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

Tuesday, 3 September 2019

Review: Story Time Stars

Reading Story Time Stars was like a trip back to my childhood, and to my early career as a children's librarian.

If you love children's books (and if you're reading this you almost certainly do), then you're going to love Story Time Stars.

It's a gorgeous collection of some of the memorable characters who have become part of the Australian children's literary landscape.

The kind who you will recognise at first glance, or with just a little extra prompting. Characters like the Muddle-Headed Wombat and Mothball the wombat.

The iconic Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, and Grandma Poss are there, as are Noni the pony, Koala Lou, Grug, and the Hippopotamus who loves eating cake.

There are also characters who share stories of Aboriginal culture, and the experiences of migrants and refugees.

All these characters and their stories play an important role in the lives of Australian children and the adults they become. 

Story Time Stars is presented in a timeline order, with the first two groupings being characters from the 1910s to 1930s, and 1940s to 1960s. After that they are decade by decade.

Each character comes with a profile telling us who their creators are, when they made their public debut, and a variety of facts about them. Did you know that Blinky Bill has featured on Australian stamps and coins? Albert, the Magic Pudding has as well, and a statue of him can be found in the Royal Botanic Gardens in Melbourne. 

The end of the book includes a short exploration of the children's literature collections at the National Library of Australia, and the National Centre for Australian Children's Literature, both of which are dedicated to collecting and preserving our history.  

Story Time Stars deserves a place in every home, as a reminder of the brilliant talent that Australia has produced, and a celebration of all the wonderful stories we're fortunate to be able to re-visit, simply by picking up a book.

Story Time Stars complements the exhibition Story Time: Australian Children's Literature, at the National Library of Australia. You can visit the exhibition, which will appeal to both children and adults, until February 2020.

Title: Story Time Stars
Author: Stephanie Owen Reeder
Publisher: National Library of Australia, $24.99
Publication Date: September 2019
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 9780642279408
For ages: 6+
Type: Non-fiction


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