Jan 08, 2021

Olive

Lilah’s beloved cat, Olive, dies. All she is left with is an olive tree to remember her by. Seasons pass and the tree grows but Lilah is too grief stricken to see its beauty and connection to Olive.

Until, one day, in the safety of the tree’s branches, and with the help of a stray cat, Lilah is ready to remember.

When we open our hearts, love finds us.

Sep 04, 2019

Sometimes Cake

Audrey found Lion. 

Lion had a cake.

“What are you celebrating?” asked Audrey.

“Tuesdays,” said Lion. 

“Also, coconuts.”

A story about finding joy in the smallest things and discovering that, even on the most ordinary of days, there is always a reason to have cake.

VOTED BY READINGS BOOKS IN THEIR TOP TEN PICTURE BOOKS OF 2020

Out now in Australia and the UK, published by Walker Books

To be released in the USA  in March 2021 (Candlewick Press)

Watch Book Trailer

Download Teacher’s Notes Storytime Kit

REVIEWS

“Sometimes Cake is picture-book perfection at its scrumptious best! If this book were a cake, I’d gobble it up again and again and again. In every way, it reads a treat. The text is simple and effortless without a word misplaced, and the soft water-colour illustrations bring a playful, whimsical feel to the story.

This is a book about sometimes and being present in the moment. It is about finding the remarkable in the little things. Of celebrating the silly and nonsensical and making play in imaginative ways. A gentle story full of wonder and warmth, as comfy as a favourite cardi and a cosy reading nook. This is a perfect story to read together, sometimes … but mostly on Tuesdays.” – Natalie Platten, Readings Books

“If my 3 year old had a Book of the Year award to present, the winner would be Sometimes Cake.This book feels timeless, from its gentle story to the divine illustrations that capture the most precious details of childhood (the 3 year old Sometimes Cake fan took to wearing mismatched socks, thanks to Audrey’s most wonderful outfits). This is one of those books that you want to hug tightly because it is so special. And, it gives us all an excuse to eat cake whenever there is something to celebrate – which is almost always. ” – Artsplorers

“Sometimes Cake is a sweet tale about the joy of special days that are worth blowing up balloons and scattering confetti for, but is also a good reminder that sometimes we should just be grateful for pockets of time that can be spent with friends.

Edwina Wyatt’s gentle words are well-suited to Tamsin Ainslie’s soft watercolours, making this picture book ideal for preschoolers.” Thuy On, Books + Publishing

“The pen and watercolour illustrations sparkle depicting the friendship between the two characters… I love the sparse text, brimming with subtle overtones, encouraging children to be more aware of how their friends are feeling. – Highly Recommended” – Fran Knight, ReadPlus

“Such a sweet and whimsical story about celebrating the little things in life! …The watercolour illustrations by Tamsin Ainslie are absolutely stunning.” – Zoe, I Dream of All The Books

 

SUMMARY

For anyone who has ever wished for a party every day of the year, this is a story about finding your own reasons to have cake and celebrating your friends when they are feeling ordinary.

Christopher Robin had Pooh. Calvin had Hobbes. Audrey has Lion. This is the story of two friends learning the joy of celebrating the every day because sometimes it’s important to enjoy things like Tuesdays, coconuts, orange, purple, and lions.

Universal theme: Celebrations and friendship. Every child will respond to the idea of celebrating all of the days that aren’t his/her birthday. Other themes include: Depression, Sharing, Wellbeing, Mental Health, Sharing, Baking.

Fans of Freya Blackwood, Anna Walker, Polly Dunbar, lions, and cake will warm to this timeless, classic story of friendship.

 

Mar 12, 2019

The Secrets of Magnolia Moon

Magnolia Moon is very good at keeping secrets.

She knows just what to do with them, and has a way of talking to the jumpy ones to stop them causing trouble. 

Which is why people are always leaning in and whispering: 

“Can I tell you a secret?”

Edwina Wyatt introduces a character whose irrepressible joy and vivid imagination will remind readers just how much can happen in a year of being nine.

