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


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.

Founded by Australian author/illustrator, Tania McCartney, 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, illustrator, bookseller, blogger, book designer and typesetter, speech pathologist, teacher, librarian, children's literature academic, early childhood educator, education specialist, 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 consistently falls into the top 700,000 - 900,000 websites worldwide (Alexa), and has over 600 referring domains, with a PR Quality listed as 'strong'. It ranks #1 in a Google search for 'reviews, books, kids, children's books' and was ranked no. 23 in the Top 100 Review sites worldwide in October 2016. In December 2017, KBR was honoured as the world's #1 kidlit site by Feedspot. We achieve an average of around 80,000 hits per month, with a peak of 249,395 for the month of November, 2017, and we are proud to be 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. 

The Team

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

Tania McCartney
KBR Founder
Tania has been writing professionally for 30 years, and is an author of adult titles and award-winning children’s books. An experienced editor, illustrator, magazine writer and independent publisher, she has an unholy addiction to picture books. She also loves travel, photography, and book layout and design. Her most recent creations include Merry Everything! (Windy Hollow, ill. Jess Racklyeft), World: Illustrated Map (Hardie Grant Travel), See Hear (EK Books, ill. Jess Racklyeft) and upcoming titles The Gum Family Finds Home (National Library Publishing, ill. Christina Booth) Australia Illustrated Second Edition (EK Books, Oct 2018) and Mamie (HarperCollins, Nov 2018). Tania has received awards and shortlistings, including several CBCA Notable Books, the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Australia/New Zealand (2017) for Smile Cry, and the CBCA Laurie Copping Award for Distinguished Service to Children's Literature. 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. She is the founder of the 52-Week Illustration Challenge and currently lives in Canberra with her family, a forest of artwork and a mountain of books. You can read all of Tania's KBR reviews and articles here and her responses to our 12 Curly Questions here.

Dimity Powell
Managing Editor
Gold Coast
Dimity loves transforming crazy ideas into children’s stories because she believes kids and great stories are life-essentials, like ice-cream. Her word-webs appear in anthologies, junior novels, school magazines, picture books, and as creative content for digital apps. Several of her short stories have won awards and her digital locative narrative for the Story City app, The Chapel of Unlove was shortlisted for the Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards 2016. The Fix-It Man , illustrated by Nicky Johnston, was her debut picture book with EK Books (2017) followed by At The End of Holyrood Lane (2018) Dimity thrives on celebrating the profound art of story and is mildly suspicious of too much spare time so fills hers with reviewing great tales for kids and sharing writerly insights she’s collected along the way with any one who’ll listen. Her writing ambitions are modest although she’d consider giving up sugar to hear one of her picture books read on Play School. Dimity lives on the Gold Coast where dreams sparkle. You can read Dimity's KBR reviews and articles here and her responses to our 12 Curly Questions here.

Shaye Wardrop
Senior Editor
Shaye is a writer, reader and dreamer of all things children’s literature. Science fiction and fantasy obsessed, she is drawn to books about dragons, aliens and superhuman powers. Not surprisingly, she also likes to write about such things, so her stories tend to feature far away lands and magnificent beasts. Always the daydreamer (even when she should be paying attention), Shaye dreams of, and is working hard towards, the day her stories sit on library shelves for everyone to enjoy. You can read Shaye’s KBR reviews and articles here and her 12 Curly Questions here.

Sarah Steed
Regular Contributor + Consultant Librarian
Sarah is a life-long booklover who comes from a family of readers. She has over twenty years experience working in various public library roles, and was the recipient of the Dromkeen Librarian's Award in 2016 and the Marjorie Cotton Award in 2000. Sarah has several ideas for novels and picture books taking shape on her laptop, and percolating in her imagination and the odd notebook. She is a genealogy geek, with a love of history, architecture, art and travel. On international holidays, Sarah can often be found exploring bookish places (see her incredible Bookish Places posts from around the world, right here). Read Sarah's KBR reviews and articles here and 12 Curly Questions here.

Connie Spanos
YA Editor
Connie has been a KBR Young Adult Fiction reviewer since 2014. She has loved books, and their transformative power, for as long as she can remember. She has a Professional Writing and Editing Diploma from RMIT, is a freelance editor (mainly YA and fiction) and is an emerging author. Connie is also a Social Worker and lives in Melbourne with her family. She enjoys travel, paddle boarding, bingeing on good books, (or chips and ice-cream), and has a weakness for bookstores. Stephen King sums up her love of books: ‘Books are a uniquely portable magic.’ You can read Connie's KBR reviews and articles here and her 12 Curly Questions here.

Anastasia Gonis
Regular Contributor + Look What I'm Reading! Coordinator
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 her KBR reviews and articles here.

