Truly I am so very lucky to be able to count Caroline (and her lovely husband) as friends. She is not just a hugely talented creator of children’s books but an incredible artist. On her recent trip to London and beyond, as part of the Illustrators Exhibition at Chris Beetles Gallery, she delighted all of us with her gorgeous watercolours and photographs which formed a vicarious trip for we poor stay-at-homes.
How thrilled am I to be the recipient of one of these treasures?!! Today I received this beautiful gift in the mail to my utter astonishment and absolute joy. Thank you so much Caroline xxx. I can’t wait for our catch up to thank you in person for such a generous and thoughtful gift.
And in other exciting news, I can’t wait to go back up the coast as soon as possible and hopefully spot this gorgeous Sunshine Coast LIbraries bus tootling around with its colourful Caroline artwork. This is the library service that also celebrates children’s literature with the cutest story park benches all up and down the coast.
Last time The Kid and I were up the coast we came across this beauty – one of my favourite picture books to share with small humans – who love to stamp and mess about like little dinosaurs.
ISBN: 9781760652616 Imprint: Walker Books Australia Australian RRP: $26.99 New Zealand RRP: $28.99
I have been watching the development of this truly beautiful book for around two years; from the very first balsa wood model, that was to inform the illustrations of the piano, to endearing portraits of the original subject with her little red corduroy shoes, to work-in-progress video trailers. At last, all is revealed and what a revelation it is! Once again Caroline’s evocative artwork provides the reader with the most exquisitely sensitive, and stunningly realised insight into a little person’s emotions and dreams.
Bea’s big sister is able to make beautiful music with her violin, while Bea is not at all impressed with the ‘tink’ of a triangle. She dreams of much more imposing musical interludes. And with the help of Maestro Gus, the piano ghost cat, her leap of faith propels her into a world of swirling melodies. Big sister Isla joins her in her pursuit of perfect piano fingers, and together their refrains fill hearts and minds. Your young readers will not just appreciate Bea’s experimental exploits with the piano, but easily recognise that it’s no failure to not excel at everything, especially with the support of loving siblings to help you reach out for your dream. I would predict that there will be many would-be budding tiny pianists after sharing Bea’s story – though there may be some disappointment when no Maestro Gus (who is just adorable!) materialises.
Caroline’s undeniable creative talent has earned her accolades across the world, not only as an author/illustrator but as an exhibiting artist. Her recent sojourn in the UK as invited participant in Chris Beetles’ Gallery’ annual Illustrators Exhibition, alongside such guest luminaries as Michael Foreman, Michael Morpurgo and Joanna Lumley, is indicative of her stature as an illustrator/artist. Her work is always tenderly realised and expertly rendered, and she is always able to capture the very essence of any scene she paints. Aside from her boundless talent, those of us privileged to know her, are also aware of her gracious warmth and generous nature.
My highest recommendation for this stunning book, for readers from around 4 years upwards. I fully expect more award nominations and recognition to come Caroline’s way once Piano Fingers tinkles across the literary landscape. This is one to make my heart sing!
ISBN: 9781760651251 Imprint: Walker Books Australia Australian RRP: $26.99 New Zealand RRP: $28.99
I’d like to introduce you to Tedward who has been my constant companion for 62 years and 2 months. He was given to me for my first Christmas when I was two months old. He no longer has much left of his German mohair fur, his tummy growl has not worked for many many years but his glass eyes still twinkle with the light of love.
In many respects Tedward is very like Nop in their shabbiness and rather unkempt appearance but poor Nop is not loved nor does he have a true friend.
Nop has lived in the Dumporeum for a long time, ignored and passed over by the crafters around him and those who select other refurbished toys to take home, despite the new bowtie he has given himself. But Nop is not going to let this determine his fate. Using all his ingenuity and courage he creates his own wonderful hot air balloon and takes off into a new life, one in which he discovers a special friend.
Caroline’s newest book is another gentle and beautifully illustrated offering in which the values of self-belief and acceptance are strongly but subtly underlined. Nop may have been unwanted and ignored in the Dumporeum but as the special bear-friend of a wise orang-utan becomes highly regarded and well loved.
Another sumptuous treasure of a book from this talented writer/illustrator!
Highly recommended for readers of all ages from littlies upwards.
Thank you Caroline for allowing me to use this delightful rough from Nop’s illustrative process! Stay posted for a Q&A with this amazing artist coming up in the New Year!
Sharing poetry with kiddos is one of my favourite things to do – and even the ones who kind of screw their noses up at first really get into it with the right selection. This will definitely be one of those and I know that many teachers will want to get their hands on it to add some pep to their poetry units.
Harry Laing has compiled a fabulous collection that is fun-filled with catchy rhythm and rhymes, chants, raps, word play, shape poems and more. The illustrators are a stellar cast of our best and brightest in the business, eighteen in all, making this a feast for the eye as well as the ear.
Whether it’s a yummy food poem about cheese or pizza or a city of chocolate or an introduction to some insect life like ants or termites or even a flea this has something to appeal to all children.
There will be many opportunities for kids to get up and use their hands or feet to clap to the beat and no doubt will quickly decide on their personal favourites.
If you are looking to give your poetry collection some updating or purely for the joy of it, this will make a valuable addition and is highly recommended for children from around 7 years upwards.
ISBN: 9781921977282 Release Date: August 1, 2018 Australian RRP: $24.99 New Zealand RRP: $27.99
Throughout our college and certainly in my library at present we are having a great focus on kindness and empathy. With my little people I am using a range of picture books which offer this theme that also feature animals as this meshes with their classroom unit.
Author/illustrator Caroline Magerl’s new picture book, launched this week, is a perfect fit for this very unit with its themes of resilience and friendship along with the very essence of kindness.
Maya follows her empathic instincts to coax Cat down from on high and thereafter tries to find her rightful home. When she does so, her sadness at leaving Cat with her own family is assuaged by an unexpected surprise, one which fills her with absolute delight.
This text features some absolutely scrumptious figurative language which would be inspirational for encouraging children to attempt their own evocative writing.
“On a roof, wet as a seal, grey as a puddle, Cat was rumbling a rumbly purr.”
The stunning artwork perfectly captures the mood of the text and the endpapers are just sensational! (My kidlets all know about my predilection for gorgeous endpapers!)
If you are searching for more wonderful books that will assist with growing empathy in children, this will make a super addition to your collection.
I highly recommend it to you for readers from around Prep upwards.