EK Books, an imprint of Exisle Publishing Pty Ltd, Australia, 2023 Design by Aśka (askastorytelling.com)
Samantha Tidy, both as a writer and publisher, has long interested herself in matters of social and environmental import. This picture book takes us back to the days of the women activists through the eyes of a child, Maggie, who is trying to make sense of her grandmother’s world. Amongst other things, they share a name.
Hardie Grant Explore, Australia, 2023 Design Tania McCartney
This is the fourth Plume book and, I believe, the most visually beautiful of the little penguin stories created by author-illustrator Tania McCartney. Clearly Tania is a fan of Christmas and all its celebratory fun and colour, trees, lights and tinsel.
Angus & Robertson, an imprint of HarperCollinsChIldren’sBooks, Australia, 2023
Dorrie/The Creator of Blinky Bill is the latest dip into literary history by Canberra-based author/illustrator Tania McCartney (in 2018 she wrote about May Gibbs, creator of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie). As well as being a prolific creator of children’s fiction picture books, Tania has long taken an intense interest in many aspects of Australian history, geography, natural history and society.
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.
Illustrated by Cain Wheale Independently published, printed by Amazon Australia, 2022
Gavin Lockwood’s debut picture book is a story about the need for the closeness and reassurance received from a pet. It looks at the perils of consumerism, of having everything material at the expense of the emotional.
Hardie Grant Explore, Australia, 2022 Design Jo Hunt and Tania McCartney
Author-illustrator Tania McCartney’s Plume series is now in its third iteration with Plume festival seeker. This is an ebullient and colourful picture book brimming with the author’s zest for sharing the joy of books, travel and words.
Hardie Grant, Australia, 2022 Design Jo Hunt, Tania McCartney
The second in the Plume series is an exploration of the joys of foods and food culture around the world. As with her other work, Tania McCartney has demonstrated an understanding of how young children think and behave, whilst creating a book which adults will also enjoy.