To you and yours, Merry Christmas. Wishing all a year of hope, fun, good books and colourful art.
Month: December 2020
I am very happy excited to share with you the dates of my latest exhibition
“ Restless” – which sums up my feelings around 2020.
Review: Dog – Shaun Tan
Allen & Unwin
A beautifully poignant gift book exploring the relationship between man and man’s best friend, from the masterful Shaun Tan.
One day I threw my stick at you.
You brought it back.
Then we were walking side by side
as if it had always been this way.
World-renowned artist and storyteller Shaun Tan reflects on the nature of humans and animals in this exquisitely illustrated fable about owner and Dog. A perfect little gift book from an extraordinary talent.
This book clearly illustrates the power of pictures and words – this is such a simply presented yet powerfully poignant read – all dog lovers will be able to relate to this and those who have lost dogs will smile that bittersweet smile, you know the one, the one that says “yes, I get it. I understand. I miss you.” (And perhaps they will shed a silent tear in memory of their best friend, as I did).
A beautiful read.
Review: In the Bush Book and Jigsaw Puzzle – Roland Harvey
In the Bush Book and Jigsaw Puzzle
Allen & Unwin
A fabulously entertaining book and jigsaw gift set from one of Australia’s favourite illustrators.
Wombat Flat’s the best!
We camped out near the Cascades, stayed up all night to see the sunrise, nearly got snowed in at Mt Misery … and rode across the Razorback.
And a squillion other things that you’ll find out when you come with us to Wombat Flat.
A delightful book and puzzle gift set of an Australian classic for the whole family to enjoy. The 400mm x 490mm jigsaw comprises 150 pieces.
This book and puzzle combination were something I was very excited to receive; previous to this I have only discovered one other similar combination, this is such a rare and wonderful find. Puzzles for this age group (150 pieces) are rare, it seems there are plenty of toddler age-appropriate puzzles everywhere you look; floor puzzles, wooden peg puzzles, children’s’ tv character related puzzles, puzzles of a maximum of about 20 pieces but puzzles that are suitable for the next age group – pre-schoolers are a hidden gem and I am glad I have discovered one more to add to the collection.
The puzzle component of this combination gift pack (excellent for Christmas – you still have time to order) has 150 pieces – perfect for those inquisitive minds; perhaps read the hilariously funny hardback book first then work on the puzzle together, discussing sections as you complete. This is a great resource – such a fun way to develop those comprehension, language and fine motor skills.
Review: Pea + Nut Go For Gold – Matt Stanton
Pea + Nut Go For Gold
Harper Collins Australia
Meet Pea and Nut: best friends and also … best rivals!
When a chilled-out panda and a hyperactive flamingo go head to head, there can be only one winner.
Pea the panda relaxes by the pool. Nut the flamingo doesn’t do relaxing. It’s time for a race, and this time Nut is going for gold!
The second book in the hilarious bestselling series featuring two adorable oddballs by bestselling author Matt Stanton.
PRAISE FOR MATT STANTON’S BOOKS
‘humour is injected into every page’ – Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Reading Time
‘Witty, silly, and interactive … A rollicking read for children and adults alike’ – Kirkus Reviews
What more can I add than this book made my 4 year old grandson laugh out loud and that is a sound I never grow tired of hearing.
With bright colourful images and humour on every page plenty of material here to enjoy or to start conversations.
Fun, colurful and delightful.
Review: Christmas Tales – Willaim McInnes
‘Tis the season to be jolly! One of Australia’s favourite storytellers is back with a collection of stories about everyone’s favourite family holiday.
I can’t help it if I’m a boring conservative dag, but I love Christmas, always have and hopefully always will. Whatever brand of faith you fly under, even if you proclaim you don’t have one, Christmas is a time of generosity, good citizenship and decency.
It’s the holiday where shopping centres become a sea of dazed shoppers bearing checklists as long as your arm, lunch is a never-ending buffet of prawns and ham and your electricity bill is doubly struck by having to run the fan all day and keep those decorative lights blinking through the night.
William McInnes, bestselling author of FATHERHOOD, WORSE THINGS HAPPEN AT SEA, and A MAN’S GOT TO HAVE A HOBBY tackles the silly season in a way only he can – telling stories brimming with good humour and nostalgia, to remind us what Christmas is all about: family.
One-part cheekiness, one-part fun and one-part memoir, this read is entertaining, hilarious, poignant at times and so relatable.
I really enjoy William McInnes writing style; a mix of witty storytelling (I do wish I could be one of your dinner guests one day, it would be so fun to hear you reminisce), stream of consciousness insights into the life, escapades and thoughts of this popular Australian actor and writer as he recounts Christmas past.
There is wonderful recounting of childhood innocence as Christmas is explored; the gift giving, the myths of Santa (in his many guises), family fun and rituals and then we are privileged to hear more anecdotes, more memories, sweet and bitter sweet.
William McInnes is a natural writer and I enjoy his “tell all” style and humour.
Review: The Unwilling Twin – Freya Blackwood
The Unwilling Twin
THE NEW PICTURE BOOK FROM SEVEN-TIME CBCA BOOK OF THE YEAR WINNER FREYA BLACKWOOD
Jules and George are the same in every way.
It is quite impossible to tell them apart.
Like all twins, Jules and George do everything together. But after a long, hot day at the beach, even twins sometimes disagree …
From multi-award-winning picture book creator Freya Blackwood comes a cheeky and charming story about the ups and downs of sibling love.
This is a fun, silly and entertaining read that all pre -schoolers are bound to love. I like the sense of humour here, the simple yet elegant illustrations that capture the emotions and the day; the feel of the breeze on the twins faces, the chaos of the beach…simple yet very effective verbal and visual storytelling, this is a great read. There is plenty of good material here for “re telling” (one of the early stages of learning to read is where you first read the book to the child then the child looks for visual clues, uses memory, comprehension skills and their imagination, when they “re tell” the story back to you). This is a great read that has many opportunities for your pre -schooler develop their language and comprehension skills when they talk to you about the story.
A fun and educational read.
Review: Something Like This – Karly Lane
Something Like This
Allen & Unwin
A spellbinding new rural romance from the bestselling author of the Callahans of Stringybark Creek trilogy and Fool Me Once.
Jason Weaver just wants to be left alone. It was a tough transition from his army days to civilian life, and he’s looking forward to settling into a solitary life.
Tilly Hollis is working two jobs to save for her dream career: running an equine therapy program. Tilly loves her horses more than anything, and after losing her husband and business partner just a few years earlier, she’s determined to make it work on her own.
When Jason walks into the cafe where Tilly works, they’re immediately drawn to one another. But can they overcome their pasts to find a future together?
I have had a few very restless/sleepless nights recently and so the last time I found myself still awake past midnight a pick up my copy of Something Like This and settled in to read for an hour or so before I went back to bed and sleep, I hoped. This was a major mistake. 173 pages later I did not want to put this book down! I looked at the clock – gone 3 (well to be honest – it was a bit later than that but I am not admitting to that) 😊 I sighed and decided I really had to try and get some sleep, so reluctantly I left the book on the table and went back to bed, yes I did get a few hours sleep.
I loved this read! The main characters were so engaging, their back stories poignant and heartbreaking yet not melodramatic, their everyday life relatable with an appeal that connects to the reader – this is a fabulous character driven narrative. There is more to this narrative than rural romance; this is a multi-faceted exploration of loss, grief, families, second chances and courage, the everyday courage of getting up and facing each new day when you least feel like it. It’s about cancer, about the aftermath of war, about hope, faith and building trust…and therapy horses, set in the back drop of small rural town life.
PS – I am even quoted on the back of this book 🙂