'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Thursday, 30 November 2017

Review: The Animal Book

Come and discover some of the amazing creatures we share the Earth with! From jaguars to oysters, whales to kiwis and eagles to earthworms, this book introduces a vast array of intriguing creatures.

The Animal Book from Lonely Planet Kids profiles over 100 animals with fantastic photographic images and illustrations. The book has a section for each continent as well as one for ocean creatures, enabling kids to explore the appearance and habitats of all sorts of creatures, as well as find out about their secrets and cheeky antics!

Meet the Illustrator: Max Landrak

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Quirky, irreverent, retro.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Lots of books, loudspeakers, strong coffee.

Do you have a favourite artistic medium?
Pen, ink, pastels.

Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Review: Press Out and Decorate: Unicorns

Nosy Crow creates so many fabulous activity books for kids (see here and here), and Press Out and Decorate: Unicorns, by Kate McLelland, is no exception.

Beautiful in its simplicity, this hard cover book with a spiral spine contains page after page of thick and sturdy cardboard covered in gorgeous sparkly unicorns to press out and decorate.

There are wings, too, to add to your unicorns so they can soar, and stars, clouds, hearts and rainbows to make more beautiful things.

Teeny-tiny holes have been pre-cut into each special press-out, so the kids get to colour in the pieces and then hang them together (or individually) to show off their creations.

Review: They Both Die at the End

I had to think twice before reading this book. Both the title and the blurb had me feeling a little unsure. But. This is a story oozing with tenderness and humanity set in modern day New York, with a remarkable alternate reality. The existence of the Death Cast whose heralds call people to inform them they have 24 hours to live and are now referred to as Deckers.

Mateo and Rufus, aged 18 and 17 have never met. They're complete opposites who have just learned they are Deckers. Shattered and numb, they connect through an app called Last Friend, and spend their last day together. Told through alternating point of view chapters we follow  the teens on their eventful last day.

Mateo and Rufus have completely different personas and values, from Rufus's painful past and foster care brotherhood, to isolated Mateo's selfless, kind and fearful tendencies. They manage to work together to achieve certain wishes and bring out the best in one another.

Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Review: The White Cat and the Monk

The White Cat and the Monk is a retelling of an old Irish poem called Pangur Bán. Pangur Bán was written in the ninth century by an Irish monk whose name is unknown. 

The word ‘bán’ means white and it’s believed that the word ‘pangur’ means ‘fuller.’A fuller was a person who fluffed and whitened cloth. What a wonderful name for a white cat!

I must admit that I love this book so much that when I first bought it I carried it around with me for weeks just so I could gaze at Sydney Smith’s illustrations and pour over Ellen Bogart’s exquisitely simple text, whenever I was on a train or in a coffee shop.

The book tells the story of a monk and his cat living peacefully together, each appreciating and respecting the other. The text is deceptively simple and works so beautifully. 

12 Curly Questions with author Mona Golabek

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you. 
I love travelling and seeing the world and meeting new people and learning as much as I can all the time. I have been to 50 countries.

2. What is your nickname? 
My mother, Lisa, used to call me 'Monala'.

Monday, 27 November 2017

Review: I've Got Feet

Julie Murphy intrigues with her facts about animal feet.

From paws that grip the ground better than sports shoes to deadly claws and Emperor Penguin feet that can warm an egg throughout the Antarctic winter, every page is a revelation.

Julie's use of human comparisons help little ones imagine just how far kangaroos can hop, why webbing is useful and just how strong an owl is.

Review: Australia Illustrated Map

All your present buying problems are solved!

The perfect gift for Christmas, birthdays, baby showers and more, Australia Illustrated Map by the amazingly talented Tania McCartney will wow every single person (child or adult) who unrolls it.

And I really mean wow them!

