Engaging reads for children, from Books go Walkabout

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Landing with Wings by Trace Balla

Beautiful illustrations…

A story of hope- a way forward, beyond boundaries and fences towards belonging, community and country, welcome and home.’ Trace Balla

A spectacular book! Children will just love this way of recording stories, with pictures, annotations, and conversations. It has so much meaning and misses all those extra words which can detract from the events.

Finding roots where you can call a place home is important. Landing with Wings does just that as it follows the story of Miri Miri and her Mum, as they set up home in a place in the country in Dja Dja Wurrung Country in Australia. Finding friends in the world outside is the first thing, like the frog in the creek, the spotted pardalote and the silver eyes birds.  Miri Miri goes to school and starts meeting other children and people, being part of the community and the place.

But her Mum, who has stayed at home making the house feel like home, is sad and thinking about moving away. Until that is, Miri Miri introduces her to Swee and Laylah, and it just all starts to work out.

There is so much in this book, which records life in Australia, providing the wings to fly, finding somewhere new, and the roots to make the place your own. The annotations and descriptions of wildlife, nature and the earth are amazing. The First Nations people of  Dja Dja Wurrung, the Elders and especially Uncle Rick(in the illustrations!)are key to this book as well as the young Aboriginal leaders of the future.

Trace Balla talks about her book…

Trace Balla is author and illustrator is an award winning Australian children’s author and illustrator. Her book Rivertime won the 2015 Readings Children’s Book Prize and the Wilderness Society Picture Book Award in the same year. Trace is often found sketching in nature, riding her bike with her son, dancing, and growing vegies in her garden in central Victoria. She works as an illustrator, community artist, art therapist, animator, and writer of songs and stories.

Don’t we all need more ‘rivertime’?

As you can tell,, Landing with Wings has touched my soul and I hope one day sometime soon I can be back in Australia and out there in the countryside(bush!)

Sue Martin

Stories across the world…

The Story of Inventions by Catherine Barr & Steve Williams, illustrated by Amy Husband

The Story of Inventions is just the book for anyone interested in  discoveries and uses today. From wheels and lodestones to vaccines and engines, this book is packed with information and illustrations which bring life to the words.

The page on flight, for instance, explains that for many years planes were only used for cargo. But now planes fill our skies carrying people all over the world, making the world a smaller place.

Surprisingly, the idea of computers was first invented in 1830’s with machines to do the maths. By the 1940’s computers were used to crack codes which helped to finish the second world war. Today we would be totally lost without them.

Catherine Barr is well know for her books for Frances Lincoln Publishers; especially The Story of Life and The Story of Space. She has worked for the Natural History Museum, among other places and is a keen author of non fiction titles with enormous appeal.  Steve Williams is a biologist, a teacher and beekeeper ,as well as an ardent writer of interesting books for children.

Amy Husband is a talented, award winning illustrator and her illustrations in this book are brilliantly supportive of the text.

A book for me to read this evening and I am sure I will find out and remember much about inventions that I never knew before.

Sue Martin

Wild in the Streets- 20 Poems of City Animals

This is a captivating book full of poems about different animals living in cities across the world. A book of adaptation; bats, boars, coyotes, huntsman spiders, honeybees and reticulated pythons. Poems which reflect the nature of the animal and its new habitat and at the back is a glossary with  different types of poems like cinquains to sonnets, and acrostics to reversos.

‘It may be hard to believe that wildlife can survive among the densely packed houses, huge skyscrapers, tarmac, pavements and sewers. Some animals were there before humans encroached on their territory and others have been introduced on purpose, like the Honeybees in Vancouver.’ Marilyn Singer

Reticulated pythons were in Singapore before the city existed and survive in the sewers and waterway, living on rats, cats and birds. Monarch butterflies have long migrations but at the end of the summer gather in Pacific Grove,California before travelling north again in the Spring.

Marilyn Singer is the author and Gordy Wright is the illustrator and they have combined their talents to produce this beautiful book published by Words and Pictures.

An exciting and inspiring way to think about animals in our cities.

Sue Martin

I Was Only Nineteen, words by John Schumann and pictures by Craig Smith

 

A truly remarkable book about the Vietnam War and Australian soldiers. The book uses the lyrics of the song with poignant pictures illustrating the hardships and efforts the soldiers endured in the jungles of South Vietnam between 1962 – 1975.

A deeply moving story about young men conscripted into the war.

It was made even more real for me as, I on my most recent visit to Vietnam, I met a Vietnamese veteran who had flown helicopters for the Americans for 14 years. A reminder of this deadly war that was never winnable.

On each page in the book the illustrations are vivid and meaningful, from the passing out parade in Puckapunyal to the crawling through the tangled undergrowth trying to avoid being shot.

