Nov 262019
 

I’ll be honest, I absolutely love writing about all the gorgeous kids’ books I find but I am struggling today. Just last week I lost my amazing Opa, which made this new Walker Books release even more personal, special and quite emotional to me. If you have a wonderful grandpa (or grandma) in your life this book is sure to pull on your heartstrings like it did for me:

In The Corner of my Eye (RRP $26.99) we meet a special grandfather and his granddaughter Sally, who is determined to help her grandpa find what he is looking for. Things would be a lot easier if grandpa actually remembered what he was looking for, but he forgot that too so Sally decides to simply start looking…

From the cluttered kitchen cupboards to the soft, cosy armchair, from the colourful backyard to the farthest corner of the attic and everywhere in between, Sally searches everywhere and while she finds lots and lots of things she still doesn’t find ‘it’ so she must keep going. This treasure hunt sure is full of interesting finds and dear memories which are all precious in their own way.

As I have sadly seen in my own Opa, dementia is a cruel disease. Dementia turns someone’s brain into a big, messy house where they can’t find the one thing they are desperately seeking. As a loved one you often don’t know what the missing object is, however you can help join the search and sometimes that’s enough.

The ‘Corner of my Eye’ is a beautiful and heartwarming book that, in a wonderful, gentle way, helps young children to understand their ‘forgetful’ grandparent a little better. Featuring an interesting mix of hand drawn illustrations and real photos the book is a joy to look at. I just love the balance between the calm, peaceful images and Colin Thompson’s signature busy, overflowing pages which are perfect for a game of search and find. ‘The Corner of my Eye’ is a touching addition to any family bookshelf.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at ‘The Corner of my Eye’ visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘The Corner of my Eye’ (RRP $26.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck!

Nov 152019
 

As a busy mum of six I try to be as organised as possible for the Christmas season. I generally get my shopping sorted early and aim to get a good combination of fun, practical and educational gifts that are durable and will be enjoyed by all. With the big Summer holidays rapidly approaching I am always on the look out for presents that will keep the peace on long road trips or boring flights and I think a good old Where’s Wally? book is definitely a winner:

If you’re a Wally fan like my kids you’ve probably got quite the book collection already. Search and find mysteries never get old and the kids are always grabbing one or two when we hop in the car. This year Wally is on a different kind of adventure in Where’s Wally? Double Trouble at the Museum (RRP $24.99).

Come and join Wally and the gang as they travel through the ages on a trip to the museum. From the reading room to the museum gardens, from the entrance hall to the costumes and clothing and much more, there is plenty to see for keen spotters. But it’s not Wally or his friends you need to look out for, the aim of the museum game is to spot more than 500 differences. Kids will love this fresh new take on the classic Where’s Wally concept and it might just save your sanity on your next drive too.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at the Where’s Wally? range visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘Where’s Wally? Double Trouble at the Museum’ (RRP $24.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck!

Madame Badobedah giveaway

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Oct 312019
 

It’s a tricky transition, from beautiful picture books to big novels. When you’ve finally mastered reading and are starting to enjoy longer stories, you immediately have to give up gorgeous illustrations… or so it seems. I was so excited to discover a wonderful children’s book by Roald Dahl’s granddaughter Sophie Dahl that combines the best of both worlds and it’s definitely worth a read:


With its large A3 size and eye-catching, colourful hardcover it’s easy to think Madame Badobedah (RRP $26.99) is ‘just’ a pretty picture book. But between these lovely blue covers hides a true treasure of a story that is sure to delight readers of all ages.

When your parents own a seaside hotel you can expect to welcome all kinds of interesting guests, but Mabel has never seen anyone as quirky as this before… Initially she is not too sure about the new arrival, whom she has named Madame Badobedah. Madame Badobedah moves into Room 32, together will all her suitcases and parcels, boxes and furniture and even a selection of pets!

As time goes on Mabel discovers that Madame Badobedah is more a friend than a fugitive and a survivor instead of a super villain. She may not be a lost princess or a criminal in hiding (what a relief!) but this special guest sure knows all about exciting adventures and the unlikely pair bond over their love for adventures.

Mermaids in secret cupboards, pirates, ballerinas and precious jewels from far-away destinations… Room 32 is a place every child would love to visit! Lauren O’Hara has created the sweetest illustrations for this dreamy children’s book and with 56 pages there is plenty of reading and spotting and admiring and imagining to do. Walker Books‘ Madame Badobedah is the perfect magical Christmas gift for little bookworms.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at Madame Badobedah visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘Madame Badobedah’ (RRP $26.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck!

Alex Rider ‘Secret Weapon’ giveaway

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Oct 102019
 

In the latest heart-stopping Alex Rider release Secret Weapon, teen-turned-agent Alex Rider travels across the globe to stop evil enemies in their tracks. From kidnappers to terrorist gangs and from sneaky ex-army personnel to smooth criminals and more, Alex will encounter all kinds of troublemakers as he tries to complete a range of new MI6 missions. Alex Rider: Secret Weapon made the perfect holiday-read for our 11-year adrenaline-junkie, you can read his thoughts below:

Talented teenage super-spy Alex Rider, who works for the British Intelligence Service MI6, is a magnet for trouble. Alex will be pushed to the limit in seven action-packed adventures, each story is full of surprises and will keep you guessing what will happen next. Alex Rider stories are perfect for bored, adventure-seeking kids, they sure kept me entertained and I couldn’t put the book down!

