ReadPlus is a collection of selected books and films arranged under themes. This web site provides lists, reviews and resources for librarians, teachers and parents about books for young people aged 5 to 18.
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Latest Review

Feb 12 2016

Stina by Lani Yamamoto

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Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781851778584
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. Scandinavia, Cold, Friendship, Iceland, Inventions. Stina does not like the cold. Even in summer she bypasses the pool, and avoids the evening breeze. She loves to be home snuggled up tightly within her duvet. But in winter, she cannot even go outside, the cold is too much. She prepares for winter by bringing in lots of wood, putting aside a store of food, having a basket of wool ready to knit, building a pile of books to read. She is fully prepared to stay indoors the whole winter long. She knits warm clothes, socks and mittens, invents ingenious ways of getting her food from the kitchen without leaving her bed and of getting food from the fridge without getting a chill of cold air when the door is opened. But one day she peers out of her window and sees some children playing in the snow. She wonders what the snow would taste like.
A sudden storm blows the children to her door, and she lets them in. They are surprised at how warm it is inside her house and take off their outer layers. She teaches them how to knit, makes them cocoa and learns how to whistle.
When they leave she is alone. She decides to do something about it and uses her sewing machine to make an outside coat from her duvet and goes outside to meet her new friends, finding that running around and laughing makes her very warm.
This delightful story of friendship overcoming hurdles was first published in Icelandic in 2013 and published for a wider audience by the Victoria and Albert Museum, London in 2015. It is quite wonderful in presenting the universal quest for friendship, and the detailed illustrations make a wonderful contrast to the styles we are used to.
Lani, who has lived in Iceland for twenty years was fascinated with the way Icelandic nicknames work. Her Icelandic title, Stina Storasaeng means 'girl with big duvet', and from that idea, Lani developed the tale of a young girl whose house is a prison because of her fear of the cold. Winning the Nordic Council for Children and Young People's Literature Prize, is a highlight in her career.
Fran Knight

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Feb 12 2016

The big Book of Mr Badger by Leigh Hobbs

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Allen & Unwin, 2016. ISBN 978 1 76011 243 1
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Humour, Series, Hotels. The four wonderful stories, Mr Badger and the big surprise, Mr Badger and the missing ape, Mr Badger and the difficult duchess and Mr Badger and the magic...
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Feb 12 2016

Brotherhood in Death by J.D. Robb

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In Death bk 42. Piatkus, 2016. ISBN 9780349410777
(Age: Adult) Mystery. Rape. Eve Dallas is on the trail of another murder, this time the cousin of her close friend, Dennis Mira. But as she delves deeper into why he was kidnapped and tortured, she uncovers shocking things about...
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Feb 12 2016

Lift and Look Dinosaurs

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Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408864067
(Age: 0-4) This new Lift and Look board book series from Bloomsbury is reminiscent of the Usborne lift and look board books for young children. These books, which could be classified as very basic information books for babies, speak directly to the...
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Feb 11 2016

Royal Flying Doctor Service series by George Ivanoff

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Ill. by Marie Pena. Random House Australia, 2016.
Remote Rescue. ISBN: 9780857988768
Emergency Echo. ISBN: 9780857988782
(Age: 9-11) Recommended. George Ivanoff's outback adventure series have been written in collaboration with the Royal Flying Doctor Service. Part...
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Feb 11 2016

No place like home by Ronojoy Ghosh

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Random House, 2016. ISBN 9780857988461
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Humour, Polar Bears, Home, Journeys. Polar bear, George, lives in the city but is very homesick and this has made him grumpy. He sets out to find his home but has to try a number of places to find which is truly his. He...
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Feb 11 2016

George the bilby chef and the raspberry muffin surprise by Jedda Robaard

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Five Mile Press, 2016. ISBN 9781760067113
(Age: 3-6 years) Themes: Cooking, working together, friendship. Robaard, a Melbourne-based author and illustrator, has created some delightful children's storybooks that utilise her talent for drawing animals, and has enjoyed recent success with...
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Feb 11 2016

Princess, the scoundrel, and the farm boy by Alexander Bracken

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A New Hope : Star Wars Episode IV. Chirpy Bird, 2015. ISBN 9781760125097
(Age: 9 - low teens) Highly recommended. I am a relatively new Star Wars fan. having only watched the new movies I was not really familiar with the Star Wars Books and I found this book...
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Feb 10 2016

