Inside the Australian and New Zealand book industry

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New children’s acquisitions include collaboration from Alice Pung, Sher Rill Ng

Author Alice Pung and illustrator Sher Rill Ng have teamed up on a highly anticipated new children’s book that was acquired at auction by HarperCollins Children’s Books Australia via Curtis Brown Australia and Jacinta di Mase Management.

‘Sher Rill and I wanted to explore, from a child’s perspective, how the enormous love from our parents can be a burden when it manifests as an overwhelming need to protect us from every perceived danger in the world,’ said Pung. ‘Our own families’ experience of adversity—war, poverty and displacement—has given this book its backbone.’ Be Careful, Xiao Xin! will be published in English and Mandarin in 2022.

University of Queensland Press has acquired world rights to the first picture book by YA author Clare Atkins, a ‘multi-layered picture book with thought-provoking metaphors around environment, generational disparity, global warming, refugees, the power of kindness, and what it means to have a home’. Egg tells the story of a misshapen egg that ‘washes ashore on a scrubby, acrid island that’s inhabited by a diverse range of talking eggs, most of whom have “set” long ago and are no longer able to hatch into anything. What will they do with this unknown arrival?’

Simon & Schuster Australia has acquired world rights to a new middle-grade fiction series by Sam Kerr, captain of the Australian national women’s soccer team and a player in the English FA Women’s Super League. Kerr said the series would share ‘personal stories of growing up, of pushing boundaries and chasing my dreams’.


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