Kids books, events & news for June

There are oodles of mysteries to be solved this month in kids books. And plenty of things to learn about the world – from strange and apt words in foreign languages, to the wildest of past inventions.

You can find some of our best teen reads of the month here.



Harriet Gets Carried Away by Jessie Sima

When irrepressible Harriet starts to plan her dress-up birthday party, her dads warn her not to get too carried away. Costume-loving Harriet dons one of her many outfits, a penguin costume, and goes to the store with her dads to find party hats – only to find herself swept up in a swarm of migrating penguins there to purchase ice!

This is a gorgeously illustrated and whimsical adventure, which blends the fantastical seamlessly with the real. Harriet returns from her polar adventure in time for her birthday party, which isn’t without strangeness either.

For ages 4 and up (with plenty of wry asides for the adults).


The Mystery of the Magic Stones: Polly and Buster Book Two by Sally Rippin

Polly the witch and Buster the monster are not supposed to be friends, and at times it seems like everyone in Blackmoon Coven is against them. When Polly’s magic stones start to glow, the two best buddies are drawn towards the dangerous Hollow Valley Mines, pursued by those who believe in a divided community.

Our reviewer Natalie loved the hopeful message at the heart of the second book in the Polly and Buster series, saying: ‘it is the power of kindness and empathy for our darkest selves, and that of others, that holds the power to break down prejudice and intolerance.’ Read her full review here.

For ages 7 and up.


The Peacock Detectives by Carly Nugent

Eleven-year-old Cassie is a renowned peacock detective and aspiring writer, on the trail of her neighbour’s escaped birds, William Shakespeare and Virginia. But as Cassie follows clues around her country hometown, she begins to uncover unexpected mysteries and secrets about her family and friends.

Our reviewer Kim recommends this gentle book as ‘perfectly suited to curious, thoughtful readers and budding writers.’ Read her full review here.

For ages 9 and up.


Kat Wolfe Investigates by Lauren St John

After moving to the country with her veterinarian mum, twelve-year-old Kat starts the Paws & Claws Pet Sitting Agency, only to have her first client go missing! Kat, her new computer-whiz friend Harper Lamb and their animal allies go on the hunt for the missing man, with surprising results.

Our reviewer Pilgrim loved this first book in the Wolfe and Lamb series, saying: ‘Like any good mystery, Kat Wolfe Investigates is packed with twists and turns, but this fast-paced and exciting adventure also will have you giggling out loud in a few places.’ Read her full review here.

For ages 9 and up.


What a Wonderful Word by Nicola Edwards & Luisa Uribe

Learn about fascinating words from all around the world in this beautifully illustrated and eye-opening guide. Each page brings a new useful word that isn’t easily translatable into English, like ‘walking through water to search for something with your feet’ (Murr-Ma in the Wagiman language of Indigenous Australians) or expressing ‘the distance a reindeer can walk before needing the toilet’ (Poronkusema in Finnish).

Our reviewer Athina thoroughly enjoyed this celebration of ‘words that give voice to the beauty of language and its ability to define life as seen by different cultures’. Read her full review here.

For ages 7 and up.


Impossible Inventions by Małgorzata Mycielska, Aleksandra Mizielinska & Daniel Mizielinski

Budding inventors, young mechanics or science buffs will love this illustrated guide to inventions – modern and ancient, successful and impossible, comic and surprisingly useful. Supplemented with lighthearted commentary and comic illustrations, the reader can learn about inventions that were patented but never fully realised including strange vehicles, a ‘concentration helmet’, the famous chess-playing automaton, a bubble messenger, automatic temple doors, and much more.

Our reviewer Angela describes Impossible Inventions as ‘a fascinating slice of life from the years BC through to recent times, offered from a very unusual perspective’. Read her full review here.

For ages 7 and up.


This month, we’ve compiled some funny and charming stories where naughty behaviour goes unpunished, and an ode to rarely-seen animals in picture books.

The Young Australians Best Book Awards (YABBA) shortlists 2018 were recently announced. The YABBAs aim to have children recommend, read, rate and reward their favourite Australian books. Students nominate their favourite books and are encouraged to read as many of the shortlisted books as they can. You can find out more about YABBA, including how to participate here.


Join Jo Hirst for the launch of A House for Everyone at 6.30pm on Friday 22 Jun at our St Kilda shop. This book can assist parents and teachers in giving children the space to explore the full spectrum of gender diversity.

The launch is free, and there’s no need to book.

Plan ahead for one of the kids book events of the year. On Tuesday 10 July we will host the utterly madcap launch of The 104-Storey Treehouse with Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. Andy and Terry promise to deliver one hour of complete and total madness at this book’s launch.

Entry is $28 per person. Each ticket includes the event and a signed first edition of The 104-Storey Treehouse, which will be given out at the event. Find out more here.

Leanne Hall is a children’s and YA specialist at Readings Kids. She also writes books for children and young adults.

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The Peacock Detectives

The Peacock Detectives

Carly Nugent

$16.99Buy now

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