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

Nov 21 2019

Cooee mittigar by Jasmine Seymour

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Illus. by Leanne Mulgo Watson. Magabala Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781925936865.
(Age: All) Highly recommended. Themes: Indigenous people, Darug (Sydney region), Songlines, Dreaming stories, Indigenous language. Songlines, Dreaming stories which connect peoples across Australia, are introduced in this stunning book, with Darug words alongside English, reinforcing the endurance of the Darug language and culture.
Seymour, author of the lovely Baby business (2019) introduces the reader to the world of the Darug and the stories that tell the listeners of the seasons and what happens in each, reminding them of the things they can do in that time. The story encapsulate the Darug way of life, their environment, the animals that live in the Sydney region, the peoples who remain in the area. Darug words are used within the English text, and readers will be able to work out what they mean although translations are included at the bottom of each page. A swag of words will be learnt while reading this tale, as Mulgo the black swan welcomes the reader inviting them to begin their yana through the land.
Watson's enticing illustrations are produced with digital collage using mixed media, mono prints, stencils and acrylic painting. I love the earthy colours offered on each page, the plethora of animals hidden amongst the leaves of the stencilled background, reflecting Australian flora, the flowers often picked out in acrylic, vibrant and full of colour. I love the use of dots, so entwined with Aboriginal artistry, with the dingoes, brolgas, wombats and birds. Readers will appreciate the glossary at the end of the book, showing Darug language, followed by a page of information about the Darug people and another about the author and illustrator, proud Darug women working for their communities.
Fran Knight



More Reviews

Nov 21 2019

James Cook: The story behind the man who mapped the world by Peter FitzSimons

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Hachette, 2019. ISBN: 9780733641275.
(Age: 15+) Recommended. The discovery of the east coast of Australia, by Captain James Cook's first expedition had a significant impact on the history of the continent. The lives of its Aboriginal inhabitants were changed forever, convict...
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Nov 21 2019

Goodnight Starry by D'Arcy Lewis and Andrew McIntosh

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Little Steps Publishing, 2018. ISBN: 9780648267317. hbk.
Highly recommended. A beautifully written goodnight story that incorporates some fun facts about the planets. The astronaut on each page showing how far away from earth each planet is adds an extra element to the story. The simple...
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Nov 21 2019

Molly, Mop and Moppet's adventures in Paris by A.G. Krishnan

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Illus. by Valery Vell. Little Steps Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781925839296. hbk.
This is a fun adventure had by three friends who are helping Molly's cousin to find his missing music box. As the three friends explore the major attractions of Paris looking for the music box they...
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Nov 20 2019

Fauna : Australia's most curious creatures by Tania McCartney

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NLA Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9780642279545.
(Age: 5+) Highly recommended. This book is a gem for any school library or classroom. The content will interest and engage most primary and secondary students because the information is often humorous, new, startling and offered in such a...
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Nov 20 2019

Aboriginal Australians by Richard Broome

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5th edition. Allen and Unwin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760528218.
This history of Aboriginal Australia from colonisation to the present day looks at how our indigenous people have endured attempts to erase their inconvenient presence through multiple programs to assimilate or eradicate them....
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Nov 20 2019

Tilly and the lost fairy tales by Anna James

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Pages and Co book 2. HarperCollins Children's Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780008229900.
Recommended for readers aged 11+. In a world where magic happens within the pages of books, Tilly Page and her friend Oskar are Bookwanderers on the hunt to solve a mystery from within the pages of...
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Nov 20 2019

The turn of the key by Ruth Ware

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Vintage Publishing, 2019. ISBN: 9781787300446.
(Age: 16+) Recommended. Wow! What a compulsive read this was. From the first page the reader was drawn into the life of Rowan Caine, writing to her lawyer from prison. She had been a nanny in a luxurious house in the Scottish Highlands and...
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Nov 19 2019

