01 December 2009

A Very Onion Christmas, part the first - Picture Books

Happy Month, everybody. White rabbits. White rabbits.

It's 1 December - time to start opening your advent calenders, putting up your Christmas decorations*, and thinking about what to buy for your nearest and dearest.

And the good news is, we're here to help with that last item.**

Every day for the rest of this week we're going to be posting a list of our recommendations for Christmas book-buying. The lists will be organised primarily by age-group. We're very proud of the books we've published this year - and we want to send them all to good homes underneath the right Christmas trees, where they will be loved and petted and exercised regularly.***

And so we begin with...


The Amazing Tashi Activity Book by Anna Fienberg, Barbara Fienberg & Kim Gamble
Did you know that editors actually have to DO the games and puzzles in books to make sure they work? That's right, we were paid to make sure Tashi can make it through the mazes (He can - if you help!), that you really can make the dragon yourself (You can - he's beautiful!), that the Baron really did hide his gold (He did, but can you find it?). The Amazing Tashi Activity book is full of things like new Tashi stories, recipes, word-finds and a board game. A board game! People, this is like 17 Christmas presents in one.

To The Top End by Roland Harvey
They've been to the beach, the bush and the city and now Henry, Penny, Frankie, Mum and Dad are taking the big trip from Tassie to the Top End.
Roland Harvey books were Christmas favourites with many of the Onions when they were little.**** So it's very exciting to have a brand new adventure to stuff stockings with this year. While you're at it, check out Roland Harvey's Big Book of Christmas for lots of making and doing and singing and eating ideas.

Mr Chicken Goes to Paris by Leigh Hobbs
Vive le poulet! Vive le beau poulet! Magnifique!
We have already waxed lyrical about our love for Mr Chicken. So suffice it to say: Allez! Achetez le beau poulet!

10 Little Hermit Crabs by Lee Fox and Shane McG
Hush, says the seashore. Shh, says the sea. How many hermit crabs can you see?
If you know a small person who is just the right age for a counting book, then this is perfect. It's beachy and summery and bright and rhyming. No snowy fields and deciduous trees over here, thank you very much.

Mannie and the Long Brave Day by Martine Murray and Sally Rippin
Mannie, her doll, Strawberry Luca, and her favourite elephant, Lilliput, are going on an adventure. It's a sparkling adventure, and you'll want to go too. This is a lovely, gentle book - especially good for thoughtful girls.
Yes it is; it's very useful. Useful for small people's stockings and larger people's bookshelves.
It's hard to do this one justice on screen. You really need to handle it yourself, because it has A TWIST. It's funny and warm and quirky and did we mention it HAS A TWIST.

And here is a quick list of always-favourites that are worth revisting:

Magic Beach by Alison Lester
Old Pig by Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks (Ooo look, an anniversary edition.)
Brian Banana Duck Sunshine Yellow by Chris McKimmie (He's got a new one out next year - can't wait!)
Fox by Margaret Wild & Ron Brooks
Gordon's Got a Snookie by Lisa Shanahan & Wayne Harris

*What's that? You've already put your decorations up? Who are you, David Jones?
** Selfless of us, I know.
*** OK, it's possible we have separation issues.
**** Roland, if you're reading this, we're not suggesting you're old, more perennial.


Penni Russon said...

Every time Roland Harvey's name comes up on Facebook in the "people you may know" column I get all dizzy and starstruck and shy.

I love The Big Ball of String by Ross Mueller. A beautiful book to read aloud, with wonderful repetition and alliteration. But also the world of it, the safe suburban landscape that the boy navigates through, is just so resonant. The world isn't big and bad, it's familiar. My girls love this, but it's a nice boy one too.

Mike said...

J'adore Mr Chicken, To the Top End et Mannie, aussi.

That's some pretty awesome books.

Bruno said...

I still like Peka-Boo: http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=94&book=9781741755411

Sue said...

If you're looking for a girl who's sassy, well, Sheezamageeza!, you can't go past Henrietta. She's a modern day Eloise (thank you, Kay Thompson)and in her own words, 'It's lucky I'm here...to make sure things keep happening.' And she does, and you'll love her. Henrietta, there's no one better.

Unknown said...

Oh boy oh boy I like a good book recommendation session. Fox, Brian Banana and Gordon are top of my everyone-I-know-must-have-them list. Monsieur Poulet and the duck book are new editions this year. Oh yeah! And let us not forget the Hugo series, so simple, bold and sweet. And the Stella set, oh Stella, oh SAM. And the Boy, the Bear...and and...I need to stop now, while...I...still...can!

Eva said...

I have given so many people with new babies I'M STILL AWAKE STILL (http://www.allenandunwin.com/default.aspx?page=94&book=9781741753219) - it makes such a gorgeous present with the CD in the back, and even though it appears to masquerade as a book for 3 or 4 year olds, the truly lovely bedtime songs work just as well for tiny tots. Highly recommended!