Sunday, 26 November 2017

Guest Post: Jordan Lyons on Sports and Literacy

 For kids (and all of us, really), life can be an aggregation of anxiety and stress. It's full of social and academic pressures. Children and teens seek an oasis from this drudgery just like we do. Often they turn to tiny screens filled with social media, video games, or whatever their favorite apps happen to be. Those distractions aren't necessarily bad things, but suggesting activities such as sports and literacy can have a big impact on how your child develops and create lifelong habits for them.

Saturday, 25 November 2017

Junior Review: The Name of This Book is Secret

The Name of This Book is Secret is a very mysterious book recommended for ages 8 - 12. It has an exciting, old vibe to it and I was immediately attached to it as soon as I read the first sentence.

The main characters, Cassandra and Max-Ernest, go on an epic journey to find out what the symphony of smells is and explore a missing magician’s diary and a Secret. Then they meet their match. 

Evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais are the only people who stand in their way of figuring out what this mystery all means. However, they are not going down without a fight! 

At the spa, the Midnight Sun Cass and Max-Ernest find themselves in the one place they did not want to be - trapped in a luxurious spa. Help Cass and Max-Ernest defeat the evil Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais in a thrilling mystery adventure.

Review: Buildablock

Buildablock will deeply satisfy any child or adult who has an interest in building and construction machinery. It is bright, busy, sophisticated and humourous.

In Buildablock we meet an inquisitive boy and girl peeking through the holes in a fence surrounding a city construction site. They can see so many workers, both male and female, and wonder what they do on the construction site? During the story we find out what the workers do and which machines they use to help them complete their jobs.

'We cut a ditch deep in the ground with..the trencher!'

Friday, 24 November 2017

Guest Post: Jan Latta on Sleepy the Sloth

Five years ago, I started researching sloths for my next True to Life book. When I heard about a Sloth Sanctuary in Limon, Costa Rica, I sent an email to the manager, but I was informed that all their sloth ‘images’ belonged to National Geographic and Animal Planet. They said if I travelled to their sanctuary I would not be allowed to create a sloth book from my photographs. What!!?

Disappointed (and puzzled,) I continued my search. In July, I read about Enca Garcia, a zoologist at the Jaguar Rescue Centre. She’s been saving injured sloths and then releasing them back into the wild. After seeing my website, and the books I’ve created, Enca said I could come to her sanctuary to create my sloth book.

Review: Build the Dragon

Need a crafty gift for a young dragon-lover? Build the Dragon is exactly what you’re looking for!

A book and craft in one, Build the Dragon comes with all the pieces you need to build a model dragon. And it moves!

The pieces come on thick and sturdy cardboard, and they’re really easy to press out, which means no broken pieces before you even begin.

The only parts not made with thick cardboard are the wings, which are made of a thinner cardboard and paper, but the kit comes with extras of all these more fragile pieces, just in case anything gets torn during construction or play.

There are 21 steps in the instructions, so it’s not super complicated, and all the pieces are numbered, making everything easy to figure out. 

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Bookish Places: Winnie the Pooh Country

The Kids' Book Review Bookish Places posts are a chance to celebrate museums, galleries and other places with a connection to children's literature and reading. The posts are compiled by KBR's Consultant Librarian, Sarah Steed, our intrepid traveller and hunter-gatherer of amazing places!

If you're interested in an outdoors experience related to a classic children's book, then look no further than Winnie the Pooh country. It's a beautiful place to get out of the city and back to nature.

Found in the county of Sussex, in southern England, there are great opportunities for hiking and picnics. On the trail of Winnie the Pooh you'll find spots that you might recognise, or which could spark a memory of childhood in general, and the Pooh stories in particular.

Ashdown Forest (Photo: Sarah Steed)

Review: Katinka's Tail

From the wonderful Judith Kerr comes another delightful tale about a very special tail!

I’ve been a fan of Judith Kerr for many years and adore the antics of Mog in all her classic stories. Judith’s new lead feline, Katinka, is rather more cheeky and cheerful than Mog but equally as engaging.