There is nothing ordinary about Alex Rider’s life and nothing is as it seems: A free chocolate on the way to the dentist lands Alex in a secret hide-out in the midst of a food poisoning epidemic and a para-sailing trip in France takes a scary turn when the boat driver has a seizure and Alex has to take the wheel. Then there is a kidnap attempt and a laptop full of valuable information, a hunt for a hidden invention and a daring escape from jail by a dangerous drug-dealer who is out for revenge. And let’s not forget the mysterious car crash that Alex can’t remember at all…

I really enjoyed this story collection by author Anthony Horowitz. I hadn’t read the rest of the Alex Rider series before I read ‘Secret Weapon’, but now I definitely want to! I’ll be checking the school library once school goes back.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at the Alex Rider series visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of ‘Alex Rider: Secret Weapon’ (RRP $16.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck!

‘Fanatical about Frogs’ giveaway

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Sep 262019
 

In many ways our little miss 9 is a lot like her mama, but when it comes to her favourite animals Juliet is most definitely not mine! Where I love the furry, soft, cuddly kind she goes crazy for scaly and scary, slimy and slippery ones that give me the shivers just thinking about them. She loves learning all about these creepy creatures so this gorgeous Flying Eye Books title has her name all over it:

Fanatical about Frogs (RRP $27.99) is a delightful combination of art and amphibians. Across 40 beautifully decorated pages well-known British illustrator Owen Davey introduces young readers to all kinds of interesting facts about frogs, before you know it your budding biologist will be quite the frog expert!

From a desert rain frog to the American bullfrog, from the Vietnamese mossy frog to a starry night reed frog and many more, you have never seen a bigger collection of frogs before. How small/big are different types of frogs and what makes them special? Where do they live and how do they grow? What sounds do frogs make and which frogs should you stay far away from? If you have a froggy question this book is bound to have the answer! Even the frog that turns into a handsome prince gets a little mention.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a closer look at ‘Fanatical about Frogs’ visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

For your chance to win 1 of 3 copies of Fanatical about Frogs (RRP $27.99) hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter, good luck!

‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ giveaway

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Mar 192019
 

If you were to take a peek in family homes across Australia you will be hard pressed to find a book shelf without a copy of Michael Rosen’s We’re Going on a Bear Hunt on it. For years this lovely picture book has been read, sung and played out in living rooms and libraries, bedrooms and cubby houses and many of us have our own special Bear Hunt memories. This year marks the 30th anniversary of We’re Going on a Bear Hunt and that’s a special milestone that should not go unnoticed:

To celebrate the big 30 in style Walker Books has organised the ultimate ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ competition for book loving families. Grab your phone/camera and share an image or video of you and your family sharing We’re Going on a Bear Hunt on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter, using the hashtag #happybirthdaybearhunt and share what you think makes We’re Going on a Bear Hunt special.

The winning family, as chosen by Walker Books Australia, will score an entire year of story times, that is 52 books handpicked for your family! Entries close March 31, 2019, check out the competition details here.

To find out more about Walker Book and to take a closer look at We’re Going on a Bear Hunt visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

Thanks to our lovely friends at Walker Books two lucky Hip Little One readers will win a gorgeous ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ prize pack containing a copy of the book, a tote bag, an adorable ‘We’re Going on a Bear Hunt’ plush bear (not dangerous!) and a cute bear ear headband. For your chance to take home this beary cool stash hop on over to the Hip Little One Facebook page to enter.

Dec 302018
 

If you had asked a young version of me what I would love to be when I grew up there would have been two possible answers: A mum or an illustrator. I (obviously) was blessed enough to become a mum and absolutely love my big family, but sadly I never became an illustrator and most likely never will. With this secret dream in mind I was so excited to discover this beautiful Walker Books release:

As soon as I laid eyes on Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration (RRP $49.99) I knew I was in for a treat. Across 288 pages this impressive hardcover edition covers all the ins and out of Helen’s personality, her childhood, her inspirations and her career as an illustrator. Get ready to take a peek inside the mind of this incredibly talented artist and be amazed.

Leonard St. Marcus has managed to capture the life and work of Helen Oxenbury in a beautiful and detailed way. It is lovely to see how Helen’s every day life inspired specific titles or how certain events impacted her work approach. The personal facts and notes are very sweet and in a way make you feel like an insider. When a 9-month pregnant Helen was first approached by publicist Sebastian Walker (Walker Books) she declined his offer for an advance payment and casually told him to just pay her once he started making money. Did you know that in the early days Helen used crayons for her illustrations (instead of water colour) because being a busy mum they were easier and quicker to pack up before meal time?

Helen’s eye for detail is a rarity and her illustrations are filled with small details that you may not notice at first or second glance, yet when you study her work you realise how much thought has gone into each picture. Subconsciously it’s those little details that make Helen’s books relatable to readers of all ages. Have you ever seen the support bandage around the piano teacher’s leg, spotted the stubble on the farmer’s face and even the few hairs on his back or seen how the pregnant mama kicked off her shoes as she sat down beside the bed? Helen once said: I think that children like mishaps, especially when they occur to the grown-ups’, and I think she is absolutely right!

While Helen Oxenbury: A Life in Illustration is not a book one reads quickly from cover to cover (you can easily snuggle up on the couch for hours and settle in for a long thorough read), you can definitely enjoy a short browse, a flick of the pages and a little look at some of the gorgeous illustrations too. I have found myself grabbing for the book often, just a few minutes of admiring Helen’s work with a warm cuppa in my hand is still very relaxing and rewarding. This makes it a fantastic coffee table book for waiting rooms and a great gift idea of (art) teachers, librarians, artists or anyone with a soft spots for precious picture books.

To find out more about Walker Books and to take a look at Helen Oxenbury’s bibliography visit www.walkerbooks.com.au.

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