Picture books are the first leap into the world of reading for most children, so we’re always on the look out for good quality, quirky stories that will be loved by children and adults alike. The best picture books transport us to different worlds through their richly imagined stories and evocative illustrations, and teach us about others and ourselves with wisdom and humour. Here are a few stories that have enthralled and delighted us.
It was a cold winter afternoon when Yaba Badoe’s novel was placed in my eagerly waiting hands. “At last!” I thought, “something entirely different.” A Jigsaw of Fire and Stars tells the story of Sante, a baby orphan castaway, who is washed ashore and brought into the life of Mama Rose. Raised in Mama Rose’s tribe of lost children, Sante and her adopted family are a traveling performance troupe, each with strange talents — though Sante’s is the most mysterious of all. Though Sante is always on the move from one town to the next, her mysterious past begins to catch up with her and it’s not long before a bamboo flute, jeweled dagger and her faithful bird begin to change the course of her life.
Get excited! In a little over a month we’ll be celebrating how amazing and magical bookstores are and would love to see all you book lovers here at Paperchain for Love Your Bookshop Day on Saturday the 12th of August.
We’ll have a few cheeky extras for you to enjoy in addition to our regular fabulous range and legendary staff so don’t miss out!
Come for a cup of tea and try some toothsome* literary treats that we’ll be whipping up and if you are looking for literary love you’re in luck!
We’ll be hosting ‘Blind dates with a book’ for you to have a shot at finding that perfect read, and we’re also breaking out our favourite vinyls for a variable soundtrack throughout the day, so bring along a favourite album, we’d love to hear what you’ve got!
And to further enable all our book-loving tragics, we’ll be posting a code on social media for you to use at the time of purchase for a cheeky little discount on the day.
See you all on August 12th, come and show us some love!
*It sounds made up however ‘toothsome’ is in fact real.
“He found himself wondering at times, especially in the autumn, about the wild lands, and strange visions of mountains that he had never seen came into his dreams.”
-J RR Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring
As the nights turn cooler and the day’s light fades quicker than before, we turn inward to the worlds that lie between the covers of our books.
There is something wonderfully atmospheric at this time of year, as the leaves yellow and fall away from their branches and the skeletal arms of the tree become stark.
As nature changes we often search for books that compliment transformation of season, and while there are many to choose from, today we are going to share a few of our favourite cosy reads with you.
Unicorns, narwhals, rainbows and ice cream, Jessie Sima’s new book ‘Not quite Narwhal’ is the best Friday afternoon find we’ve had in awhile!
Check out the trailer below!
Jessie Sima grew up unaware that she was an author-illustrator. Once she figured it out, she told her family and friends. They took it quite well. Not Quite Narwhal is her very first book.
Things we love about Polska (in equal measure):
- The food
- The front cover
- The author’s fabulous name!
It is a beautiful moment indeed when, browsing along the bookshelves, I come across an unfamiliar novel, when an intriguing cover draws me in and I find within a story that matches it perfectly. Though we are all aware of the proverb ‘don’t judge a book by its cover’, it is an inevitably unconscious act for many people and often as good a basis as any for selecting which book, out of millions, is going to be the next world that we enter.
Book review: Talking to My Country, by Stan Grant, published in 2016 by HarperCollins AU
I first encountered Stan Grant earlier this year when his speech from the IQ2 debate on the Australian dream, presented by the Ethics Centre, came into the spotlight. Grant’s speech focussed on the deep roots of racism in Australia and its detrimental impact on the potential to achieve the Australian dream. ‘The Australian dream’ has come to stand for the chance to achieve prosperity, to be given a ‘fair go’ and to become part of the broader cultural and social life of the country. However Grant showed how this dream has always been — and remains — out of reach for Aboriginal Australians. Grant challenged some of Australia’s national myths, contrasting them with historical perspectives from Indigenous peoples and contemporary experiences of racism, reminding us of those historical events that Australia wishes to forget.
Grant’s book Talking to my country is an extension of this discussion, a call to account and a demand for understanding and recognition.
Gotham is the brief but compelling story of Jeff Foster, an Australian freelance Rolling Stone music reporter, and his all-nighter gambit with up-and-coming rap icon Na$ti Boi in the streets of New York. Beginning with the meet-cute at an after-hours Bloomingdales, Jeff witnesses the many layers of the rapper, whose outward self-confidence, displayed in his profound lyrical profanity, belies his fear and insecurity, glimpsed as he rifles through four pairs of Alexander Wang cargo pants. Standing stoically alongside Na$ty Boi is Smokey, his golden-grilled manager whose wife is in labour with their second child. Between controlled and placating exchanges with his charge Na$ti Boi, Smokey and Jeff bond over their experiences of the joys and trials of parenthood — a sharp contrast to the crack-sniffing Na$ti Boi who demands a visit to his semi-regular lady, an Ivy League pornstar, followed by a beef Wellington for dinner.