Katinka is a ‘lovely, perfectly ordinary pussycat’ with a not so ordinary tail. Everyone notices Katinka’s tail. People comment that it is funny, or peculiar, or maybe even magic…

Wednesday, 22 November 2017

Junior Review: Dragonfly Song

We reviewed Dragonfly Song back in July last year, however as a final farewell review from our former junior reviewer, Layla Ahern, and in in recognition of this fine novel winning Honour Book CBCA Book of the Year for Younger Readers 2017, we thought it fitting to feature it one more time.
Dragonfly Song by Wendy Orr is a heart-warming, heart wrenching novel that tells of pain and suffering, but with the perfect amount of light added throughout. 

There are plenty of twists and a touch of magic to keep the story flowing, but it is not too quickly paced, making it easy to get to know Aissa, the main character. 

Aissa is the Lady’s daughter. She is the heir to the throne, but she is not perfect. An extra thumb on each hand causes her to be banished, down to the lowliest of slaves. Even there she is hated. Her only chance of becoming who she was born to be is to become a Bull Dancer. 

Review: Girlish

Empowering, inspiring and informative, Girlish is a book every young girl needs to read.

It’s basically a personal workbook about what it means to be a girl. 

Filled to the brim with advice, quotes, truth bombs and facts, it teaches girls about feminism, amazing women throughout history and how to fight for your beliefs.

I loved this book. I would actually say it’s essential reading for all women, not just teenage girls, as it contains so much important information about strong females in history.

But, first and foremost, Girlish has been written and designed for teens, and its delivery is spot on.

Tuesday, 21 November 2017

Review: Merry Everything

Confession time: I have never been a big fan of Christmas. I love the idea of it but, truth be told, my tree is always lopsided, my gingerbread crumbly and the thought of shopping for presents sends me running for the Charles Dickens on my bookshelf.

Enter Tania McCartney and Jess Racklyeft. This jolly, sparkly gem of a Christmas book is enough to make the grinchiest Grinch among us revel in the festive fun.

12 Curly Questions with author Paul Whitfield

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
I am still a little afraid of the dark. That’s kind of embarrassing at my age.

2. What is your nickname? 
I get called Pablo quite a bit and by friends who don’t even know each other. I don’t know why, I don’t think I look much like a Pablo. 

3. What is your greatest fear?
I don’t really have a 'greatest' fear, more a low level of concern about heaps of things. Perhaps if you combined them? So, falling from a great height, while trapped in a tight space, having just eaten something that will make me sick (all while in the dark).

Monday, 20 November 2017

Announcement: New Reviewer Pat Simmons

I have had the pleasure of rumbling in the same literary jungles as Pat Simmons for some years now. She is a deft hand at poetry and wields a mighty pen when it comes to flash fiction. 

Her accomplished, economic writing style has led to the imminent release of her first two picture books and today, we are thrilled to announce her arrival into the KBR family. 
Pat joins our superlative reviewing team this month and can't wait to share her thoughts and feedback with us. Meantime, get to know Pat a little better with this special 12 Curly Questions Edition.

Review: A World Full of Animal Stories: 50 Folktales and Legends

A World Full of Animal Stories: 50 Folktales and Legends is a beautiful book.

Kate McAllister has compiled stories from cultures around the world: Ghana, Peru, Norway, Australia, Papua New Guinea, Japan, Tibet, and many more.

Each story is labelled with its country of origin, and is presented with a complementary picture.

The stories are all under three pages in length, some as short as one page, so they can be read quickly and should be suitable for most independent readers.

Sunday, 19 November 2017

Guest Post: Nova Weetman on The Secrets We Share

Nova Weetman on why she wrote The Secrets We Share

Last year my middle grade book, The Secrets We Keep was published. At the time I thought it was a standalone novel, and didn’t even consider writing a sequel. 

