Welcome to Children's Corner book reviews from 4MBS Classic Radio FM in Brisbane. Here you will find short annotations of the children's books reviewed by Kerry Neary in Children's Corner on 4MBS, together with the details you need to find them at your favourite bookstore. Any prices shown are the publisher's Australian recommended price and may vary depending on where you shop. You are welcome to use these reviews for newsletters and the like with appropriate acknowledgement.

Nov 14, 2014

Books reviewed 23.10.14

Not all picture books are for young children. Here are some great gift ideas for older readers – even adults.

Gus & me

Keith Richards, illustrated by Theodora Richards
Orion Children’s Books [Hachette]
ISBN: 9781444011760           RRP: $28.99

The sub-title explains: The story of my Granddad and my first guitar. It’s a memoir, with the Rolling Stones author reflecting on the influence of his grandfather, on his musical life. The guitar sitting atop the piano was just one of many instruments around Grandfather Gus’s house. Richards played his first song on this guitar – Malaguena. The rest is musical history. The well-written story, glowing with family pride and love for the Grandfather, is accompanied by illustrations done in the beat style of the 50s. Included is a CD-Rom with Richards telling the story and performing Malaguena. One for the fans.
The Arrival

Shaun Tan
Lothian Books [Hachette Australia]
ISBN: 9780734411464           RRP: $19.99

This migrant story of one family, rendered in haunting sepia drawings in a comic strip style layout, and no words, holds universal appeal. This new edition is in softcover with a smaller, though still squarish, format – like a square paperback. There appears to be no change to the contents; everything is just smaller, and still highly readable. The big change is the impression of the story – much more intimate, much more personal, even more sophisticated. This exquisite silent graphic novel is now there for everyone to choose to read. I suggest you do.
One minute’s silence

David Metzenthen, illustrated by Michael Camilleri
Allen & Unwin
ISBN: 9781743316245           RRP: $29.99

One of the best books of the year, this picture book is clearly directed towards older children, teenagers and adults. The words lyrically and fluently tell the Anzac story by drawing on some well known incidents but portraying them from both sides. These incidents are presented as reflections for that contemplative minute observed each Remembrance Day. In sepia sketches the illustrations feature the members of a contemporary year 12 class, disinterested presences at their desks. wondering what all this has to do with them. Then they are transformed as characters in the story, sometimes in historic scenes, sometimes contemporary. It is a dramatic effect and its impact shows on the class and the reader alike.