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Issue Details: First known date: 2017... vol. 32 no. 5 November 2017 of Magpies : Talking About Books for Children est. 1986-1995 Magpies : Talking about Books for Children
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'Kevin Crossley Holland has a new collection of of Norse Myths published and a striking work it is :  a thing of strength and wonder, but what has taken my fancy in particular is his introduction in which he refers to the myths as brilliant, fast moving, ice-bright stories. Equally melodramatic is his explanation of why myths were created and why we should still be reading them: They try to explain how humans are as we are and how things came to be. The tell us about ourselves and out world, but through the lens of imaginative story telling, coloured by the beauty and expanse and extremes of the icy fiery landscape where they originated.' (Editorial)


* Contents derived from the 2017 version. Please note that other versions/publications may contain different contents. See the Publication Details.
Children's Books in Translation, Robin Morrow , single work essay

'If we care about the role of reading in opening up young minds to new ideas and viewpoints, surely it is vital to have access to books from other languages and cultures. Some of the books firmly established on our shelves spring to mind ; Pippi Longstocking, Finn Family Moomintroll, the Neverending Story, The Little Prince. But a closer look at titles bought and borrowed by young Australian Readers today confirms two worries that I brought to the topic ; that the proportion of translated books is till small, and that very few of them have been translated here in Australia.' (Introduction)

(p. 4-6)
Australian Comics and Graphic Novels : A Small but Growing Industry, Queenie Chan , single work essay

'Comics ad Graphic novels have become a major part of the literary landscape in the past 10 years, with demand driving many libraries and schools to establish a graphic novel section. Much of this growth is being driven by Asia and North American publishers and creators, but what about Australian graphic novelists and comic creators?'(Introduction)

(p. 8-11)
[Review] Mr Bambuckles Remarkables, Russ Merrin , single work review
— Review of Mr Bambuckle's Remarkables Tim Harris , 2017 series - author children's fiction ;

'The students of Room 12B at Blue Valley High first meet Mr Bambuckle as he is balancing on a unicycle on his desk singing a Mongolian welcome song. Disconcertingly, he knows a whole lot more about them than a visiting relief teacher should.'

(p. 12)
YA Books and Difficult Issues, Winnie Salamon , single work essay

'In an over-heated portable in a small country town my friends and I sat, sweating through our 'Impulse' and laughing so hard it hurt. not because our young and already-over-it Year Eight maths teacher, Miss Snaize, was particularly entertaining, but because I'd pulled out my copy of Judy Blume's Forever and I was showing my shocked classmates the best bit : when Michael pulls out his penis and introduces it to his girlfriend Katherine. he calls it Ralph.' (Introduction)

(p. 14-16)
Q&A with Alexandra Yatomi-Clarke of Berbay Publishing, Alexandra Yatomi-Clarke , single work interview

'Berbay Publishing was established in 2009 by Alexandra Yatomi-Clarke and launched with two picture books: The Prince of Peas, a revisionary retelling of Hans Christian Andersen's The Princess and the Pea and 3 Little Culottes, a take on The Three Little Pigs and the Big Bad Wolf in which a thief steals their culottes from the clothesline and the pigs set off in search of them. The two books are indicative of what was to come; stories with an edge and an eye for playfulness.' (Introduction) 

(p. 22)
[Review] Gaolbird : The True Story of William Swallow, Convict and Pirate, Maria H. Alessandrino , single work review
— Review of Gaolbird : The True Story of William Swallow, Convict and Pirate Simon Barnard , 2017 single work picture book ;

'From the creator of CBCA award winning information book of the year A-Z of Convicts in Van Diemen's Land, comes another stunning historical account taking us back into our convict past. The year is 1821 when William Walker (better known in legend as William Swallow) lands on Tasmanian shores. Shipped from England as punishment for a series of crimes, what follows is an adventure that will bring William full circle as he tries to regain his freedom through trickery and escape; has a brief flirtation with life as a pirate on the Cyprus and cements himself as a legend in Australian history.' (Introduction)

(p. 26)
[Review] Glitch, Russ Merrin , single work review
— Review of Glitch Michelle Worthington , 2017 single work picture book ;

'In a rubbish heal live two tiny bugs: Glitch, who enjoys creating wonderful inventions from the trash, and June who loves driving billycarts really fast. The two friends have never won a race because Glitch suffers from an involuntary and debilitating twitch that upsets their driving at all the wrong times.' (Introduction)

(p. 29)
[Review] Pea Pod Lullaby, Tali Lavi , single work review
— Review of Pea Pod Lullaby Glenda Millard , 2017 single work picture book ;

'Picture books for young readers often choose rhyme over the cadences and openness of poetry. Pea Pod Lullaby, a story about seeking refuge, belongs to the realm of poetry and incantation. A mother, child, baby and dog escape to the seas on a perilous passage and, along the way, a seemingly threatening creature seeks refuge with these castaways.' (Introduction)

(p. 29)
[Review] Meerkat Choir, Maria H. Alessandrino , single work review
— Review of Meerkat Choir Nicki Greenberg , 2017 single work picture book ;

'Nicki Greenberg returns to the picture book genre with a quirky tale about joining in and finding your voice. Meerkat Choir is an inclusive tale with the message that you shouldn't take yourself to seriously and that you should just have fun.' (Introduction)

(p. 30)
[Review] Rodney Loses It, Tina Cavanough , single work review
— Review of Rodney Loses It! Michael Gerard Bauer , 2017 single work picture book ;

'This charming tale about a forgetful anxious rabbit is a perfect example of text and illustrations working together to tell an engaging and hilarious story. Bauer's effortless, rhyming text tells Rodney's sad tale. Rodney loves to draw, but also tends to lose things - his yoyo ... his red bowtie, his rubber duckie - and now his favourite pen, Penny.' (Introduction) 

