Tagchildren's picture books

Stephanie Owen Reeder and Cher Hart – Sensational Australian Animals

CSIRO Publishing, Australia, 2024
Cover and internal design Cher Hart

In creating a book about the five senses, Stephanie Owen Reeder and Cher Hart have eschewed the commonplace (pictures of noses and ears) and opted to show our unique Australian fauna and the way their use their senses, some of them in the most remarkable ways.

Stephanie Owen Reeder spoke to Barbie about Sensational Australian Animals
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Margaret Wild and Hannah Sommerville – Reading to Baby

Affirm Press, Australia, 2024
Cover and internal design by Hannah Janzen

In Reading to Baby, author and illustrator have created a beautiful gentle book, a testament to family and to the power of reading.

Margaret Wild talks to Barbie about Reading to Baby
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Amelia McInerney and Alexandra Colombo: Jeff Giraffe – The Great Escape

Larrikin House, Australia, 2024
Design and artwork Mary Anastasiou (imaginecreative.com.au)

What an ebullient author Amelia McInerney is, creating stories with charm, humour and quirky characters  – a delight for children and their adult reading companions!

Barbie spoke to Amelia McInerney about Jeff Giraffe – The Great Escape
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Rhiân Williams and Tom Jellett – Emergency! Emergency! – Vehicles to the Rescue

Published by Wild Dog, Australia, 2022

One of the many debates in education circles is the issue of core knowledge. Is there a set of facts that everyone needs in our society? Or is it more important that young people learn how to find the information they need?

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Gina Newton and Nandina Vines – <em>Spider Wars </em>

Wilkinson Publishing Pty Ltd, Australia, 2024
Design Alicia Freile, Tango Media
Illustrations and information section designed by Nandina Vines

The natural world conflict of Spider Wars, a picture book by Gina Newton and Nandina Vines is a story of territorial dispute between the Wolf Spiders and the Peacock Spiders. The author and illustrator also tell a kind of Romeo and Juliet tale of star-crossed lovers.

Gina Newton speaks to Barbie about Spider Wars
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Aleesah Darlison & Cheri Hughes – Super Sloth Episode 2: Revenge of the Chick-Oats

Big Sky Publishing, Australia, 2024
Cover and internal design by Cheri Hughes

Aleesah Darlison’s Super Sloth series will appeal to the legions of super-hero and intergalactic wars fans. With its mostly anthropomorphic characters, the story is a classic good versus evil tale, of the sort that fantasy readers embrace (as do readers of adult crime).

Aleesha Darlison talks to Barbie about Revenge of the Chick-Oats
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Cate Whittle and Nicky Johnston: Millie – The Cutest Puppy in the World

Scholastic, Australia, 2024
Book design by Sofya Karmazina

Artist Nicky Johnston is undoubtedly one of the children’s picture book world’s queens of cuteness. Thus the combination of her sweet anthropomorphic representations of Millie with Cate Whittle’s gentle story is a marriage made in heaven.

Cate Whittle talks to Barbie about Millie – The Cutest Puppy in the World
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Bronwyn Saunders and Andrew Plant – Diprotodon – A Megafauna Journey

CSIRO Publishing, Australia, 2023
Cover and text design and layout by MDCN Creative

This book will be welcomed by the many school librarians who are constantly trying to meet requests from young students for information books.

Bronwyn Saunders spoke to Barbie about Diprotodon – A Megafauna Journey
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Samantha Tidy & Aśka – When Grandma Burnt her Bra

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.

Samantha Tidy talks to Barbie about When Grandma Burnt Her Bra
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Tania McCartney – Plume Christmas Elf

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.

Tania McCartney talks to Barbie about Plume Christmas Elf
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Maxine Beneba Clarke – We Know a Place

Lothian Children’s Books, Hachette, Australia, 2023
Cover and internal design by Kinart

We Know a Place joins the cavalcade of books for all ages in praise of bookstores. Maxine has produced both text and pictures for this work.

Maxine Beneba Clarke talks to Barbie about We Know a Place
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Amelia McInerney and Lucinda Gifford – Neil The Amazing Sea Cucumber

Affirm Press, Australia, 2023
Cover and internal design by Kirby Armstrong @ Affirm Press

Pairing Amelia McInerney (words) and Lucinda Gifford (pictures) was an excellent editorial decision as they obviously understand one another’s temperaments and intentions well.

Barbie spoke to Amelia McInerney about Neil The Amazing Sea Cucumber
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Sarah Wallace and Lesley McGee – Emma’s Freckles

Little Pink Dog Books, Australia, 2023
Cover design by Lesley McGee

Based on the Gaelic legend that explains how people came to have freckles, this story is about valuing difference. Heroine Emma wonders why she has freckles and her classmates do not.

Sarah Wallace talks about Emma’s Freckles
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Tania McCartney – Dorrie

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.

Barbie talks to Tania McCartney about Dorrie
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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.

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