Angela Crocombe

Angela_bigthumb

Angela Crocombe is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings Carlton. She is also the author of two books on sustainable living, A Lighter Footprint: A Practical Guide to Minimising your Impact on the Planet and Ethical Eating: How to Make Food Choices That Won’t Cost the Earth.

Reviews

Pax by Sara Pennypacker & Jon Klassen

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Pax is a timeless, moving story of the unbreakable bond of friendship between an animal and a child in the tradition of Lassie Come Home. It is also a beautiful hardcover book with stunning illustrat…

Read more ›

Rockhopping by Trace Balla

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Trace Balla, you’ve done it again! Rockhopping is a new companion title to last year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize winner, Rivertime, and it is possibly even more delightful and beautiful than its…

Read more ›

The Whisper by Pamela Zagarenski

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This gorgeous book by Caldecott Honor author Pamela Zagarenski is a testament to the power of wordless picture books to open the imagination and let it soar. A little girl is lent a special book by h…

Read more ›

Magrit by Lee Battersby

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

One Day a ‘horrible thing’ is dropped down into Magrit and Master Puppet’s home by a stork. Master Puppet thinks it should be killed, Magrit wants to keep it. They have their first big disagreement. …

Read more ›

Martians by Blythe Woolston

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

In a futuristic world not too different from our own, where consumption is the main objective, lives 16-year-old Zoë Zindleman. She has been forced to graduate from high school early and there are on…

Read more ›

Amazing Animal Journeys by Chris Packham and Jason Cockroft

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

We have been blessed lately with a wave of beautiful non-fiction titles and this book on animal migration around the world is no exception.

In language simple enough for a five-year-old to understan…

Read more ›

Crenshaw by Katherine Applegate

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

At age 11 and in the thrall of science, Jackson feels far too old for his imaginary friend, Crenshaw the cat, who has started reappearing. Crenshaw is taking bubble baths, purring like a train and di…

Read more ›

Diary of a Time Traveller by Nicholas Stevenson & David Long

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This fascinating book is not about time travel at all but is actually a history book looking at 25 key events and time periods throughout human civilization.

When Augustus claims that history is bor…

Read more ›

Liquidator by Andy Mulligan

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

From the bestselling author of Trash, strap yourself in for a thriller where a class of teenagers battle wits with an evil corporation that is trying to cover up malpractice and kill an innocent chil…

Read more ›

The Marvels by Brian Selznick

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Brian Selznick is an innovative storyteller who uses both intricate hand drawings and text to tell his stories. His middle-grade novels, The Invention of Hugo Cabret and Wonderstruck, are contemporar…

Read more ›

Atmospheric: The Burning Story of Climate Change by Carole Wilkinson

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This non-fiction book on climate science for readers aged ten and up is well researched and highly readable. To engage readers more effectively, each chapter begins with a first person narrative set …

Read more ›

Ballet Cat: The Totally Secret Secret

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Ballet Cat and Sparkles the Pony are the very best of friends. They are trying to decide what to play today but each idea they have is not quite right. They just don’t match well with irrepressible B…

Read more ›

The Cat With The Coloured Tail by Gillian Mears and Dinale Dabarera

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Mr Hooper has an ice-cream truck that looks like a full moon. His special companion is The Cat with the Coloured Tail, a silver cat with a face in the shape of a heart and a tail that changes colours…

Read more ›

The School of Art by Teal Triggs & Daniel Frost

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a gorgeous publication that describes the fundamentals of art practice for young students. Using five characters, known as the ‘professors of art’, the book takes the reader through 40 lesson…

Read more ›

Kizmet and the Case of the Tassie Tiger by Frank Woodley

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This junior detective story is narrated by an unusual sidekick, a currawong named Gretchen. The heroine, Kizmet, is a feisty young investigator with the wits of Sherlock Holmes and the nose of a snif…

Read more ›

The ACB with Honora Lee by Kate De Goldi

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

I was madly in love with De Goldi’s The 10pm Question a few years ago, so expectations were high for the new book by this New Zealand author. This wonderful story only made me love her work even more…

Read more ›

Pip Bartlett’s Guide to Magical Creatures by Jackson Pearce and Maggie Stiefvater

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Pip lives in a world filled with magical creatures and she has a special skill that no-one else has – she can speak to them. Her talent can also get her into big trouble, such as the unfortunate (but…

Read more ›

Pieces of Sky by Trinity Doyle

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Lucy’s brother Cam died in a night surfing accident, which has rocked their small coastal town. Each of the family members is grieving in their own separate way and Lucy, once a champion swimmer, is …

Read more ›

Sir Mouse to the Rescue by Dirk Nielandt and Marjolein Pottie

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a stunningly beautiful fractured fairytale for emerging readers aged 7-9 or to read aloud to younger children.