It was Kristina Schulz, Children’s Publisher at UQP, who first suggested it. I was surprised and didn’t at first imagine how I could continue the story.

In the first book protagonist Clem Timmins is reeling from the house fire that has destroyed her world. She has just moved into a flat with her dad and has had to start a new school. This book is all about Clem keeping secrets, and digging for the truth.

Review: Five Little Speckled Frogs

One of my all time favourite counting-down rhyming songs, Five Little Speckled Frogs, is now a board book.

This version of Five Little Speckled Frogs is different from the original rhyme. The words have been changed making it less repetitious. Each page has a different rhyme that will expand a child's vocabulary.

'Four little speckled frogs sit on their speckled logs dipping their toes into the pond. 

One springs into the air, splashing water everywhere! Then there are just three speckled frogs. Ribbit-ribbit!'

Saturday, 18 November 2017

Review: A Little Fairy Book: Kitty (book 1) and Trixy (book 2)

A cute lift-the-flap fairy door on the front cover of each of these books beckons children into a magical world of fairies. And what a sweet and whimsical world it is, brimming with sparkles and flowers and tiny creatures.

Anna Pignataro's deliciously hued and richly detailed illustrations are wonderful fodder for a little one's imagination.

In her tiny village of fairies, at the bottom of the garden, we meet Kitty and Trixy as they flit and flutter through their busy days. 

Review: Little Witch Secrets and Spells (Book 1) and Hauntings and Hexes (Book 2)

Courtney Little is a fairly average 12-year-old girl… until she discovers she’s a witch!

The Little Witch series by Australian author Aleesah Darlison is an awesome junior fiction series girls will adore. 

Filled with mystery, adventure and spells, these are fast-paced reads that are highly addictive. 

In book 1 in the series, Secrets and Spells, Courtney must spend her holidays in the small seaside town of Mixton Bay as her parents clean up and sell her deceased grandmother’s house.

At first, Courtney’s holidays look set to be the most boring in history, but then she discovers a box in the attic with her name on it and learns the grandmother she never met had many secrets.

Friday, 17 November 2017

Announcement: New Reviewer Penelope Pratley

We adore expanding our KBR family with vibrant and enthusiastic individuals who adore children's literature as much as we do.

Penelope Pratley is one such person who's life centres around creating, absorbing and sharing divine stories for children.

You may recall, we invited Penelope to share her illustrative secrets with us earlier this year. If not, here is her Meet the Illustrator interview.

Kids' Book Review is jumping-cow happy to have Penelope join our spirited little team and can't wait to share her reviews with you. Meantime, take a moment to get to know her better.

Review: The Poesy Ring

The exquisite storyteller of Home in the Rain, Sliver Buttons and A Bus Called Heaven, Bob Graham, has created a beautiful love story in his new book, The Poesy Ring.

Since the Middle Ages people have given poesy rings as a sign of their friendship and love. The Poesy Ring story begins in County Kerry, Ireland in 1830. We meet a tearful young woman on horseback, who tosses her poesy ring into a meadow.

Readers know that while romantic  love can go through stormy patches and hearts are broken, like the ship illustrated on the shore, there is always hope of finding love again. The engraved message, love never dies, on the inside of the ring illustrates this.

Thursday, 16 November 2017

Review: Genuine Fraud

For anyone wanting to read a page-turning YA thriller  which will leave you second guessing throughout, this is the book for you. Best selling author E. Lockhart once again packs a punch with a tale of lies, deception, secrets and destructive friendships.

Jule and Imogen are orphans from opposite backgrounds. Jule, 18, is trying to reinvent her past and her life. She's strong, a fighter and a master of deceit. Imogen, 19, is a spoilt heiress, who lies and has a tendency to run away from life when it suits her. She tires of friends and boyfriends, can be demanding and tries to reinvent herself.

When their paths cross, both their fates are changed forever.