The illustrations from Craig Smith make the lyrics from John Schumann so real and follow the young recruit as he is called up with the sixth Battalion.

Published by Allen and Unwin of Australia, this amazing book is part of a wide portfolio of powerfully evocative books in Picture Book format for any age.

This is truly an excellent and remarkable book to have at home or a school library. It is full of moments of companionship and personal challenges. It is not only a reminder of the Vietnamese war but of any war that becomes futile resulting in a huge loss of life.

Sue Martin

Everybody Counts  by Kristin Roskifte

An amazingly illustrated book, packed with illustrations to find your way into and beyond, through the story and the numbers. There are hosts of visual stories and things to spot on every page. Counting games from 0-7.5 billion! It celebrates difference throughout the book and it says it all in the title, Everybody Counts! It is the winner of the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2019.

In the book, there are an amazing 2768 people! It has been sold already to 26 countries, a great success and crosses the barriers of language. It is also perfect for prompting stories and curiosity, with lots of questions to encourage interaction and thoughtfulness . Celebrating  differences is a keen theme in the book, where the illustrations show everyone is different and every one counts.

It is the winner of the Nordic Council Children and Young People’s Literature Prize 2019 and Martin Salisbury, Professor of Illustration at Cambridge School of Art says, “ Everybody Counts is an extraordinary book for our times, which I’m sure will go on to win many more awards.”

Wide Eyed Editions are delighted to be publishing Everybody Counts in 2020 and release date is 4th February.

Kristin Roskifte is a Norwegian illustrator and author who studied illustration at Cambridge School of Art and Kingston University and she is inspired by differences and similarities between people.

Everybody Counts is a fantastic book to have in your home, at school and in libraries, it will be read, looked through, explored and much more.

Sue Martin

Migrations – Open Hearts, Open Borders

Migrations - cover image and text link

Buy this beautiful, moving book here…

Illustrators from around the world joined in the creation of a unique book to show their personal visions of the migrant crisis.

Migrations – Open Hearts, Open Borders is a beautiful and poignant book created by using a selection of images and postcards from illustrators around the world. The message alongside the image are packed with meaning in a few words; Petr Horacek from the Czech Republic and the UK writes, ‘ Everything is possible, you were born free.’

The images are all part of an exhibition touring the world, as in migrations; South Africa, Korea and UK, currently at Amnesty International, London.

Buy this book icon and web linkAvailable on 8th October 2019 – buy this book here

The book is dived into themes of Departures, Long Journeys, Arrivals and Hope for the Future and the fifty postcards and images selected for the book produce thought provoking statements, e.g.

Wishing that everyone who crosses a vast and furious ocean with hope for a better future will be met with a warm welcome by the generous hearted. Safe journey.’ Peter Lynch, Ireland.

‘The skies have no borders.’ Christopher Corr, UK

‘ One can always go and  one can always return.’ Gabriela Germain Fonck, Chile.

The book has been published by Otter-Barry Books, who have a reputation for creating books that reflect the world in which we live.

The event to mark the publication of the book was held in London and included some of the most talented illustrators.

At Books Go Walkabout, we too look for a hope for the future in accepting that migration is here to stay and should mean there is a warm welcome for all those who take on life long journeys.

Recommended for all ages at school, at home, in the libraries and in everyone’s pockets!

Sue Martin

Proud to follow Amnesty International

D-Day by Michael Noble and illustrated by Alexander Mostov

D-Day . book cover, image

D-Day – buy this book here

On the 75th anniversary of D-Day, this incredible book brings you the experience of one of the turning points of  the Second World War.

Brought to life by 20 eye-witness accounts, D-Day is shown through people actively involved in planning, operations and in support  roles.

Every page is like a mood board, a personal testimony of photographs, illustrations and maps.

The information is amazing with details of the operational plan, including new innovations , such as the ‘hedgehog’ German defence systems, and ‘bobbins’, ways of using tanks to ride over each other. The photos of individuals and their thoughts are staggering. It brings D-Day to life as the war progressed onto the beaches of Northern France.

Book icon - image and web linkBuy this book here

Without giving too much away three of the people included in the book are;

 Martha Gelhorn, a journalist with the Allied Forces, who had to stow away on a hospital ship and waded on to the beach to report back. Her husband, Ernest Hemingway, had been selected to go, but never made it out of the ship.

Erwin Rommell, General Field Marshall, who devised the Atlantic Wall, to stop any invaders.

Stanley Hollis, who received the Victoria Cross for bravery as he advanced alone towards the bunkers under full fire.

And many more…

The front page gives a summary of the D-Day and its place in the Second World War, which lasted from 1939-1945 and was the largest conflict the world had ever seen. It identifies the pages of individual stories as “Stories of bravery, sacrifice and innovation.”

