re exciting and funny, and best of all, they’re real chapter books! Plus there are lots in the series to choose from. Highly recommended by my boy! $7.95 each. Fiona
31 Ways to Change the World
Everything we do effects the world around us. Even the small things can change our planet and the people in it. This is the philosophy of http://www.wearewhatwedo.org, the website behind this book about taking action. With suggestions like walk you dad, find out about your food, teach you granny to text and give lots of compliments, this book is full of tips on how kids can make their world a better place by doing something very simple, maybe even just by asking a question. Fun and colourful, this book is full of ‘actions’ that might change the world, one step at a time. Brilliantly, they are also actually possible. Very encouraging!
Also encouraging is the price at $9.95. Lets get a-changing. Recommended for all ages.
The superbly detailed Schleich animals are a long time favourite in our store. With everything from chimps, cows and chickens to hedgehog, hippos and huskies, there is an animal for every taste! Prices from $4.20
The new book by Ian McEwan, Solar, has just arrived, and new Ian McEwan is always worth looking at. Michael Beard is a physicist who won the Nobel prize for his work many years ago. He hasn’t worked at that level for many years, and his personal life is a train crash. Multiple marriages and lovers, and he is always the one to call it quits. Until this latest marriage, and his wife is having the affair and flaunting it. Michael gets involved in a huge project to create solar energy, hoping to show that he still has it. He hasn’t. Michael is a deluded man, but for some reason, women keep falling in love with him, and professionals seek his advice. There is quite a bit of physics about creating and harnessing solar energy, which was interesting, although my sketchy science background means I can’t vouch for how authentic it is. Paperback 32.95.
Tan Callahan is having a hard time. Not only does she have to deal with the “lollipops” (her sisters Emerald, Amber and Rose), but now her family is moving to the country, and Tan fears her career as a secret spy may be over. Luckily, the country has mysteries of it’s own, so Tan’s expertise will not be wasted!
Tan is a great character – wry and witty and a great observer. The story is told from her point of view and includes diary entries as well as clever asides and pictures. It’s a quirky and humorous novel about families, friendship, fitting in and, of course, solving mysteries!
My eight year old recently read this book and enjoyed it immensely. I asked her for a comment on the book and she said “Tan is really funny and cool” (A great stamp of approval, trust me!!). Tan also has a secret blog file, so you can follow her adventures even after you’ve finished the book.
Jen Storer lives locally, and is also the author of Tensy Farlow and the Home for Mislaid Children, which we have reviewed on this blog previously (and also loved!). We can’t wait for Jen’s next book! . $14.95. Fiona
The latest book in the hugely popular Skulduggery Pleasant series by Derek Landy has just come out this month. Dark Days (PB $20) is the fourth installment and is sure to be just as enthralling as the first three!