I’d like to share with you two of the books on my coffee table which have special meaning for me.

What Colour is the Sea?

Cover of What Colour is the Sea by Katie Stewart

The first book, What Colour is the Sea? is written and illustrated by my sister, Katie Stewart. It’s published in hardback by Fremantle Press.

What colour is the sea? Like many apparently simple questions in real life, the answer is “it all depends”. Sometimes the best way to get an answer to your question is to go and see for yourself.

As Koala discovers, and as your favourite little listener will learn, sometimes the sea is blue or green. Sometimes it’s black. It can even be silver or gold. Or no colour at all.

While your child is following Koala’s adventure and meeting with some of Australia’s iconic animals, they’ll also be happily learning with her about colour, perspective and the value of searching for their own answers.

But don’t buy this book for its educational value. Buy it for its luscious full-page illustrations and well-written, heart-warming story.

Once: A selection of short short stories

The other book on my table is Once: A selection of short short stories. As the title suggests, this is a collection of very short stories, flash fiction and hybrid fiction, all by West Australian writers. It’s edited by Linda Martin and Laura Keenan and published in a pocket-sized paperback by Night Parrot Press.

It’s on my coffee table for two reasons. The first is that the stories are just the right length to read while I’m drinking a coffee. I like to dip into it, relishing the variety of styles, from traditional to crazy, romantic to amusing, humorous to puzzling. It covers an amazing array of talent.

The second reason it’s on the table is that it came to me as an unexpected gift from my daughter, Amy Budrikis, who wrote three of the stories. I’ve already come to appreciate her skills as an editor. Now I’m looking forward to reading more of her writing in future.

On my coffee table