Review: Because of You

Tiny is a homeless girl in NSW, one amongst the many people who ‘reached for the champagne, but ended up with a fistful of broken glass.’ She carries with her a broken heart as well as a broken home. The well-educated but also homeless Zak, becomes her street dad and protector. 

Nola has broken up with her boyfriend Tom over a trust issue after he discovers she hasn’t told him about her gay parents. She is doing her HSC year, and must volunteer at a homeless shelter to get her final points.

Tiny and Nola meet at a small writing group that provides a creative avenue for the homeless at the shelter, Hope Lane. The two lives come together in an unexpected way and both are changed through their shared experiences.

Meet the Illustrator: Kerry Anne Jordinson

Describe your illustration style in ten words or less.
Whimsical, uncluttered and sometimes humorous.

What items are an essential part of your creative space?
Good music, family photos, a lovely view outside my window and a modicum of tidiness.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017

Review: The Blue Cat

Ursula Dubosarsky has a knack for sending shivers up my spine. Although The Blue Cat is ostensibly  historical fiction, there's an element of mystery or magic or perhaps a bit of both simmering under the surface of this gentle narrative.

The Second World War has begun, but it seems far away from Sydney. Then a blue cat appears on the street near Columba's house. Where did it come from? Has it survived some torturous journey in one of the military ships docked in the harbour? Or does it have special powers? Perhaps it is a guardian angel in disguise.

And what about Ellery, who does not speak? He appeared at about the same time as the blue cat. Rumour has it Ellery is a war refuge. He lives with his father, but Columba wants to know where his mother is. Could she be a victim of Hitler's war?

Review: Slowly! Slowly!

Bongani wants to go to school, but his father says he is too young and must stay home to help protect the crops.

This makes Bongani sad... until Grandfather tells him there's fun to be had catching monkeys. 

But monkeys are not so easy to catch, and Bongani must learn to be patient if he wants to succeed. 

Slowly, slowly Bongani does catch a monkey, but it doesn’t make him feel as happy as he thought it would, and the prize comes with a big decision to make. 

Tuesday, 14 November 2017

Review: If Baby Could Talk

You know you're on to a good thing when the picture book you're reading elicits giggles and guffaws from the entire family.

This playful collection of rhymes is a treat for babies, siblings and parents, as it captures the thrills and spills of a new baby in the house.

Michael Wagner covers everything from first words and first steps to feet and necks with gentle wit and whimsy. 

All those hilarious memories we have of our children as babies are here. Remember the feeding of tidbits to the dog (in this book, it's a chili), ransacking the house for your keys only to discover them in the rubbish bin?

12 Curly Questions with author Lynn Jenkins

1. Tell us something hardly anyone knows about you.
My full name is Lynette and I don’t like it, because it is my ‘in trouble’ name. I was always called Lynette when I was in trouble.

2. What is your nickname? 
I tend to get called Lynnie a lot. It brings a warm feeling.

3. What is your greatest fear?
Well, it’s a bit weird - lots of little tiny things together like lots of tiny circles sitting closely to each other. I recently learned this is called Trypophobia.

Monday, 13 November 2017

Cover Reveal: The Harper Effect

We are thrilled to feature the first of two cover reveals for The Harper Effect today: 

The Harper Effect Australian Cover (December 2017, Pan MacMillan)

The Harper Effect USA Cover (May 2018)

Perfect summer reading, The Harper Effect is the debut novel from Australian author, Taryn Bashford. It’s a fast-paced rollercoaster of a read, set in the world of International Tennis and filled with emotional highs and lows, an unexpected love triangle, friendship and family. Centred around an inspiring protagonist who dreams big and is forced to dig deep, Taryn shines a spotlight on the world of professional sports and the dedication, passion and resilience demanded of elite athletes.

Here's a sneak peak of this exciting new YA novel from the author herself .

Review: This is a Book! (No Wifi Needed)

This is a Book! (No Wifi Needed) is a fun story about a little girl’s discovery that her book is a book and not in fact an iPad.

