Showing posts from August, 2022

Review: Stardiving

One would think illustrating and describing a seemingly lifeless world cloaked in ink would be an exercise in futility. Unless of course you are an inhabitant of the fathomless depths. Or Andrew Plant. Plant’s latest author illustrated title, Stardiving is more than a clever oxymoron. It is a foray into the unknown. A daring and sublime exploration of a world visited by but a few, all rendered in a rigorously limited yet serenely darkened colour palette. The front cover endpapers of this inspired picture book begin with a stunning visual and expository breakdown of the great sperm whale. Don’t be tempted to skip this read through. We are introduced to terminology and several unique attributes of this mighty mammal before moving through an ocean of blues and teals to young Fluke’s story and thanks to this brief exposition, it feels as though we are already better acquainted with Fluke’s beguiling ways. Plant gives you a moment to ponder that which you’ve just learnt with a wordless sp

Review: Cop & Robber

Fans of Tristan Bancks’ pacy action-orientated middle grade novels will be lunging for his latest serving of thrills and spills, Cop & Robber . The incongruous grouping of nouns as a title was enough to whet my appetite but the opening paragraph literally haunted me for days in a ‘this feels so real, must keep reading’ kinda way. Bancks is master at creating authentic suspense with a mere sprinkling of words, teasing the reader in like an experienced fly fisherman. And chapter one certainly hooks. Nash witnesses his dad, commit a robbery from the local Broken Ridge service station. It’s not the smoothest of criminal operations and yields very little if you don’t count the mounting dread and colossal sense of shame that chokes Nash. He knows his dad, Lyle is a decent sort of bloke deep down, the type who models himself on historic bushrangers with a will to stand up for the little guy. Dad is an ex-boxing champ with no other bankable skills other than an urge to rob banks to make

Review: Boogie Woogie Bird

Aside from the groovy sounding title, the thing that strikes you first about debut author, Alison Stegert’s Boogie Woogie Bird , is the jaw dropping detail of Sandra Severgnini’s illustrations. I have known and lived with curlews, notably, the Bush stone aka the Thick-knee curlew for some time and am gobsmacked by the level of exactness both of these creators have imbued within their adorable character, Curlew. Curlew cries his plaintive call, alone and forlorn, night after night. He needs a friend, more than a friend in fact. A mate. Someone to share his random pile of leaves with. But his yearning cries aren’t cutting it, at least not for Fairywren who insists that fancy dancing is what he needs to win someone’s heart. In a priceless, side-splitting promenade of boogie woogie moves, tangled legs and knocked knees, Curlew finally concedes that curlews can’t dance in spite of the detailed instructions bestowed upon him by some of the best ‘dancing’ birds in the business aka Aussie bus