Penny Harrison
Regular Contributor + 12 Curly Questions Editor
Penny Harrison is a children’s author, book reviewer, journalist and photographer. For almost 20 years, she has been writing for magazines and newspapers, covering everything from gardening, wellbeing and sustainable living to art & design, interiors and books. Nowadays, she is a regular contributor to the Herald Sun’s Home Living section, Country Life magazine and House of Wellness magazine. She also reviews children’s books for the CBCA’s Reading Time newsletter. Her first children's picture book, Dance with Me, was released in October 2016 and her second is due out early in 2018. Penny lives on the outskirts of Melbourne, by the Yarra River, with her husband and two young children, along with an ever-growing menagerie of dogs, cats, chickens and bunnies. When she is not reading or writing, you'll find her pulling weeds in the garden and attempting to meditate. You can read her KBR reviews and other posts here and her 12 Curly Questions here.

Jo Burnell
Regular Contributor
Jo Burnell is passionate about story. When she's not immersed in a book, she's either writing her own stories or editing for fellow writing enthusiasts. As a freelance editor, Jo specialises in manuscript assessments and children's literature. Jacinta Di Mase, literary agent, is currently representing two of Jo's manuscripts, one of which is a picture book about a toy fairy penguin. Her works in progress include a middle grade fiction series and a novel, which has been described as 'Home Alone meets Junior Master Chef with anger management problems'.  You can read Jo's KBR reviews and articles here and her responses to our 12 Curly Questions here.

Sarah Wallace
Regular Contributor
Sarah has always loved literature and writing. She is a writer, author and education professional with a passion for children’s literacy. She has a house full of books, which have multiplied exponentially since the arrival of her three children, with whom she adores sharing her love of literature. Whilst reading with them, she is thoroughly enjoying rediscovering some of her own childhood favourites, as well as finding some new favourites along the way. Sarah is also a researcher with an interest in early childhood learning and development and works for the Australian Government as an Early Childhood Education Policy Manager. She is now trying to focus more on her creative pursuits and is enjoying getting back to writing for pleasure and penning children’s books. Sarah has a BA in English Lit, a PG Cert in Education and is currently completing a Masters of Education. You can read her KBR Reviews here and her 12 Curly Questions here.

Leanne Barrett
Regular Contributor
Leanne is an avid reader, self-taught artist, writer and mother to a university student. When she was a teacher and librarian, she developed a passion for picture books – especially their illustrations – and books about STEM. In 2017, Leanne decided she wanted to follow her dream of becoming an artist and writer. Most days of the week you can find Leanne in her study/studio creating illustrations, and sometimes she writes. Her first love is illustrating. Most of Leanne’s illustrations are created using ink and watercolour paints but she would love to branch out and explore lino and block printing. One of Leanne’s favourite things to illustrate is silhouettes of chickens doing adventure activities. When not creating, Leanne can be seen walking her nine year old Australian Terrier, Jay, or browsing the picture book section of her favourite bookshop, or attending a book launch to support local writers and illustrators. You can read Leanne's KBR reviews and articles here, and responses to our 12 Curly Questions here.

Heidi Cooper Smith
Meet the Illustrator Editor
At an early age, Heidi knew she wanted to write and illustrate picture books, but during a visual arts degree, she fell in love with ceramics and spent the next 20 years covered in clay. Heidi rediscovered the joy of drawing in 2014 when she joined the 52-Week Illustration Challenge. Six months later, she was offered her first illustration contract with Koala Books for Two Birds on a Wire by Coral Vass. This wonderful experience inspired her to start writing, too, and in 2015 and 2016, she won the CYA illustrated manuscript competition (aspiring). Kate and the Thing (Wombat Books) is Heidi’s first book as both author and illustrator, and she has two more titles due out in 2019. Heidi’s favourite books are those that have humour at their core, and a surprise twist at the end. Among the many illustrators who inspire her are Lisbeth Zwerger, David Roberts and Freya Blackwood.You can read Heidi's KBR Meet the Illustrator interview here.

Amie Sabadin
Regular Contributor
Amie Sabadin is an illustrator with a love for children’s books, a background in graphic design and a lifetime appreciation of art in all forms. Known primarily for digital and mixed media illustration, she can also be found working in watercolour, and creating whimsical characters with a single pencil.

Cherri Ryan
Regular Contributor
Cherri Ryan is an author who is inspired by the children and families she cared for as a family doctor in Australia for almost twenty years. When she is not writing, Cherri works in medical education, and enjoys helping organisations that help others. In 2016, one of Cherri’s stories was animated and projected onto Brisbane City Hall as the Christmas Lights Spectacular. Cherri’s debut picture book, Spirit, illustrated by Christina Booth and published by Black Dog Books (an imprint of Walker Books Australia), follows a young girl with creativity, courage and sailing dreams. Cherri lives in Queensland, Australia, with her family, one cat, two guinea pigs and many visiting birds and possums. Cherri believes in hope, joy, perseverance and the power of stories.

Just a small handful of the impossibly 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