Category Archives: Reviews

Book reviews

You’ll Never Guess What…

You’ll never guess what: the dog outside the Fairfield train station is a reader! You may have noticed that last week, she got a beautiful, red, Christmassy necklace, which she’ll be wearing with pride in the countdown to Christmas, so we thought we’d ask her to review some Christmas books for our blog. Here is her guest post:

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas – This book is so much fun. Woof! I love all the bright colours and scampering antics of the different dogs on each page. If you have a soft spot for dogs then you will really love the cute illustrations. There are dalmations, daschunds, collies, pugs and more. There is also a really big focus on yummy Christmas food which we all know is something all dogs love. Woof woof. Five bones out of five for this one!


The twelve dogs of christmas 9781471166174 hr

The Twelve Dogs of Christmas, Alison Ritchie & Marisa Morea, $15


That Christmas Feeling – this book is new this year and I absolutely loved it. It’s written for children aged up to about 5 but I think dogs (of any age)¬† would really enjoy it as well. It’s all about how to get that tingly, buzzy, woofy feeling in the lead up to Christmas. The story follows two children and their dog Shortbread. Shortbread is ace! Woof woof! Another five bones rating for this one.

That Christmas Feeling, Lili Wilkinson and Amanda Francey, $20


The 12 Days of Christmas – I have to admit I was a little disappointed to discover that there were NO DOGS in this book at all. It had quite a few birds in it though, and I am I quite a fan of watching birds. Woof! I am learning to count at the moment so the counting aspect was good too. And the illustrations are by a Melbourne artisit. We love local ūüôā¬† This one gets a solid four out of five bones from me (it would have been five bones if there was a dog).

The 12 Days of Christmas, PIlgrim Lee, $17


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Meerkat Madness!

One of our shyer staff members, who can usually be found hiding in the front corner of the shop among the soft toys has gathered the courage to share her favourite book with us! Melanie Meerkat shares her thoughts on Nicki Greengerg’s Meerkat Choir:

I loved this book because it was about Meerkats, and also about singing and joining in with people to make friends. I like to make the LA LA LAAAA sounds myself when a grown up is reading this to me.

Here is Melanie with her staff pick, which you can take home to share with your own little singing Meerkats ūüôā










Meerkat Choir, $24.99

Meerkat Toy $36.95

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Filed under Children's Books, Picture books (0-5 years), 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 РLeonard Cronin  & Marion Westmacott (ill.) РA&U РHB Р$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 РHisham Matar РRandom РPB Р$25

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Filed under Fiction Reviews, Non-fiction Reviews, Prizes