 

Michael Noble, is the author, he leads The Centre for Hidden Histories, he has an amazing knowledge of the legacy of war and people’s involvement, engaging with remembrance and commemoration today.

Alexander Mostov, is the illustrator who has created accessible designs with ‘mood board’ like illustrations, perfect for bite size pieces of information.

Wide Eyed Editions, part of Quarto Publishers. D-Day is an outstanding book in their exceptional collections of Information Picture Books (I am thinking this must be a new genre and needs a new name!)

We thoroughly recommend D-Day for ages 7-15 and beyond. It is an amazingly good book, for schools and libraries and for homes too, am sure it will be read time and time again. Mine is definitely staying close by!

This is probably the best book I have read this year!

Sue Martin

 

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Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019

Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019

An outstanding Bologna Children’s Book Fair in 2019.

The illustrator’s wall and contributions by new and amazingly talented illustrators from all over the world was an absolute highlight.

Bologna Children’s Book Fair – a small section of the  illustrators wall…

In fact after two days it became increasingly hypnotic with so many beautiful images collected together on the entrance walls.

Sometimes confusing too that cards, postcards, posters and information were scattered across the floor, just waiting to be picked up and gathered into people’s canvas bags.

Have certainly spotted some wonderful talent and a joy for years ahead of book reviews.

The Bologna Children’s Book Fair is immensely large and awe-inspiring. My plans of looking carefully at the guide went out of the window as we walked around stand after stand, finding ones which appealed to the Books Go Walkabout team. We also spent time with colleagues we had planned to visit.

The Sea, illustrated by Jill Calder, on display at the event…

Highlights for BGW were the books for Ireland and also Vietnam, two more places in the vast world to engage with and bring authors and children together from all over the world.

And so we returned late at night via the last flight that day on Ryanair, ready and geared up to bring books, stories and illustrations to children across the planet.

Well done to Bologna Children’s Book Fair!

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout - logo and web link

Authors & Illustrators around the world

 

White Horse by Yan Ge

White Horse by Yan Ge - cover image and weblink

Get your copy here – free delivery

Yun Yun lives in a small West China town, and is closely involved with her older cousin, aunt and uncle. But tensions arise as Shan Qing, her cousin, heads into adolescence at a pace and her parents are far from happy. Tensions and clashes arise as her repressive parents are forced to look at their own family situation.

This is a powerful coming of age tale, with piercing insights into contemporary Chinese culture. It shows some of the conflicts in a fast-moving society  for families and different generations in a very modern Chinese world.

Yan Ge is the author and has already been proclaimed as a writer to watch. She is passionate about spreading Chinese literature to English readers. Yan was born in Sichuan in the People’s Republic of China and is the chair of China Young Writers Association. She was picked as Best New Writer by the Chinese Literature Media Prize.

…with free delivery!

James Nunn, the illustrator, is a brilliant artist working with books and has an amazing collections of illustrations and books. Watch the video to see James at work.

Nicky Harman has also translated many renowned Chinese authors into English, an immensely specialist skill and she is also the Chair of the Translators Association.

Hope Road is an independent publisher vigorously supporting neglected voices and their YA titles focus on issues challenging young people in our world of 2019.

We recommend White Horse as a good read for young people from 9 – 13 years and as an opportunity to see how tensions of growing up and family values can be a challenge.

Sue Martin

 

Corey’s Rock

Corey's Rock - cover image and web link

Buy this book here…free shipping

Ten year old Isla has moved from Edinburgh to the Orkney Islands in North Scotland, with her parents, to start a new life after the sad loss of her brother.

Isla is finding life in the Orkneys hard, especially with her dual heritage.

But Isla finds the stories about Selkies, an ancient Orcadian legend, which shows them as half human and half seal.

This is the start of her journey of recovery.

Corey’s Rock is a beautiful book in a really appealing shape and format. The superb illustrations on every page are a joy to uncover and real depth and warmth to this deeply moving story.

Buy this book with free delivery here

Sita Brahmachari is a highly acclaimed award-winning author. Her books include Artichoke Hearts, winner of Waterstone’s Children’s Book Prize 2011 and my favourite is Jasmine Skies, which was nominated for the Carnegie Prize 2013. Sita is also an Amnesty Ambassador and Writer in Residence at Islington Centre for Refugees and Migrants.

Illustrator Jane Ray has many wonderfully illustrated children’s books to her name and is a well renowned artist. Her books include Stories of Sun, Stone and Sea and Zeraffa Giraffa.

Otter- Barry Books has a reputation for publishing very talented  authors and illustrators who will make a difference to children’s lives and this book is a real highlight.

Highly recommended for all ages

Sue Martin

Books Go Walkabout

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