As the school holidays and winter weather approach it is the perfect time to pick up some great new release books. We’ve put together a collection of interesting and relevant titles to accompany you on your next trip or to while away a rainy afternoon. All titles are available online at Booktopia.com.au .
For adults and young adult readers:
1. McLeish, Todd. Return of the Sea Otter (2018).
‘These adorable, furry marine mammals--often seen floating on their backs holding hands--reveal the health of the coastal ecosystem along the Pacific Ocean. Once hunted for their prized fur during the 1700s and 1800s, these animals nearly went extinct. Only now, nearly a century after hunting ceased, are populations showing stable growth in some places. Sea otters are a keystone species in coastal areas, feeding on sea urchins, clams, crab, and other crustaceans. When they are present, kelp beds are thick and healthy, providing homes for an array of sealife. When otters disappear, sea urchins take over, and the kelp disappears along with all of the creatures that live in the beds. Now, thanks to their protected status, sea otters are floating around in coves in California, Washington, and Alaska.’
2. Walker, Conita. A Rhino in my Garden (2018).
‘Conita Walker tells the story of the love match that lured her from the world of international air travel to plunge, somewhat naively, into the life of a conservationist. It is a tale of adventure, mishaps, humour and heartbreak. Conita's life begins on a remote missionary station; she survives the WWII bombing of Berlin, witnesses the defeat of political systems in both Europe and South Africa, and eventually finds her true mission in the rescue and hand-rearing of black and white rhino orphans.’
3. Dutcher, Jamie. The Wisdom of Wolves (2018).
‘For six years Jim and Jamie Dutcher lived intimately with a pack of wolves, gaining their trust as no one has before. In this book the Dutchers reflect on the virtues they observed in wolf society and behaviour. Each chapter exemplifies a principle, such as kindness, teamwork, playfulness, respect, curiosity, and compassion.’
4. Garnett, Stephen (Ed). Recovering Australian Threatened Species: A Book of Hope (2018).
‘This book showcases successful conservation stories and identifies the approaches that have been most effective in recovering threatened species. These diverse accounts – dealing with threatened plants, invertebrates, fish, reptiles, birds and mammals – show that the conservation of threatened species is achievable: that it can be done and should be done. They collectively serve to inform, guide and inspire other conservation efforts.’
5. Orsini, Michelle M. Handmade Bird, Bee & Bat Houses (2018).
‘Homes to build for everything from bees to bats, and bluebirds to butterflies. Each house is beautifully designed, with colourful details, but is also perfectly adapted for its intended inhabitants. There are birdhouses you can hang up or place on stands, a bee house you can “plant” in your flowerbed, and there's even a home for a toad. There are also feeders for birds and butterflies, and a hanging bird bath.’
6. Stander, Phillip. Vanishing Kings: Lions of the Namib Desert (2018).
‘The ancient Namib is the only desert on Earth where a small population of desert-adapted lions occurs. Remarkably, these unique lions continued to survived along Namibia's Skeleton Coast, but until 20 years ago were merely phantoms - elusive and seldom seen - and then believed to have become extinct. In 1997 scientist Dr. Philip Stander discovered a small pride of survivors in the heart of the desert and began to study the lions: work that has become a lifelong commitment. He has been able to unfold the secrets of these highly adaptive big cats, who seemed to thrive in this harsh environment.’
7. Clyne, Densey. My Encounters with Minibeasts (2018).
‘A collection of stories about insects and spiders by naturalist Densey Clyne, who is internationally known for her writing, photography and nature documentaries. The 35 chapters comprise personal recollections of her adventures in the world of invertebrates, recounting stories from spider tricks and traps to magical moths and ridiculously hairy caterpillars. Many stories are based close to home in Australia, while others relate to the author’s travels overseas with cameraman Jim Frazier, filming for Sir David Attenborough’s documentaries, including in the USA, Borneo and Papua New Guinea.’
8. Liebschner, Jonas. Whales of Sydney (2018).
‘A spectacular photographic book that documents the annual migration of Humpback Whales past the coast of iconic city of Sydney from mid-May to the beginning of December. Showcasing not only the majestic whales but all marine life that can be seen during this time, the book demonstrates the whale's breathtaking behaviours and the interaction between them and the humans watching as well.’
9. Toyota, Lauren. Vegan Comfort Classics (2018).
‘Vegan Comfort Classics is a collection of 101 mouth-watering recipes that combine innovative plant-based cooking with flavoursome comfort food. YouTube sensation Lauren Toyota of the hit vegan channel, Hot for Food, offers indulgent, crave-worthy dishes such as Courgette-Onion Bhajis, Mac `n Cheese Onion Rings, Herb-loaded Sausage Rolls, Spicy Peanut Noodles, Waffle-topped Cottage Pie, Stuffed Crust Pizza, Raspberry Funfetti Pop Tarts, Fudgy Brownies as well as a whole chapter of delicious melty, stacked sandwiches and essential sauces to make any meal awesome. Each and every tempting recipe is photographed. This is modern, tasty food made for weeknights, sharing with friends at the weekend, late-night munchies and beyond.’
10. Kaplan, Gisela. Tawny Frogmouth (2nd Ed.) (2018).
‘The tawny frogmouth is one of Australia's most intriguing and endearing birds. This second edition of Tawny Frogmouth presents an easy-to-read account of these unique nocturnal birds, which can be found across almost the entire continent. Fully revised and updated throughout, this book combines 20 years of systematic observation with published research and information from regional surveys, and represents the most comprehensive single study ever conducted on tawny frogmouths.’
