PICTURE STORY

Slow Down
Rachel Williams & Freya Hartas 

All around us, nature is turning, growing…and working. Every day, hour by hour, magical transformations happen right in front of you. But it’s not always easy to see them…

Discover 50 nature stories, paused just long enough for you to watch them unfold.

Then go outside and explore… and see what you find when you take the time to slow down.


To The Bridge
Corinne Fenton & Andrew McLean

Nine-year-old Lennie Gwyther dreamed of seeing the opening of the Sydney Harbour Bridge. With his father’s blessing, he rode his pony Ginger Mick across Australia, inspiring crowds of supporters to greet him in cities along the way, as he made his way to Sydney. It was there that he saw the bridge that had captivated his imagination and inspired his brave journey. And it was then that he and Ginger Mick became a legend.

This inspiring historical story is about persistence, resilience, bravery, courage and hope. It’s about pursuing a dream and the impact that journey can have on those who follow.


I Love My Mum
Anna Walker

Meet Ollie – a gorgeous, lively zebra, Fred the dog, and all of Ollie’s friends. Ollie loves Mum and Mum loves Ollie!

Anna Walker has perfectly captured the bond between a mother and child in simple, everyday activities, as Ollie and Mum spend a special day together.


Ten Little Figs
Rhian Williams & Nathaniel Eckstrom

Ten little figs are on my tree.
I love figs and they’re all for me.

Ten Little Figs is a joyful rhyming picture book about a child keeping careful watch of the figs on the fig tree in his backyard. With his dog by his side, he counts down the number of figs as they are taken by various hungry Australian animals (flying fox, finches, green ants and others) until only one fig is left.

Who will get that very last fig? 


A Thousand Kisses From Mummy
Anna Pignataro

A kiss to wake me from my sleep, then more to treasure and to keep. And I’m as happy as can be- A thousand kisses, all for me!

A beautiful story that is full to the brim with kisses.


EMERGING READERS & JUNIOR FICTION

Billie B Brown: The Honey Bees; The Hat Parade; The Grumpy Neighbour
Sally Rippin

Three fun new Billie B Brown adventures!  

The Honey Bees: Billie wants to protect the planet. She knows bees are super-dooper important, so she’s going to build a beehive at school! But why is her best friend Jack so upset about her plan?

The Hat Parade: Billie really wants to win the school hat parade. She has made lots of amazing hats! But when Billie gets stuck in bed with a horrible cold, will her hat parade plans be ruined?

The Grumpy Neighbour: Billie has kicked her new soccer ball over Grumpy Gertie’s fence. Her friends say Gertie will never give it back. Can Billie find a way to befriend Gertie and get her ball?


A Bear Named Bjorn
Delphine Perret & Antony Shugaar

Bjorn lives in a cave. The walls are soft, the ground is comfortable, and just in front there is new grass and a rough tree, perfect for back-scratching.

A Bear Named Bjorn takes us into the forest with Bjorn the bear and his friends. One day the animals have their eye tests and try on the humans’ lost spectacles. Another, they just sit, watching the leaves and playing cards on a tree stump. And on party night the animals borrow clothes hanging on the camping ground line-and return everything carefully in the morning, only a little bit used.

Bjorn’s thoughtful bear logic and small eccentricities are the heart of these mischievous chapters that are by turns contemplative and comical, odes to both nature and “human” nature.


Elizabella and the Haunting of Lizard Lake
Zoe Norton Lodge & Georgia Norton Lodge

Excitement is in the air as Elizabella – poet, fixer of fairytales and the biggest prankster in the history of her school – heads off to camp with the rest of her class. But when Larry the Lizard learns she’s headed to Lizard Lake he stows away in her suitcase, dreaming of discovering the other sentient lizards rumoured to be living there. Soon, Elizabella begins having strange dreams and wonders if Lizard Lake is haunted. Meanwhile back at Bilby Creek, Martin madly searches for Larry, eventually stumbling on another lizard who looks exactly like him. After discovering who is really haunting Lizard Lake, Larry and Elizabella return home to solve another mystery. Who is the imposter hanging out with Martin?

