Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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New ‘Books+Publishing Junior’ reviews out now

Books+Publishing’s latest Junior newsletter contains 14 reviews of books publishing in September, October and November.

Two November picture books scored the highest possible rating of 5 stars: Swan Lake (Anne Spudvilas, A&U) and The Very Noisy Baby (Alison Lester, Affirm), which were both reviewed by Margaret Hamilton.

Lester’s latest, about a noisy baby who can make many animal sounds, ‘has all the trademarks of a Lester success,’ writes Hamilton. ‘She is a much-loved, award-winning author and illustrator with many successful books to her name. This delightful book is no exception.’

Spudvilas’ predominantly wordless retelling of the Tchaikovsky ballet also drew praise from Hamilton for being a ‘superb version’ for all ages that allows ‘the story to unfold visually through the wonderfully evocative illustrations’. ‘The full double-page spreads convey the dramatic tale of passion, betrayal and heartbreak.’

Jaclyn Moriarty’s The Extremely Inconvenient Adventures of Bronte Mettlestone (A&U, November) was close behind, receiving 4.5 stars from reviewer Jarrah Moore. ‘[Bronte’s relationships] have a lightly sketched but very human complexity. And the plot pulls together its many threads into a neat and satisfying climax,’ writes Moore, who recommends it for middle- and upper-primary readers who are happy to tackle a longer book, as well as older fans of Moriarty’s YA novels.

Also reviewed are:

Picture books:

Bird to Bird (Claire Saxby, illus by Wayne Harris, Black Dog Books, November); Excuse Me! (Dave Hughes & Holly Ife, illus by Philip Bunting, Scholastic, November); Hello, Melbourne! (Megan McKean, Thames & Hudson, October); If Baby Could Talk (Michael Wagner, illus by Jess Racklyeft, Windy Hollow Books, September); M is for Mutiny! History by Alphabet (John Dickson, illus by Bern Emmerichs, Berbay, November); Molly the Pirate (Lorraine Teece, illus by Paul Seden, Magabala, November); Tilly’s Reef Adventure (Rhonda N Garward, NLA Publishing, November); and Zoom (Sha’an d’Anthes, Lothian, November).

Younger readers:

Accidental Heroes: The Rogues Book One (Lian Tanner, A&U, October); and It’s OK to Feel the Way You Do (Josh Langley, Big Sky Publishing, October)

Young adult:

This Mortal Coil (Emily Suvada, Puffin, November).

This month’s newsletter also includes interviews with Jaclyn Moriarty and debut picture-book author and illustrator Sha’an d’Anthes.

To read the full newsletter, click here. Sign up to the Junior newsletter here.


Category: Recently published by B+P