Long may ‘Magpies’ swoop

For any Australian or New Zealand children’s publisher, a good review in the children’s book review magazine Magpies is more than welcome. (The November issue has arrived in the post box and there are two great reviews of our new books, The Red Piano and Kampung Boy.)

With the mainstream media typically ignoring children’s books, to have a specialist children’s book review at all is a blessing (the CBCA’s Reading Time is another such). That Magpies uses reviewers who are knowledgeable, well-read, thoughtful and passionate makes it all the more so.

Of course, I would say that. In the November issue, Queensland reviewer Kevin Steinberger describes The Red Piano as

a magnificent book in every respect

and likens Kampung Boy to Colin Thiele’s Sun in the Stubble, describing it as

masterfully composed … charming, affectionate and humorous

Knowledgeable indeed!

Magpies has been going since 1986 and currently is published five times a year. Librarians, teachers and parents use it to decide which books they buy for the children in their care. For $48 a year ($53 if you elect to receive the 8-page New Zealand supplement as well, which I recommend you do), you are not only supporting a vital source of reviews and book information—you’re also providing important encouragement to children’s book publishers. For without Magpies, we’d be publishing largely in a vacuum. Long may Magpies swoop!