New Picture Books from Starfish Bay Publishing
These picture books (for ages 3+) are distributed by David Bateman, according to the website www.starfishbaypublishing.co.nz The website is worth checking out. It provides the following descriptive statement: “An Australian and New Zealand-based independent publisher specializing in children’s books with imaginative and intriguing illustration. Our aim is to capture children’s imagination and hold their interest while entertaining them with a thoughtful story.”
The Pear Violin by Bingbo, illus. Gumi (RRP $14.99, ISBN 9780994100245 Pb)
This a translated edition of a picture book by a Chinese author who’s published more than 370 children’s stories, with more than ten million copies sold and over 50 awards. It’s a whimsical story of a squirrel who creates a violin out of a pear and mesmerises the whole forest with his beautiful music – and eventually all the animals end up playing beautiful music on their pear instruments… The illustrations are bright and cheerful.
Two Unhappy Fish by Bingbo, illus. Gumi (RRP $14.99, ISBN 9780994100269 Pb)
As above, this is a translated edition. Two fish hide because they hate their looks – until one day they meet each other and realise that everyone is different – not ugly, just different. The seascape scenes are colourful and should hold the interest of pre-schoolers.
The Cowardly Lion by Bingbo, illus. Jianming Zhou (RRP $14.99, ISBN 9780994100238, Pb)
An unfortunate lion keeps running away from other creatures, getting physically smaller and smaller each time – until he’s the size of a mouse. But one day his mouse friend is attacked, and the lion suddenly gets his courage (and his size) back. The bold eye-catching illustrations have an Asian flavour that pre-schoolers should enjoy.
The Moving House by Bingbo, illus. Huangying (RRP $14.99, ISBN 9780994100252, Pb)
A gentle story about a rather foolish squirrel who built his new house on what he thought was a large rock – but turned out to be something quite different! The illustrations have a soft tone and wide perspectives that would make the book useful for reading aloud to groups of pre-schoolers.
Snowy Night by Tilde Michels, illus. Reinhard Michl (RRP $14.99, ISBN 9780994100221, Pb)
This is a translation of a book published in Germany in 1985. It’s a heart-warming fable about trust, in which a hare, a fox and a bear arrive in turn at the door of Peter’s warm and cosy house, asking for shelter from the storm. But can they trust each other? The illustrations have a distinct European tone, mostly presented in formal, boxed shapes providing a sense of security.
This is the first in a series of editions translated from the German originals, with this story originally published in 2004. This award-winning author and illustrator has published over 100 children’s books. Children of four upwards should enjoy the revolting habits of this unusual family – such as making bootlace soup, drinking shampoo, and decorating the lounge with rubbish. The cartoon-type illustrations are similarly full of disgusting scenes which youngsters will enjoy studying to find the awful bits. Better for reading to an individual rather than a group of children.
Reviewed by Lorraine Orman
Who is Star Fish Bay Children's Book Publishing? It says on their website:
The company director, Luke Hou, has been a professional book publisher since 1999. In 2007 he completed an MA in Publishing from the London College of Communication, University of the Arts London. In 2011 he was awarded a Corporate General Management qualification from the Australian Institute of Management.
It looks like Luke Hou partners with small publishing hous
es in countries around the world. They distribute his books from China and other partnered countries, and he distributes their books in other countries. It's a new publishing model and one to watch.