05 December 2012

A Very Onion Christmas - picture books

The Christmas season is upon us. People are decorating and partying and watching the cricket.  In Melbourne, people are sweltering one minute and freezing the next - as is traditional.

The Christmas season is also a time that raises questions for people.

Where is Orientar?
Why are Jeff's nuts roasting on an open fire?
Who are these married gentlemen who need to get dressed?
What do slave elves in the snow actually sound like?

And what gifts am I going to give to the littlest people in my life?

Well - we got you covered on that last one. The finest gifts we bring, parumpapumpum!

Noni the Pony board books by Alison Lester

Can you run like a rabbit?
Can you jump like a frog?
Or laze like a lizard stretched out on a log?

Two gorgeous new board books from the best-beloved Alison Lester.
And everyone's favourite pony, Noni, is now in board-book form.

Who for: The very littlest stocking-carrying people you know - the ones who still list chewing as a primary method of book consumption.

Dinosauritis by Jeanette Rowe  

Oh wait, Darwin doesn't have  the flu - he has Dinosauritis!
With Dino jokes to tell, flaps to be flipped, games to be played and Darwin's story to be read - Dinosauritis is bigger than a T-Rex, funnier than a Muttaburrasaurus* and livelier than a paleontologist.**

Who for? 3-5 year-olds who dig dinos and love activity books.


Ruby Learns to Swim by Phillip Gwynne & Tamsin Ainslie 

Splash the water       Blow big bubbles
Splash the water       Blow big bubbles
     Learn to swim!  Learn to swim!

Join gorgeous little Ruby as she learns all the essentials that take her from the opening page where she sits splishing and splashing her feet in the pool, to the triumph of the final spread - where she's swimming fast! A beautiful, bright and bubbly, chant-out-loud picture book that will encourage even the most reluctant child to discover the joy of swimming.

Who for: every 2- 5 year old boy and girl who lives near a pool or near the ocean or near a river or near a waterhole or near a dam or near a water channel or near a lake, or on an island.


Mouse Mansion: Sam and Julia by Karina Schaapman 

This is the story of Sam and Julia and the amazing house they live - that they ACTUALLY live in! If you go to the Amsterdam Library, like one Onion did,*** you can see the REAL HOUSE. The book is beautiful and intricate and full of the kind of detail that will occupy a mediumly small person for many happy hours.

Who for: 4-8 year old boys and girls who love to spend hours pouring over intricate illustrations, or who are obsessed with minatures and dollhouses.


The Moon Shines out of the Dark  by Stephanie Dowrick & Anne Spudvilas

A tender and heart-warming story of a sensitive boy missing his mother, and drawing strength from the moon in his quest to wait out the cold night for her return - touching and truthful, and gloriously illustrated by Anne Spudvilas.

Who for: 4-8 year olds - perfect bedtime reading.


On the Farm another brilliant holiday picture book by Roland Harvey.

Mum, Dad, Henry, Penny and Frankie are off on another fabulous adventure. In past years they have been to the Beach, the Bush , the City , the Top End  and All the Way to W.A. This year they are holidaying on the farm, and not any old farm. They are holidaying on Uncle Kev's farm.**** And there are cows and pigs and sheep and horses and alpacas and ducks and dogs and geese and peacocks and all manner of lovely fresh produce, impressive hay sculptures, a kitchen gymnasium, a harvest festival and PLENTY of work to do. As ever, Roland's illustrations are delightful, alive with humor and spiced with fun - and highly entertaining chaos.

Who for: 6-10 year old boys and girls (and the young at heart) who are curious about the world, love to laugh and find endless delight in detailed illustrations.

* Well known to have been the jokester of the Cretaceous.
** What do you mean, 'How hard would that be?' On behalf of paleontologists everywhere, we object.
*** According to EJ, the Amsterdam Library is the coolest place in the entire world and everyone must go there - it even has furry walls!
**** Anyone who has actually ever 'holidayed' on a farm will know that when we say holiday here, we mean...work very hard from dusk until dawn - and if you are very, very lucky, find a little time (after a very big lunch of excellent farm produce) to sneak away and hide under the shady leaves of the apple tree to nap.

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