Sophie Someone by Hayley Long

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Hot Key Books, 2015. ISBN: 9781471404801
(Ages: 12+) Recommended. Within this heart-warming tale, Sophie tells her life story, in the only way she dares tell it: code language. Sophie's describes her early life, in which she moved with her mother from an unknown place to Brussels where...
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Feb 10 2016

Stanley the amazing knitting cat by Emily Mackenzie

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Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408860489
(Age: 4-8) Recommended. Themes: friendship, knitting. Stanley is not like other cats who enjoy chasing mice and napping in the sun. Stanley has a passion for knitting. His many animal friends, in paddocks and zoos far and wide, all benefit from his...
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Feb 10 2016

Treasure hunters in trouble by Winter Morgan

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An Unofficial Minecrafter's Adventure bk 4. Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN: 9781408869673
(Age: 7-9)For Minecraft fans. Winter Morgan's Unofficial Minecrafter's Adventures are written purely for young Minecraft gamers. She writes in an easy to read style with her action adventure...
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Feb 10 2016

Alice-Miranda to the Rescue by Jacqueline Harvey

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Alice-Miranda bk 13. Random House, 2016. ISBN 9780857985224
(Age: 8-11) Highly recommended. Themes: Dog Shows, Village Life, School Life, Detective and Mystery Stories. The new term begins at the Winchester-Downsfordvale Academy with a buzz of excitement, Alice-Miranda and her...
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Feb 09 2016

Be a friend by Salina Yoon

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Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781619639515
(Age: 4+) Highly recommended. Friendship, Being different, Miming. Dennis loves to mime his stories during show and tell. He tells a story quite differently form the others in his class, wearing his top hat and striped jumpers. While the others climb...
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Feb 09 2016

Sandrider by Angie Sage

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The Magykal World of Todhunter Moon bk 2. Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781408869420
(Age: 9+) Highly recommended. Themes: Magic, Fantasy, Adventure. Angie Sage's second book in the TodHunter Moon trilogy, will delight fantasy readers with its rich cast of characters,...
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Feb 09 2016

Kiss it better by Smriti Prasadam-Halls

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Ill. by Sarah Massini. Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781408845639
(Ages: 2-6) Recommended. This book is a joyous celebration of how kisses can make everything better. It is filled with visual symbols of love; there are hearts on every page and lots of physical affection by way of hugs and...
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Feb 09 2016

Everything but the truth by Mandy Hubbard

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Bloomsbury, 2015. ISBN 9781619636606
(Age: 14+) Everything but the Truth is a novel that speaks to the reader about the struggle between social status defined by monetary wealth through the genres of romance and drama. This novel by Mandy Hubbard is one in a collection of the 'If...
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Feb 09 2016

The Selfish Giant and Other Stories by Oscar Wilde

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Ill. by Philip Waechter. Alma Classics, 2015. ISBN 9781847494979
Themes: Fairy tales, Moral stories. This is a collection of moral tales that demonstrates Oscar Wilde's story-telling skills. The stories remind us of the dangers of wealth; that generosity and kindness are valuable...
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Feb 09 2016

Tales from Watership Down by Richard Adams

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Oneworld Modern Classics, 2015. ISBN 9781780747897
Originally published in 1996 to follow Watership Down these stories successfully extend the experience for lovers of the original rabbit novel. The later generations of rabbits are told the stories of their heroic ancestors in...
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Feb 05 2016

Iris and the Tiger by Leanne Hall

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Text, 2016. ISBN 9781925240795
(Age: 10-14) Highly recommended. Adventure. Surrealism. Art. Iris, a sensible 12 year old has been sent to Spain by her grasping parents to make sure that her Aunt Ursula leaves her fortune and big estate, to Iris and her parents. When she arrives at Bosque...
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Feb 05 2016

Bear make den by Jane Godwin and Michael Wagner

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Ill. by Andrew Joyner. Allen & Unwin, 2016. ISBN 9781760110017
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Humour, Bears, Home and family life, Renovations, Loneliness. The curiously old fashioned illustrative technique used by Joyner in this story of a bear building his home, adds another layer of...
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Feb 05 2016

Virgil & Owen stick together by Paulette Bogan

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Bloomsbury, 2016. ISBN 9781619633735
(Age: 4+) Recommended. Arctic, Polar Bears, Penguins, Friendship.
Following the successful introduction to this pair of friends, Virgil & Owen (2014) comes this tale of their friendship as it weathers a storm. Each of the friends is different....
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