Tagchildren's literature

Maura Pierlot and Jorge Garcia Redondo – Alphabetter

Affirm Press, Australia, 2024
Cover design and internal Stephanie Spartels @ Affirm Press
Cover illustrations Jorge Garcia Redondo

The question of how early one should teach ethics to children and in what form is at the heart of this book. Maura Pierlot posits a convincing argument with this work for its early introduction.

Barbie spoke to Maura Pierlot about Alphabetter
Continue Reading“Maura Pierlot and Jorge Garcia Redondo – Alphabetter

Best-selling author is new Australian Children’s Laureate

The Australian Children’s Laureate Foundation has announced Sally Rippin as the 8th Australian Children’s Laureate for 2024 and 2025.

Barbie spoke to Sally Rippin about her role as the new Australian Children’s Laureate
Continue Reading“Best-selling author is new Australian Children’s Laureate”

Jacinta Froud and Gökçe Yavaş Önal – The Perfect Book

Self-published, Australia, 2023
Designed by Ozan Tortop tadaabook.com

Jacinta Froud takes us on wild ride as Finn engages book seller Mr Persnickety in the search for a perfect book for friend Ginny.

Barbie talks to Jacinta Froud about The Perfect Book
Continue Reading“Jacinta Froud and Gökçe Yavaş Önal – The Perfect Book”

Cate Whittle – Starberries and Kee

Storytorch Press, Australia 2023
Cover design by Flo + Ebb Design

Starberries and Kee is a middle grade fiction described by its publisher as solarpunkSolarpunk is subgenre of what used to be called science fiction, works speculating on how the future might look if humanity succeeds in solving major challenges like climate change and pollution.

Barbie spoke to Cate Whittle about Starberries and Kee
Continue Reading“Cate Whittle – Starberries and Kee”

Samantha Tidy (words) and Susannah Crispe (pictures) – Cloudspotting

Windy Hollow Books, Australia, 2023

Samantha Tidy’s textual story and Susannah Crispe’s visual story come together perfectly in Cloudspotting (Windy Hollow Books, Australia, 2023). This is a gentle tale of a father and daughter who, while the rest of the family still sleeps, go out crabbing in their boat in the dark chill of early morning.

Continue Reading“Samantha Tidy (words) and Susannah Crispe (pictures) – Cloudspotting”

Jane Godwin – A Walk in the Dark and The Isabelle Stories

Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette, Australia, 2023

Unusually and despite their different target audiences, I am writing about both of these books by Jane Godwin at once. Jane Godwin’s writing is characterised by her gentle but astute understanding and observation of young people and their concerns.

Barbie talks to Jane Godwin about A Walk in the Dark and The Isabelle Stories
Continue Reading“Jane Godwin – A Walk in the Dark and The Isabelle Stories”

Jennifer Cossins – Amazing Animal Journeys

Lothian Children’s Books/Hachette, Australia, 2022
Design Kinart

Jennifer Cossins’ beautifully illustrated book contains facts and figures about animals and their migratory habits that will be a revelation to adult readers (let alone children). She has chosen both well and lesser known creatures for this informative work, and does not confine herself to the furred and feathered.

Continue Reading“Jennifer Cossins – Amazing Animal Journeys

Kate Temple – The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat

Lothian/ Hachette, Australia, 2022
Cover and internal design and illustrations Christopher Cooper

What a delicious book this is! And do not for a minute be thinking it’s just for children. This is a book bursting with rich language, big ideas and sardonic humour – including the satirisation of things you probably need to be an adult to really understand.

Barbie spoke to Kate Temple about The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat
Continue Reading“Kate Temple – The Dangerous Business of Being Trilby Moffat”

Nicole Godwin and Susannah Crispe – Swoop

CSIRO Publishing, Australia, 2022
Cover, text design and layout by MDCN Creative

Spring in Canberra always alerts people to our beautiful magpies because sometimes people, especially cyclists, are swooped. We see a lot of inventive head protection and hand waving.

Barbie spoke to Nicole Godwin and Susannah Crispe about Swoop
Continue Reading“Nicole Godwin and Susannah Crispe – Swoop”

Craig Cormick – Colonial Settlement: France vs Britain

What if History of Australia series
Big Sky Publishing, Australia, 2022
Cover and internal design and illustrations by Cheri Hughes

This book is just the sort of make your own adventure that primary school children love. It presents the facts as we know them about the first European settlement of Australia and then suggests that things could have gone very differently had the French beaten the English to the post.

Barbie spoke to Craig Cormick about Colonial Settlement: France vs Britain
Continue Reading“Craig Cormick – Colonial Settlement: France vs Britain”

Alison McLennan and Connah Brecon – Great and Small

Storytorch Press, Australia, 2022
Interior design by Flo + Ebb Design
Official release date 1 July 2022

Great and Small is not just another unicorn story. Not that there is anything wrong with unicorn stories. I’m pretty partial to unicorns myself. However, this is a story about courage, perseverance, friendship and valuing everyone’s different abilities and qualities.

Barbie spoke to Alison McLennan about Great and Small
Continue Reading“Alison McLennan and Connah Brecon – Great and Small”

Mike Lucas and Daron Parton – Let’s Build a Backyard

Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette, Australia, 2022
Designed by Ingrid Kwong

The second in the ‘Let’s Build a’ series, this is a bright, colourful book extolling the virtues of working outdoors together as parent and child and of the joys of nature.

Barbie spoke to Mike Lucas about Let’s Build a Backyard
Continue Reading“Mike Lucas and Daron Parton – Let’s Build a Backyard”

Susannah Crispe – Under the Moonlight

Lothian Books, Hachette, Australia, 2022
Text and illustrations by Susannah Crispe
Design: Kirby Armstrong

Under the Moonlight is the first of Susannah Crispe’s books as both writer and illustrator, though she has been illustrator for a number before. It is a gentle story, aimed at putting fear of the dark unknown in its rightful place.

Susannah Crispe talks to Barbie about Under the Moonlight
Continue Reading“Susannah Crispe – Under the Moonlight”