Angela Crocombe

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Angela Crocombe is the Children’s Book Buyer at Readings St Kilda, mother to a three year-old, and the author of two books on sustainable living, A Lighter Footprint: A Practical Guide to Minimising your Impact on the Planet and Ethical Eating.

Reviews

How to Save the Universe in 10 Easy Steps by Allison Rushby

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Cooper thinks his twin sister, Molly, is a real bore until the day she tells him the end of the world is at hand unless Cooper can save it. No pressure, of course.

Molly is an alien, as is their dog…

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Falling into Place by Amy Zhang

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

When a car accident puts the most popular girl in school, Liz Emerson, in hospital, it seems as if the whole school has turned up to find out if she lives or dies. But was it an accident or a suicide…

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As Red As Blood by Salla Simukka

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Lumikki Andersson is not your typical teenager. She lives on her own in a small town in Finland and likes it that way. She doesn’t trust people and doesn’t like to get involved in anyone else’s busin…

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Lindbergh: The Tale of a Flying Mouse by Torben Kuhlmann

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This incredibly beautiful and unusual picture book debut tells the journey of a resourceful mouse who must escape Hamburg to reach America the only way he knows how – by building his own aeroplane an…

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Sticks and Stones, Animal Homes by Tai Snaith

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Melbourne artist and author Tai Snaith has produced a beautiful, educational picture book that oozes with appeal. Covering similar ground to her highly successful Family Hour in Australia, the narrat…

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The Giver by Lois Lowry

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

The Giver is a brilliant example of dystopian literature, written in 1993, long before the glut in this genre. It was unusual at the time and banned from some schools and libraries, but also won the …

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Messenger: The Legend of Joan of Arc by Tony Lee & Sam Hart

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a fascinating introduction to the iconic figure of Joan of Arc in a graphic format. From her youth as a normal child who loved to dance around the fairy tree, the story shows her first vision…

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The Water Castle by Megan Frazer Blakemore

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a story about an ancient castle riddled with secret passageways, mysterious sounds and strange lights. It’s also the story of desperate people searching for the Fountain of Youth. When Price,…

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Let’s Play by Gabriel Alborozo

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

From the author of Let’s Paint comes a delightful romp through the instruments of the orchestra, their unique sounds and the colours that seem to magically arise from them. There’s plenty of action, …

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The Noisy Paint Box by Barb Rosenstock & Mary GrandPré

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

In a pleasing way for children, this delightful picture book tells the story of abstract artist Vasily Kandinsky.

As a child, Kandinsky’s strict Russian parents enforce studying, formal dinners and …

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The Year of the Rat by Clare Furniss

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Dead or absent parents seem ubiquitous in children’s literature at the moment, and this melancholic novel about a teenager dealing with the death of her mother is rumoured to have been hotly conteste…

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Smooch and Rose by Samantha Wheeler

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

When Rose and her Gran find a hurt koala on their property, they never imagine the series of events that will unfold. Rose helps the local wildlife carer look after the baby koala (Smooch) as it grow…

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Andy Flegg’s Survival Guide by Mark Pardoe

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

I’m not embarrassed to say that I love Andy Flegg! We are allowed to read his diary, which he has to write for 130 days if he wants an X-Box, because his horrible ex-teacher told his parents he’s a r…

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Alexander Altmann A10567 by Suzy Zail

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Alexander is only 14 when his family is sent to Auschwitz, but by pretending to be 16 he survives the gas chamber, unlike his younger sister. He keeps to himself and refuses any overtures of friendsh…

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The Cats of Tanglewood Forest by Charles de Lint & Charles Vess

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This magical folktale of a young girl’s coming of age is an absolute delight. Lillian spends her days exploring the Tanglewood Forest and always leaves out food for the wild cats, birds and Apple Tre…

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Night Vision by Ella West

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This thriller is based around a girl’s unusual condition and how that changes her life. Viola’s body cannot process UV rays, so any exposure to sunlight or UV lights has the potential to kill her. Co…

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The Explosive Diary by Emily Gale

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

A new heroine has arrived – Eliza Boom: feisty, fearless spy and inventor extraordinaire. Well, at least that’s how she imagines herself.

With best friend and assistant, her dog Einstein, she has bu…

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Panic by Lauren Oliver

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

From the versatile pen of Lauren Oliver, author of the bestselling Before I Fall, Panic is a fast-paced thriller about a terrifying game of dare.