(p. 31)
[Review]That Christmas Feeling, Liz Derouet , single work review
— Review of That Christmas Feeling Lili Wilkinson , 2017 single work picture book ;

'Dottie, Jem and their dog Shortbread are staying st their Grandma and Grandpa's for Christmas, but it just does not have that Christmas feeling. They are not the usual ritualistic tasks the same way, nor doing them at all, such as making the pudding, putting up a tree or going to carols. Dottie is worried her parents will not be back in time, but Jem assures her that they will. When they go outside to find that Christmas feeling, they see their parents arrive with a special surprise.' (Introduction)

(p. 31)
[Review]The Sleeping Beauty, Tali Lavi , single work review
— Review of The Sleeping Beauty David McAllister , 2017 single work picture book ;

'Fairy tales with their tales of morality and otherworldliness are a relatively benign way of facing our fears, even as they might haunt our nightmares. But is it enough to reproduce them again and again? New fairy tale picture books capture our attention because they employ captivating language or a Jane Ray or Lauren Child, some of the best contemporary retellers do, the messages are changed ever so slightly so that those communicated don't merely reiterate ones that seem out of kilter with messages we might want to instil in our children; hence Hansel and Gretel might still be on their way to the oven but princesses are not lauded merely for their appearance.' (Introduction)

(p. 32)
[Review] Free Diving, Kevin Steinberger , single work review
— Review of Free Diving Lorrae Coffin , 2017 single work picture book ;

'Free Diving must surely be the first Australian picture book about the long past practice of pearl diving. Magabala Books deserves a commendation for illuminating this little known industry in Australia's history.' (Introduction)

(p. 32)
[Review] Sarah and the Steep Slope, Russ Merrin , single work review

'A small girl, Sarah opens her front door and sees a huge, steep slope leading upwards, as if into the sky. She wants to visit her friends but the slope blocks her. Literally an insurmountable problem that she unsuccessfully tries to solve. In desperation, she calls in a slope doctor. He is not much help  but gives her some cards to fill in that he then posts off to her friends who live beyond the giant slope and they soon come for a visit.' (introduction)

(p. 33)
[Review] In the Rainbow, Mike Lucas , single work review
— Review of In the Rainbow Tracey Newnham , 2017 single work picture book ;

'Dealing with the loss of a loved one is always a difficult and potentially dangerous subject, clouded by the inability to explain the reality of the situation in a way that children will understand. Tracey Newham's In the Rainbow breaks through these clouds with a story obviously born from her own experience of losing her partner and the father of her children through cancer.' (Introduction)

(p. 33)
[Review] Maybe, Pauline Hosking , single work review
— Review of Maybe Morris Gleitzman , 2017 single work children's fiction ;

'The sixth book in Morris Gleitzman's series about Felix Salinger which began with Once slots in after Soon. The war is over. Expecting to find some peace with his friends in Poland, Felix is aware that Zliv is tracking him with the intent of killing him. Felix is set upon and ends up in a hospital on an allied air base. There her accepts an offer to travel to Australia and become a sort of human good new story about the war.' (Introduction)

(p. 35)
[Review] Swimming on the Lawn, Joy Lawn , single work review
— Review of Swimming on the Lawn Yasmin Hamid , 2017 single work children's fiction ;

'Young Muslim girl Fraida seems to live an idyllic life in 1960s Khartoum in Sudan. She gets on well with her bickering younger siblings Selma and Sami, and helps care for youngest brother Amir. Farida adores reading and the titles of many British and American novels such as Kidnpped, My Side of the Mountain and books by Agatha Christie and Gerald Durrell are mentioned.' (Introduction)

(p. 36)
[Review] Jehan and the Quest for the Lost Dog, Moira Robinson , single work review
— Review of Jehan and the Quest of the Lost Dog Rosanne Hawke , 2017 single work children's fiction ;

'It wasn't a dream. The water was still there - the biggest flood he had seen in his life. The Indus River had become a sea. It fills Jehan with despair. where is he? Where is Amir, his younger brother whom he was holding onto when he was engulfed by the flood? where are is parents, last seen trying to stop the mud walls of their house collapsing? When he becomes fully conscious , he discovers he is wedged in a tree along with the string bed he had clung to as he was swept down the river.' (Introduction)

(p. 36)
[Review] The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone, Pauline Hosking , single work review
— Review of The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone Jaclyn Moriarty , 2017 single work children's fiction ;

'Bronte Mettlestone is ten years-old when her parents, whom she hardly knew, are killed by pirates. In their will they leave extremely detailed instructions about a journey Bronte must take to deliver special gifts to her many aunts, along the way she has many wacky adventures wit water sprites, dragons and pirates. Each aunt tells Bronte a little bit more about her parents. She discovers that her father was a Spellbinder and her mother was a Whisperer. Bronte has inherited powers from both of them.' (Introduction)

(p. 37)
[Review] The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Rome, Moira Robinson , single work review
— Review of The Girl, the Dog and the Writer in Rome Katrina Nannestad , 2017 single work children's fiction ;

'Freja finds herself in Rome almost by accident. Her mother is ill in a Swiss sanatorium, but before she went, she made sure that Freja would be safe, living with her old friend Tobias. Tobias is happy to oblige, but is quite unprepared for the floods of tears that overcome Freja when she thinks about her mother. tobias is a writer of mystery who-dun-its and Freja has recently discovered a pile of them under the phone. One evening tears overcome her yet again and, looking around for inspiration, she happens to see the book she's reading at the moment, Rome's Reward.'  (Introduction)

(p. 37)

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Last amended 5 Feb 2018 11:01:37
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