Aussie awards and American dreams for Stellarphant and Stars in Their Eyes

Jess Checkland holding up Stellarphant and Stars in their Eyes

Stars in Their Eyes creators Aśka and Jessica Walton, and Stellarphant creator James Foley are over the moon about their latest news. All three celebrated their books making it onto the Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Book list. Plus, all three are thrilled to announce American publications.

Stellarphant will be published in the USA by Kane Miller in 2022

Stella the elephant is fighting interstellar discrimination. James Foley said it was wonderful to have Stellarphant recognised on the Notable list. He said, ‘When we authors and illustrators make books we often spend a lot of time in rooms by ourselves, wondering if anyone will even read our book let alone like it. So it’s reassuring and encouraging to know that the CBCA appreciated a book I put a lot of work into.’

Stars in Their Eyes will be published in the USA by Scholastic’s Graphix Books in early 2023

In the book, being a queer disabled teenager comes with more than a few challenges. Maisie is just trying to get through her first Fan Con and her first kiss without falling over or accidentally inspiring anyone.

Own Voice writer Jessica Walton said, ‘There are so many creatives writing and illustrating their way into existence in stories for children. We have come a long way in bringing these stories to their audience, but we still have a long way to go. I am so grateful to the CBCA for recognising this attempt at creation and existence as notable.’

Stars in Their Eyes also made it onto the Notable list compiled by the Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Graphic Novels and Comics. Aśka said she was proud that the book had been recognised as notable. She said she hoped to see more graphic novels on the CBCA Notable list in future. Aśka said, ‘It was an absolute pleasure to turn Jessica Walton’s beautiful story into a graphic novel. This rich medium has so much to offer today’s readers, with its ability to connect on an emotional level, as well as expanding the readers’ multi-modal literacy abilities.’

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