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

Yayoi Kusama: From Here to Infinity by Sarah Suzuki

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Yayoi Kusama is one of the most exciting artists working today. Once you have seen one of her dot paintings, books or installations, she is impossible to forget. This picture-book biography follows h…

Read more ›

The Ice Sea Pirates by Frida Nilsson

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This exciting Nordic adventure story has just been translated from the Swedish. When ten year-old Siri and her sister are out picking berries one day, Siri’s sister is stolen by pirates to work in th…

Read more ›

Egyptomania by Emma Giuliani & Carole Saturno

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

What a feast for the eyes! This is a stunning, large-format, coffee-table book that is absolutely thrilling in its elegant design and flamboyant colour, with its sturdy flaps and incredible reveals. …

Read more ›

Hello, Melbourne! by Megan McKean

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This charming picture book from the creator of Hello, Sydney! treats us to a tour of Melbourne hosted by six friendly magpies. The simple, playful illustrations portray Melbourne’s most iconic sites,…

Read more ›

Genuine Fraud by E.Lockhart

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

It is very exciting to have a new fast-paced psychological thriller from the author of We Were Liars – and this story does not disappoint. Told in reverse chronology by Jule, who we quickly realise i…

Read more ›

The Owl Service by Alan Garner

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

It begins with Alison hearing a scratching sound in the roof above her bedroom. Gwyn thinks it’s mice but when he knocks on the roof, it knocks back. When Gwyn goes into the roof to investigate, he d…

Read more ›

The Build-Up Season by Megan Jacobson

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Seventeen-yearold Iliad is, like her namesake, battle-scarred and battle-ready. After growing up with an abusive father, she jumps at loud noises and is quick to panic, but is also full of attitude a…

Read more ›

Running on the Roof of the World by Jess Butterworth

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Twelve year-old Tash lives in Tibet, where her village has been overrun by Chinese soldiers and everyone lives in fear of being thrown in jail. After a man sets himself on fire to protest the repress…

Read more ›

Not Quite Narwhal by Jessie Sima

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a delightful ugly duckling story about Kelp the unicorn, who is born in the ocean and believes himself a narwhal, but just can’t get the hang of swimming and doesn’t like the taste of octopus…

Read more ›

Release by Patrick Ness

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

The opening pages of a Patrick Ness novel are always a thrilling, somewhat disconcerting, place to be. You have no idea what is going on or where he will take you, but his writing is always powerful …

Read more ›

Wed Wabbit by Lissa Evans

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Fidge’s little sister Minnie carries her stuffed toy, Wed Wabbit, everywhere. She’s also obsessed with a book about strange, dustbin-shaped characters that speak in rhyme called Wimbley Woos, which s…

Read more ›

Under the Love Umbrella by Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

The last collaboration between this talented author–illustrator pair was the gorgeous, award-winning Underwater Fancy Dress Parade and this new picture book is just as wonderful. It’s an all-inclusiv…

Read more ›

The One Memory of Flora Banks by Emily Barr

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Flora suffers from anterograde amnesia and has done since she was 10. She can only remember things for a few hours before they disappear, although she still retains memories from the time before she …

Read more ›

The Secret Horses of Briar Hill by Megan Shepherd and Levi Pinfold

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This beautifully produced hardback book, with stunning illustrations by Levi Pinfold, portrays the imaginative world of childhood with incredible perception.

It is 1941 and Emmaline is in Briar Hill…

Read more ›

When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit by Judith Kerr

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This story was a childhood favourite, so it was exciting to delve back in again recently to see how it stood the test of time.

Based on the author’s own childhood, the story begins in Berlin in 1933…

Read more ›

Ada Twist, Scientist by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

What a delightful book!

The charming author–illustrator team of Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer, brings us another brilliant youngster who happens to be in the same schoolroom: Ada T…

Read more ›

The Call by Peadar Ó Guilín

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

It is incredibly exciting to get your hands on a book that you know within the first few pages is going to be talked about by the global YA community and beyond. The Call is just such a book.

Nessa …

Read more ›

Welcome to Country by Aunty Joy Murphy & Lisa Kennedy

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Finally, Melbourne has its very own picture book celebrating the original inhabitants of the city – the Wurundjeri people. Welcome to Country is a spectacular celebration of Indigenous land and cultu…

Read more ›

Fabish: The Horse That Braved A Bushfire by Neridah McMullin & Andrew McLean

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

This is a true story from the Black Saturday bushfires in 2009, written from the perspective of a brave trainer, John Evett, and a courageous horse, Fabish.

An ex-racehorse, Fabish’s retirement rol…

Read more ›

The Other Christy by Oliver Phommavanh

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Christy is on the cusp of turning 11, and she is still struggling to fit in at school and find a true friend. In her school class there is another girl with the same name – a louder, more popular Chr…

Read more ›

When Michael Met Mina by Randa Abdel-Fattah

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

When Michael first sees Mina, he is immediately captivated by her beauty. They are at a rally for refugees, holding placards for opposing sides, so his fascination for her is clearly doomed. As a ref…

Read more ›

Introducing Teddy by Jessica Walton & Dougal MacPherson

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Errol and Thomas the teddy are best friends, doing all the things that kids and their teddies love to do together, like going on picnics and visiting playgrounds. But one day Thomas is feeling partic…

Read more ›

Mrs Whitlam by Bruce Pascoe

Reviewed by Angela Crocombe

Bruce Pascoe’s latest book has plenty to satisfy any lover of horse stories, but it also deftly handles issues of race and privilege and has a thrilling storyline to boot. Marnie is crazy about horse…

Read more ›

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 ›

News

A monthly update from our Teen Advisory Board

by Angela Crocombe

This month was a busy one for the teens, with many facing end of year exams. However, for those who were able to attend our meeting we had a fascinating visit from Jane Pearson, senior editor at Text Publishing.

Jane talked about the skills needed to see the potential in manuscripts when considering the possibility of publication, and the main elements that need to be in place for a successful b…

Read more ›

A monthly update from our Teen Advisory Board

by Angela Crocombe

This month our Teen Advisory Board had a visit from Jackie Tang, editor of industry magazine Books & Publishing, which is the main outlet for news about the book industry and the only source of pre-publication reviews of Australian titles. Jackie talked about the contents of the magazine, keeping up to date with the latest book news, both nationally and internationally, as well as the process of …

Read more ›

A monthly update from our Teen Advisory Board

by Angela Crocombe

This month our Teen Advisory Board had an exciting visit from book blogger, agent and champion of LoveOzYa, Danielle Binks. Danielle was one of the instigators of the Love OzYA movement and is also the editor of the Australian young adult anthology: Begin End Begin.

Danielle is an incredible powerhouse of energy and enthusiasm. She talked to us about her passion for Australian YA literature, and…

Read more ›

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 ›