Mother’s Day 2017 Book Suggestions

Sitting on my kitchen table at the moment are two books that will make your ( your mums, your sister, your creative significant others) day.

I am so excited to have “I am Just Here for Dessert” by Caroline Khoo of Nectar and Stone. This is a book you will want to hold and admire – the pages are “framed” in gold, the food creations are like works of art – a great coffee table book for the non cook, a fabulous resource for those who do cook.  And if pink is your favourite colour – you will adore this book!  Check it out herehttps://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/desserts/Im-Just-Here-for-Dessert-Caroline-Khoo-9781743368824 

 

I'm Just Here For Dessert

 

Just as impressive but for different reasons is Luke Mangan’s “Sharing Plates”.   Murdoch Books say: “Whether it’s a lazy weekend brunch, casual supper for friends at the kitchen table, special-occasion lunch, or drinks with nibbles, Luke Mangan has all your options covered for the most delicious sharing plates.”  He sure does!    Check out Sharing Plates here:  https://www.murdochbooks.com.au/browse/books/cooking-food-drink/general-cookery-recipes/Sharing-Plates-Luke-Mangan-9781743369227

Sharing Plates

 

PS – over the next few days I will share a few of the recipes from these two books –  I cant wait to start taste testing!

 

My Work in Progress

About twenty five years ago I started an arts course at what used to be known as TAFE  (Technical and Further Education). I was spurred to enrol after being involved in a community based learning centre – where I was learning how to make pottery  – by wheel and hand.  I wanted to learn more so I enrolled in the arts course – primarily to do more pottery but as part of the course I was require to complete other art units – I did enjoy some of the classes – especially the mixed media work, the print making, water colour etc   I enjoyed the parts of the course I completed.  The story is then put on hold for quite some time.

 

Then  last week a friend of mine who has recently started producing some amazing paintings (one she made for my office – of proteas , another she made for our sitting room –   a pink cow in a dot style – which has ow been entered in an art competition! ) wonderful work, any way I digress…my good friend suggested we have a painting day and drove 4 hours to our place and unloaded her car full of  blank canvases and painting  paraphernalia – what a great day I had.  (My good friend was very patient and enthusiastic) The flame has been reignited.  It is such good fun. I am grateful to have such a talented and passionate friend who is happy to share her creativity with me.

This is my work in progress.  🙂

 

My art WIP

Post Script: Mulga’s Magical Musical Creatures – Mulga

Mulga's Magical Musical Creatures

Mulga’s Magical Musical Creatures

Mulga

Hachette Australia

Lothian Children’s Books

ISBN: 9780734416704

 

Description:

Guitar-playing fishes? Gorillas on drums? Fluting kangaroos? Join Mulga in his dreamy jungle jam session, where magical animals play sweet tunes from night till day.

 

MULGA’S MAGICAL MUSICAL CREATURES is a rhyming picture book for children that answers the question where does music come from? It tells the story of a musician who finds musical inspiration in his dreams. While he’s sleeping he dreams of banjo-playing owls, jazz-fluting kangaroos, trumpeting elephants and whistling toucans, and when he wakes up he’s inspired to write a song.

 

With a style that is entirely and unmistakably Mulga, this fun and colourful story will delight readers of all ages with its fantastically quirky creatures.

 

Biographical Notes

 

Mulga is Joel Moore, a Sydney-based artist, freelance illustrator and poet who paints murals, designs t-shirts and runs the Mulga clothing label. He draws beards, animals, zombies and wacky characters and has a unique style combining crazy colours overlaid by intricate line work. Mulga runs weekly market stalls across Sydney is regularly involved in live-painting events, group shows, private commissions and shop-front murals. His first book, MULGA’S MAGICAL COLOURING BOOK, was an instant bestseller.

 

My View:

Fun!

Colourful!

Silly rhyming prose!

 

You will adore the art, the detailed drawings and your child will love the bright candy coloured images and hearing you read out loud this happy and fun rhyming story.

 

Post Script: Beside Myself – Ann Morgan

Beside Myself

Beside Myself

Ann Morgan

Bloomsbury Publishing Australia

Bloomsbury

ISBN: 9781408870303

 

Description:

Beside Myself is a literary thriller about identical twins, Ellie and Helen, who swap places aged six. At first it is just a game, but then Ellie refuses to swap back. Forced into her new identity, Helen develops a host of behavioural problems, delinquency and chronic instability. With their lives diverging sharply, one twin headed for stardom and the other locked in a spiral of addiction and mental illness, how will the deception ever be uncovered? Exploring questions of identity, selfhood, and how other people’s expectations affect human behaviour, this novel is as gripping as it is psychologically complex.

