Wellington City Libraries

Te Matapihi Ki Te Ao Nui

Search options

Teen Blog

Reading, Wellington, and whatever else – teenblog@wcl.govt.nz

Tag: Picture books

Waiting on Wednesday

It’s Wednesday! Here’s a small selection of interesting titles we’ve ordered recently. Reserve them if they take your fancy.

Soonchild, Russell Hoban (illustrated by Alexis Deacon). Russell Hoban, creator of Captain Najork and Aunt Fidget Wonkham-Strong, was once called “the strangest writer in Britain”. Sadly, he is retiring soon, and this is his second to last book! You must read it! In all seriousness, here’s what it’s about:

“Somewhere in the Arctic Circle, Sixteen-Face John, a shaman, learns that his first child, a soonchild, cannot hear the World Songs from her mother’s womb. The World Songs are what inspire all newborns to come out into the world, and John must find them for her. But how? The answer takes him through many lifetimes and many shape-shifts, as well as encounters with beasts, demons and a mysterious benevolent owl spirit, Ukpika, who is linked to John’s past…” (goodreads.com)

The Girl in the Steel Corset, Kady Cross. A steampunk romance! “In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one… except the ‘thing’ inside her. When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no normal Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch… Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of them. The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret. Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help – and finally be a part of something, finally fit in. But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on – even if it seems no one believes her.” (amazon.com)

Pure, Julianna Baggott. The first in a new dystopian series (the next one will be called Fuse, when it is published). This is the story of Pressia and Partridge. After a nuclear holocaust, people are – for the most part – horribly disfigured, and society corrupt. Pressia is one of the disfigured, Partridge is one of the “pure”. The Pure are the ones who made it to the Dome in time, their bodies unmarked. Inside the Dome Partridge is protected from the people who will burn him, as some type of living sacrifice. Pressia also has problems, since she’s come of age and must join the militia (as a soldier, if she’s physically capable, or as a “live target” if she’s not). When Partridge learns that his mother (who didn’t make it to the Dome) may still be alive, he makes the dangerous decision to venture out in search of her, and “when Pressia meets Partridge, their worlds shatter all over again.”

Top 10: picture books

Picture books are cool. It’s a bit of a shame when they go over the heads of their intended audience, so we thought we’d bring some sophisticated gems to your attention. Here’s the list I’ve put together, I’ve also asked Stu (from storytime and Stories@7 fame) for his top 10… we’ll compare notes.

  1. book coverBlack and White, David Macaulay (Children Fiction). This is a cool one; four stories are told simultaneously, but interconnect at different moments in time. A kind of a puzzle.
  2. The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley, Colin Thompson (Children Fiction). A story to live by. Riley’s only a rat (a happy rat, as the title suggests), but is he wiser than humans?
  3. The Arrival, Shaun Tan (YA). A wordless story of living in a strange land.
  4. Michael Rosen’s Sad Book, Michael Rosen (Children 152.4 ROS). With illustrations by the awesome Quentin Blake. Michael Rosen was inspired to write this book after the death of his son, Eddie. The pictures and words mesh beautifully.
  5. book coverThe Mysteries of Harris Burdick, Chris Van Ahlsberg (Children Fiction). Stu showed me this one and I like it. It’s a kind of choose-your-own picture book. The illustrations are awesome and your imagination can run wild.
  6. book coverThe Island, Armin Greder (Children Fiction). A stranger is washed up on an island. Who is he? A story of xenophobia and human rights.
  7. The wall: growing up behind the Iron Curtain, Peter Sis (Children Biography B SIS). A graphic memoir about growing up in Czechoslovakia at the beginning of the Cold War. A lesson in history and a personal journey.
  8. book coverWoolvs in the sitee, Margaret Wild (YA). Post Apocalypse, a teenager lives alone in a derilict building, terrified of the world around him. When his rescuer, an elderly woman, goes missing, he must muster the courage to venture out and find her.
  9. Don’t let the pigeon drive the bus! Mo Willems (Children’s Picture Book). Really very silly; too silly for preschoolers… adults love it, and the pigeon (and the bus driver) has become something of a picture book celebrity. Also check out the latest pigeon book, The Pigeon Wants a Puppy.
  10. The Savage, David Almond (YA). This is a new arrival. Part novel, part graphic novel (kind of similar to Tales from Outer Suburbia by Shaun Tan in that sense), the illustrations are duotone black and blue, adding to the “savage” element. Blue Baker writes a story that come true… trouble is, the story is one of blood and guts. Dave McKean, the illustrator, has also done the artwork for many Neil Gaiman books, including Coraline, The Sandman series and The Wolves in the Walls.