The House on the Mountain by Ella Holcombe & David Cox

The House on the MOuntain - cover image
A wonderful read!

Atmospheric and immensely moving, this is the story of a family experiencing a bush fire in Australia. The aftermath is a harsh reality for a family whose home is in the middle of the woods. 

It is though, a story of healing and reconciliation. Lives are changed but not broken, there is a future through the devastation.

‘ We drive in silence, with the windows down. The hills are bald, with black spikes where the trees used to be. I don’t recognise any of the old familiar turns or corners. I don’t recognise anything’.

Before the fire this family in Australia have fun and do all the normal things that families do. After the  fire they eventually return and start all over again.

In real life it didn’t always work out so well.

A great picture book style story of a real life event with some changes. What an accolade to the author, Ella Holcombe and also to the illustrator David Cox, for setting the atmosphere so well.

Allen and Unwin, publishers have terrific books which are meaningful, good to read and so well produced. The House on the Mountain is well up there and especially as a reminder of Black Saturday.

Highly recommended for all ages.

Sue Martin

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Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

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Angel: Through My Eyes Series – Natural Disaster Zones

Angel, Through My Eyes Natural disaster ZOnes cover image and web link
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Angel’s family have seen many typhoons. For generations the violent storms have passed across the central Philippines around November. But Typhoon Haiyan is a super-typhoon and came across the Philippines in 2013, destroying everything in its path.

Angel lives in Tacloban with her family and when the news of the typhoon is announced the family take extra measures to keep safe.

But Typhoon Haiyan is stronger than anyone has ever seen before. Angel stays near the coast with her father whilst her mother, brothers and sisters go into the hills to their grandparents, but only just in time.

‘There’s an ear splitting crash as the first wave hurls itself at the little house, forcing open the door and gushing through the window. Angel screams. The ladder is torn away just as she jumps onto the roof beam. Water is up to her chin and she is fighting to keep her head above its churning mass. ‘ Papa! Papa!’ She searches desperately for any sign of her father as the water sweeps her away, but he’s vanished.’

An amazing book, written by Zoe Daniels, it is harrowing and full of anguish as Angel searches through the debris and disaster areas. Several days elapse before any help arrives by plane.

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Through My Eyes  is a stunning series, and highly recommended. They are published by Allen and Unwin, Australia and the series editor is Lyn White. As the reader you are immersed into a disaster zone of epic proportions.

We really love these books and Angel is a brilliantly depicted story of life when the super typhoon Haiyan, the most powerful ever to be recorded, hit the Central Philippines.

Recommended for ages 8- 15 and adults too!

Sue Martin

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

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Amundsen’s Way Race to the South Pole by Joanna Grochowicz

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Buy this book here: available 5th Sept. 2019

Amundsens’ Way – Race to the South Pole, is Joanna’s second stunning book about the Antarctic explorers of the early 19 Century.  Roald Amundsen was  determined, heroic and courageous but not best liked but he did win the race to the South Pole in 1911.

Joanna’s skill shines through beyond the words as she writes with intrigue and knowledge about the stories and challenges on this epic but cruel journey.  Her understanding of Amundsen details his faults as well as his abilities, and although she admires his courage, his methods were often very hard.

Amundsen’s Way is Joanna’s second novel of narrative non-fiction, her first Into the White – Scott’s Antarctic Odyssey, is hugely successful and was a finalist for the New Zealand Book Awards 2018. The illustrator for both books is Sarah Lippett.

Buy this book here (Available 5th Sept 2019)

Amundsen’s Way is published by Allen and Unwin of Australia and will be released in the UK in  Autumn 2019.

Books Go Walkabout is planning Joanna’s next visit to the UK and currently talking with schools and organisations on bookings in November.

Her charismatic storytelling abilities will captivate any audience of young people, it’s a great story!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Mr Chicken Lands on London by Leigh Hobbs

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Mr Chicken arrives in London via parachute, without wasting any time on immigration control he sets off to see as many of the famous sights as he possibly could.

