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


Booklover, Bryce, getting some reading done. (image: Paula Thomson)

Kids' Book Review is a 100% voluntary children’s literature and book review site that supports and features authors, illustrators and publishers Australia-wide and internationally. It is run by a small team of women who have decades of experience in the children's book industry, with roles such as author, publisher, editor, bookseller, blogger, book designer and typesetter, speech pathologist, librarian, early childhood educator, mother and book lover.

We cover news, reviews, interviews, articles, guest posts, events, specialist literacy articles and much more, attracting readers from all over the world including teachers, librarians, industry professionals, and of course - parents and kids.

KBR falls into the top 720,000 websites worldwide, and is ranked in the top 450,000 in the US and the top 37,000 in Australia. We are currently proud to achieve as many as 80,000 hits per month, and are one of the most respected literary sites on the web.

We receive books from major Australian publishers, indie publishers and international publishers for review, and we use our considerable social networking skills to further promote and enhance any book appearance on KBR.

For more information on our review policy see POLICY. 


Want to promote your book or business to a rabid 80K+ per month audience, swimming with book lovers and industry folk? We have advertising slots available for a very reasonable fee. See our Advertising Post for more.

Please note: advertising is reserved for companies or associations focused on the children's book industry. Emails from nannying, gaming, travel or any other queries relating to unrelated content will be deleted.

The Team

Kids' Book Review is run by a literary line-up of seriously book-loving women, with contributions from a number of other book-addicts. Keep reading to learn more about us, and see our CONTACT page for contact/book review details.

Who: Tania McCartney

Title: KBR Founder + Editor-At-Large

Location: Canberra

A bit about: Tania has been writing professionally for over 25 years, and is an author of adult and children’s books. An experienced editor, magazine writer and independent publisher, she has an unholy addiction to picture books--and in November 2016, her first self-illustrated book will be released. She also loves travel, photography, and book layout and design. Her latest titles include This is Captain Cook (illust Christina Booth), Peas in a Pod (illust Tina Snerling), Australian Kids Through the Years (illust Andrew Joyner) and Smile Cry (illust Jess Racklyeft).

Tania is an advocate for juvenile literacy, is a past ambassador for the National Year of Reading (2012) and a current ambassador for the Chief Minister's Reading Challenge (2016). She is the founder of the 52-Week Illustration Challenge and currently lives in Canberra with a very supportive husband, two gorgeous kids and a towering mountain of books. See www.taniamccartney.com for more.

You can read all of Tania's KBR reviews and articles here and Tania's responses to our 12 Curly Questions here.

Who: Susan Whelan

Title: Managing Editor

Location: Newcastle

A bit about: Susan is a freelance writer, avid reader and self-confessed lover of big words. She thinks getting lost in a good book is one of life's great pleasures. Susan has written for a number of parenting magazines and review websites as well as contributing to Ursula Kolbe's Children's Imagination: Creativity Under our Noses a book for parents and educators on children's creativity. Her debut picture book, Don't Think About Purple Elephants, was published in April 2015 by EK Books.

She is a passionate advocate for children's literacy and creativity in all its forms in children and adults. Susan lives in Newcastle with her husband and three children. She firmly believe that there is no such thing as too many books, although her husband remains unconvinced. See Susan's website for more.

You can read Susan's KBR reviews and articles here and Susan's responses to our 12 Curly Questions here.

Who: Anouska Jones

Title: Senior Editor

Location: Hunter Valley

A bit about: Anouska has over twenty years' experience in the book publishing industry. She is a publishing consultant and editor and is obsessed by all things to do with words, writing and books. She is also the author of several as yet unpublished children's manuscripts, with ideas for many more lurking in her head! Anouska lives with her husband and young daughter on a small acreage where she tries hard to practise sustainable living, but often fails.

When she is not reading for work or pleasure, she can be found playing with her three horses, battling the bugs in her vegetable garden, and dreaming of new travel destinations. She firmly believes that one of the best parts of being a mother is discovering all the wonderful kids' books out there.

You can read Anouska's KBR reviews and articles here and Anouska's answers to our 12 Curly Questions here.

Who: Jo Burnell

Title: Editor

Location: Melbourne

A bit about: Having worked with children for more than thirty years as a Speech Pathologist, Jo is passionate about story in all its forms. While reviewing everything from picture books to YA is sheer delight, Jo is now emerging as both writer and editor.

Her current work in progress Concrete Slipper is a memoir of her journey towards nunhood in Mother Teresa’s Society, the Missionaries of Charity. Part of this work is written in the child’s voice.

For more information about her writing, please contact Jo’s literary agent. Jacinta Di Mase: jacintadimase[at]ozemail[dot]com[dot]au

You can read all of Jo's KBR reviews and articles here and Jo's answers to our 12 Curly Questions here.

Who: Sarah Steed

Title: Consultant Librarian

Location: Canberra

A bit about: Sarah is a life-long booklover and self-professed library geek who comes from a family of readers. She has bookshelves full to bursting with books that fall into the categories of 'want to read', 'already read', and 'read again'. Sarah has twenty years experience working in various public library roles, starting out as a Children's and Youth' Services Librarian (which partly accounts for the large quantity of picture books and young adult novels on her bookshelves).