AWARDS:

CBCA HONOUR BOOK FOR YOUNGER READERS’ BOOK OF THE YEAR 2020

SHORTLISTED FOR THE READINGS CHILDREN’S BOOK PRIZE 2020

A SYDNEY MORNING HERALD 2019 ‘STAND OUT’ TITLE

MEDIA:

LISTEN TO PODCAST WITH EDWINA WYATT ON MIDDLE GRADE MAVENS

LISTEN TO ABC RADIO INTERVIEW

 

LOOK OUT FOR BOOK 2:

THE MAGIC OF MAGNOLIA MOON 

(October 2021, Walker Books)

REVIEWS:

“The Secrets of Magnolia Moon is an absolute delight. I fell in love with this from the first page. It’s a gorgeous mix of all those simple good things: friendship, love, dancing, gardens , baby brothers and the moon. It’s sweet and funny and so beautifully written. For some reason the lovely prose and the wonderful,  joyful Magnolia really reminded me of Lindgren and Pippi Longstocking!” – Author, Karen Foxlee

“This book for readers 8+ is utterly sublime… Wyatt’s writing is sophisticated and elegant with a nice splash of quirkiness and gentle humour…It also has the same magic that is found in the ‘Kingdom of Silk’ series by Glenda Millard.” – Megan Daley, Children’s Book Review

“A whimsically delightful story about a nine-year-old girl. Magnolia who loves Greek mythology and keeping other people’s secrets, is navigating changes in her life. The themes of family, friendship, innocence and change are explored subtly. Metaphor and imagery are used throughout the lyrical writing and the illustrations complement the text.” – CBCA Judges’ Critique for the Book of the Year Awards

“The Secrets of Magnolia Moon is for the whimsical child in your life. A curious and irrepressible nine-year-old, Magnolia is fascinated by mythology and approaches the world with a sense of wonder that’s infectious.

The challenges she encounters throughout a single year will be deeply relatable to children, and Edwina Wyatt’s serious and generous depiction of them will be appreciated. Rich storytelling and lovely illustrations make this a sweet and charming read-aloud to share together.” – Kim Gruschow, Chair of the Readings Children’s Prize judging panel.

“From the very first page, I was enchanted… Edwina Wyatt’s prose is lyrical and heartfelt, with a glorious use of imagery. And Katherine Quinn has captured the fanciful nature of Magnolia Moon with warmth and joy. 

This is not a fast-paced read, brimming with dramatic tension. Calling to mind the writing of Astrid Lindgren and Kate DiCamillo, The Secrets of Magnolia Moon is a whimsical and gentle portrayal of friendship and problem solving, with each page to be savoured. And I think young readers could do with more of that.” – Penny Harrison, Kids’ Book Review

“The Secrets of Magnolia Moon is written in a distinctive style with metaphors that are charmingly quirky and conjure gorgeous images of friendship and loving families. It is such a happy story; it reads beautifully and has sweet, intermittent illustrations that make it the perfect present for kids aged 7+.” – Alexa Dretzke, Readings Hawthorn

“Nine-year-old Magnolia Moon is a curious girl with a vivid imagination. Her story is brought to life by Edwina Wyatt’s lush descriptions, quirky imagery, and knack for quiet, compelling prose. An enchanting look at childhood, perfect for reading together out-loud. Ages 7+” – Better Read than Dead, Newtown

“Magnolia Moon is a gentle watcher and deep thinker. She is a good friend and a wonderful dreamer. The Secrets of Magnolia Moon is a celebration of the small events of every day that each child will encounter and has to respond to. It’s about how differently people respond to the same situation and how it is possible to accommodate multiple viewpoints.

Magnolia’s gentleness and insight offer the quiet child a champion, and the more rambunctious reader a time to travel more slowly. Perfect for newly independent readers ready for a chapter book, or as a read-to for younger children.” -The Younger Sun Bookshop

“Her romantic way of looking at the world has a whiff of Anne Shirley about it.
Edwina Wyatt’s writing is so wonderfully evocative that the imagery of this story and character remains with you long after you put the book down.” – Shannon Oh, Oh Creative Day

“Magnolia Moon is a young girl with enigmatic charm and joyful exuberance and zest for life . . . and an imagination that is unique and peppered with idiosyncrasies…The writing by Edwina Wyatt has an energy and whimsy that is very appealing and I can imagine this book as a shared bed-time delight between a young child and someone older – especially for a young child expecting a new sibling. The illustrations are also gently sweet and slightly quirky – enough to create atmospheric charm.”– Carolyn Hull, ReadPlus

“The Secrets of Magnolia Moon is the most enchanting and whimsical book that captures beautifully, the pure delight of childhood. Sweet nine-year-old Magnolia twirls through life, keeping all of the secrets whispered so trustingly to her. She suddenly has a lot of changes in her life to navigate, including her best friend moving away and the arrival of a new baby brother. The imaginative language and word play in this book is simply spectacular, and would make a sublime novel to read with your primary class.” – Lighting That Spark

“In The Secrets of Magnolia Moon, a nine-year-old bookish lover of twigs, feathers and secrets shares her unique view of the world.” – Frances Atkinson, Spectrum Magazine, Sydney Morning Herald

“Written in an engaging, lyrical and affectionate tone, and complemented by Katherine Quinn’s delightfully evocative illustrations, this is an unusually immersive work.” – Magpies

