Thursday, 28 September 2017

Vote for new books !

Greater Dandenong Libraries has introduced its new book selection tool. You can register and vote for the books you would like the library to buy.

Click on the Vote for new books link on the right or Vote here. Enter your email address and Library card number to see the current selection.

Vote now and have your say in our collection.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Suri's Wall by Lucy Estela, illustrated by Matthey Ottley.

Book cover image of Suri's Wall
Suri’s Wall tells the story of a young girl named Suri who lives with lots of other children in a grand, old building located on the side of a mountain overlooking the local town below. However, despite the other children being of similar age to Suri, the children were afraid of Suri as she was much taller than they were. Suri spent many days and nights feeling lonely and found companionship in the big, stone wall that surrounded their home.

One day, Suri realised that she was suddenly tall enough to see over the stone wall and could see the beautiful view of the town and surrounds from where she stood. The other children noticed this and began to approach Suri to find out what the world beyond the wall looked like. Suri delighted in using her imagination to tell her new friends about the spectacular view from their big, grand building. The children continued to ask Suri every day about what she could see over the wall until one day, everything changed.

Suri’s friend Luca noticed there were some big, loud bangs and asked Suri to tell him what she could see. Despite seeing the turmoil across the wall, Suri chose to allow their innocence to continue for just a little while longer and used her wonderful imagination to once again delight her friends with the possibilities of an exciting life on the other side of the friendly wall.

Suri’s Wall leaves you asking many questions throughout the story while you feel for Suri as she relies on resilience in her lonely life followed by navigating new friendships as the story progresses. The confronting reality of war impacts the final pages of the story which in turn compels you to turn right back to the first page and read the entire story again.

The beautiful illustrations throughout enhance the emotions you feel as you read each page and the way the author has unraveled the story leave you eager to find out what is on the following page, even before you have had a chance to appreciate the the words on the current page. Suri’s Wall is a lovely story to read with a primary school aged child who will have many questions as you move your way through this emotional tale.
Amanda C.

Friday, 22 September 2017

Into the water by Paula Hawkins

Book cover image of Into the water
Into the water is the follow up to the very successful Girl on the train by Paula Hawkins. It is based on a series of deaths in a small English town. Like Girl on the train, the story alternates between different narrators, although this time there are a larger cast of characters, which can be quite challenging to keep up with, but it is interesting to get the different character's points of view and the story moves at a good pace with the intrigue gradually building.

Jules has come back to her hometown of Beckford after the drowning death of her sister Nel. Nel’s teenage daughter Lana is reeling from this bereavement and also from the apparent suicide of her best friend Katie. These two are part of a long line of women who have met untimely ends in the waters of Beckford’s “drowning pool”. Nel had been documenting and photographing the pool and its history as a project, now strangely she has become one of the victims of it. Did she drown herself, or was she killed? Jules’ suspicions increase as she finds out Nel had more than a few people in town unhappy about her little project.

As the background stories of all the characters are revealed, their connections and secrets slowly emerge. There are enough motives amongst many of the characters to keep you guessing who the culprit is (which is not revealed until the last page). There is an eerie quality to the story, with a hint of the supernatural, and Hawkins writing is sharp and self-assured, making it easy to read. If you like suspense and were a fan of her first novel, you will enjoy Into the water.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Mr Chicken arriva a Roma by Leigh Hobbs

Book cover image of Mr Chicken arriva a Roma
“Fantastico”! That is, Italian for ‘fantastic’ - an appropriate exclamation for the third installment of this popular picture book series. No surprise that Mr Chicken arriva a Roma (Mr Chicken arrives in Rome) is a 2017 CBCA Notable. Its veteran author/illustrator Leigh Hobbs holds the distinguished title of Australian Children’s Laureate for 16/17.

Leigh Hobbs has mastered a distinct visual style which I would like to coin ‘scratchy sketch’. His artistic talent has created other memorable lead characters such as Horrible Harriet and Old Tom. Signor Pollo aka Mr Chicken also falls into that category, an oversized, overzealous creature that mostly resembles a chicken, with a taste for travel to the big smokes… check out Mr Chicken Goes to Paris and Mr Chicken Lands on London.
Mr Chicken cuts a unique figure wherever in the world he is, introducing the reader to city and culture via visits to popular tourist sites. This series is like an introductory travel guide for children with some foreign language skills in the mix.
They say, “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. In Mr Chicken arriva a Roma Mr Chicken lives it up faster than a Contiki Tour, with a penchant for eating gelato, lots of it. And of course, pasta. “Delizioso”! (delicious).
The big question is, where in the world will Mr Chicken end up next….?

Thursday, 14 September 2017

Why'd they wear that ? by Sarah Albee

Cover image of Why did they wear that

Sarah Albee writes Why'd they wear that : Fashion as the mirror of history, so get ready to chuckle your way through centuries of fashion dos and don'ts ! The book is a humorous approach about outrageous, politically-perilous, funky, disgusting, regrettable, and life-threatening creations that people have worn throughout the course of human history. Why people wore what they did is an illuminating way to look at the social, economic, political, and moral climates throughout history.

As a whole, the book is attractively designed, conversationally written, informative, and with narrow enough focuses to really interest. I adored the clothes of days gone by. Full of images that depict the time to show off every bustle, frill, and rivet, this wide-ranging guide to clothing throughout time will fascinate history and fashion buffs alike.

Albee gives overviews of Renaissance, Elizabethan, and Baroque fashions (among many others), while highlighting how economic and social changes were often directly reflected in clothing—during the Great Depression, for instance, costume jewelry replaced more expensive accessories. Why'd they wear that is an insightful study of how clothing is influenced by society as well as informing future creativity.

