Book Monitor - books from across the world

Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

Month: July 2018

What on Earth? Robots by Jenny Fretland VanVoorst, illustrated by Paulina Morgan

Robots - book cover and web link

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Explore, create and investigate! That’s the mantra behind this incredible series of books from QED Publishing.

What on Earth Robots is the latest book, published in July 2018 in paperback.

The book details complicated information in a totally accessible way. The style of presentation, enables all children to gain an understanding of some complicated robots that are present in our world today.

Did you know for instance that there are micro robots? They can be swallowed like a pill going through your body to repair, take pictures and deliver medicine. How cool is that? Or follow a game Escape the Maze, using commands move the robot to follow the rules.

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There is a great mix of creative activities and fun trivia with science and technology, a comprehensive exploration of robots in day-to-day life with thoughtful ideas of possible future applications.

Books Go Walkabout works with authors and illustrators across the world and this book is a great example of dynamic people coming together from across the globe.

Jenny Fretland VanVoorst is a specialist writer in science and technology, making complicated subjects interesting and appealing. She has a particular interest in robotic topics and has already written six books on the topic. Jenny lives in Michigan, USA.

Paulina Morgan is the illustrator of the series. She is based in Santiago in Chile also working in Barcelona, Spain.

This is a great book to have, to read and share, we recommend for all ages and especially for 7 – 9 years.

Sue Martin

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Swan Lake by Anne Spudvilas

Swan Lake cover image and web link

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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.

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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

Stuff You Should Know! by John Farndon and Rob Beattie

Stuff You Should Know cover image and web link

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The first things you will notice about ‘The Stuff You Should Know’  are the really good illustrations  and the interesting use of text, there are questions that you never ask but  the answers are fascinating.

What happens when you tweet on Twitter?

What happens when you recycle your drinks can?

What happens when you charge your iPad?

This book is packed with so many answers and  you will become full of knowledge! There is a page, for example, on Sending Mail, with the issues around transport and deliveries to rural areas, using postcodes and barcodes to get the letter to the right place.

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The double page open spread on Using a Mobile Phone is amazing!

Fact – by 2015 around 2.7 billion people worldwide owned a smart phone and it is now one of the most important gadgets on the planet.

The book describes the operating system, the battery, USB connector, the Sim card, touchscreen technology, emails, apps, music, location services, games and much more. For instance, when you touch the screen it interrupts a current of electricity informing the phone where your fingers are, it’s called capacitive touchscreen!

John Farndon is an internationally known author, as well as a playwright, composer and songwriter. He has written hundreds of books, which have sold millions of copies around the world in most major languages and include many best-sellers, such as the award-winning Do Not Open.

Rob Beattie is a professional writer and life-long camper and angler. He has written numerous titles on a wide range of outdoor activities, including: The Pocket Survival GuideThe Campsite Companion: All You Need to Know for Life in the Great Outdoors, The Boating Companion: All You Need to Know for Life on the Open Water, and The Fishing Handbook(published in the UK as 101 Golden Rules of Fishing). All have been published internationally and translated into several languages. He lives in the seaside city of Brighton, England.

STEVE FRICKER is a renowned illustrator and painter. Awarded the Rhone-Poulenc prize for his illustrations for What Happens When? His work has appeared in many of the worlds leading newspapers and magazines as well as private and National collections. Steve studied painting at Chelsea School of Art .He worked for 25 years as a political cartoonist and illustrated comment pages by Tony Blair, John Major and Boris Johnson and many others.

This book, published by Marshall Editions, part of Quarto Knows, is a great way to find out information and then maybe find out more on the internet too. It will be great for the summer holidays and I think parents will have as much fun with this as any child.

And now to find out about jet engines!!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

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