There is no ‘on’ button. There is no volume control. It’s not linked or synced and you have to actually turn the pages. 


Everyone else in the little girl’s family seems to enjoy books, and she soon discovers there are some very cool things about them. 

Like getting to read by torchlight under a blanket and those amazing places you can go with THOUSANDS of books available to explore (wink wink).

Review: Gaolbird

Convicts, pirates, mutiny -- this book has it all.  

Gaolbird is the true story of a man named William Walker, who was convicted of burglary and transported to Van Diemen's Land in 1821.

William earned himself a reputation as an escape artist, eluding authorities for the first time when he jumped overboard in the North Sea.

Sunday, 12 November 2017

Announcement: New Junior Reviewer

Today, we welcome another new member into our KBR family, Miss Jessica McConville.

Along with Aria, Jessica is part our team of enthusiastic junior reporters who aim to share the books that excite them most, the ones they just can't put down and can't wait to tell the world about. Jessica joins us today in this special edition of 12 Curly Questions. Here's what she has to say.

Hi, my name is Jessica. I was born at Pindara Hospital on the 13th of January 2007. My middle name is Kate. My Dad is from New Zealand and my Mum is from England.

My hobbies are: roller blading, singing, dancing, acting, gymnastics, reading and, last but not least, writing!

Review: Hey Warrior

Everyone gets anxious, even very young children. Separation anxiety is one of the earliest, natural signs that the ancient 'flight or fright' mechanisms is in solid working order.

But what do you do when that mechanism goes into overdrive?

Hey Warrior explains how the tiny peanut-shaped source of this trouble, the amygdala, can make your body change and even get stuck in an anxiety-related cycle.

Norvile Dovidonyte's illustrations bring light and humour to the domino effect that unchecked anxiety can create and Karen Young offers practical ways to tame that internal warrior. In fact, through their teamwork, Hey Warrior shows children how it's possible to become friends with this jumpy part of your brain.

Saturday, 11 November 2017

Review: Pop-Up Shakespeare

Just, wow.  I love everything about this book. Shakespeare presented in a fun and interactive way that kids can understand – what could be better?

Welcome to the world of Shakespeare - to Stratford and London, to poetry and plays, to words and clever phrases.

This stunning pop-up book presents Shakespeare’s works in a way that will incite kids' interest and imagination and leave them wanting to find out more.

Review: The Very Noisy Baby

By the uber talented Alison Lester, The Very Noisy Baby is a delightful picture book little ones will adore.

It’s all about a baby. A very noisy baby! 

A baby who is so good at growling and roaring and neighing, that people keep mistaking her noisy sounds as the real thing.

One by one, they travel across town to the little pink house and knock, knock, knock on the door in search of their lost animals.

Friday, 10 November 2017

Review: Max Booth Future Sleuth: Tape Escape (Book 1) and Selfie Search (Book 2)

Max Booth Future Sleuth is a marvellous junior fiction series about orphan boy Max Booth and his robot dog Oscar.

They live in the museum storeroom on Skyburb 6 (a floating city) and help out the museum’s storeroom supervisor, Jessie, solve mysterious about lost and ancient artefacts. 

Since the series is set waaaayyyy in the future, these ‘ancient’ artefacts come from times like 1984 and 2017. Really old stuff!

Tape Escape is book 1 in the series and follows Max and Oscar as they figure out what a cassette tape is AND how to play it. 

But when a trusted historian steals the tape, Max and Oscar must use their wits to get it back and return it to the museum.

Review: Where's Wally? Destination: Everywhere!

Most people have a strong feeling about this character. If you love him you get excited by each new adventure or maybe he frustrates and challenges you to give his books a go.

Who am I referring to? Wally, from the Where's Wally Series.

Children and adults have been searching for Wally for 30 years. Where's Wally? Destination: Everywhere will delight fans. Martin Handford has selected 12 favourite Where's Wally scenes for this new book, including dinosaurs, pirates and dragons.