He sails over the Houses of Parliament, and lands in the River Thames.

Although no-one seemed to notice and heads off to the Savoy Hotel, which is THE place to stay in London.

Mr Chicken visits Buckingham Palace and has tea with the Queen before heading off across Piccadilly Circus and the London Eye.  Amazingly, Mr Chicken blends in well with the local people and other tourists before heading back home ‘down under’.

A brilliant picture book about a loveable character making his way across the centre of London.  Explore the city of London with Mr Chicken and find all the most famous sights. Leigh Hobbs is excellent at portraying characters in different places and Mr Chicken Arrives in London is part of a series of books about travels into European cities.

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Leigh Hobbs is an award-winning writer and illustrator of a whole range of books, including the Mr Chicken series, Old Tom, Horrible Harriet and my favourite, Mr Badger.

He was Australian Children’s Laureate in 2016-17 travelling and visiting schools as an advocate for children’s books. He has an amazing collection of titles. Leigh lives in Melbourne, Australia and is also an artist, a sculptor, and indeed a great traveller himself.

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Mr Chicken is published by Allen and Unwin, Australia and is available in the UK. Click the book image to buy.

Books Go Walkabout have planned a tour of schools and organisations in the UK for Leigh this autumn, October 2018. He is a great hit with the schools and children and instantly gets children interested in Mr Chicken and other characters, looking at; how to draw a character, how to add the text and best of all how to make the book fun.

We recommend Mr Chicken Lands on London for ages 4-9 and of course parents too.

Sue Martin

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Authors connected with audiences across the world…
Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Lyla Through My Eyes by Fleur Beale

Lyla Through My Eyes - cover image and web link
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Lyla is a gripping and personal story about one girl’s experience of the 2011 Christchurch earthquake and its aftermath.

Lyla has just started her second year of high school when a magnitude 6.3 earthquake shakes Christchurch to pieces. Devastation is everywhere. While her police officer mother and trauma nurse father respond to the disaster, Lyla puts on a brave face, opening their home to neighbours and leading the community clean-up.

But soon she discovers that it’s not only familiar buildings and landscapes that have vanished – its friends and acquaintances too. As the earth keeps shaking day after day, can Lyla find a way to cope with her new reality?

This is a page turner of a book exceptionally well written by Fleur Beale. A young person’s life turned upside down with the major earthquake and then made even worse as the shakes continue and liquefaction of the soil makes moving around incredibly difficult.

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…with free delivery!

As she finds herself alone, with her parents helping others, Lyla establishes a friendship with Matt, who she has previously thought of as a real loser. She rescues her friend’s documents by entering a building about to collapse.

The book is great to read, with references to the 2011 Christchurch earthquake plus a timeline, and a glossary, the reader will be well-informed plus an understanding of life through this natural disaster.

Fleur Beale is author of many award-winning books for children and young adults – with 40 books published in New Zealand, plus books published in the United States and England. She is a former high-school teacher and lives in Wellington.

Fleur has won many awards including; the Storylines Gaelyn Gordon Award for a Much-Loved Book: with Slide the Corner in 2007, and I Am Not Esther in 2009, the Esther Glen Award for distinguished contribution to children’s literature for Juno Of Taris in the 2009 LIANZA Children’s Book Awards, Fierce September won the YA category in the 2011 NZ Post Children’s Book Awards and the LIANZA Young Adult Award in 2011.

In 2012 she won the Margaret Mahy Medal for her outstanding contribution to children’s writing, and in 2015 she was awarded the New Zealand Order of Merit for services to literature. In 1999, Fleur was Dunedin College of Education’s Writer in Residence Series editor and series creator

Allen and Unwin, Australia publish Through My Eyes series created and developed by Lyn White. Her work with refugee children motivated her to create the acclaimed Through My Eyes series of books set in contemporary war zones.

