Author: Edwina Wyatt
Illustrator: Katherine Quinn
Publisher: Walker Books
Published: November 2019
Format: Hardback * 176 pages
ISBN: 978-1-760651-54

Review

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 HERE

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.