A survey of picture books

Stephanie Owen Reeder

 

Good picture books stimulate a child’s imagination. Nick Bland and Stephen Michael King celebrate creativity in The Magnificent Tree (Scholastic, $24.99 hb, 32 pp, 9781742832951). Bonny and Pops enjoy sharing ideas and making things together. Bonny’s inventions are ‘simple, clever and properly made’, while Pops’s creations are ‘big, brave and brilliant with bits sticking out’. Determined to attract the attention of the birds flying overhead, each comes up with a different but equally satisfying solution. King’s bulbous-nosed cartoon characters, minimalist backgrounds, and organic machinery interact with Bland’s thoughtful text to present a gently reassuring tale about intergenerational friendship and creative problem-solving.

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Published in September 2012 no. 344
Stephanie Owen Reeder

Stephanie Owen Reeder

Dr Stephanie Owen Reeder is a Canberra-based author, illustrator, editor and award-winning reviewer who has been reviewing children’s books for nearly thirty years. She has also worked as a secondary school teacher, a librarian, a university lecturer and a Hansard editor at Federal Parliament. Stephanie co-edited The Inside Story: Creating Children’s Books (1987) and was the editor of the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s journal Reading Time. Her historical novel Lost! A True Tale from the Bush (2009) was shortlisted in the CBCA Children’s Book of the Year Awards in 2010, while Amazing Grace: An Adventure at Sea (2011) won the New South Wales Premier’s History Award in 2012. Her picture book I’ve Got a Feeling! (2010) was an International Board on Books for Young People Outstanding Book in 2011. Her latest book for children is Dance Like a Pirate (2013).

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