Angela Crocombe

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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

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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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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. …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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 …

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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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…

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Animalium by Katie Scott & Jenny Broom

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

If you know what a Sirenia or a Pinnipedia are, you may think you don’t need this book, but oh yes you do!

Looking like some forgotten volume that has surfaced from a nineteenth-century explorer’s l…

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The Necklace and the Present by Libby Gleeson & Freya Blackwood

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

The collaboration of author Libby Gleeson and illustrator Freya Blackwood has produced some extraordinarily beautiful works, including Amy & Louis and Look, a Book! Their newest project, The Cleo Sto

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The Princess in Black by Shannon Hale, Dean Hale & LeUyen Pham

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Who says princesses don’t wear black? Princess Magnolia may be having tea with Duchess Wigtower and pretending to be a delicate, proper princess, but she has a very big secret. She is actually a supe…

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Skink: No Surrender by Carl Hiaasen

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

As a bestselling adult and children’s author, Carl Hiaasen has carved out the swampy, alligator-infested backwaters of Florida as his unique literary landscape. And Skink, a retired ex-governor of Fl…

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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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News

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…

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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…

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The best new books for unicorn fans

by Angela Crocombe

Most imaginatively inclined people (childlike some might call us) have a favourite mythical animal. Mine is the unicorn. And I am not alone. A resurgence of books celebrating this most noble and magical of beasts has lately been filling me, and other unicorn lovers, with excitement and delight.

Award-winning Sydney author Aaron Blabey has released a hilarious new rhyming picture book about a…

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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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