Sarah’s Two Nativities
written by Janine Fraser
published by Walker Books (September 2019)
Sarah loves her two grandmas – Grandmother Azar and Grandmother Maria. Grandmother Azar tells Sarah stories from the Holy Koran, while Grandmother Maria tells her stories from the Bible. At Christmas time, Sarah snuggles in each of her grandmothers' laps and listens to two nativities stories about the birth of baby Jesus. They are the same in some ways, and different in others ... but both can be Sarah's favourite.
Little Puggle’s Song
written by Vikki Conley
published by New Frontier (September 2019)
A lonely echidna searches for his voice. Every time Puggle tires to make sound nothing comes out.
Can Puggle find his voice and join the bush choir?
written by Catherine Greer
published by Wombat Books (October 2018)
'We're so lucky,' said Gran. 'We've just enough for two.' Jess and Gran have always made the best of everything. When there’s not much for dinner, they cook oodles of noodles. When there’s no cake for birthdays, they toast marshmallows on the stove. When it snows in the mountains, Jess longs to go. But there’s no extra money for a holiday this year. So Jess finds a way to see the most amazing snow of all. Jacaranda Snow is about one family that lives with less money but plenty of love and optimism.
written by Katrina Roe
published by Wombat Books (July 2018)
When Lily finds a beautiful, big, shiny balloon she wants to keep it forever… But what if somebody else needs it more? Lily’s Balloon is a gentle, hopeful story about disappointment, loss and learning to let go. Three young lives are connected through one balloon, which touches them in different ways.
written by T.M. Clark
published by Wombat Books (2017)
Bongani wants to go to school but he is too young. To prove to his family that he is big and strong, he tries to catch a monkey. ‘Softly, softly, catchee monkey’ was originally a proverb quoted by Lord Baden-Powell.
- 'With divine illustrations by Helene Magisson, the pictures are as visually captivating as the text is rich and engaging. Colourful, fun and filled with details to explore, the illustrations bring the story to life, while also telling their own secret tales for kids to discover as they explore the book.' by Shaye Wardrop in Kids' Book Review
- 'A lovely story of family and learning. An interpretation of a traditional African tale, ‘Slowly! Slowly!’ will appeal to pre- and early-schoolers.' by Claire Saxby in Aussie Reviews
- 'The illustrations... bring the story beautifully to life' by Pat Pledger in ReadPlus
- 'Clark’s prose is sincere and generous, sprinkled with enough repeating ideas and phraseology to tease little ones into turning the pages, while Magisson’s illustrations are a magnificent match to this inspired story. Visually powerful yet sculptured with heart, they possess a glowing quality that encourages you to explore every page for the treasures secreted within. Slowly! Slowly! is a successful blend of art and ancient fable that is a pure joy to experience. Share it with as many little monkeys as you can. Highly recommended.' by Dimity Powell in Boomerang
written by Emily Larkin
published by Wombat Books (2017)
The Whirlpool is a beautiful story about feeling sad and happy, lonely and loved, small and big. This gentle, emotive tale will help children navigate their way through the ups and downs of life.There is a whirlpool in all of us.
- 'breathtaking illustrations almost literally wrap you up in this sensational vortex. Specifically defining moments are highlighted through her choice of visual layout and colour. Vast scenes define both feelings of joy and desolation, and focal sequences display proudness and a tiring endurance. And with Helene’s characteristically alluring charm and symbolic nuances, the significance of the yellow scarf cleverly ties the changing moods and atmospheric conditions altogether' by Romi Sharp in Boomerang
- 'exquisite illustrations breathe further life and nuance into the story' by Penny Harrison in Kids' Book Review
- 'This book is written “for kids to know that it’s okay to feel a range of emotions. It’s okay to feel lonely, sad or uncertain – but these times don’t have to last.”' by Barbara Braxton in The bottom shelf
- 'pictures compliment exactly the gentle, emotive story' by Pauline Hosking in Buzz Words
- 'captured the changes of emotion in the story with her effective use of colour and changes in facial expressions on the polar bear cub. These elements reach out to the reader and touch the heart, creating a bond and empathy' by Julieann Wallace in Books, Teacups and Cupcakes
- 'a book to scaffold language about emotions—for difficult times and for the good times that follow' by Kim Fulcher in Where The Books Are
Beauty and the Beast
written by Alex Field
published by New Frontier Publishing (2017)
On a dark day Beauty sets out to meet the Beast in his castle. Can she put her fear aside and see through the appearance of the Beast?