The wind in the wall by Sally Gardner

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Illus. by Rovina Cai. Hot Key Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781471404986.
(Ages: 15+) Highly recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Myth, Fairy tale, Cautionary tale, Pineapples. In this new cautionary tale reading like a fairy tale of old, Sally Gardner tells the tale of a gardener in the employ of the...
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Nov 19 2019

A guinea pig nutcracker by Alex Goodwin

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Photography by Phillip Beresford. Guinea Pig Classics series. Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN: 9781635574500.
(Age: 3-8) Recommended. Themes: The Nutcracker, Guinea pigs, Classic stories. This is part of the Guinea Pig Classics series, in which Classic stories such as Pride and...
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Nov 19 2019

The twelve days of Christmas with Roald Dahl: Festive things to make and do by Lauren Holowaty

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Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9780241428122.
(Age: 7+). Themes: Art, Craft, Recipes, Humour, Jokes, Games.
On the First day of Christmas my true love gave to me . . .
One Matilda in the Library
Two Smelly Twits
Three Naughty Muggle-Wumps
Four Repulsant
...
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Nov 19 2019

Harry Potter: Spells and charms: A movie scrapbook by Warner Brothers

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Bloomsbury Publishing Australia, 2019. ISBN: 9781526613189.
(Age: 8+). Themes: Movies, Fantasy, Spells, Charms. Fans of Harry Potter novels and movies will value this latest non-fiction book in the ever popular phenomenon that is Harry Potter. It is written and presented as a...
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Nov 19 2019

The bookish life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman

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Headline Review, 2019. ISBN: 9781472266217.
(Age: Adult) Recommended for readers who like quirky books with allusions to novels. Nina Hill is a young woman who is happy with her life. An only child with a mother who travels the world, she has a job in a bookstore, is on a winning trivia...
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Nov 18 2019

Sulwe by Lupita Nyong'o

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Illus. by Vashti Harrison. Puffin Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780241394328.
(Age: 9 - 12 years) Highly recommended. Sulwe was born the colour of midnight. So begins the stunning picture book Sulwe written by Academy Award winning Kenyan actress and producer Lupita Nyong'o. The book...
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Nov 18 2019

The Confession by Jessie Burton

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Picador, 2019. ISBN: 9781509886159.
(Age: Adult-Adolescent)The Confession is a story of mystery, love and loss, and of the roles that family and friendship play in our lives. Essentially, this narrative delves into the ideal of motherhood, family and love, but is also about the...
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Nov 18 2019

Lottie Luna and the Bloom Garden by Vivian French

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Illus. by Nathan Read. HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780008342982.
(Age: 7+). Highly recommended. Themes: Fantasy, Werewolves, Friendship, Gardens. In this very enjoyable and easy read junior fiction novel, the story begins in the crumbling Dracon Castle where a werewolf family have...
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Nov 18 2019

Tim and Tigon by Tim Cope

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Pan Macmillan, 2019. ISBN: 9781760554293.
(Age: 12+) Recommended. 'Adventurer Tim Cope had a childhood dream: to travel the 10,000 kilometres from Mongolia to Hungary on horseback - a journey undertaken by the legendary leader of the Mongols, Genghis Khan. Tim made this epic journey -...
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Nov 15 2019

The fate of Fausto: a painted fable by Oliver Jeffers

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HarperCollins Children's Books, 2019. ISBN: 9780008357917.
(All ages). Highly recommended. Themes: Greed, Wants and needs. Fausto wants everything to bow in acknowledgement to him. He believes that he owns everything and goes to a flower, a sheep, a tree, a field, forest and a lake to...
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Nov 15 2019

Antarctica by Moira Court

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Fremantle Press, 2019. ISBN: 9781925815757.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Themes: Antarctica, Animals, Survival, Counting book. From one to ten, the unusual animals of the Antarctic are presented to the reader. For a younger child the book is a great read aloud, reinforcing the numbers...
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Nov 15 2019