Carp is a small town with small aspirations. No one …

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Grasshopper Jungle by Andrew Smith

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This unusual coming-of-age novel has been likened to the voices of Vonnegut and Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye, with good reason. The narrator, a self-proclaimed historian, Austin Szerba, is a 15-year…

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The Journey by Coral Tulloch

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

It’s hard to classify this quirky but engaging book. It begins simply enough with the story of young Bernard’s desire for plum jam, which leads him on a quest to the elusive Pole of Inaccessibility. …

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Architecture According to Pigeons by Speck Lee Tailfeather

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

An architecture book narrated by a pigeon? Indeed, pigeons have a long abiding passion for architecture and our knowledgeable pigeon guide, Speck Lee Tailfeather, can also type! He takes us on a tour…

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The Bear’s Song by Benjamin Chaud

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Everyone knows that bears love honey, but when Baby Bear follows a buzzing bee instead of settling down to hibernate, poor Papa Bear must awaken and give chase. Thus begins a delightful romp through …

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Flora and Ulysses by Kate DiCamillo

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

After Flora rescues a squirrel sucked up by a high-powered vacuum cleaner, she soon discovers the squirrel is now in possession of amazing superpowers, understands English and writes poetry. Sound go…

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Sugarlump and Unicorn by Julia Donaldson and Lydia Monks (illus.)

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

My daughter and I love a good unicorn story and this one definitely does not disappoint. Written by the brilliant Julia Donaldson, author of The Gruffalo, this is a wonderful story of a rocking horse…

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Esther’s Rainbow by Kim Kane and Sara Acton (Illus.)

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

What a delightful picture book! After spying a rainbow hiding under her chair, Esther begins to look for it everywhere. In her search, she finds all the colours of the rainbow in unusual places, but …

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The Last Girl by Michael Adams

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

When Danby begins to hear everyone else’s thoughts at a party, it immediately makes her extremely unpopular. But a few days later everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts too and chaos immediately …

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The Boy on the Wooden Box by Leon Leyson with Marilyn J. Harran & Elisabeth B. Leyson

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Only occasionally does a book come along that I can recommend to everyone I meet. This is one of those books. Probably one of the last Holocaust memoirs to be published, it was written by the younges…

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The Dance Teacher by Simon Milne & Chantal Stewart

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This picture book provides a refreshing angle on little girl’s love for ballet by celebrating the relationship between a young dancer and her teacher.

When Isabelle arrives at Miss Sylvie’s dance s…

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More Than This by Patrick Ness

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

A new young adult novel by Carnegie Medal-winning writer Patrick Ness is grounds for great excitement. When Ness was recently in Melbourne, he read the first devastating pages where the protagonist, …

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Get into Art: Animals by Susie Brooks

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Animals are a fantastic subject for artists, and they provide an excellent springboard for this handsome art inspiration and activity book. It includes examples of a variety of styles and techniques,…

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News

Monet’s Garden for Kids

by Angela Crocombe

Angela Crocombe and her daughter visit Monet’s garden together, with the help of a lovely new art book for kids.

Angela with her daughter at the exhibition of Monet’s Garden.

The Monet’s Garden exhibition at the NGV is undoubtedly a feast for the eyes, but the crowds can sometimes make it a little overwhelming for kids. Cue this wonderful book which allows children to engage with Monet and g…

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You’re Invited to a Fairy and Elf Party

by Angela Crocombe

Angela Crocombe introduces a gorgeous children’s event.

Who? Kids aged 2-7. When? Saturday, April 13th, 11am – 11.45am. Where? Readings St Kilda, 112 Acland St, St Kilda.

Dress up and come along to meet the Queen of the Fairies, author Shirley Barber, at a very special fairy and elf party. Shirley will be reading from her stories, showing us drawings, and talking about the world of the f…

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Reviewing the Text Classics: The Women in Black by Madeleine St John

by Angela Crocombe, Readings St Kilda

This week we’re putting the spotlight on the new Text Classics series - first up is Angela Crocombe of Readings St Kilda on Madeleine St John’s brilliant The Women in Black.

I first discovered Madeleine St John when I picked up a second-hand copy of her Booker-shortlisted novel, The Essence of the Thing. It was witty and insightful, with dialogue that was practically jumping off the page, a…

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