What’s new in 2018?

With three picture books for younger readers, a picture book for older readers and two board books, this year’s program is characterised by exquisite visuals and philosophical storytelling. We asked children’s publisher Cate Sutherland to talk you through the Fremantle Press year in kids’ books, starting with March to August titles.


The Hole Story (March)

We are so pleased to be starting the year with The Hole Story by Kelly Canby. We watched Kelly from afar as she built a career as an illustrator in the UK and the USA. Unlike most Western Australian authors, she says she undertook her career backwards – first publishing overseas before looking to local publishing houses. We knew Kelly as a stalwart of SCBWI and we had wanted to work with her for a long time. As soon as I saw her gorgeous ink artworks for The Hole Story I knew this was a book for us.




In the Lamplight (April)

Dianne Wolfer is an award-winning author who I’ve had the pleasure of working with for many years. Our most successful collaboration to date has been working with illustrator Brian Simmonds and designer Tracey Gibbs to bring you Lighthouse Girl and Light Horse Boy. Both went on to bigger things – and in the case of Lighthouse Girl I’m being quite literal because that book was used as the inspiration behind The Giants who stalked our city streets during the 2015 Perth Festival. Both books took to the stage in the successful Black Swan State Theatre Company production by Hellie Turner. In the Lamplight is the heartwarming and poignant companion title to these picture books for older readers. It focusses on Rose, a WWI nurse, and I like the return to the homefront and the exploration of the working woman’s world at that time. There are also some wonderful insights into postwar Australia and the difficulties faced by repatriated soldiers.



A Fortunate Life for Young Readers (April)

When it comes to difficulties, most would agree that A.B. Facey faced his fair share. From being abandoned and having to go out to work as a child to participating in the Gallipoli landings and losing a son in WWII, heartbreak was never far from the door. And yet, Bert always felt his life was a fortunate one. To bring that story to a whole new generation of young readers is very special for us – particularly since the book was Fremantle Press’s first bestseller.

Bush and Beyond (May)

In May we are releasing Bush and Beyond, a collection of four stories by Aboriginal authors. What I love about this particular book is the way we have older storytellers teamed with younger storytellers. When we started this process, Jessica Lister was just 16 years old and Jaylon Tucker was 17. They worked with their grandmother and mother to produce four tales that focus on what the older generation can teach the younger generation about appreciating and caring for the local environment.


9781925591132_RGB off the track rough cover please use this and to the lighthouse by cristy burne 9781925591446_RGB


Off the Track (June)

Last year’s junior fiction hit was To the Lighthouse by Cristy Burne. If you’ve ever seen Cristy present to kids you’ll know why her books are so much fun – because she is! Off the Track is her new adventure story for younger readers. It’s about a young city kid, Harry, who has been dragged along on a hiking trip with his phone-addicted mum, his mum’s bestie Ana, and Ana’s daughter Deepika. Disaster strikes when Harry and Deepika get lost. Or is it Mum and Ana who are lost? Off The Track celebrates the Australian bush and the time-honoured tradition of a family hiking adventure.

We All Sleep 9781925163490_RGB

We All Sleep and I Love Me board book editions (August)

Would you believe there aren’t actually that many board books available that are Australian? Of those that are, most are what you would call classics and very few are by or about people from diverse backgrounds. We All Sleep and I Love Me by Sally Morgan, Ambelin Kwaymullina and Ezekiel Kwaymullina are some of our all-time favourite picture books. They are so gorgeous we just had to share with them with younger audiences – and the fact they also make books by Aboriginal authors available to a much younger audience is something we’re very proud of.

Next term, Cate will take you through the last-quarter books, from August to December.

Share via: