Happy New Year, Just Write For Kids peeps!

Well, we’re about to embark on a new year, sure to be filled with glorious new reads to warm our hearts and souls. But for now, as we spend time reflecting, re-evaluating, rejuvenating and refreshing for what’s to come, the best place to be this summer is diving, splashing and tucking into some good books! Sound good?! Here are a few fabulous 2022 reads for the whole family, to delight, enchant and inspire over the holidays. Enjoy, and all the very best for a wonderfully exciting 2023! 🙂

Wild Bush Days, Penny Harrison (author), Virginia Gray (illus.), MidnightSun Publishing, August 2022, for ages 4+.

If you’re up for some bold and daring adventures these holidays, look no further than Wild Bush Days. Based on the spirited life of Australia’s own Lady Bushranger; Jessie Hickman, this trek through the bush beautifully parallels the songs of the past with the imaginations of two modern-day young explorers. A stunningly visual narrative fused with beautiful vocabulary is combined with vividly sweeping landscapes; sharing crayon-quality texture in the echoes with the silky watercolours of today. This seamless amalgamation richly captures the effervescence of this audacious female bushranger and what that adventurous spirit might mean for young girls and boys embarking on their own ‘wild’ explorations of nature.

My EPIC Dad! Takes Us Camping, Dani Vee (author), Marina Verola (illus.), Larrikin House, December 2022, for ages 3+.

More adventures abound! Who’s up for a spot of camping? In My EPIC Dad! Takes Us Camping, Dad is determined to plan the perfect trip with his two young kids in tow – except they are not convinced. Well, tables are turned when poor ol’ Dad gets himself into a spot of bother and the kids are having a blast! Hilarity ensues in this romping rhyming tale of ant-biting, crab-pinching, bee-stinging, campfire-roasting (not of the good variety), and more disastrous calamities that grip and tug on us until the end. Energetic text paired with the quintessential animated illustrations in bold, fiery tones and exasperated Dad expressions throughout, this book could not be funnier, and maybe even relatable to the less-coordinated of parents out there. But, you’d do anything to keep the kids entertained these holidays, right?!

For more books that ‘take it to the edge’, please find book trailers for Larrikin House via their YouTube channel.

Jorn’s Magnificent Imagination, Coral Vass (author), Nicky Johnston (illus.), EK Books, October 2022, for ages 4+.

Inspiring creativity in even the youngest of engineers, Jorn’s Magnificent Imagination is a remarkable story of the power of imagination and how aspirations truly can make dreams come true. This is the story of Jorn Utzon; following the journey of the visionary architect behind the Sydney Opera House. Did you know his designs were inspired by orange peels, seashells, boat sails and swans’ wings? Through an energetic narrative and true-to-character illustrations consisting of sketches, line and watercolour work in muted sepia-like tones, Jorn’s early life, challenges and successes unfold neatly to keep readers in awe of this ‘magnificent’ masterpiece from beginning to end. A real ‘joy to the people…’ (Jorn Utzon), and a great piece to inspire creative projects these holidays!

Milly and the Mulberry Tree, Vikki Conley (author), Deb Hudson (illus.), EK Books, June 2022, for ages 4+.

Nothing says summer like berries… and also exploring nature and the wonderful world around us and being together with family and friends. Milly and the Mulberry Tree is written in such a beautifully lyrical prose like a dance around a mulberry bush, popping with delicious crimsons, greens and yellows to represent this heart-warming story of growth and change, and magic and wonder. A stunning book to treasure – near, far and in your heart.

For more amazing titles with heart and important values to share, please check out EK Books’ list (and their teaching notes) for a range of books for ages four and up.

The Marvellous Manner of Water, Philip Bunting (author, illus.), Scholastic, August 2022, for ages 3+.

I’ll bet you’re taking advantage of water this summer – but there’s more to water than just a dip in the ocean. And if you know the style of Philip Bunting’s books, then you’ll know you’re in for a really cool treat with The Marvellous Manner of Water. In fact, we wouldn’t be here on Earth without water – ‘from blue whales to bacteria, yew trees to you’ – we all depend on it. Making non-fiction fun, we learn fascinating and funny facts about what water is, where it is, why it is, when it is used, how it works on our planet… you get it… there are lots of stats and scientific terms, and sweet- (definitely not tasteless) looking water molecules flowing through the pages (and our bodies!). Woah, I didn’t know that our water was formed billions of years ago – in Space! With a little drop (or maybe even a big splash), we can be like water, too. Cool!

Noodle the Cavoodle, Louis Shea (author, illus.), Scholastic, August 2022, for ages 3+.

Holidays are the best time to spend with your beloved pets, and boy, are they up for a good time!! We have our very own cavoodle – two, in fact! And they just love a chase and a romp, snatching toys off each other and competing for the cutest puppy dog eyes at mealtimes. But mostly, they’re great friends, and that’s exactly what Noodle the Cavoodle is about. This exuberant, rollicking rhyming story follows the ‘tail’ of Noodle and her playtime adventures with all her ‘oodle’ friends each day of the week. But when they come to Saturday and can’t decide on one game to play together, Noodle has to use her, well, noodle, to doodle out a plan. And boy, is it a fun one! With a mix of bold and bright illustrative layouts, pooches of personalities, and most definitely oodles of energy, young children will adore the lively entertainment bounding through this book. Adorable!

Evie and Rhino, Neridah McMullin (author), Astred Hicks (illus.), Walker Books, October 2022, for ages 9+.

Gripping from the very beginning, readers will get lost in this enchanting story of an unlikely friendship between two broken souls following a disastrous shipwreck in 1891 – highlighting an inimitable power to heal. Evie is not only determined to help her beloved Rhino when drama unfolds, but possesses the strengths of a kind, loyal and courageous heart that is to be admired and loved. With historical elements, themes of animal conservation, and divinely heart-warming illustrations scattered throughout, this tale is the perfect culmination of understanding, compassion, heart and humour that will touch readers to the core. Get ready for Evie and Rhino to sail into your hearts, and for an especially growing fondness of the gentle rhinoceros.

The Rat-Catcher’s Apprentice, Maggie Jankuloska (author), MidnightSun Publishing, March 2022, for ages 9+.

Another captivating story for middle-graders to travel back in time to is The Rat-Catcher’s Apprentice, set in 1665, Saint-Ophelie, France. Handling challenge after challenge, twelve-year-old Marie Perrin finds her dreams of one kind of adventure quelled and another kind of adventure – as a rat-catcher’s apprentice – now decided as her fate. Death and plague follow as danger abounds, yet at the core of this historical-based story is intrigue, heart, hope, and the strength of a young female in a non-traditional role. If you’re looking to follow a brave soul on an intrepid adventure, you’ve found it with Marie.

More recommendations…

We also recommend all the books that have been featured on our blog over the course of the year! Naturally! Please check out our campaign titles via Books On Tour PR & Marketing.

Hang around for more book recommendations coming soon…

In the meantime, may you have a sparkling start to your 2023! Happy New Year! 🙂 xx

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