Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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Me and My Boots (Penny Harrison, illus by Evie Barrow, Little Hare)

Author Penny Harrison exemplifies the beauty in nature and the power of self-expression through her books, which include The Art Garden, Dance with Me and Emily Green’s Garden. Her latest picture book also contains a message of self-empowerment, wrapped up in a heartwarming story of how loving relationships can bring out all the best qualities in children. Through lyrical rhyming verses, the reader is enchanted by the young narrator, Bronte, and her family and friends’ descriptions of her favourite boots—which also describe Bronte’s individual characteristics. Dismissing the label of ‘bossy boots’, Bronte expresses her individuality as her family and friends find other ways of describing her boots. Mum calls them her ‘brave-girl’ boots, her dad calls them her ‘bright-eyed’ boots, while Nan describes them as ‘big-dream’ boots. Bright, energetic illustrations spanning double-page spreads allow the reader to identify each relationship clearly. Illustrator Evie Barrow brings warmth and familiarity to every scene with her playful pencil drawings that brim with bright, complementary tones and fun details to pore over. Pops of pink beautifully highlight Bronte’s expressive nature, while the text and pictures unite to portray a character that is full of life and personality. Children aged three and up will see themselves in Me and My Boots, too.

Romi Sharp is a digital marketer for children’s authors and publishers


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