Wednesday, April 11, 2012

5 great finds at Northcote Library

List by Danielle

'People like to believe there are mysteries yet to be discovered, loves to be lived.'
~ From 'Daytrippers' by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá

I moved house about a month ago, so now that the school holidays are in full swing, I'm taking a look around me for the holiday essentials... parks, beaches, playgrounds, and of course my local libraries. Last holidays we were treated to Lucy and the team's fun and hugely energetic Dare to Explore programme at my then-local, Panmure, the highlight of which was a treasure hunt that saw us solving maths, Dewey and alphabet clues as we ran in and out of the library and surrounds. This week we clocked the way the weather was changing and took ourselves to Northcote for a unicorn story and craft session.

If you've got young kids at home, I really recommend our Mythical Creature holiday programme as a way to unwind while picking up some new books and DVDs. While the 3 year old and I checked out the picture books, graphic novels and cookbooks - and played a game of hide-and-seek in the cute little garden courtyard - my 5 year old daughter got to listen to stories and show off at question-and-answer time, as well as making a very cool unicorn collage - painted in part with her foot! The librarians were really friendly and helpful, and we took home a great stash of books on top of our 2 hours of free entertainment.

Easy cheese / written by Rachel Walker
Red Rocket Readers. Non-fiction set B.

An early reader that actually teaches you how to make a simple curd cheese at home! The 3 year old was fascinated. He doesn't think it will taste any good (though I think it looks really yummy, depending on how we season it) but he wants to give it a go anyway. As with all the libraries I've visited, Northcote is a treasure trove of early readers for the 5 year old to read to her little brother. Grade 1 of The Reading Corner series, in particular, are pitched just right for her to figure out for herself, with 2 terms of reading under her belt.

Dragon days : stories & poems / illustrated by Brett Breckon
In the beginning / Gillian Clarke -- Dream-catching dragons / Julie Rainsbury -- Dragon pale / Mary Medlicott -- Cerrig and the bridge of ice / Michael Ponsford -- Dragoncode / Jenny Sullivan -- Elgar and the dragons / Christine Evans -- Gorse gold and shell blue / Gaye Hicyilmaz -- Cathedral dragon / Nona Rees -- Fire offering / Peter Oram -- Village that lost its dragon / Phil Carradice -- When Merlin's back / Catherine Fisher -- Bladderwrack and Driftwood / Malachy Doyle.

Beautiful language and elegant, colourful dragons fill the pages of this dragon compendium by illustrator Brett Breckon. It caught the 3 year old's eye - he was on a hunt for dragon books - but it's probably a bit wordy for him, though he enjoyed paging through the pictures. I'm looking forward to exploring the mythology, especially the tales told in poetic form.

Love, Splat / Rob Scotton
Splat the cat is desperate to become friends with one of the girls at school! But he's much too shy to talk to her. However will he get her attention? Perhaps Valentine's Day will provide the perfect opportunity?

An old favourite - both kids love Scotton's Splat books as well as his Russell the Sheep series. Splat is a great, dorky hero and the message here is a good one for all of us - be brave, be yourself, and just keep trying.

Daytripper [graphic novel] / by Fábio Moon & Gabriel Bá
Brothers Bá and Moon take readers through the life of a man named Brás de Oliva Domingos, selecting a series of individual events of great significance to Brás, showing each as if it could be the day Brás dies, and in so doing creating an examination of family, friendship, love, art, life, and death that urges the reader to turn the same careful inspection on their own life. Central is the relationship between Brás, who is first seen as a disgruntled writer stuck in a job writing obituaries, and his father, Benedito de Oliva Domingos, a famous author. Although each section can be years apart, themes all beautifully tie in throughout the work; characters develop as more is learned about them as the story jumps back and forth in time; and moments of Brás' life take on entirely new meanings as events from his possible pasts or futures cast them into new lights.

I saw this a while back on the New Titles list and thought it looked intriguing, so it's great to give it a whirl. The art is really good, really solid, and the structure of the story is interesting. Neat to read something set in a city I'm totally unfamiliar with, too. So far 2012 has been a year full of turning points for me, big changes, and this seems like it has some useful things to say about such moments.

Soup! : hot and cold recipes for all seasons / Pippa Cuthbert & Lindsay Cameron Wilson
Soups are warming, comforting, filling - we eat soup when we're feeling tired, cold, perhaps a little under the weather - they are the ultimate comfort food. And everyone most definitely has their favourite. This book includes everyone's favourite along with a whole host of other innovative flavour combinations made using interesting fresh ingredients. All of the basic preparation techniques are explained, together with notes about the equipment required. There is also a chapter on garnishes - such as croutons, salsas and pickles.

It could just be the way the summer suddenly closed down today and got all grey and rainy, but when my son pulled this off the cookbook shelves and thrust it at me, I couldn't resist it. The photos are GORGEOUS. Everything looks like it would burst with flavour and the combinations of ingredients are just yum. Personal picks for future projects: Canadian cheddar & lager soup; Tomato soup with spinach and feta (wonton) dumplings; Romesco (toasted nuts, roast capsicum and tomato soup); plus a roasted pumpkin soup that includes maple syrup in the roasting process. I've just eaten dinner and I'm still getting hungry again looking at these pictures.

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