Children's New Releases 

October 2016

Gleebooks Bookshop - Wednesday, October 12, 2016

For the Very Young

Uh-Oh! by Shutta Crum  (ill) Patrice Barton ($15, BD)
This has only two words of text throughout …uh-oh, but what expressive words they are. Two mothers take their children to the beach, a little boy and a little girl, and together they create the best kind of mayhem, next to the sea shore. Wonderful illustrations that are both soft and sweet yet extremely dynamic, capture all the fun of a day at the beach. Terrific use of textures and paint give this book an extra visual dimension.

Peck Peck Peck by Lucy Cousins ($15, BD)
We always have a wonderful selection of baby board books, but at the moment we have some particularly good ones. Lucy Cousins’ excellent Peck Peck Peck ($15) has made the journey of picture book to board book very well; this charming story of a baby woodpecker being instructed to peck by his father is funnier by the page. The little bird really gets the hang of as he pecks his way through a gate, a door, a hall way and beyond. Bright cheerful illustrations, in the author’s inimitable style, have the added interest of holes die cut through all the pages. Louise

I’m Not Cute! by Jonathan Allen ($15, BD)
Jonathan Allen captures the frustration of childhood, when a baby owl is repeatedly being told how very cute and small he is. He really is ‘a huge and scary hunting machine with great big soft and silent wings’ ... in his own mind at least.
This so much fun to read aloud, and the pictures are warm and funny, which is just as well as it’s one that will have to be read again and again. Louise

Got a Non-Reader?

If you think you have a non-reader, there are certainly options to explore with children who might not connect with reading. Paradoxically, one is the wordless picture book, and in this excerpt from a Nerdy Book Club article, multi-award winning illustrator Aaron Becker discusses the value of wordless picture books. His wordless trilogy: Journey, Quest, and Return (all $17, PB & $28, HB) is internationally acclaimed. 

He has also worked on animated films, including The Polar Express: 'I was a good student. But reading was something I only did when someone made me. Not because I didn’t like stories or because I was lazy. I just found reading excruciatingly tough. I would get to the end of a paragraph only to realize that I had no idea what I had just read. I would start again with determined focus to grasp the words. Still, nothing. We all need a way ‘in’ to the stories that find us. For me it wasn’t words. Words were a source of stress, not escape. My mind couldn’t settle on a good book long enough to get there, but images… images were instantaneous. And my brain was wired for them. There’s a reason I make wordless picture books. I remember when I sat down to write Journey, I sketched out a series of small thumbnail ‘storyboards’ just as I had when I worked as an artist in the film industry. When I went to add the text, I was amazed to find that I’d already done the work. There weren’t any words left to put down – the pictures had written them all. Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like words. I really do. I wish I could like them even more, but perhaps my brain was built for something else. My hope in sharing all of this is that if you have a child in your life that has been labeled ‘a reluctant reader’ that you understand this: we are all a bit different when it comes to how we find the stories that will come to define our understanding of the world. I would stress that what’s most important is not that a child learns to love to read, but that a child learns to love story itself. It’s about developing empathy by means of immersion in story. By placing ourselves in a character’s clothing we find common threads between ourselves and the world. These tales mirror and give us access to our deepest, inner aspirations. We all need a way in. For children like the one I was a long time ago, it’s not words but pictures that can take them to that place—a place full of wonder and enchantment in a galaxy not so very far away'.

Picture Books

Du Iz Tak? By Carson Ellis ($25, HB)
I love this book! An increasing cast of insects ponders a new arrival in the microcosm of their world. Using an invented language that seems more logical to us as the story progresses, the denizens of the garden marvel, firstly over the tiny green shoot and then at each stage as a magnificent flower blooms. Passing seasons are evinced by changes in the dapper and idiosyncratic clothing and pursuits of the tiny characters. Ellis’s extensive use of white space throughout the book focusses our attention on the minute details of the insects’ lives which are rendered in gouache and ink along the bottom of the page, suggesting the physical geography of the story. Did I mention I love this book? I love the language, and it matters not if the reader can’t decipher it, because the flow and heart of the book shine through regardless. I love the wee characters, their curiosity and imagination; the depiction of Nature, and I love the intoxicating originality of the entire book.  Expect to see Carson Ellis’s debut as picture book author/illustrator nominated for future awards. Lynndy

Graphic novels are another way to encourage the association of images and words...

Brobot by James Foley ($15, PB)
The world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, Sally is so frustrated by her baby brother’s ubiquitous mess and smelliness that she undertakes building an ‘ideal’ brother. Unlike little Joe, who has many design faults such as leaking toxic waste from his nappy, and perpetual stickiness, Brobot is obedient, hygienic and not at all destructive. Done: A helpful, controllable brother with superior features! All is grand until Brobot’s remote control breaks, chaos reigns, and Sally recognises that there are some advantages to a human brother. Witty humour abounds in this short graphic novel—may there be many more! Lynndy


Fantastically Great Women Who Changed the World by Kate Pankhurst ($15, PB)
With her pedigree as a descendant of suffragette Emmeline Pankhurst, Kate Pankhurst has found the right niche to present to us some of the hugely influential women who’ve shaped our world during the past three centuries. Against the difficulties of their respective eras, these women contributed in fields such as literature, social activism, science, exploration, sport, fashion design, art and medicine. Whether as an overview, or as an introduction prompting further reading, this is a lively start. Lynndy

For Independant Readers

Artie & the Grime Wave by Richard Roxburgh Artie and the Grime Wave is a book about two kids who set off on an amazing adventure to get proof of some robbers stealing stuff from other people and hiding it in a cave. But luckily an old lady has an invention called the fartex 120y which helps Artie and his best friend Bumshoe escape from the robbers’ house by making a giant fart that makes the robbers really disgusted. My favourite part was when Artie’s friend stole his brother’s camera so they could get proof. Read this if you like funny books and farts. Theo Bird (aged 9). (Also recommended for readers who enjoy escalating droll mishaps and want to embark on the first children’s book written and illustrated by Richard Roxburgh – yes, that Richard Roxburgh! LB)  ($17, PB)


Tales from Outer Suburbia Book & Jigsaw Puzzle by Shaun Tan ($35, BOX)
Shaun Tan’s work is internationally acclaimed, and in this book his imagination is translated into both art and stories, all distinguished by his otherworldly whimsy. (Move over, Leunig.) This presentation box contains a paperback copy of Tales from Outer Suburbia—remember Eric the shy exchange student; and the buffalo at the end of the street? - plus a 750-piece jigsaw puzzle of The Tuesday Afternoon Reading Group. Suitable for children, adults, and reading groups everywhere. Lynndy

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