Book Reviews from Pinerolo

In these trying times what better thing to do in lockdown than read good books, writes Margaret  Hamilton AM. Here are her recommendations, including beautiful picture books to share when homeschooling children.

New Books

how an authorHOW TO BE AN AUTHOR by Georgia Richter & Deborah Hunn (Fremantle Press).

This is an indispensable and very practical reference for anyone who aspires to be a published author. Whether you’re dreaming of writing for adults or children, it will point you in the right direction.

Eliza Vanda CoverELIZA VANDA’S BUTTON BOX by Emily Rodda. (HarperCollins).

I love promoting local Blue Mountains authors. Emily has done it again — another wonderful, entertaining fantasy story for young readers.

New Picture Books

THE ABC OF CUDDLES by Sophy Williams. Illus by Gavin Scott (Albert St).

Everyone loves cuddles and this book is an alphabet of them from Airport to Zzzz. A lovely book to cuddle up with at bedtime.

THE BARK BOOK by Victoria Mackinlay. Illus by Beth Harvey (ABC).

Large print and very simple text, with lively illustrations make this a perfect picture book to share with a new reader.

THE CAT THIEF by Pat Simmons. Illus by Liz Duthie (Little Pink Dog).

Olive desperately wants a cat but it’s not a good idea to take other peoples. Then comes the perfect solution. Engaging and colourful illustrations.

THE COLOUR OF MUSIC by Lisa Tiffen. Illus by Matt Ottley (MidnightSun). Shortlisted for CBCA Picture Book of the Year

Ottley has produced another superb picture book. The text connects music with colours, emotions and the world we live in.

GROWING PAINS by Alison McLennan. Illus by Melissa Johns (EK).

Finn’s new tree must get growing pains too, feel the cold, but the tree pays back with comfort. Colourful collage illustrations.


A very inquisitive boy grows up asking lots of curious questions and finally finds his place in the world. Engaging illustrations follow his progress.

THE INSIDE DAY by Jane Martino. Illus by Annie White (Puffin).

This the fourth story in the five-book series, each celebrating mindfulness. A good book to read in these lockdown times. Gently illustrated.

MR BAT WANTS A HAT by Kitty Black. Illus by Laura Wood (New Frontier).

A crazy bat who wants a hat is the theme of this amusing story. Energetic and colourful illustrations.

MR MING AND THE MOONCAKE DRAGON by Kathy Creamer. Illus by Amy Calautti (Little Pink Dog).

This is a long story which will challenge young readers but they’ll be satisfied as they follow the mid-autumn mooncake festival.

RAJAH STREET by Myo Yim (Walker).

An unusual picture book about a small boy’s favourite things. His favourite day is Wednesday — garbage day. The illustrations reflect the story.

THIS IS NOT A BOOK! by Kellie Byrnes. Illus by Aska (EK).

This small boy is in denial. Although this is not a book he takes readers through amazing adventures. Entertaining and energetic illustrations.

WHERE THE HEART IS by Irma Gold. Illus by Susannah Crispe (EK).

This touching story is inspired by a true story about a penguin. Gentle, involving illustrations.

WHO FED ZED? by Amelia McInerney. Illus by Adam Nickel (A & U).

Another very entertaining book from Amelia. Equally zany illustrations involve readers from start to finish.

Win one of 5 books in this months giveaway: The Story of Australia by Don Watson

See the winners of  The Children’s Book Council of Australian Awards 2021