Category Archives: Reviews

Book reviews

A great week: NEW Truly Tan plus NEW Timmy Failure

It is an excellent week for readers aged 8 to 11. Not only is there a brand-new Timmy Failure, there is a brand-new Truly Tan. Our favourites shelf is a happy place, indeed.

The sixth Truly Tan mystery, Trapped, sees our heroine plant-sitting for her neighbour Mrs Topple, but what is that strange car? And who are the people on the verandah? We’re certain that Tan can work it out.

And our our favourite detective, Timmy Failure, is dealing with the serious issue of the cat stealing his pants. And we all know how bad that can be. Find out if Timmy succeeds in finding treasure on Key West, Florida.

Truly Tan: Trapped! – Jen Storer – ABC Books – PB – $17
Timmy Failure: The Cat Stole My Pants – Stephan Pastis – Walker – HB – $18

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Filed under First Readers (6-8 years), Junior Readers (8-11 years)

The Australian Animal Atlas

 

Beautiful and useful: A guide to Aussie animals that includes scenes from 11 habitats so you can find critters in situ, with complementary illustrations and descriptions for each individual animal. Lovely illustrations, well researched and a great price. Perfect for your little naturalist aged 6 to 12.

 

The Australian Animal Atlas – Leonard Cronin  & Marion Westmacott (ill.) – A&U – HB – $25

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Filed under First Readers (6-8 years), Junior Readers (8-11 years), Non-fiction Reviews, Tweens (11-14 years)

Guides to understanding the Trump Phenomenon

Analysts and comedians have working to come to terms with the candidacy and presidency of Donald Trump, and we have in store a few fruits of their labours.

PJ O’Rourke, staunch Republican, supported Hillary Clinton in the last election. This is his analysis covering the US election from June 2015 to the results in November 2016.

How the Hell Did This Happen? The US Election of 2016 – P.J.O’Rourke – Grove Press – TP – $30

 

Susan Bordo, former Pulitzer Prize nominee, considers the election by analysing how a seasoned politician like Hillary Clinton could have been defeated.

The Destruction of Hillary Clinton – Susan Bordo – Text – TP – $30

 

James Poyner gives a month-by-month analysis of Trump’s tweets (including tweeted replies and Poyner’s own commentary) between July 2015 and Trump’s inauguration in January this year.

Trump Tweets: The Social Media Phenomenon – James Poyner – Wilkinson – PB – $19.99

 

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Filed under Non-fiction Reviews

Exploring The Curious Museum with facts and flaps

Oscar gets woken up in the middle of the night, and outside his window is a woolly mammoth (called Timothy) looking for his baby brother. Follow Timothy and his brother back to The Curious Museum, and lift the flaps to find out information about animals, dinosaurs and adventurers. Brightly coloured, crowded with things to see and learn, a good fun book for 3 to 6 year olds.

The Curious Case of the Missing Mammoth – Ellie Hattie and Karl James Mountford (ill.) – HB – Little Tiger Press – $24.99

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Filed under Picture books (0-5 years)

2017 Pulitzer Prize winners announced!

The winner of the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Fiction has been announced, and it’s Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad. It’s a magical-realist take on one woman’s escape from chattel slavery in the American South. Cora flees a Georgian cotton plantation, in what is both a historical indictment and a thrilling adventure.

As for the 2017 Pulitzer Prize in Biography/Autobiography, it’s been awarded to Hisham Matar for his Return. In this biography, Matar tells of his father’s kidnap and detention in a secret Libyan prison, from which he would never come home.

We have copies of both prizewinners on their way, so get in touch if you want one put aside!

The Underground Railroad – Colson Whitehead – Sphere – PB – $19.99
The Return: Fathers, Sons and the Land in Between – Hisham Matar – Random – PB – $25

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Filed under Fiction Reviews, Non-fiction Reviews, Prizes

New book from Matthew Van Fleet

Great news for fans of Matthew Van Fleet! If you’ve read and loved his Tails or Cats, with the push tabs and flaps and furry bits and colours, then you’ll enjoy this one. Little ones can learn to do the Hippopota Hula, the Bouncy Bunny Hop and the Gator Mashed Potater, with demos and tabs to pull. Good for 2 to 4 year olds, in a solid board book.

Dance – Matthew Van Fleet – Simon & Schuster – BB – $30

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Filed under Children's Books, Picture books (0-5 years)

Bill Hayes’ new memoir, “Insomniac City: New York, Oliver and Me”

Just out: a memoir from photographer (and partner of neurologist Oliver Sacks), Bill Hayes. Peppered with his own street-life shots from his adopted city of New York, Bill writes about his move to the Big Apple from San Francisco, and his relationship with the very private Sacks. You can read an excerpt here, including a visit to Björk, and experience a bit of vicarious glitterati living. It’s getting rave reviews already, and is a lovely hardback with a gorgeous photo-cover under the dust jacket.

Insomniac City: New York, Oliver, and Me – Bill Hayes – Bloomsbury – HB – $30

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Filed under Memoir