Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Grumpy Bear, Grouchy Bear (Lynn Ward, illus by Monty Lee, Yellow Brick Books)

Bear is desperately hungry and searching everywhere for food. No matter how hard he tries, he can’t catch anything to eat. A series of accidents distracts him from his hunt for food, and he becomes very grumpy and grouchy, as one does when suffering from hunger. It’s only when Bear finally finds food and has a full tummy that he returns to a friendlier and cuddlier state. It’s always good to learn about a new Australian publisher of children’s books, especially picture books, and this forthcoming title from small press Yellow Brick Books features simple rhyming text that carries the reader through all of bear’s misadventures to a satisfying conclusion. Monty Lee’s gently coloured yet lively and action-packed illustrations portray bear with all his endearing body language. Young readers aged four and up will relate to bear’s predicament as they would know what it’s like to have a tummy rumbling with hunger, and what a relief it is to find something good to eat. They will particularly enjoy the rhyming text and the process of relating the words to the action in the pictures.

Margaret Hamilton is a former children’s book publisher. She is now proprietor of Pinerolo, the Children’s Book Cottage in Blackheath, NSW


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