11. Bridgewater, Alan. Brickwork Projects for Patio & Garden (2018).
‘From the decorative to the practical, this book offers a range of projects for all levels of expertise. Sixteen original projects range from a simple garden wall to a beautiful raised herringbone patio. Each project has been photographed step-by-step during construction and the finished piece is shown in its garden setting. Clear construction diagrams and concise text accompany every project. A comprehensive techniques section provides expert advice and information on designing, planning, tools, materials, foundations, concrete, mortar and cutting and laying brick. This attractive and accessible DIY book is full of ideas for creating practical garden features using this simple and traditional material.’
For younger readers:
1. Crawford, Leslie & Stangl, Sonja. Sprig The Rescue Pig (2018).
(For ages 5-8 years).
‘Things aren't looking good for Sprig, who is packed into a fast-moving truck with dozens of other pigs. He doesn't know where they're going but his nose knows there's something better out there. So with one dramatic leap, or really more of a tumble, Sprig sets out on a pig-centred adventure that leads him to his new best friend, a girl named Rory. Inspired by true events, this light-hearted tale introduces kids to an intelligent and inquisitive pig who finds his way to an animal sanctuary.’
2. Williams, Lily. If Sharks Disappeared (2018).
(For ages 5 and up).
‘Even though sharks can be scary, we need them to keep the oceans healthy. Unfortunately, due to overfishing, many shark species are in danger of extinction, and that can cause big problems in the oceans and even on land. What would happen if this continued and sharks disappeared completely? Artist Lily Williams explores how the disappearance would affect other animals across the whole planet in this clever book about the importance of keeping our keeping sharks, and our oceans, healthy.’
3. Angus, Laurie. Paddle, Perch Climb: Bird Feet are Neat (2018).
(For ages 5-8 years).
‘Meet the feet that help birds eat! You can learn a lot about a bird just by looking at its feet. The size, shape, and type give you important clues about where a bird lives, how it moves, and what it eats. Discover seven birds, each with a different type of foot, including a roadrunner with strong legs and feet running across the desert to snag a lizard for lunch, a cardinal with flexible toes perching on a branch to pick berries, and a heron with long legs and toes wading through a river to search for fish. Bright, bold illustrations and simple text invite children to guess what birds will be revealed on successive pages.’
4. Beck, Jennifer. The Bantam & the Soldier (2018).
(For primary aged readers).
‘It is wartime. In the midst of the fighting and devastation, an unusual friendship is formed. A delightful and poignant story that touches on humanity and unexpected friendship in times of war. At the heart of the story is a little bantam character children will instantly warm to. The talents of best-selling author Jennifer Beck and prize-winning illustrator Robyn Belton are beautifully combined in this poignant story of friendship and survival.’
5. Morgan, Sally. Benny Bungarra’s Big Bush Clean Up (2018).
(For early childhood and lower primary aged readers).
‘Benny Bungarra comes to the rescue when Olive Python's head is stuck in a plastic bottle, Colin Crow's beak is entangled in a fishing line, and Kathy Kangaroo's paw has glass in it! An environmental tale showing how animals are affected by rubbish left in their habitat by humans. When the animals work as a team to come up with ways to look after the bush, they decide to ask the humans to REDUCE, RECYCLE and use RUBBISH BINS. But it is Benny Bungarra who has the bright idea of a BIG BUSH CLEAN-UP so the animals can also help look after the bush.’
6. Morgan, Sally. The Midnight Possum (2018).
(For primary aged readers).
‘Possum loved the deep dark. But when Moon rose high in the sky, he loved midnight even more. One night the midnight possum meets a mother who has lost her baby and so he bravely climbs down a chimney, into a house guarded by a dog and a cat, to find the little lost possum.’
7. Auerbach, Annie. Furry Lamb (2018).
(For ages 1 year and older).
‘Delight all of Baby's senses with this adorable little book that has a "spot" of fur that Baby can touch and feel right on the front cover! Furry Lamb explores the pasture and discovers lots of new animals. Bright illustrations and gentle text stimulates babies' sense of sight and hearing, and introduce fun facts that can help your little one learn new words and ideas. Perfectly sized for little hands to explore and enjoy.’
8. Scheffler, Axel. Gobbly Goat (2018).
‘Gobbly Goat is ready for lunch! But what can he find that’s yummy to munch? Join Gobbly in the farmyard on his quest to find a tasty morsel to eat. Little fingers will just love pushing the big sound button to hear Gobbly’s noisy bleating on every page.’
9. Knowles, Laura. The Coral Kingdom (2018).
‘From brightly coloured corals to shimmering shoals of fish, the diversity of life on a coral reef is celebrated in this visually stunning picture book with a strong ecological message about the need to protect this most precious of environments. Through gentle rhyme and intricately etched artwork, it explores the life cycle, diversity and colour of the coral reef ecosystem, as well as the threats the reef faces and what we can do to save it. With each page packed full of delightful sea creatures to discover and enjoy, this is a lyrical and engaging way to learn about the life cycle of a coral reef.’
10. Rockwell, Lizzy. A Mammal is an Animal (2018).
(For ages 4-8 years).
‘What is a mammal? And what is not a mammal? Mammals have skeletons as deer have, breathe air in lungs as whales do, and are born alive as are calves. What is not a mammal? A ladybug has no skeleton, a fish breathes through gills and a bird hatches from an egg. Monkeys, dolphins, and elephants are mammals-and so are you and I! Lizzy Rockwell has created a beautiful and informative book that introduces young children to animal classification and dichotomous inquiry.’