The story is of a brave knight, Sir Mouse, who is best friends with a dragon. …

Read more ›

Teddy Took the Train by Nicki Greenberg

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Melbourne graphic novelist and picture-book author Nicki Greenberg has captured a common childhood scenario and turned it into a triumphant imaginative adventure. When exuberant Dot and her mum retur…

Read more ›

The Water and the Wild by Katie E. Ormsbee

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

A gorgeous jacket made from a wood-cut illustration sets the scene in this adventure story for fantasy lovers aged 10 and up. Poor Lottie is an orphan living with a dour spinster, whose only friend i…

Read more ›

Too Much For Turtle by Cat Rabbit & Isabelle Knowles (illus.)

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Creative Melbourne duo, Cat Rabbit and Isobel Knowles, have produced a crafty, quirky picture book about a reclusive turtle that learns to come out of its shell and get to know the neighbours.

When…

Read more ›

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Why do only gay people have to come out? Shouldn’t straight people have an awkward time declaring themselves too? So thinks sixteen-year-old Simon Spier, the charming hero of this coming of age (and …

Read more ›

Dreams Of Freedom by Amnesty International

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Amnesty International has produced a stunning follow-up to their bestseller on human rights, We Are All Born Free (in paperback in March). This new title, Dreams of Freedom, focuses on freedom and ha…

Read more ›

The Rabbit and the Shadow by Mélanie Rutten

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a quirky and highly original picture book for readers between five and eight. On the surface, it’s a gorgeous hardcover chapter book about a number of characters having adventures in the wood…

Read more ›

The Sin Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Debut author Melinda Salisbury has built an authentic fantasy world in this first book in a trilogy. In the land of Lormere, Twylla is considered incredibly dangerous. A touch from her can kill a per…

Read more ›

The Pilot and the Prince by Peter Sis

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Peter Sis is one of the most extraordinary and talented author–illustrators working today. Born in Czechoslovakia and now residing in the US, Sis is an artist with a penchant for incredible detail wh…

Read more ›

A Small Madness by Dianne Touchell

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a beautifully crafted, cautionary tale for teenagers on the perils of unprotected sex and the dangers of keeping the truth hidden. Michael and Rose are both good kids going into their final y…

Read more ›

Eren by Simon P. Clark

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a compelling story about the origins of storytelling itself. Oli and his mother go to the country to stay with his aunt and uncle, who he’s never met before. His mother explains nothing but b…

Read more ›

Glory O'Brien’s History of the Future by A.S. King

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

A.S. King is practically a genius when it comes to writing YA fiction. Her characters are complicated,conflicted and faced with impossible situations – and yet they feel utterly real. Glory O’Brien i…

Read more ›

News

Trace Balla visits Carlton Primary School

by Angela Crocombe

Last year Readings was the lucky recipient of a James Patterson Bookseller Grant to further children’s literacy. We thought this would be a great opportunity to introduce the students of Carlton Primary School to author and artist Trace Balla. Our children’s buyer Angela Crocombe helped organise the visit – here are her thoughts on the day.

On Tuesday, I took Trace Balla, last year’s winner o…

Read more ›

Three terrific children’s books from Indigenous Australians

by Angela Crocombe

In anticipation of the Blak & Bright festival (which kicks off tomorrow evening, hooray!), children’s bookseller Angela Crocombe shares a sample of her favourite books from Indigenous Australians for young readers. For YA readers:

I recently had a chance to read Becoming Kirrali Lewis, last year’s debut YA novel from Festival Director Jane Harrison, and I could not put it down.

Set in the …

Read more ›

Picture books I just had to own this year

by Angela Crocombe

One of the occupational hazards of working in a bookshop is that you want to buy so many more books than you actually need or have room for. Surrounded by these beautiful objects all day, you can’t help but covet them. I really do try hard to restrain myself, but sometimes I just can’t resist and have to bring a book home where it gains pride of place on the mantelpiece for a while (until the nex…

Read more ›

Celebrating the arrival of a new Dr Seuss book

by Angela Crocombe

A new Dr Seuss, did I hear you say?
Oh me, oh my, what a fabulous day!

Apologies for the poor rhyming verse, but its not every day you get a newly-published Dr Seuss book into the bookshop. In fact, since he died in 1991, it hasn’t happened for a very long time. Even The Bippolo Seed and Other Stories, released a few years back, was a compilation of stories previously published in magazines. So w…

Read more ›

An update from the Readings Children’s Book Team

by Angela Crocombe

It’s been a big week for children’s books at Readings. Here’s what’s been happening!

On Tuesday, we enjoyed champagne and cake to celebrate Trace Balla’s win of this year’s Readings Children’s Book Prize. Our managing director Mark Rubbo was as proud as punch to hand over a giant cheque worth $4000 to Trace for her wonderful book Rivertime.

We have sold over 750 copies of the book since…

Read more ›

Come visit us at Clunes Booktown Festival

by Angela Crocombe

Bookseller Angela Crocombe sets the scene for the Clunes Booktown Festival which is happening this coming weekend (1 May - 2 May). We’re excited to have a Readings stall there for the very first time!

I know Clunes fairly well. This small town has an active local community and everyone is very friendly. There is an abundance of bookshops (five at my last count), one pub and no fast food joints…

Read more ›