 

 

My View:

Powerful! Intense! Confronting! This book has it all.

 

This book was a very difficult read- I read the first fifty pages or so and was in a dilemma – to continue or not? I found these first pages strangely horrific – the voice of the little girl, Helen, who constantly seeks to “teach her a lesson” (her being her twin sister Ellie), Helen’s voice is so nasty and malevolent I considered not reading any further. (And then there was the underlying hint of potential sexual abuse from a friend’s older brother, another sinister voice/character). I really was in two minds as to carry on or not.

 

Curiosity and a few days break from the book and I started reading again with an intensity that had me picking up this book every opportunity I could make. What a powerhouse of emotions and psychological twists this was! A brilliant study of identity, influences, how expectations effect children’s (and adults I presume too) personality, mental health, achievements and general wellbeing.

 

Mental health issues, suicide, self-harm, suicide are themes that are laid bare for all to consider. And the big one – the damage that is done when we do not believe a child – when they share they are being bullied or abused – in all forms of abuse. The most damage we can do is not believe or take seriously.

 

WOW! Just WOW! I am exhausted! This book is complex and intense and illuminating and surprisingly optimistic. I am so pleased I decided to continue on reading this book. Everyone should read this book – the world might be a better place if it pricks our conscience and makes us look at the person next to us with a little more compassion.

 

A fantastic debut novel!

 

 

Post Script: Night Owls aka The Anatomical Shape of a Heart – Jenn Bennett

Book Cover Nights Owls -Jenn Bennett

Night Owls aka The Anatomical Shape of a Heart

Jenn Bennett

Simon & Schuster UK Ltd

Feiwel and Friends

ISBN: 9781471125300

 

Description:

Since school had let out in May, gold graffiti had been popping up around San Francisco. Single words painted in enormous golden letters appeared on bridges and building fronts. Not semi-illegible, angry gang tags, but beautifully executed fonts done by someone with talent and skill…

Meeting Jack on the Owl—San Francisco’s night bus—turns Beatrix’s world upside down. Jack is charming, wildly attractive…and possibly one of San Francisco’s most notorious graffiti artists.

On midnight rides and city rooftops, Beatrix begins to see who this enigmatic boy really is. But Jack is hiding much more – and can she uncover the truth that leaves him so wounded?

A unique and profoundly moving novel. Night Owls will linger in your memory long after the final page.

 

My View:

This little book blew me away! I loved every word, every sentence and every paragraph and did not want this narrative to end. Beautifully written; engaging prose, loveable characters that speak to the principals of acceptance, diversity and individuality and a narrative that is engaging, that flows effortlessly – what more could you want in a great book?

The author comments about this book: “This is not my first published book but it might be my favourite.” I think it might be one of my favourites too! “Writing this book was like slipping into a comfortable coat. It just felt…right.” Perfectly spoken – it felt so right to me too! This is Jenn Bennett’s first YA novel but don’t let the tag “YA” put you off reading this book – there is a beautiful story here that all can enjoy and I will certainly be seeking out this authors others works .

Post Script: Graffiti Moon – Cath Crowley

Cover Graffiti Moon Cath Crowley

Graffiti Moon

Cath Crowley

Pan Macmillan Australia Pty Ltd

ISBN: 9780330425780

 

Description:

Lucy is in love with Shadow, a mysterious graffiti artist.

Ed thought he was in love with Lucy, until she broke his nose.

Dylan loves Daisy, but throwing eggs at her probably wasn’t the best way to show it.

Jazz and Leo are slowly encircling each other.

An intense and exhilarating 24 hours in the lives of four teenagers on the verge: of adulthood, of HSC, of finding out just who they are, and who they want to be.

A lyrical new YA novel from the award-winning author of Chasing Charlie Duskin and the Gracie Faltrain series.

 

 

My View:

Before I start my review I would just like to mention that this book has won or been nominated for a massive number of awards, I am just one of many singing praises for the beautifully written book:

Literary Awards:

New South Wales Premier’s Literary Award for Ethel Turner Prize for Young People’s Literature (2011), Children’s Book Council of Australia Award Nominee for Older Readers Book of the Year (2011), Prime Minister’s Literary Awards for Young Adult Fiction (2011), Victorian Premier’s Literary Award Nominee for Prize for Writing for Young Adults (2011), The Inky Awards Nominee for Gold Inky (2011)  The Inky Awards Shortlist for Gold Inky (2011).

 

This book is a beautiful coming of age story that is the perfect pick me up for any waning spirits – full of lovable characters, complex yet not complicated issues, full of big ideas ( the images/art work descriptions here are poetic and beautiful and sad all at the same time), some great descriptive prose, colours, colour and more colour. I loved it. No need to say any more 🙂