Every day resilience by Michelle Mitchell

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Big Sky, 2019. ISBN: 9781922265029.
(Age: Adult -16) Highly recommended. Subtitled Helping Kids Handle Friendship Drama, Academic Pressure and the Self-Doubt of Growing Up. 'In this book Michelle shows every family how they can cultivate resilience in their children or adolescents...
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Nov 15 2019

Liars: Lockdown by Jack Heath

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Liars book 4. Scholastic, 2019. ISBN: 9781742993423.
(Age: 10-15). Recommended. Jarli, creator of the Truth app, is one of the students trapped in a hospital by mercenaries taking hostages. 'All the phones are jammed. The building is locked down. No help is coming. The mercenaries...
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Nov 14 2019

Home by Charles Hope

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Wild Dog Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781742034249.
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. Themes: Information book, Animal homes and habitats. The ingenious dwellings of the animal kingdom are portrayed here through beautiful and insightful photography (as with Hope's very successful Close up...
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Nov 14 2019

Full disclosure by Camryn Garrett

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Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9780241367063.
(Age: 16+) Recommended. Themes: HIV, Sexuality, Gender, LGBQT+, Prejudice. Simone is the adopted daughter of a gay couple she calls Dad and Pops. The two men chose her, an HIV positive baby, as an act of caring after seeing friends die from AIDS....
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Nov 14 2019

A banana is a banana by Justine Clarke and Josh Pyke

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Illus. by Heath McKenzie. Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9781760891664.
(Age: 3-6) Themes: Names, Humourous stories. Based on the authors' song by the same name, A banana is a banana looks at the humour in some of the names given to things ('If an eggplant really grew eggs, chickens would...
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Nov 14 2019

A dog's promise by W. Bruce Cameron

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Pan Books, 2019. ISBN: 9781529010084.
A dog's promise reminds me of the literary tradition of family sagas, in which the personal travails of families are set in the context of societal upheavals. The story follows Burke, brother Grant, father Chase and Chase's mother. Other...
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Nov 14 2019

Max Booth future sleuth: Film flip

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Illus. by Dave Atze. Max Booth future sleuth series. Big Sky, 2019. ISBN: 9781922265104.
Recommended for readers aged 7-11. Themes: Future, Photographic history. Max and his robo-dog, Oscar, find a 400 year-old film canister and try to discover its contents. Unfortunately...
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Nov 13 2019

The crayons' Christmas by Drew Daywalt

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Illus. by Oliver Jeffers. HarperCollins, 2019. ISBN: 9780008180362.
(Age: 3+) Highly recommended. Themes: Crayons, Christmas, Humour, Pop up. This beautifully presented book, with flaps, letters, envelopes, lift ups and pop outs will intrigue and delight younger readers along with the...
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Nov 13 2019

The lonely Christmas tree by Chris Naylor-Ballesteros

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Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN: 9781408892923.
Recommended. The lonely Christmas tree is a small picture book, based loosely upon the classic Christmas poem 'Twas the night before Christmas. This book also follows a poetic rhyme, which allows the reader to fall into a nice rhythm...
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Nov 13 2019

We're going on an elf chase by Martha Mumford

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Illus. by Laura Hughes. Bloomsbury, 2019. ISBN: 9781526606303.
Recommended. We're going on an elf chase is a cute little board book that encompasses a 'life the flap' on most pages.
It is the perfect size to read on the couch/bed with your little ones but also great to pop...
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Nov 13 2019

The first Christmas illus. by Jess Racklyeft

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Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9780143796909.
The First Christmas is a beautifully illustrated book, that tells a children's version of the story of the Nativity.
The story is told in a simple way that will allow children of many ages to understand and engage with the text. It provided...
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Nov 13 2019

Peppa's Christmas jumper day

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Penguin, 2019. ISBN: 9780241371589.
Most parents of young children know the phenomenon that is Peppa Pig, and probably can't help but sing the tune when it comes on the TV! On top of the show, kids also have the ability to read about Peppa and her friends!
This story is called...
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