Walker Books Education Newsletter August 2014
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Welcome to the Bear Necessities for August 2014. I've got a fantastic bunch of books to show you this month, including a brand-new picture book from CBCA Honour Book winner Bob Graham.

It's National Literacy and Numeracy Week! Check out their website for how you can get involved and win amazing prizes.

Happy reading!
Steve Spargo
Walker Books Education

Ananda Braxton-Smith talks about her new novel Plenty.

Plenty is your first book for younger readers. Did you set out to write for a younger audience or did it happen naturally?

When I came to the end of the Carrick series my publisher suggested I write something for younger readers. I don't usually have stories harrowing me to be written; I have life themes that are relieved by writing. I also don't have an idea of myself as a writer for any group in particular. I write for people. All readers are people and I'm a person so that's enough for me. I wrote a book that I think I would have liked as an eleven year old. Funnily enough, although Plenty was technically a smaller book, it took longer to get in shape than the Carrick books. That was very interesting.

Read the full interview here.
New Releases


Ananda Braxton-Smith

Maddy Frank has always lived in Jermyn Street. Always. But now her mum and dad are making her move from the city, far away to some place called Plenty. How will Maddy survive without everything and everyone she knows? Nobody understands. But what about her mysterious new classmate, Grace Wek, who was born in a refugee camp? Could Grace actually understand how Maddy feels?

Dealing with themes of belonging, refugees, nature and acceptance, Plenty is a gentle yet powerful novel that is perfect for classroom use.

"Rich enough to study in high school but short and sweet enough to read to a stage two class. Easily the best junior fiction I have read this year."
– Magpies Magazine

Junior Fiction
Upper Primary/Lower Secondary
Classroom ideas available

Vanilla Ice Cream

Bob Graham

Vanilla Ice Cream is classic Bob Graham storytelling – warm and tender and wise – and is sure to spark the imaginations of young readers (and old) and inspire lots of interesting discussion on how all the creatures and the people of the world can be connected to each other in the most surprising ways.

Picture Book
Lower Primary/Middle Primary
Classroom ideas available


So Many Wonderfuls

Tina Matthews

This gentle story told in rhyming verse takes you on a wander through one town and the many wonderful experiences it has to offer one and all.

This book is great to use as a starting point for exploring your local community in early stage 1 and stage 1 geography.

Picture Book
Lower Primary/ Middle Primary
Classroom ideas available

Emu (Nature Storybooks)

Claire Saxby and Graham Byrne (illus)

An exciting new addition to the CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books short-listed narrative non-fiction series Nature Storybooks, about emus. Illustrator Graham Byrne has just won the Crichton Award for new illustrators for Nature Storybooks: Big Red Kangaroo.
In the open forest, Emu gathers granite-green eggs under soft feathers. Emu will care for the eggs and protect the stripy chicks once they hatch. There are many hazards in the forest for this unusual family.

Picture Book
Upper Primary
Classroom ideas available


The Skunk With No Funk

Rebecca Young and Leila Rudge (illus)

Woody is not what his family expected. He is a skunk with NO funk. A failure. A flop. An odourless plop. Poor Woody! What is he going to do? A fun and funky book about finding your place in the world.

Picture Book
Lower Primary
Classroom ideas available

Catch That Plane!

Sally Sutton and Sylvie Currin Kořánková (illus)

Sally Sutton’s trademark rhyming text, with funky art by Sylvie Currin Kořánková, makes boarding an aeroplane fun in this picture book.
Rushing to the airport, what do I see? Plane at the gate, a-ready and a-steady. I hope it’s going to wait. We’re late as late can be!

Picture Book
Lower Primary

I'm My Own Dog

David Ezra Stein

Caldecott Honor winner David Ezra Stein has fans at his command with this comical dog’s-eye view of having a best friend.

Dog lovers of all ages will revel in the humorous role-reversal as this dog teaches his human all the skills he needs to be a faithful companion. 

Picture Book
Lower Primary/Middle Primary

Found and Made: The Art of Upcycling

Lisa Hölzl

Make a masterpiece from your rubbish! With eleven exciting projects to inspire you, this book will help to turn your trash into treasure. A toilet roll holder and some papier-mâché can become a puppet king. A shoe box can transform into a treasure box. Collect. Create. And upcycle!

This book shows you the perfect way to incorporate sustainability into your visual art lessons, plus it's packed with great activities for schools with a limited budget for art supplies. A companion title to Found: The Art of Recycling.

Activity Books
Upper Primary
Classroom ideas available

Kitten Kaboodle Mission Two: The Lightning Opal

Eileen O’Hely and Heath McKenzie (illus)

The follow-up to the hilarious Kitten Kaboodle Mission One: The Catier Emerald.
Kitten Kaboodle is no bundle of fluff. His scratching post is a comms unit and his collar can freeze a dog at twenty paces. Kitten Kaboodle is the number one secret agent at CAT (the Clandestine Activity Taskforce) in a constant battle with the evil DOG (Disaster Organisation Group).

This is a fantastic illustrated fiction novel that will have independent and reluctant readers in stitches of laughter.

Illustrated Fiction
Middle Primary/ Upper Primary

Ophelia Wild, Deadly Detective

Elena de Roo and Tracy Duncan (illus)

Three short stories told in rhyming verse.

Banish those gremlins!
Ghosts on the go!
Deadly detectives,
O. Wild and co.

The sequel to Ophelia Wild, Secret Spy. Always up for anything, Ophelia Wild and sidekick Albert expand their secret service agency to tackle zombies and monsters … with some surprise results.

Illustrated Fiction
Middle Primary/ Upper Primary
Classroom ideas available

Tiger Stone

Deryn Mansell

Tiger eyes, tiger spirit, tiger stone. Only a daughter could unlock the stone’s power. Java, Indonesia, fourteenth century. The villagers are fearful of Mbah Merapi, the rumbling volcano that overshadows their lives. Kancil, the lowliest kitchen servant, knows the real danger is human but she is fatherless and mute – and she will lose everything if her identity is revealed. How can Kancil warn the villagers of the danger they are in?

Junior Fiction
Upper Primary/ Lower Secondary
Classroom ideas available


Win one of five signed copies of Plenty by Ananda Braxton-Smith

I've got five signed copies of Plenty to give away! To enter, send me an email telling me the name of the street Maddy used to live on.



Honour Book: CBCA Book of the Year Awards, Picture Book category
Winner - CBCA Crichton Award for New Illustrators
Short-listed: Western Australian Premier's Book Awards
Winner: 2014 LIANZA Russell Clark Illustration Medal

Now available as eBooks

Now available in paperback

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