Another uniquely funny entry in the beloved illustrated comedy series from talented sister duo Zoe and Georgie Norton-Lodge.


Slime
David Walliams

WELCOME TO THE ISLE OF MULCH…

This little island is home to a large number of horrible grown-ups. The school, the local park, the toy shop and even the island’s ice-cream van are all run by awful adults who like nothing more than making children miserable. And the island is owned by the most awful one of all – Aunt Greta Greed!

Something needs to be done about them.

But who could be brave enough?

Meet Ned – an extraordinary boy with a special power. SLIMEPOWER!


Lena, the Sea and Me
Maria Parr

Dark clouds are looming in Mathildewick Cove. The arrival of a new football coach is putting twelve-year-old Lena’s goalkeeping career in doubt. And in the house next door, Trille is wondering how to impress the girl who has just joined his class.

The stage is set for a dramatic year ahead. What are Trille and Lena to do when every raft they build sinks, and every message in a bottle they send washes up on the shore at home? As the best friends battle the elements and their own emotions, one thing is for sure: they’re not giving up, not if Lena has anything to do with it!

This classic in the making from award-winning author Maria Parr is packed full of laugh-out-loud adventures and paints an honest picture of the highs and lows of friendship and growing up.


MIDDLE GRADE FICTION

Her Perilous Mansion
Sean Williams

In a strange mansion miles from anywhere, an orphan named Almanac and a twelfth daughter named Etta find themselves working – and bickering – side by side in the largely deserted rooms.

But soon they realise that the house and its inhabitants are not quite what they seem, and there’s more at stake than just their jobs.

Can they solve the puzzle of Her Perilous Mansion before it’s too late?


The January Stars
Kate Constable

When twelve-year old Clancy and her fourteen-year-old sister, Tash, visit their Pa at his aged-care facility, they have no idea that the three of them will soon set out on an intrepid adventure.

Along the way there are many challenges for Tash and Clancy to overcome and in the process, they discover their own resourcefulness and resilience and demonstrate their heartfelt love for their grandfather.

This thoroughly enjoyable novel about two sisters determined to help their grandfather will delight middle fiction readers of all ages. From the author of the bestselling and much-loved novels Crow Country & Cicada Summer.


When Stars Are Scattered
Victoria Jamieson & Omar Mohamed

Omar and his little brother, Hassan, arrived in Dadaab, a refugee camp in Kenya, seven years ago. Their father was killed the day they left home, and they haven’t seen their mother since they joined their neighbors who were fleeing to Dadaab. Now Omar is eleven and Hassan is nine, and Omar has quit school to look after his brother, who has an intellectual disability.

When Omar is given the opportunity to return to school and carve out a future for himself and Hassan, he feels torn. He loves school and could have the opportunity to earn a coveted scholarship to a North American university and with it a visa for himself and Hassan. But is it worth the risk and heartache of leaving his vulnerable brother for hours each day?

Told in Victoria Jamieson’s engaging and accessible graphic-novel style and based on Omar Mohamed’s gripping true story, this book is an intimate, important look at day-to-day life in a refugee camp.


Wink
Rob Harrell

Surviving school with one eye open.
Ross Maloy just wants to fit in.

But after he is diagnosed with a rare eye cancer in Year Seven, he suddenly becomes the ‘cancer kid’ of his school.

Now he has to deal with weird hats, a squinty eye and – hardest of all – disappearing friends, social media bullies, and the threat of losing his eyesight … or worse.

Based on Rob Harrell’s real-life experiences, and packed with his cartoons and illustrations, this is a heartbreaking and hilarious story of survival, and of finding the music, magic and laughter in all of life’s weirdness.


The Year the Maps Changed
Danielle Binks

Sorrento, Victoria, 1999. Fred’s family is a mess. Her mother died when she was six and she’s been raised by her Pop and adoptive father, Luca, ever since. But now Pop’s had to go away, and Luca’s girlfriend Anika and her son have moved in. More and more it feels like a land-grab for family and Fred is the one being left off the maps.

