Stuck for a gift for your most creative of friends, or a lover of fine arts?
Here are some ideas to fill their stockings:
- Visions of Ichabod X
The latest story from legendary Australian author Gary Crew, Visions of Ichabod X is a stunningly illustrated picture book for all ages. With steampunk and futuristic overtones, bookish types will spend hours looking at the intricate sketches, looking for clues and meanings that reveal the secrets of the story. Available at all good bookstores and online.
- Robert Sabuda pop up books
So much more than a book, Robert Sabuda’s reimaginings of classic tales such as Alice in Wonderland, The Wizard of Oz and Beauty and the Beast are a fabulous way to introduce classic tales to younger audiences, or revisit childhood favourites. Each page contains marvellous 3d constructions that bring the chapters to life, and abridged text from the story that still maintains the essential plot points, but in an easy to digest format. Look out for his encyclopedia volumes too, that make non-fiction books so much more fun for young readers. Available in Australia from Angus & Robertson or via Book Depository.
- Once a Wommie Wombat, Too Busy Sleeping
Two new Australian authors have been making a splash on the children’s book scene this year. Minty Baxter’s much loved illustrations of Poss and Wom resulted in a crowd-funded book and range of merchandise that support wombat conservation projects in Australia. With a range of prints, signed picture books, jewellery and even cushions, Poss and Wom is a great way to support local authors, wildlife protection and early literacy, all one one hit! Available from mintybaxter.com.
Zannie Louise’s first book, Too Busy Sleeping has been a runaway hit with parents this year. Illustrated by Anna Pignataro, it tells the tale of a big sister who is impatient to play with her newborn brother – perfect for families expecting new siblings in 2016. Too Busy Sleeping is available from independent bookstores and online via Booktopia.
- Adaptations: Matilda, Les Miserable, The Danish Girl, Carol
Beyond picture books, the latest slate of book-to-film and even book-to-stage adaptations are cracker reads for adults who love cinema and theatre. Seek out Patricia Highsmith’s Carol; David Ebershoff’s The Danish Girl, and for teens, why not revisit Roald Dahl’s Matilda. How many people have read the original Les Miserables, by Victor Hugo (who also penned Phantom of the Opera). I bet you could even find a copy of TS Elliot’s Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats if you tried hard…
The age of the musical is well and truly upon us, and you’re spoilt for choice of amazing productions touring Australia in 2016.
From the mind-blowingly phenomenal Matilda (trust us, we’ve seen it, and will follow it to every capital city production we can to see the amazing young performers who carry this show) to classics The Sound of Music and My Fair Lady; new theatre like Heathers and The Book of Mormon (Feb 2017 season) and feel-good favourites Singing In the Rain, Cats and Hairspray.
Treat yourself to something different with a ticket to a ballet production from your state company, or seek out a cutting edge Festival production – Sydney and Adelaide Festivals are not too far into the calendar year.
Still scratching your head for the perfect gift? Why not look at a Gold Class screening of these upcoming blockbusters that The Blurb’s contributors are eagerly awaiting.
David Edwards is the editor of The Blurb and a contributor on film and television