- 'with full page whimsical illustrations on every opening' by Claire Saxby in Aussiereviews
- 'lavishly illustrates this version... colour and fluid style fill this story with magic, bringing Beauty to life' by Dimity Powell in Boomerang
- 'has unequivocally supported this sweet tale with her soft-paletted, fluid and gentle illustrations. She has created magnificent atmosphere with the muted tones of blues and oranges, beautifully depicting both the contrasts between Beauty and the Beast as well as their tendency to naturally complement each other. The subtle symbolism of the caged butterflies, eventually trading places with the wicked fairy, is clever, and most intriguing for its astute readers' by Romi Sharp in Boomerang
- 'great version of a traditional story... The illustrations draw you in, and the butterflies are a great touch. A classic story is represented in a way that appeals to most age groups' by Karen Colliver in ReadPlus
- 'I’m already a fan of Helene Magisson’s work as an illustrator and her illustrations glow with fairytale magic. The use of birdcages and butterflies in the background to symbolise imprisonment and then freedom will delight the observant child reader. The end papers give an extra twist to this element' by Rebecca Newman in Buzz Words
Princess and the Pea
written by Alex Field
published by New Frontier Publishing (2016)
The Prince travels the world looking for the perfect bride. He looks everywhere until he finally returns home with no wife. Then one day there is a knock at the palace door. Could this be his princess?
- 'There is something about the colors that have been used in this book that have such a calming effect on me. There are only about half a dozen colors used throughout the book and they add so much to the story. The pictures are very floaty and in some cases take up the whole two pages and they capture the story beautifully... a lovely book full with magic' in Kiwi Reviews
The Night Before Christmas
written by Clement Clarke Moore
published by New Frontier Publishing (2016)
This classic Clement Clarke Moore poem is the perfect book to celebrate the joy of the festive season.
- 'illustrations that are soft with warmth, deep with texture and rich with love' by Romi Sharp in Boomerang
- 'soft illustrations will appeal to young children' by Pat Pledger in ReadPlus
- 'delightful illustrations... Exquisite colours conjure up the magic of Christmas through the eyes of children ... Top 5 Festive Picture Books 2016' by Lara Cain Gray in Charming Language
- 'illustrations have that special Christmas glow... lovely' by Rebecca Newman in Buzz Words
The Velveteen Rabbit
written by Margery Williams Bianco
published by New Frontier Publishing (2015)
First published in 1922, the classic children’s story is about a velveteen rabbit on a quest to become real through the love of his owner.
- 'her depiction of the velveteen rabbit... is heart-tugging' by Stephen Romei in The Australian
- 'beautifully designed edition of the classic, most admirably illustrated in its technically excellent, atmospheric pictures' by Kevin Steinberger in The Children’s Book Council Australia
- 'wonderful drawings... presented in muted blues and greens which exude a warmth and charm' by John Nolan in The Children’s Book Council Australia
- 'gorgeously remastered classic tale' by Romi Sharp in Boomerang
- 'splendid book... beautiful design and gentle watercolours by a first-time illustrator. Recommended' by Margaret Hamilton in Pinerolo
- 'gorgeous illustrations' by Susan Whelan in Kids' Book Review
- 'lyrical and lovely' by Claire Saxby in Aussiereviews
Magic Fish Dreaming
written by June Perkins
published by Gumbootspearlz Press (2016)
A poetic celebration and exploration of nature, people and imagination in Far North Queensland. Encourages children and families everywhere to hunt for their own nature-based or urban poems.
Magic Fish Dreaming won 2nd place in the Children’s Poetry, Environment, Book Trailer and tied for second in Children’s Picture Books for Children 6 years and over as well as a special mention in the Cultural Diversity category.
- 'gentle, whimsical water colour illustrations cleverly capture the essence and magic at the heart of this collection of poetry' by Mem Capp in The Children’s Book Council Australia
- 'Like the work of Michael Rosen and Shirley Hugues, images and words combine to evoke the textures and spirits of landscapes' by Felicity Plunkett, poetry editor at University of Queensland Press
- 'soft palette and fluid style accentuate the sense of magic. Wonder and imagination flow from each word and brushstroke, making this a book to be treasured and shared' by Penny Harrison in Kids' Book Review
- 'mesmerisingly enchanting illustrations' by Romi Sharp in Just Write For Kids
- 'captured and delivered a series of age-appropriate vignettes that traverse clever, captivating poetry alongside divine pictures' by Elizabeth Vercoe in Buzz Words