Even as things feel like they’re spinning out of control for Fred, a crisis from the other side of the world comes crashing in. When a group of Kosovar-Albanian refugees are brought to a government ‘safe haven’ not far from Sorrento, their fate becomes intertwined with the lives of Fred and her family in ways that no one could have expected.

A middle-grade coming-of-age story inspired by true events about the bonds of family, the weight of grief and the power of compassion for fans of The Bone Sparrow, Wolf Hollow and The Thing About Jellyfish.


TEEN / YA

Please Don’t Hug Me
Kay Kerr

Erin is looking forward to Schoolies, at least she thinks she is. But things are not going to plan. Life is getting messy, and for Erin, who is autistic, that’s a big problem. She’s lost her job at Surf Zone after an incident that clearly was not her fault. Her driving test went badly even though she followed the instructions perfectly. Her boyfriend is not turning out to be the romantic type. And she’s missing her brother, Rudy, who left almost a year ago.

But now that she’s writing letters to him, some things are beginning to make just a tiny bit of sense.


Nightshade (Alex Rider #13)
Anthony Horowitz

In this adrenaline-fuelled adventure in the number one bestselling series, Alex Rider is sent by MI6 Special Operations to infiltrate a new and sinister organization known only as Nightshade.

Alex is on his own, with the fate of thousands of people resting in his hands.


How to Grow a Family Tree
Eliza Henry Jones

Stella may only be seventeen, but having read every self-help book she can find means she knows a thing or two about helping people. She sure wasn’t expecting to be the one in need of help, though.

Thanks to her father’s gambling addiction, Stella and her family now find themselves living at Fairyland Caravan Park. And hiding this truth from her friends is hard enough without dealing with another secret. Stella’s birth mother has sent her a letter.

As Stella deals with the chaos of her family, she must also confront the secrets and past of her ‘other’ family. But Stella is stronger than she realises.


Seasons of War (Skulduggery Pleasant #13)
Derek Landy

War is coming.

To avert catastrophe, Skulduggery and Valkyrie are sent on a secret mission that takes them away from everything they know, to a forsaken land of magic and grim, unrelenting terror. It is here that Valkyrie will have to fight the hardest – not only against the enemies who want her dead, but also against her own self-destructive impulses.

It’s only by crawling through darkness that she’ll be able to once again stand in the light…


Aurora Burning (Aurora Cycle #2)
Aime Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Our heroes are back. Kind of.

First, the bad news: an ancient evil – you know, your standard consume-all-life-in-the-galaxy deal – is about to be unleashed. The good news? Squad 312 is standing by to save the day. They’ve just got to take care of a few small distractions first.

Like the clan of gremps who’d like to rearrange their favourite faces. And the cadre of illegit GIA agents with creepy flowers where their eyes used to be, who’ll stop at nothing to get their hands on Auri. Then there’s Kal’s long-lost sister, who’s not exactly happy to see her baby brother, and has a Syldrathi army at her back. With half the known galaxy on their tails, Squad 312 has never felt so wanted.

When they learn the Hadfield has been found, it’s time to come out of hiding. Two centuries ago the colony ship vanished, leaving Auri as its sole survivor. Now, its black box might be what saves them – but time is short, and if Auri can’t learn to master her powers as a Trigger, the squad and all their admirers are going to be deader than the Great Ultrasaur of Abraaxis IV.

Shocking revelations, bank heists, mysterious gifts, inappropriately tight bodysuits and an epic firefight will determine the fate of the Aurora Legion’s most unforgettable heroes – and maybe the rest of the galaxy as well.


Deep Water
Sarah Epstein

HENRY WEAVER IS MISSING

Three months ago, thirteen-year-old Henry disappeared from The Shallows during a violent storm, leaving behind his muddy mountain bike at the train station.

MASON WEAVER IS TRAPPED

hile Mason doesn’t know who he is or what he’s capable of, he knows the one thing binding him to this suffocating small town is his younger brother, Henry.

CHLOE BAXTER WANTS ANSWERS

Why would Henry run away without telling her? One of Chloe’s friends knows something and she’s determined to find out the truth.

As Chloe wades into dangerous waters and Mason’s past emerges, a chilling question ripples to the surface: how far would you go to keep a secret?