Various authors, Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds, Children’s Book Council of Australia NSW Branch and Eastern Suburbs Sub-Branch, 2021, 192 pp., RRP $25.00 (pbk), ISBN 9780645154504
This year the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s (CBCA) theme for its much loved Book Week was Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds. And so, as part of this year’s campaign, the CBCA (NSW Branch) launched a book of the same name filled with short stories, poetry and plays for children that explore this theme in some way. The book is jam-packed with works from over 60 Australian creators. It includes stories from Kate Forsyth, Jacqueline Harvey, and Ursula Dubosarsky, fun illustrations from Mick Elliot, a comic strip from Jules Faber. It even has some advice on how to write stories about other worlds from Oliver Phommanvanh! And well, I could go on…
This is the perfect book to dip into before bedtime as the pieces are short and varied. This means there are sure to be some favourites among the pages. I have to admit that the poem Poetry is…. By Amelia McInerney is one of my faves and I laughed out loud at its simplicity and cleverness. Another favourite is The King of the Golden Jar by Sophie Masson which is a beautiful tale of the power and beauty of music and words. The play New Earth by Sue Murray is simple and smart and perfect for the classroom and The Journey by Ashling Kwok is well crafted and poignant and left a small dent in my heart.
A unique collection of works for children from some of the most talented creators in Australia, Old Worlds, New Worlds, Other Worlds will keep kids aged 5 – 9 (and their adults) entertained. It’s a great book to dip in and out of, a fabulous classroom companion and it should appeal to readers who enjoy nursery rhymes, fairy tales and poetry. It’s also makes a great gift and is a positive way to support Aussie creators.
Reviewed by Renee Mihulka