“A beautiful hard cover gift book and a lovely work to share with young children. Magnolia is a well-rounded character whose imaginative nature is perfectly balanced with surprises and intrepidness.” – Joy Lawn, Paperbark Words

“While the book spans a year in Magnolia’s life giving the story continuity, each chapter is a separate entity so it is perfect for that bedtime read when just a chapter is enough to transition to the world of dreams. With its recognisable hero mixed with just a touch of fantasy, it is just right for newly independent readers who are reading on and consolidating their love for reading and honing their skills each day.” – Barbara Braxton, The Bottom Shelf

“Like coming home, like a favourite pair of slippers or warm tea on frosty mornings. My nine-year-old self just adored it and didn’t want it to end!” Books & Things with Mel

“A book that soothed my soul during the tumultuous time of moving. Sentences so glorious I had to write them down to savour them. The theme of change and the quirky, calm, delightful way Magnolia deals with it, was like a balm. I can’t recommend this book highly enough.” Debra Tidball, Reviewer, Sydney radio 103.2

 

SUMMARY:

CBCA award-winning picture book author Edwina Wyatt makes her fiction debut with a whimsical tale of a curious little girl who shares more than just her surname with the moon: they’re both excellent secret keepers.

Magnolia Moon is nine years old, likes Greek mythology, her best friend Imogen May (who understands the importance of questions like, “If you could be a fruit, any fruit, what would you be?”), wishing trees, and speaking crows. She knows instinctively that buffadillos are armadillos crossed with buffalos and believes there are walramingos living in her garden. She’s also the kind of person who can be entrusted with a great many secrets. Each chapter in this novel, which captures Magnolia’s year of being nine and ends on Chapter Almost 10, reveals a secret that Magnolia is keeping. But the novel also chronicles a year of change for Magnolia. From her best friend moving to the birth of her little brother Finnegan, Magnolia navigates every challenge and secret that comes her way with the kind of authenticity and innocence that comes from being nine years wise.

  • A debut novel from an award-winning picture book author whose lyrical writing, sense of whimsy and warmth will delight fans of Kate DiCamillo, Karen Foxlee, Katherine Applegate,  Glenda Millard and Judith Rossell.

 

  • Beautiful package: This hardcover book features cover and interior artwork – multiple black-and-white illustrations per chapter – by talented illustrator and textile designer Katherine Quinn.

 

  • Suitable for independent readers aged 7+, or as a family read-aloud for ages 6+. If you know a child full of curiosity, questions and wonder, this would be a great fit for them. It is the perfect read-together book, especially with kids that enjoy a few illustrations, have a quirky sensibility and a thoughtful approach to life.

Download For Classroom Ideas

 

Mar 04, 2019

Fox & Bird

Fox is desperate to gain Bird’s affection, and does everything she orders him to do. But when Bird goes too far and Fox makes a stand, the tables are turned.

Relationships are tested and strengthened in this affirming tale of friendship and self-assurance.

“This striking and sensitively-told story is a wonderful way to broach topics of kindness, empathy and compromise in young children. 

Edwina Wyatt’s pared-back prose is poetic and poignant, while Alice Lindstrom’s rich and sumptuous collage-style illustrations shine with colour and beauty. 

Subtle and stunning, this story of new friendship is a modern-day fable that’s sure to become a much-loved classic.”

– Penny Harrison, Kids’ Book Review

Read full review

Download Teacher’s Notes

Feb 17, 2019

Ponk!

Ponk can’t fly, but he lives at the top of a tree because the view is so exciting.

The trouble is, when Ponk gets excited, he gets dizzy…and tumbles out of the tree.

PONK!

Even so, he always climbs back up again despite what the neighbours think. Will Ponk find a way to cling to the top, or will he settle for the lower branches?

Just Right For Kids’ Top 17 Books of ’17

‘Ponk! is a satisfying picture book about persistence, doing things your way, and not always following the flock’ – Mike Shuttleworth, Readings Hawthorn

‘I love the message of this story about persistence, broadening one’s horizons, and support and encouragement from those around you. For the kids, the quirky, retro-look illustrations and staunch bird character are absolutely endearing, not to mention the repeat of the whimsical phrase, “Ponk!” is hilarious and has now become our little nightly game into bed. Totally gorgeous and enlightening for preschool aged children, we adore Ponk! and his little eccentric characteristics. ‘ – Romi Sharp, Just Write For Kids

Click here to play Ponk the Board Game
Click here for PONK! Teacher’s Notes
Click here for Ponk! Book Reviews

 

Together Always

‘We will stick together.’

‘Always?’

‘Always.’

What happens when the dearest of friends want to go in different directions?

