For anyone interested in Australian and New Zealand children’s books, it’s really worthwhile subscribing to Magpies, a fabulous resource packed with interviews, reviews and news, published five times a year. The magazines are beautifully produced in full colour and subscriptions are very reasonably priced, see here.
Even before the book’s official release, the first review of Rebecca Fung’s A Very Special Moon Mission has appeared, in Buzz Words. And it’s a good one! Here’s a short extract:
This chapter book for readers aged 7 to 10 years is lively, easy to read, and well-designed with quality paper. It is frequently illustrated with black and white and grey drawings and should be enjoyed by young readers interested in space adventure.
The first review of Inside Story has just been published, in Buzz Words magazine, and it’s great! You can read it below and also find it at the Buzz Words site.
Inside Story: The Wonderful World of Writing, Illustrating and Publishing Children’s Books compiled by Sophie Masson, Kathy Creamer, Beattie Alvarez, and Peter Creamer, edited by Jen Scanlan and Sharnee Rawson (United Publishers of Armidale) PB RRP $29.99 ISBN9780648815457
Reviewed by Dianne Bates
Here is an invaluable resource and reference book for aspiring writers, illustrators, editors and designers or anyone interested in Australian children’s books. It is the first publication by the newly formed UPA, a collaboration between two independent publishing houses: Christmas Press and Little Pink Dogs, in association with the New England Writers’ Centre. And what a comprehensive and beautifully designed and presented book it is! Designed by Rae Ainsworth, the book covers all aspects of writing, illustrating, and publishing children’s books. It includes a section on what happens in the publishing process, how to pitch to publishers, alternative publishing models, useful organisations, and resources.
On each page there are coloured photographs and graphics, break-out boxes, and information (and advice) from a wide range of industry workers. Colourful double-page spreads introduce each topic, and there are also numerous lists of children’s books under headings such as picture books, illustrated storybooks, fiction anthologies, graphic novels, and more. Any inspiring author would benefit from the advice and tips offered by authors, agents, editors, publishers, and illustrators such as Stephen Axelsen, Pippa Masson, Ian Irvine, Jenny Blackford, and dozens more.
There is, as one would suspect, a clear bias towards books published by Christmas Press and Little Pink Dog Books, but other publishers shine in the book, too. It’s gratifying to see that the compilers have included poetry collections and anthologies, with advice from editors and compilers. Ursula Dubosarsky, Richard Tulloch and Duncan Ball share information and tips for writing plays, with Ball sharing his discoveries as former editor of The School Magazine.
In the tail end of this very engaging book is a list of useful organisations and resources for everyone, including editors, designers, and publishers. Numerous publishers have granted permission to use images from their titles, and there is a page of acknowledgements to the many people who have contributed material (and crowdfunding income). Interestingly, there’s a double page spread at the end of the book with photographs and biographies of the compilers, editors, and book designers.
There are many hours of interesting reading in this comprehensive book. Highly recommended!
We are delighted to see an excellent review of the audiobook edition of Princess Hayley’s Comet, in the latest issue of Magpies Magazine, the acclaimed Australian review journal of children’s literature. The review isn’t available online, but here’s a pic of it, below.
A lovely first review of Phoebe McArthur’s Lucy Newton, Cat Trouble, has just been published on the Read Plus blog. Here’s a short extract:
This is a short but charming story that is full of magical ingredients, apprentice witches, spell books and talking cats, a world that is part ordinary and part magic. Lucy has a habit of ignoring adult warnings and then having to solve the problems she creates. Her spell book is also a ‘learner’, hence the well-intentioned chaos that ensues.
We are delighted that Sophie Masson and Cheryl Orsini’s delightful duo of chapter books, Four on the Run and Four All At Sea, have just received a pair of lovely reviews from Matt Wilson at his excellent blog, A Word About Books.
Here are extracts from each of the reviews:
Four on the Run: Desperate times call for desperate measures and these four plucky and spirited wheeled friends are determined to do whatever needs to be done…..Sophie Masson’s funny, charming and original adventure story about four friends who just happen to have wheels is a great early chapter book….The story races through its seven chapters and features black and white illustrations from Cheryl Orsini. With lots of excitement, a little bit of peril and bags of friendship and heart, Four on the Run will be a hit with vehicle loving children.
Four All At Sea: It’s far from smooth sailing for Flash, Lady, Fergie and Maxie as the four ‘wheelie’ good friends find themselves in all sorts of bother in their second adventure together….Bags of fun, mayhem and close scrapes are in store in this fast-moving and delightful early chapter book that will be a hit with children who love vehicles and adventures….The exciting storyline and fabulous illustrations will keep young children hooked and with seven short chapters it is the perfect book to read over the course of a week.
In its first week of publication, there’s been two great reviews already for The Magic Ball of String, one on Read Plus, the other in Margaret Hamilton’s fabulous Pinerolo Newsletter.
Here’s the full review in the October edition of the Pinerolo Newsletter:
THE MAGIC BALL OF STRING by Chelsea Hardi & Olya Badulina (Richmond). Remarkably, this charming fairy tale was written by a 7-year-old Australian girl. The illustrations, in traditional fairy tale style were done by an illustrator who lives in Finland. A fascinating collaboration.
And here’s an extract from the Read Plus review:
Recommended. The front cover will draw any young girl into the story immediately, with the beautiful princess upon the white horse, and the castle in the background. The illustrations throughout the book capture all the subtleties of the story.This Australian, seven-year-old, author has done an amazing job at storytelling. Being aware of this fact may encourage other budding storytellers out there, knowing that if someone else can do it, they can too.
The first review for Four All At Sea has just been published, on Kids Book Review, and it’s great! Here’s a short extract:
In Four All at Sea, the personification of the characters and the objects that surround them, steer the story through dialogueand point of view with humour.
Flash, Fergie, Lady and Maxie have tasted success after living on the farm in unintended neglect. Now, with shiny new paintwork that matches their stardom, they are travelling for the first time overseas on a ship with their owner Mrs Brown, to film their first movie with Peachey Productions.
You can read the whole review here. It’s by Anastasia Gonis, who also reviewed Four On The Run last year.
Charlie Chaplin: The Usual Suspect, by Phoebe McArthur, has just received its first review, in Read Plus, with the reviewer, Carolyn Hull, recommending the novel. Here’s a short extract:
This book has been written in the style of a Trixie Belden mystery – a young girl who can solve problems and crimes with only the help of other kids. It will appeal to young readers who love a mystery story...