Lyn created and edited  Through My Eyes – Natural Disaster Zones series to pay tribute to the courage and resilience of children, often the most vulnerable in post-disaster situations. Lyn continues to teach EAL and is an education consultant and conference presenter.

We loved reading Lyla, a captivating book about this recent disaster.We recommend for children from 9-10 years and all ages.

Sue Martin

Books go Walkabout, stories across the world

 

 

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Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

Swan Lake by Anne Spudvilas

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A magnificent visual retelling of the classic ballet story from a much-loved, award-winning Australian illustrator.

Swan Lake is an incredible book, in style, illustration and emotional involvement.

Taken from the iconic ballet of Swan Lake telling the tragic love story of a princess transformed into a swan by an evil sorcerer. In this atmospheric adaptation, Anne Spudvilas re-imagines the classic tale of passion, betrayal and heartbreak in the dramatic riverscape of the Murray-Darling.

Like a ballet the story emerges without words, and captures all the tension, heartbreak and  love with the inevitable finale or end. It has a different twist in this adaptation! The book, as the ballet, is in three acts with an explanation of the events that follow.

The illustrations are truly magical, with many dark tones and a minimal use of  a colour palette, enormously effective.

…with free delivery

Anne Spudvilas is one of Australia’s most talented visual artists. Her illustrations are full of emotion and beauty. Anne’s Swan Lake is simply enchanting and sublime!’ Li Cunxin, author of Mao’s Last Dancer and Artistic Director, Queensland Ballet

Anne Spudvilas is a multi-award-winning illustrator of children’s books and an established portrait painter and print-maker. Her first picture book, The Race by Christobel Mattingley, was awarded the Crichton Award for Illustration and was a Childrens’s Book Council of Australia Honour Book.

Anne’s move to the Murray River has inspired her latest book, an illustrated retelling of the classic ballet story Swan Lake. She lives in Wentworth, where the Murray and Darling rivers meet, surrounded by birds and river red gums.

Published by Allen and Unwin, it was released in the UK earlier this year. Allen and Unwin have a remarkable portfolio and list of amazingly beautiful books and this is one which we are lucky to have in the UK.

Whether you are also a ballet fiend or not, this book is one to have.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.

KidGlovz by Julie Hunt, illustrated by Dale Newman

KidGlovz
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This is a book with a difference, it’s a graphic novel in hardback, with an incredible number of drawings, vividly brought to life in black and white to tell this amazing story of Kid, his music his kidnap and all the characters who appear on the way.

Kid Glovz is a musical genius. His gift is so precious that he’s kept under lock and key. But when a young thief helps him escape, Kid must embark on a perilous journey through which he will discover the terrifying nature of his talent. A spellbinding graphic fable about friendship and freedom.

The story is full of mystery, an adventure with real danger and otherworldliness, a gripping tug-of-war between the forces of good and evil. It is a beautifully produced graphic novel for children, and on Julie’s website you can read the background to the story.

The author, award-winning Julie Hunt has written some amazing titles, including Little Else and a Song for Scarlet Runner. She lives on a farm in Southern Tasmania, she has a love of dramatic landscapes and has used these to build stories full of imagination and intrigue.

Dale Newman’s stunning artwork is reminiscent of Shaun Tan’s The Arrival and has the same air of foreboding in many of the pictures. Kid Glovz is her first epic graphic novel and a stunning start to a career in children’s books. She lives in New South Wales, Australia and is also used to some amazing landscapes.

Allen and Unwin, Australian publishers have a star packed book list and KidGlovz is bound to be a great success. In Australia it has already won 2016 QLD Premier’s Literary Awards, Children’s Books and short-listed for  2016 CBCA Book of the Year, Crichton Award for New Illustrators

Books Go Walkabout recommend KidGlovz for children aged about 9+ and for adults too.

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

Bookmonitor is our news source for reviews and project information.

Books go Walkabout is our international books and literacy project - connecting authors and illustrators with children and young people around the globe.

We use Stripe to handle your e-purchase. Buy with confidence from BgW. Customer FAQ's here.