The Creative Kids Tales Story Collection, individual authors and illustrators, compiled by Georgie Donaghey, Creative Kids Tales, October 2017.

You’ll find a marvellous collection of short stories and poems in this multi-faceted mix derived from forty emerging authors and illustrators under the Creative Kids Tales association. Founder, Georgie Donaghey, has neatly packaged this anthology with a blend of tales of the humorous, intriguing, inspiring, exciting and poignant kind that will keep its readers on their literary toes for hours. With fifty-three stories suited to ages five to twelve, plus an index of each creators’ biographies, there is plenty of scope to explore and engage in this comprehensive compendium of diverse goodness.

The book kicks off with a suspenseful yet joyous story by Sandra Bennett and Michele Furlong-Olsen. It tells of a young boy helping to rescue some beached whales and beautifully highlights the significance of families, particularly around Christmas time. Other stories are exhilarating with nailing half pipe tricks, floating words and dissolving evil book characters. Stories like Georgie Donaghey’s Dragonfly Serenade, Eileen Magee’s I Heard a Noise, and Lynette Duffy’s If I Were are like poetic dances of words. Some tales border on the gloriously ridiculous like Cow by Sonia Hardie and Allison Howard; a destructive suburban, iPod-listening cow who moves to the zoo. And A Useless Thing to a Duck by Elizabeth Paterson; a duck obsessed with keeping dry. Favourite spooky chapters include The Sock Thief by Megan Higginson and The House on the Hill by Kelly McDonald. Then there are the special, more provocative ones like The Lonely Pine by Caroline Tuohey; a beautifully written story highlighting that being different doesn’t make you any less precious, and Magic Beans by Brydie Wright and Allison Howard; a wonderful bonding story about the joy of imagination inspired by the popular fairytale, Jack and the Beanstalk.

Each emerging writer’s voice shines and the eclectic collaboration provides a completely new experience with every chapter. The black and white illustrations scattered throughout also vary in their technique, from outline sketches to soft, textured paintings that all delightfully add an appealing element to the stories.

The Creative Kids Tales Story Collection is a gentle and pleasant variety of entertaining short stories and poems that readers can engage at their own pace. And what a wonderful initiative to enable these emerging creators a place to glow in the published spotlight! 🙂

Review by Romi Sharp.

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