Edwina Wyatt’s perceptive story about individuality tells how friends find ways to be together, even when they are apart.

Sensitive and evocative illustrations by award-winning Lucia Masciullo bring love, bafflement and loneliness to life in this endearing ode to timeless friendship.

‘Together Always is a sweet, profound and mesmerising book of everlasting friendship and overcoming differences in opinion without compromising values.’ – Romi Sharp, Boomerang Books

“A truly beautiful book—the story and the illustrations are full of hope, life and joy.” – Where the Books Are

“Together Always reads like poetry – an ode to friendship with all its joys and sorrows. This is a story about how good friendship goes beyond being together all the time – it can be just as strong in absence as together, and it defies differences.

Such a perfect read for those times when kids struggle with their friendships, or when friends move away. Lucia Masciullo’s illustrations of pastel watercolours and pencil on a soft cream background match beautifully the wistful yet whimsical nature of the story.”– Kate Murray, Babyology

“Together Always is further evidence of Wyatt’s ability to sensitively depict the ups and downs of friendship and the differing needs of different personalities. Lucia Masciullo’s pencil and watercolour illustrations are a simply gorgeous accompaniment, capturing all the emotional nuances of Pig and Goat’s relationship. …Sometimes we all need to be reminded that we don’t always need to be ‘side by side’ for true friendship to endure.” – Anouska Jones, Kids’ Book Review

“Children will relate to the theme of friendship, loyalty and mutual support. Adults will appreciate the more complex themes of difficulties in reconciling the tension between pursuing individual wishes against commitment to a relationship.

Edwina’s text has a lovely rhythm with repetition of key phrases. With paucity of words a friendship of mutual support and interdependence is vividly described… A quality picture book which weaves a simple but pertinent story with an economy of well-chosen words and illustrations that enhance the story.” – Barbara Swartz, Reading Time

“A wonderful exploration of friendship and the way it survives absence and separation. It is also a reminder that friends can be different and have separate interests, and still be close to each other. Of course, it is also simply a moving, fun story with a touch of whimsy. The illustrations, in watercolour with pencil outlines on lovely cream pages, use rich pastel colours and quirky details but, of course, it is Pig and Goat themselves who are the most delightful. A beautiful tribute to friendship.” – Sally Murphy, Aussie Review

“This is an endearing book about friendship, change and compromise, and about allowing those we love to follow their dreams. The story also demonstrates that when you’re unable to physically be with your loved ones, they can still be in your heart.Wyatt uses repetition and rhythm to great effect in this heartwarming tale. Together Always would make a wonderful read for someone about to enter a period of change. – Liz Ledden, Buzz Words

 

In the Evening

Oscar is shy, Charlie bold.

Oscar stays in, Charlie swings outside.

Can they ever be friends?

The enchanting tale of a friendship that buds, falters, recovers and blossoms.

A CBCA Notable for Picture Book of the Year 2016

A NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge Title for 2016

“This elegantly beautiful Australian picture book is a sumptuous delight. Enchantingly poetic wording from Edwina Wyatt is brought to life through the soft-coloured magic of illustrator Gaye Chapman. This is a collaborative team to watch.” – Kate Murray, Babyology

“At its heart In the Evening is about our need for connection and the confusion of shyness.…The opening words of this book are written like a poem…The lyrical language, emotional arc and relationship of the artwork to this Emily Dickinson poem mean I am sure to find great discussion points for middle primary students.” – Momo, Time to Read

“Highly recommended. I loved the text in this book – it is a lovely story of the discovery of friendship between Oscar and Charlie, despite the anxious misgivings of Oscar. Their isolation from one another eventually is overcome by simple acts of kindness, even though they are not initially well-received. They both become concerned for each other – without ever having met. The poetic start to the first few pages allows a tender introduction to the difficulties of the characters living relatively lonely and separated lives.” Carolyn Hull, Readplus

“This is a fine book, gently demonstrating that new horizons can open up if we face fears and meet people halfway. The enchanting story shows young readers that friendship can develop between anyone, even if there are some rocky times…but for friendship to blossom it needs us to reach out.” – Lesley Reed, Creative Kids Tales

“A sensitive story about the complexities of friendship…The sweet simplicity of the narrative is complemented by whimsical watercolour and pencil illustrations that bring introvert Oscar and extrovert Charlie delightfully to life in a soft, wintry palette. This is a gentle read, perfect for bedtime.” – Anouska Jones,  Kids’ Book Review

“Both the story and the illustrations are, in the strict sense of the word, fabulous.  At the launch of her book Edwina Wyatt described the relationship between writer and illustrator as the “co-imagining” of a story. This is an example of “co-imagining” at its best.” – Dianne Cook, Buzzwords