Storytorch Press, Australia 2023 Cover design by Flo + Ebb Design
Starberries and Kee is a middle grade fiction described by its publisher as solarpunk. Solarpunk 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.