I recently attended a Hardie Grant Egmont roadshow. It was a wonderful chance to meet some of our very talented Australian authors and illustrators for children.
One of the teams being interviewed during the evening were Ailsa Wild and Ben Wood - the author and illustrator of the new Squishy Taylor series of books for younger readers.
Squishy, also known as Sita, now lives full-time with her dad and Alice after her mum takes up a new job overseas. It also means living full-time with her two step-sisters - the twins - Vee and Jessie.
Furthermore, to complete this thoroughly modern blended family, there is a baby half-brother for the three girls to gush over.
When we first meet Squishy in Squishy Taylor and the Bonus Sisters the new living arrangement is fairly recent and everyone is still adjusting. Things are a bit awkward, embarrassing and fragile for everyone.
It takes a secret, a runaway and a mean neighbour to eventually bring them altogether. And Squishy discovers that the step-sisters really are bonus sisters after all.
Wild writes a smart, snappy story with humour and good grace. The relationships feel authentic and believable. She tackles typical childhood concerns like belonging, lying and sharing.
This is a big city story, with families living in apartments and catching Melbourne trams to school. Rock climbing play-dates are arranged for the weekends.
Wood captures Squishy's energy and enthusiasm to a tee...and her flyaway hair!
Also available are Squishy Taylor and a Question of Trust and Squishy Taylor and the Vase that Wasn't. Watch out for Squishy Taylor and the Mess Makers in April.
Perfect for 8+ readers