She has several ideas for novels and picture books percolating away in her imagination and the odd notebook

You can read Sarah's KBR reviews and articles here and Sarah's answers to our 12 Curly Questions here.

Who: Anastasia Gonis

Title: Regular Contributor

Location: Melbourne

A bit about: Anastasia Gonis has been reviewing books for over twenty years. Her reviews and interviews have appeared in Bookseller & Publisher, Good Reading magazine, Australian Book Review, The Age, The Herald Sun, AllWrite, and many other publications.

Anastasia currently writes both articles and reviews. She loves all books, in particular children’s books which for her, contain beauty and joy between the covers.

You can read Anastasia's KBR reviews and articles here.

Who: Coral Vass

Title: Regular Contributor

Location: Melbourne

A bit about: With a background in Media, Coral has always had a passion for writing and telling stories. Her first children’s picture book was published in 2011.  Coral’s latest titles include Goodnight Possum, Good Morning Possum, The Hottest Dingo and The Great Bird Poo War. Her writing style has a splash of rhythm, a dash of rhyme and is stirred with fun.

Coral adores children’s books, inspiring children with a love for literature, chocolate, good coffee, the theatre, a thesaurus, bookshops, libraries, the beach and travelling. She lives by the beach with her husband and four children. See Coral's website for more.

You can read Coral's KBR reviews and articles here and Coral's answers to our 12 Curly Questions here.

Who: Connie Spanos

Title: Regular Contributor

Location: Melbourne

A bit about: Connie is a lover of the written word, and the transformative power of books, especially Young Adult fiction. She is completing a Diploma in Professional Writing and Editing and has a background in social work.  She loves reading, writing and editing, dating back to obsessively reading into the early hours of the night as a youngster – sometimes with a torch!

Connie is a member of a YA writing group she co-formed and is completing her first YA novel. She has written a couple of as yet unpublished children's books, has undertaken freelance editorial work and online magazine editing. Stephen King sums up her love of books: 'Books are a uniquely portable magic.'

You can read Connie's KBR reviews and articles here.

Who: Rebecca Halpern

Title: Regular Contributor

Location: Canberra

A bit about: A radio producer in a former life, Rebecca Halpern (a.k.a Devon Sillett) is now a creative academic in the Writing Department at the University of Canberra, Australia, where she is also currently completing her Doctorate of Philosophy (Communications). Her research is focused on picture books.

She was awarded the prestigious APA (Australian Postgraduate Award) for her Honours research into post-feminist characters in YA fiction. In her spare time, she can be found drawing with crayons and playing in a red wagon with a yellow handle, whilst accompanied by her favorite little person, her one-year-old son.

You can read Rebecca's KBR reviews and articles here.

Who: Rebecka Sharpe Shelberg

Title: Regular Contributor

Location: Sydney

A bit about: By a happy chance, Rebecka was able to follow her passion for books and reading into the workforce, finding a book store position right out of high school and after a few years, moving across into the publishing industry. Rebecka is now a stay at home Mum to two young and incredibly adorable children, and is in her final year of studying a Bachelor of Information Studies at CSU.

Rebecka's passion for children's picture books has filled many bookshelves in her home and, combined with her passion for writing, has led her to write many of her own picture book manuscripts, one of which is due for publication in 2016. In her spare time (ha!) Rebecka loves creating handmade gift items, many of which are made out of book pages. So pretty much, alongside the epic adventure of motherhood, her life is all about the books!

You can read Rebecka's KBR reviews and articles here.

Just a small handful of the wonderful things people say about KBR . . .

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

Just wanted to say thank you for the fantastic reviews you post. I utilise your blog as a trusted resource on a regular basis. As a bookseller, bloggers like yourself assist us so much in what we communicate to our customers. Your hard work is appreciated. Thank you for your passion. - Jacqui from Collins Booksellers and ABC Centre

You are doing a wonderful job with Kids Book Review and in a relatively short time have built a rock-solid reputation for excellent reviews and articles. - author Sandy Fussell

One of my favourite blogs, Kids Book Review was started by Canberra author Tania McCartney. It is full of interviews with authors/illustrators/librarians, book reviews, articles on literacy and reading, articles by children on why they like the books they like, profiles, links to other blogs, websites in the children’s literature world, writing tips, you name it! It is very easy to spend hours at this blog and everyone will get something out of it. I still marvel at {this} blog. It must take hours to provide all that content. It’s fabulous. - Buzz Words editor Vicki Stanton

I'm a big fan! - author/illustrator Felice Arena

I'm amazed by your site - there's a LOT of content on there. I've barely skimmed the surface, but I've already found so many interesting pieces and interviews. - author/illustrator Andrew Joyner

I really appreciate the obvious love and care you have for books and with which you put your website together. - British author/illustrator Grahame Baker-Smith

You have a really wonderful site and I have referred it to many friends with little people to buy for. - Karen Peace, mum