Monday, 11 September 2017

New fiction for September 2017

Book Cover image of Two kinds of truthBook cover image of Tell taleBook cover image of Two steps forward

Stock up on the latest new titles from popular authors such as Jeffrey Archer, Michael Connelly and Graeme Simsion

In the midst of Winter Isabel Allende
Shattered memories Virginia Andrews
Tell tale Jeffrey Archer
End game David Baldacci
Mrs Osmond John Banville
Agatha Raisin and the witches' tree M.C. Beaton
Every breath you take Mary Higgins Clark
Two kinds of truth Michael Connelly
Fools and mortals Bernard Cornwell
Cuban Affair Nelson DeMille
Manhattan beach Jennifer Egan
It girls Karen Harper
Sleep no more P.D. James
Killing season Faye Kellerman
Road brothers Mark Lawrence
Five-carat soul James McBride
Suddenly one Summer Fleur McDonald
Passage of love Alex Miller
Red Coast Di Morrissey
Darkest Day Hakan Nesser
Magic lamp Ben Okri
Wyoming Winter Diana Palmer
A spot of folly Ruth Rendell
Deep freeze John Sandford
Two steps forward Graeme Simsion Anne Buist
From the stars above Peter Watt

Simply click on your chosen title/s and you will be directed to The Vault, where you can place your holds. Want ideas for what to read next? Ask our friendly staff for a recommendation.

Friday, 8 September 2017

The winner of the Miles Franklin Literary Award 2017 is...

Book cover image of ExtinctionsImage of Josephine Wilson
Josephine Wilson for her novel Extinctions. The novel explores the life of a retired engineering professor Frederick Lothian who has become a virtual recluse after his wife dies and he is estranged from his children.
Through meeting his neighbor Jan, he is encouraged to engage with life again and explore the impact of secrets and lies in his life. It explores the themes of ageing, adoption, grief, empathy and self-centeredness.

The Miles Franklin Literary Award, now in it's 60th year, was established through the will of My Brilliant Career author Miles Franklin for the advancement and improvement of Australian literature.
The prize, worth $60000, is given to the novel with the "highest literary merit" which presents "Australian life in any of its phases".

Other shortlisted titles for the prize were :
An Isolated Incident Emily Maguire
Waiting Philip Salom
The last days of Ava Langdon Mark O' Flynn
Their brilliant careers Ryan O' Neill
Congratulations to the winner and nominees.

Thursday, 7 September 2017

The Boss Baby (DVD)

Cover image of The Boss Baby DVD
I watched The Boss Baby with my four year old daughter and despite being a bit sceptical at the start, I actually ended up really enjoying this film.  It has a great storyline and many funny moments. The basic storyline involves a seven year old boy named Tim who has everything he could possibly want, especially receiving all the love and attention from his parents. But that’s all about to change one day when a baby dressed in a black suit, wearing a black tie, and carrying a briefcase arrives on the family’s doorstep. Suddenly everything changes and as weird as it seems, all of Tim’s parents love and attention turn to the new baby named “Boss Baby”. Tim can’t work out why his parents can’t find anything strange with a baby that wears a suit and tie and carries around a briefcase. Oh the baby also talks too! Anyhow, Tim and Boss Baby are constantly fighting with each other over who is the boss of the house and unfortunately for Tim, the baby always wins out. That is until one day they decide to work together to stop an evil plot whereby someone wants to make puppies rule the whole world. It’s time for these two brothers to team up and save the world! The Boss Baby is a great family movie that anyone can watch.

Monday, 4 September 2017

The colour thief : a family's story of depression by Andrew Fusek Peters & Polly Peters

The colour thief is a beautifully illustrated book recounting a child's experience of losing his father to depression. The boy’s father disappears into a world without color. We follow a young boy who loves spending time with his Dad, doing fun things together. When his father becomes sad and distant, he doesn't understand and believes he has done something to make his dad so, despite being told otherwise. Time passes and his father begins to get happier again and they have fun together like before.
As the father seeks help, color begins to reappear and with it hope. An ideal book for parents and caregivers to share with children to help them make sense of the devastating effects that depression can cause. The colour thief is a simple, heart-warming tale which helps to open up the conversations around depression and to support young children whose families have been affected.

Friday, 1 September 2017

The Princess Diarist - a sort of memoir by Carrie Fisher

During the filming of the first, original “Star Wars” movie, actress Carrie Fisher had kept her own journals which she would later discover (in the period of the reprised Star Wars in 2015) and publish in this biography The Princess Diarist…a sort of memoir.
Fisher’s until now very private romantic relationship with co-star Harrison Ford is revealed in all of her then naivety. Her descriptions of the backdrop of the hugely popular Star Wars films show the tentative steps towards Fisher’s sense of self as an actress and young woman.
Arguably, no one actor could be as instantly recognized (in costume) as Princess Leia. Fisher describes later in the book the joys and insanity of celebrity. Her role as Princess Leia would provide her with a purpose and “ongoingness” for many years to come, with fan autograph-signing, public appearances and her featuring in the latest Star Wars films, before her sad death in 2016.
The Princess Diarist…a sort of memoir has many shrewd, introspective insights, as well as whimsical poetry, in this enjoyable and funny biography.
My favourite quote from Carrie’s personal reflection as to how others would come to see her:
“I should let people I meet do the work of piecing me together until they can complete, or mostly complete, the puzzle. And when they’re finished they can look at the picture that they’ve managed to piece together and decide whether they like it or not. On their own time. Let them discover you.”