Over the last few months I’ve discovered and read a bunch of truly extraordinary kids’ books – some are by favourite creators, others by first-timers. They include:
THE BRILLIANT IDEAS OF LILY GREEN by Lisa Siberry
This is a debut middle grade novel which also happened to win Hardie Grant Egmont’s Ampersand Prize. It was a standout read for me this year – fresh, intriguing, full of feeling and tinged with suspense and magic.
NOP by Caroline Magerl
This is absolutely gorgeous – an abandoned stuffed bear at the Dumporium gets a new chance, in the most unexpected of ways. Dreamy illustrations, a work of art.
TILLY by Jane Godwin and Anna Walker
I was always going to love this. It’s Jane and Anna! The heartwarming story of a girl’s buried treasures under a staircase, and the bittersweet passing of time.
THE SECRETS OF MAGNOLIA MOON by Edwina Wyatt
This is Edwina Wyatt’s junior fiction debut, starring a lyrical, literary, whimsical character who looks at the world in her own unique way. Such beautiful writing. A stunning cover too, with illustrations by Katherine Quinn.
MISS KRAKEN by Nicki Greenberg
Fun, wry and quirky, Miss Kraken (yes, an actual Kraken) is the fed up teacher of a rowdy, cheeky bunch of kids. Everything comes to a head on an excursion to the aquarium. Hilarious details in the illustrations!
A HOME FOR LUNA by Stef Gemmill and Mel Armstrong
A debut PB about a lost cat, penguins and a search for home. I loved this gorgeous story and the illustrations are totally my kind of style. Lovely language throughout.
MONTY AND THE POODLES by Katie Harnett
An unlikely friendship story (hooray!) about some posh poodles and a street dog, by the creator of Franklin’s Flying Bookshop, Ivy and Lonely Raincloud and more. A Parisian feel to the illustrations (hello, cover crush), and a super satisfying ending.