Category Archives: First Readers (6-8 years)

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)

The Princess in Black takes a well-earned break


I think we’ll all be relieved to hear that the Princess in Black, aka Princess Magnolia, is finally taking a holiday from her important job of keeping the kingdom safe from monsters. She has, after all, had to cope with a hungry bunny horde, a princess party and tea with Duchess Wigtower, all while keeping (almost) everyone from knowing that she is the kingdom’s resident monster-hunter.

In her fourth adventure, our dear Princess is trying hard to take a seaside nap, but will she be able to sleep through a sea-monster attack?

This is one of our favourite series for four-to-seven year olds, great for both read-alouds and readers just heading off without training wheels. All four books are now available in paperback ($10), and you can also take a look at her official website for FAQs and activities.

The Princess in Black
The Princess in Black and the Perfect Princess Party
The Princess in Black and the Hungry Bunny Horde
The Princess in Black Takes a Vacation



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Filed under First Readers (6-8 years), Picture books (0-5 years)

Dinosaurs Galore! New dino reference books in-stock.






We have the perfect series for the dinosaur fiend in your life: six separate books, covering the periods between the Upper Triassic and the Upper Cretaceous. Each book  covers 25 dinosaurs, with a full-page drawing and description of each dino, its territory and its fossil remains. The full set of books is shown here, each only $7 in paperback or $20 in hardback.




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

All About ‘Grover McBane’, a series written by Claire Garth

Written by author Claire Garth, Grover McBane is a children’s series which explores the life story of a dog named Grover. Garth had met a real-life dog named Grover whilst working at an animal shelter, which inspired her to write this collection of short novels. When the dog first arrived at her shelter, he was incredibly thin, undernourished, and filled with fleas due to the lack of care he had experienced with his previous abusive owner. Claire could not resist the temptation. Quickly adopting him, she nursed 9781863958134.jpgGrover back to health and took him in as a part of her family.

The first novel in the series, Grover finds a home, explores Grover’s adventures; escaping his brutally inhumane owner and being rescued by the animal shelter. When first rescued, Grover was extremely afraid that the man rescuing him would bring him back to his owner, but he was flooded with relief when he realised how good life was in the shelter. He didn’t want to leave once he had a taste of being treated well for the first time in his life, but life with Claire was the best he had ever come by.

Now a happy dog, Grover enjoys being treated with the respect he deserves. The second book in the series, Grover’s new friends, shows Grover’s experience with making new friends, and with the help of those friends helping out a dog named Peanut. The final book in the series (so far) is called Grover, Benji and Nanna Jean. In this part of the series, Grover has a job looking after all other rescue dogs at the animal shelter. He comes across a blind dog named Benji, and is determined to help him find a home just as he previously had.

Grover McBane – Rescue Dog is simply a well written book series, perfect for beginner readers between the age range of 6-9 years old. It is intriguing, surprisingly action packed which would be sure to capture the attention of every child who reads it.

Paperback singles: $13 each.

Pack of 3 paperbacks: $30.



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

The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl

gloriumptious-world-of-roald-dahlWe have the perfect gift for your little Roald Dahl fan! This great scrapbook is a friendly, hardback introduction to Mr Dahl and each of his books, with pictures by Quentin Blake (of course), removable letters, fold-out sections and a spotter’s guide to giants and oompa-loompas. A fine choice for 7 to 11 year olds.

The Gloriumptious Worlds of Roald Dahl – ill. Quentin Blake – HB – Carlton Books – $30


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Jess’s best books for 2016


Jess’s best books

The Bone Sparrow – Zana Fraillon – PB – $20
Gemina (The Illuminae Files 02) – Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff – TPB – $23
Lots – Marc Martin – HB – $25
The Other Side of Summer – Emily Gale – PB – $17
They All Saw a Cat – Brendan Wenzel – HB – $30

Stay tuned for Jodie’s best books tomorrow…

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Filed under Australian Women Writers Challenge (AWW), First Readers (6-8 years), Gift Ideas, Picture books (0-5 years), Teen Fiction, Tweens (11-14 years), Xmas Gift Ideas, Young Adult (14+)

“Lots” of the world to see with Marc Martin

marc-martin-lotsMarc Martin’s latest book is a stunner. It’s a large-format hardback that will tempt adults and children alike, telling us about people and wildlife and buildings and food and oh-so-many other things in cities and countries around the world. Marc’s gorgeous illustrations take us from Antarctica to the Galapagos Islands, from Moscow to Rio de Janeiro, filling us with facts along the way. (Take a look at Cape Town below.) The book is a beautiful treat, a perfect gift.

Lots – Marc Martin – HB – Viking – $25


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

Get ready for Tom Gates and the DogZombies

liz-pichon-tom-gates-11-dog-zombies-ruleThe eleventh Tom Gates is just about here! Tom is determined that his band, the Dog Zombies, will conquer the world, so you can imagine the hi-jinks from there. It’s due out on Tuesday 1 November, so contact us by email ( or phone (9017 4748) to put your  name down for a copy.

Tom Gates #11: DogZombies Rule (For Now) – Liz Pichon – PB – Scholastic – $17

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

Steampunk critters from the future: Lance Balchin’s “Mechanica”

lance-balchin-mechanicaTwo centuries into the future, the wildlife of the earth has died out because of catastrophic climate change. The popular toys known as ‘Mechapets’ — propotype mechanised creatures — are exhibited in zoos and sanctuaries, but they soon escape into the wild. In time, they cross-breed with semi-autonomous drones, and the Mechanica species are born…

This surreal hardcover is the work of Brisbane-based artist Lance Balchin, and is suitable for adults and children alike. The introduction spells out the history and science of the Mechanicas’ world, and each spread in the book has a full-page illustration of a Mechanica – an electric blackbird, or artificial eagle – plus a biological and mechanical description. It’s steampunk invades the natural history museum, and a bizarre pleasure all of its own.


Mechanica: A Beginner’s Field Guide – Lance Balchin – HB – Five Mile Press – $24.95

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Filed under First Readers (6-8 years), Gift Ideas