New Books for Primary – October, 2011

The Artist Who Painted a Blue Horse by Eric Carle

‘I am an artist…’ begins Eric Carle’s vibrant tribute to the creative life. And just like an imaginative child, this is one artist who paints the world as he sees it—a red crocodile, an orange elephant, a purple fox, a black polar bear (!) and a wonderful polka-dotted donkey. Filled with some of the most magnificently colourful animals of Eric Carle’s career, this is a book that celebrates imagination and the artist within us all.

Inspired by the work of the great Expressionist painter Franz Marc, a founder of the artists’ group known as Der Blaue Reiter (The Blue Rider), who famously used abstract blue horses in his paintings. Marc’s vibrantly colourful paintings influenced generations of artists, and fired the imaginations of children’s book artists far and wide. Examples of Marc’s paintings and a short biography are included at the end of the book.

Whildwood by Colin Meloy, illus. by Carson Ellis

Prue McKeel’s life is ordinary. At least until her baby brother is abducted by a murder of crows. And then things get really weird.

You see, on every map of Portland, Oregon, there is a big splotch of green on the edge of the city labeled ‘I.W.’ This stands for ‘Impassable Wilderness.’ No one’s ever gone in—or at least returned to tell of it.

And this is where the crows take her brother.

So begins an adventure that will take Prue and her friend Curtis deep into the Impassable Wilderness. There they uncover a secret world in the midst of violent upheaval, a world full of warring creatures, peaceable mystics, and powerful figures with the darkest intentions. And what begins as a rescue mission becomes something much bigger as the two friends find themselves entwined in a struggle for the very freedom of this wilderness.

A wilderness the locals call Wildwood.

Evangeline, the Wish Keeper’s Helper by Maggie Alderson

Evangeline the toy elephant lies under the bed all day, waiting and waiting for something to happen.

If only she could be useful somewhere…

Will her wish be granted?

Our Australian Girl 4: A Home for Grace by Sofie Laguna

It’s 1808 . . .
and Grace loves caring for baby Alice and working with her mistress, Beth, on the property at Rose Hill.  Grave tries so hard to be a good servant – but still her master, Tom, doesn’t trust her.  Does he blame her for what happened to Glory, who is injured and growing sicker every day?  Grace has to do something to help, but who can she turn to?

Our Australian Girl 4: Poppy Comes Home by Gabrielle Wang

It’s 1864 . . .
and Poppy, disguised as a lost princess from India, has joined a travelling medicine show.  They’re about to enter the town of Beechworth, where her brother Gus told her he was heading months before.  Poppy is so happy to think that she might find Gus at last!  But when she follows the clues, they lead her to the cemetery.  Gus couldn’t really be there, could he?

Our Australian Girl 4: Rose in Bloom by Sherryl Clark

It’s 1901 . . .
and even the death of Queen Victoria can’t stop the growing excitement as Melbourne gets ready to celebrate Federation – on Rose’s birthday!  Meanwhile at school, Rose loves being involved in the cricket team.  She’s so focused on the game coming up that she almost doesn’t notice Abigail acting strangely.  What’s wrong with Rose’s best friend?  And can Rose help?

Our Australian Girl 4: Letty’s Christmas by Alison Lloyd

It’s 1841 . . .
and Letty must leave her job on the sheep-run because drought has brought hard times.  Together, she and the Grey family set out over the Blue Mountains.  When disaster strikes, Letty needs to be stronger than she could have imagined . . . Will Letty ever see Sydney – or Lavinia – again?

The Jewel Fish of Karnak by Graeme Base

Far away in Ancient Egypt, Jackal and Ibis are brought before the Cat Pharaoh to be punished for stealing from the town market. In a merciful moment, the Pharaoh decides to give the two friends one last chance: they must journey up the River Nile to the temple of Karnak and bring back something that has been taken from her – a beautiful and precious Jewel Fish.

But she has a warning for the two:

‘Do not take anything else while you are in Karnak. And know that the Jewel Fish is magical. Be sure it does not get wet.’

Jackal and Ibis are not very clever and ignore the Cat Pharaoh’s words, taking a few extra treasures for themselves . . . and disaster follows!

Complete with hieroglyphics, sparkling jewels and an ingenious mechanical device built into the back of the book, here is a cautionary tale set amongst the wonders of an ancient world, from the bestselling and highly acclaimed author of such classics as Animalia, The Eleventh Hour and The Legend of the Golden Snail.

The Ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey

No matter what hour, she lurked looking sour, be it midnight or mid-afternoon. Her dresses were shabby, her mood always crabby.  Her name was Miss Annabel Spoon.

Life is cursed for the people of the village of Twee.  The ghost of Miss Annabel Spoon haunts their every waking hour and they’ve had enough!  But then one day, the brave and practical young Herbert Kettle has the most extraordinary idea . . .

The Perfect Present by Fiona Roberton

Henry has the Perfect Pet – a duck call Spot – who thinks he’s found the Perfect Present for Henry’s Birthday.  But when the big day comes, Henry’s grandparents arrive with a Perfect Present of their own – a strange and wobbling box – with something inside that could change things between Spot and Henry forever . . .

This dearly loved duo returns in a heart-warming tale about never letting good friends go . . .

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