Thursday, 9 November 2017

Junior Review: Surf Riders Club: Ava's Big Move

I loved this story about a city girl called Ava who moves to a beach town. At the beginning she is lonely because she has left her best friend in the city, but she makes new friends through surfing. Ava starts off learning to surf in the beginners' group with some other girls. They all work together to get better. 

This story has a lot of suspense and action and even some blood. I wanted to keep turning the pages and reading after Mum told me to turn off my light. I read the whole book in two days because it was so good and exciting.  I have now read it three times!!! I love it so much! I really want to get all the stories in the Surf Riders Club!

I related to the story because I live in a beach town and love surfing.  Ava gets to learn to surf through lessons at school. I'm really lucky because I get to do this too.

Review: The Story of Ferdinand

First published 81 years ago, The Story of Ferdinand is being republished to coincide with the release of a new animated movie.

This is a beautifully produced book in keeping with the style of the original. Square, smaller than A4 in size, and with the original black and white and red artwork.

Ferdinand is a bull who lives in Spain, and he's not like all the other bulls.

Ferdinand prefers flowers to fighting, and relaxing to rough-housing.

Wednesday, 8 November 2017

Review: The Secret Diary of Adrian Mole Aged 13 3/4

Adrian Mole's first secret diary is the forerunner to many contemporary funny kids titles, such as Diaries of a Wimpy Kid, The Misadventures of Max Crumbly, Timmy Failure and The Odd Squad

Adrian Mole is obsessed with his health, then he falls in love, only to watch others embrace the object of his desires and to top it all off, the neighbours are getting divorced.

The genius behind Adrian's diaries are the clues he reveals about other people's shenanigans, which elude him until it's too late. There was the time kind Mr Lucas visited Adrain's Mum when she is sick in bed. The next thing Adrian heard was that Mr Lucas was getting divorced and his mum landed a job at Mr Lucas's work. You get the idea.

Review: The Sleeping Beauty

The Sleeping Beauty is a very special picture book.

A gorgeous retelling of the classic sleeping beauty tale, this version has been reimagined by David McAllister, Artistic Director of the Australian Ballet, and Gabriela Týlešová, a designer for the Australian Ballet’s production of The Sleeping Beauty.

The story is delightfully simple, just perfect for kids to follow and enjoy. Familiar characters abound: Aurora, Carabosse, the Lilac Fairy, the dashing prince. And all the classic plot points are there: a beautiful princess cursed by a vindictive villain, a protection spell, an enchanted forest of roses and a prince who saves the day with a kiss.

Tuesday, 7 November 2017

News: White Night Cover Reveal

Our friends at Allen & Unwin are releasing Ellie Marney’s exciting new YA book White Night (March 2018). It’s My Sister Rosa meets The Boundless Sublime with the sexual tension of the Every series. They've just finalised the cover and  are all completely in love with it and can’t wait to share it with the world.

Here's a sneak peak of what's to come in White Night.

In Bo Mitchell's country town, a 'White Night' light-show event has the potential to raise vital funds to save the skate park. 

And out of town, a girl from a secretive off-the-grid community called Garden of Eden has the potential to change the way Bo sees the world. But are there too many secrets in Eden? 

As Bo is drawn away from his friends and towards Rory, he gradually comes to believe that Eden may not be utopia after all, and that their group leader's goal to go off the grid may be more permanent - and more dangerous - than anyone could have predicted.

10 Quirky Questions with author Kylie Westaway

1. What's your hidden talent?
I can fire breathe! Part of my university course included circus skills, so I can walk on stilts, do some acrobatics and trapeze, and breathe fire. I never quite mastered juggling though.

2. Who is your favourite literary villain and why?
It would have to be the Trunchbull. She is so outrageously bad, crazy and dangerous, and it’s so satisfying when Matilda defeats her.