Maxine Beneka Clarke
Puffin Books, 2020
64pp., pbk., RRP $A12.99
A new school year and a new bunch of nearly-independent readers who are looking for a new series on which to hone their skills. Enter the first two in this new eight-book series from some of Australia’s leading authors written especially to entice young readers into the world of print through stories about kids they know and kids they would like to meet. From a NSW Zoo to a Victorian lighthouse, or an outback sheep farm in WA to a beach in QLD, this junior fiction series celebrates stories about children living in unique places in every state in Australia. Each features a child from a diverse background celebrating a special event or visiting somewhere unique and is supported using all the textual and illustrative features forming the stepping stones that this group of newly-confident readers need including maps and facts that can take the reader beyond the story.
Taj and Zoe and Zac are available now (February) and they will be followed by Eve (from Nowhere) and Katie (from Queensland) in March. Sam from Mangrove Creek and Mia come in June and there will be two more before the end of the year, so the pacing is just right. I wonder who will come from the ACT!