Review: Nop

Nop is a scrappy little bear that lives atop of pile of crumbling tumbling forgotten things in a place soft with dust. He has ample time to ponder his past and speculate his future but he’s unable to identify his true presence for he is not sure where he belongs. Could it really be here in Oddmint’s dust encrusted Dumporeum?

It’s a strange place, the Dumporeum, where the forgotten things refuse to remain buried. Every night they tinker and mend, experimenting with buttons and bows to make themselves more alluring to prospective buyers. Nop tries too, but none of the scarves or spangles suit this bedraggled little brown being. So he watches, alone as every morning individuals from the pile of raggedy toys find someplace wonderful to go.

Left with nothing but his new red bow and his own thoughts, Nop rescues an idea, a dream to escape the ordinariness of his world and set sail into the unknown. With a little ingenuity and a lot of cross-stitching, Nop’s plan is soon afloat but where does…

Giveaway: Nop

Nop is a scruffy kind of bear. He sits on a dusty armchair in Oddmint's Dumporeum surrounded by the beaders, knitters, patchers and stitchers who are much too busy to talk to him. So he watches the litter tumble until, armed with a new bow tie, he has an idea that will change his life forever.

This touching story began with a memory of Caroline's school holidays in Sydney. Her father was welding a steel yacht in a boat yard and she wandered off . . . only to discover the local dump, a home for the things people throw out! Many years later, her daughter Jen made a teddy bear out of scraps for her father. It's a very sorry-looking, but endearing creature. Named Roadkill, ten years later it still sits on top of his desk. Read DIM'S re VIEWS review of Nop to see just how gorgeous this little bear really is.

Thanks to the endearing people of Walker Books Australia and to celebrate the November release of NopDim's Write Stuff has not one but FIVE copies of this gorgeo…

Book Bites: Endearing and Emboldening Biographies

There’s been more than a smattering of children’s books released in the last few years embracing unsung heroes past and present. Life stories, particularly those of notable women, are especially popular not only with younger female audiences but also inquisitive young boys with a thirst for historical fact and interesting role models. Why are books that celebrate the past lives of extraordinary people so popular with our new generations? The answer is not easy to pinpoint however what is certain is that the right combination of art, fact, history and narrative verve can breathe spectacular new life into past achievements, revitalise history, and ensure tomorrow’s youngsters are more motivated than ever to pursue their own potential and dreams.

This collection of nonfiction, biographical titles that endear and embolden young readers adheres to the adage that…


Stand Up for the Future: A Celebration of Inspirational Young Australians
This is an…

Book Bites: Stories, Stories Everywhere - How Do I Choose?

They say the cure for anything is salt: be it sweat, tears, or the sea. I say, the same applies with stories, for within a cleverly crafted collection of words great knowledge and opinion may be stockpiled and revisited as you would a favourite secret haunt. What’s more, like salt, salt, everywhere, it’s sometimes difficult to discern the most satisfying, nourishing story – the one that’s just right for you – from the vast ocean of tales out there.

With Christmas gift lists in mind, I’ve put together a wee list of a huge selection of stories, some of which may well end up as one of your life essentials. Be warned, there’ll be more to follow in the weeks leading up to Christmas so make sure your listing-making essentials are in good supply.

If you obsess over lists and book recommendations as much as I do, then check out Megan Daley’s awesome, Children’s Books Daily site for a great collection of Book Lists broken down into age groups. Boomerang Books online have a great assortment of

Book Bites: Spooktacular Halloween Tales

Halloween is just around the corner and although observations celebrating this time of remembering the dead vary from country to country, the traditions associated with it have made it one of the most notable celebrations of the year. This wee collection of children's picture books embrace the essence of spook but also fun and friendship.

1, 2, Boo! A Spooky Counting Book
I love a bright colourful board book, able to withstand years of love and wear. 1, 2, Boo! is a counting book that clusters all of your favourite Halloween images and themes into a chillingly colourful countdown from 1 – 10.Crammed with ghosts, goblins, bats, dangling skeletons and even warty toads, this fun rhyming romp harnesses the fun of the trick-or-treating tradition, neatly entertaining even the wee non-verbal youngsters in your life, never mind the bigger ones whose sole aim is to fill their lolly bags.

Title: 1, 2, Boo! A Spooky Counting Book
Author: Paul Howard
Illustrator: Paul Howard
Publisher: Bloomsbury…

Review: The Thing About Oliver

Deborah Kelly has a way of cramming gallons of heart into very small spaces. Her picture books and junior novels entertain, yet never fail to unleash unexpected emotions, all perfectly on the mark for her intended reading audience.

The Thing About Oliver is a brief but brilliant novel that will appeal to confident young primary aged readers yet also strike a distinct chord with those of the middle grade age group. Fast paced, funny, and deeply satisfying, this story touches on the subject of Autism and its impact on family life and sibling mental well being.

Tilly's heart is set on becoming a marine scientist. She lives, breathes and draws marine creatures and has turned herself into a veritable walking Google page of sea creatures and their habitats. The only glitch in her plans is her distance from anything remotely resembling the ocean - they live in the drought-stricken outback - and the fact she can't even swim, let alone owns a swimsuit.

As crazy as that premise sounds, t…

Review: Tim & Tigon

A few dozen moons ago, this little black duck backpacked around Europe and the Middle East. It was the era of reverse-charges communications, before the advent of free Wi-Fi or even the Internet for that matter. The sensation of roaming freely through unknown countries and soaking up new cultures with nothing more than a well-thumbed travel guide, three pairs of gaily coloured socks and the budget of a nine-year-old was inexplicably fulfilling. Our packs contained our whole existence yet the horizon possessed everything else we really needed – or wanted.

I suspect author, film-maker, adventurer extraordinaire, Tim Cope’s feelings about his incredible expeditions replicate those I had some 26 years ago – only, a thousandfold.

Fast forward 12 or so years and I find myself watching this remarkable young man on the tellie, forging through extreme weather conditions on horseback across the impossibly remote Eurasian Steppes. His aim: to travel 10,000 kilometres from Mongolia to the Danube…