Recommended Reads – June.

Australian Recent Release: The Electric Hotel by Dominic Smith.

“Beautifully imagined and researched, enthralling and sometimes shocking, The Electric Hotel is a glorious tribute to the birth of movies” – Heather Rose.

From the bestselling author of The Last Painting of Sara de Vos comes a beautiful, compelling story of intertwined fates and unexpected discovery.

The Hollywood Knickerbocker Hotel has been Claude Ballard’s home for nearly half a century. A French pioneer of silent films, Claude began his career as a concession agent for the Lumiere brothers, the inventors of cinema, but he now spends his time foraging mushrooms in the Los Angeles hills, and taking photographs of the runaways along Sunset Boulevard. When a film-history student visits to interview Claude about his his long lost masterpiece, The Electric Hotel, a film that ended in bankruptcy and ruined the career of his muse, the past returns in a flood. O

Kids Recent Release: All the Ways to be Smart by Davina Bell, illustrated by Allison Colpoys.

ABIA Children’s Picture Book of the Year 2019 Winner, All the Ways to be Smart is one of the most delightful picture books of the year.

Smart is not just ticks and crosses,
smart is building boats from boxes.
Painting patterns, wheeling wagons,
being mermaids, riding dragons …

Davina Bell and Allison Colpoys, the award-winning creators of The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade and Under the Love Umbrella are back with this celebration of all the unique characteristics that make children the incredible people they are.

Joyous and brightly illustrated at every turn, All the Ways to Be Smart is a refreshing and crucial reminder for parents and children of the importance of play, of daydreaming, of creativity and kindness. In an age where teaching social intelligence, rewarding creativity and imagination, and celebrating difference is more important than ever, Davina Bell sends a message of love and acceptance in a tender and whimsical way. I think Kids Book Review provides an apt summary:

“Allison Colpoy’s illustrations shimmer with movement and vivacity, with her loose-line illustrations and selective colour palette exuding a nostalgic retro charm. Children will want to pore over each page, while the seamless read-out-loud rhyming pattern will ensure this is a favourite for years to come”

So make sure you get hold of this exploration of everything that is beautiful and precious about childhood.

Tasmanian Recent Release: Pedder Deaming: Olegas Tuchanas and a Lost Tasmanian Wilderness by Natasha Cica.

In 1972, Lake Pedder in Tasmania’s south-western wilderness, was flooded to build a dam.

Pedder Dreaming beautifully evokes the life of Olegas Truchanas, a man who campaigned passionately to save Lake Pedder, one of Tasnmania’s most stunning fresh water lakes. The campaign was the first of its type in Australia, and broke ground for subsequent wilderness conservation successes. The photography Truchanas produced, and his activism for Lake Pedder transformed him into a Tasmanian legend, and this book poignantly details the man he was; a Lithuanian emigre, an adventurer, an activist, a family man, an artist.

Illustrated with striking, original Truchanas photographs from the 1950’s 60’s and 70’s, as well as artwork from The Sunday Group landscape artists, Pedder Dreaming will delight you with its portrayal of the arresting, brutal beauty of Tasmania’s wilderness, and the legacy left by a man with the vision to protect it. A must have for your coffee table.

Tasmanian Classic: SV May Queen – A Grand Survivor by Rex Kerrison and Richard Johnson.

The May Queen was designed and built in 1867 on the Huon River, and is considered one of Tasmania’s most important coastal traders. Her significance to Maritme History was acknowledged officially when she received World Ship Trust Maritime Heritage status. The story of this remarkable boat highlights a number of fascinating aspects of early Tasmanian craftmanship, and life in colonial times. The May Queen now resides in Constitution Dock, Hobart.

Read this book, and then go and give her a visit.