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

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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How to be Invisible by Tim Lott

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Strato Nyman, a young boy from an eccentric English family, has no friends, he’s being bullied and his parents seem to be on the brink of splitting up. In this strange and very readable story, Strato…

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The Key To The Golden Firebird by Maureen Johnson

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

After their dad dies, the lives of May and her sisters are changed forever. The family have been left with little money, and May’s mum has started working night shifts to help keep them financially a…

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The Big Dry by Tony Davis

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

George and his younger brother Beeper are home alone, desperately hoping their father will return after he went to the shops and never came back. It hasn’t rained for years and times are tough for ev…

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Who Says Women Can’t Be Doctors? by Tanya Lee Stone and Marjorie Priceman

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

I’ll bet you’ve met plenty of doctors in your life. And I’ll bet lots of them were women. Well, you might find this hard to believe, but there once was a time when girls weren’t allowed to become doc

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Scarlett and the Scratchy Moon by Chris McKimmie

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Scarlett can’t sleep again. The moon is scratching the sky, and she’s counting sheep called Daddy Neema, Mummy Neema and Baby Neema.

Scarlett is also sad because her pet dogs, Holly and Sparky, have…

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Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Isola Wilde sees ghosts, is obsessed with fairytales and has no less than six brother-princes to protect her. She lives so much in the world of the unseen that she seems not quite of this world to th…

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Through My Eyes: Shahana by Rosanne Hawke & Lyn White

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is the first title in a new Australian series that focuses on children living in conflict zones around the world. Thirteen year-old Shahana is responsible for her younger brother Tanveer, the re…

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The Lion Who Stole My Arm by Nicola Davies

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Part of a new series by English author Nicola Davies, The Lion Who Stole My Arm is a unique book within a crowded market. Rather than featuring western kids in exotic countries helping the animals, t…

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On a Beam of Light by Jennifer Berne & Vladimir Radunksy

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

I love picture books that teach children about extraordinary human beings throughout history. Sometimes, however, they can be rather pedestrian biographies. Not so for this fascinating book on Albert…

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The Brothers Lionheart by Astrid Lindgren

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

I read this beautiful, sad adventure story by Astrid Lindgren (of Pippi Longstocking fame) repeatedly as a child and still have my old dog-eared copy.

Young Rusky is very sick and everyone knows he …

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East of the Sun, West of the Moon by Jackie Morris

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

A beautiful rendition of an ancient Norwegian fairytale. A bear visits the girl and tells her that if she comes with him, her poor family will live well and she will be happy. She goes with the bear …

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I’ve An Uncle Ivan by Ben Sanders

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This gorgeously illustrated picture book from Ballarat author Ben Sanders has a delightfully retro design. From the first line, ‘I’ve an Uncle Ivan who drives a pie van’, we’re off on a rollicking jo…

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The Little Eskimo by Davide Cali & Maurizio Quarello

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

The little Eskimo is a curious youngster: will he become a great hunter when he grows up, and what exists on the other side of the Great Ice Lake? Determined to find answers, he asks a hare, a fox, a…

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I Dare You Not to Yawn by Hélène Boudreau & Serge Bloch

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This cheeky bedtime book warns young readers against the perils of an inadvertent yawn. Be careful – yawning is contagious and it inevitably leads down a slippery slope to bed and lights out. In fact…

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Flora and the Flamingo by Molly Idle

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

A graceful flamingo attempts to teach Flora how to dance in this gentle story of patience and friendship. The narrative is eloquently expressed through pictures – no words are used, and nor, in fact,…

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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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