Tagchildren's picture books

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
Continue Reading“Gina Newton and Nandina Vines – <em>Spider Wars </em>”

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
Continue Reading“Aleesah Darlison & Cheri Hughes – Super Sloth Episode 2: Revenge of the Chick-Oats”

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
Continue Reading“Cate Whittle and Nicky Johnston: Millie – The Cutest Puppy in the World

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
Continue Reading“Bronwyn Saunders and Andrew Plant – Diprotodon – A Megafauna Journey

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
Continue Reading“Samantha Tidy & Aśka – When Grandma Burnt her Bra”

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
Continue Reading“Tania McCartney – Plume Christmas Elf”

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
Continue Reading“Maxine Beneba Clarke – We Know a Place”

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
Continue Reading“Amelia McInerney and Lucinda Gifford – Neil The Amazing Sea Cucumber”

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
Continue Reading“Sarah Wallace and Lesley McGee – Emma’s Freckles”

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
Continue Reading“Tania McCartney – Dorrie”

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”

Gavin Lockwood  – Ian the Termite

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.

Gavin Lockwood talks about Ian the Termite
Continue Reading“Gavin Lockwood  – Ian the Termite”

Tania McCartney – Plume festival seeker

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.

Tania McCartney talks to Barbie about Plume festival seeker
Continue Reading“Tania McCartney – Plume festival seeker”