Reviews: Books and Magazines


A Spool of Blue Thread


‘It was a beautiful, breezy, yellow-and-green afternoon…’ This is the way Abby Whitshank always begins the story of how she and Red fell in love that day in July 1959. The whole family on the porch, relaxed, half-listening as their mother tells the same tale they have heard so many times before. And yet this gathering is different. Abby and Red are getting older, and decisions must be made about how best to look after them and their beloved family home. They’ve all come, even Denny, who can usually be relied on only to please himself. From that porch we spool back through three generations of the Whitshanks, witnessing the events, secrets and unguarded moments that have come to define who and what they are. And while all families like to believe they are special, round that kitchen table over all those years we also see played out our own hopes and fears, rivalries and tensions – the essential nature of family life

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Gravity – Jason Chin

Gravity review

First up a disclaimer – I am a physicist. So any kids’ book that teaches physics is likely to get a good review from me.

But even without my predisposition to like anything about physics Gravity is a lovely book. It is visually stunning with pictures that are entertaining both for kids and adults.

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Anzac Ted

ANZAC Ted review

As we approach ANZAC Day again, it is always lovely to have some way to really engage children with the importance of what our ANZACS did for us. Anzac Ted is a new picture book that can help you do just that, in a beautiful way that’s gentle enough for many little ones to cope with, and yet doesn’t completely avoid the more difficult subject matter.

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The Moon Dragons


When a king discovers that there are still singing moon dragons high up on the mountainside, he offers a room full of gold to anyone who can bring one to him. The beautiful dancing dragons only reveal themselves to Alina, a young peasant girl, but she preserves the secret of their whereabouts, knowing that there are some things far more precious than a room full of gold. The Moon Dragons is an enchanting fable with coupled with gorgeous pictures.

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Soulprint by Megan Miranda is a book that follows Alina Chase at 17 year old who is the reincarnation of June Calahan the worlds more notorious criminal. As such she has been imprisoned all her life because criminal tendencies are always repeated by each incarnation. But she wants a chance to have a normal life and so when escape seems possible she leaps at the change.

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Simon Gault – Modern Classics

Simon Gault Modern Classics

Simon Gault’s new recipe book, Modern Classics, takes all the “standard” traditional recipes and adds his own subtle twist to them. The book contains over 80 recipes, gorgeous photos and a little personal introduction to each from Simon and some with additional “Simon Says” tips.

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Max’s Wagon, Max’s Bear and Max’s Bath

Max's Wagon

Another great set of books from Gecko Press, the Max series is a sweet set of books about toddler Max and the funny situations he gets himself into.

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The Lion Book of Nursery Rhymes

The Lion Book of Nursery Rhymes review

When a child gets to two or so, I find they start to love to identify nursery rhymes. When they get familiar with something it seems so exciting to them that it is well known and represented in lots of different ways in books, and perhaps on CDs, DVDs etc. The Lion Book of Nursery Rhymes is a reasonably comprehensive collection of nursery rhymes and is a great addition to your home library.

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Plenty More

Plenty more review

Goodness me, the food photography in this book is… so beautiful. Following up from his success with the cook books ‘Jerusalem’ and ‘Plenty’, London-based Israeli chef Yotam Ottolenghi will harness your vegetable/grain/legume cooking prowess in ‘Plenty More‘, add to it in all kinds of imaginative and inspiring ways, and send you on your way to healthy, stunning dishes.

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A Witch Can Switch

A witch can switch

Clementine Mitch is a secret witcherina – a witch who desperately wants to become a ballerina. When her wish unexpectedly comes true, she finds herself whisked away to High Kicks Girls’ Ballet Academy in the human world. Unfortunately not all goes to plan. Without a wand, and with nasty rivals causing mayhem at every turn, Clementine has to find a way to pass the Academy’s entry audition so she can fulfill her dream.

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