Felicity Frown isn’t normal. In her hometown of Today, people look at her happy smile and think Oh dear! But what if Felicity visits Tomorrow? It isn’t so very far away…
A work of insight and imagination about the power of a smile. — Reviews, Infibeam
Suitable for independent reading by 6-10 year-olds, the Jake series has delighted children in almost two dozen nations and languages as diverse as French, Turkish and Vietnamese.
Jake truly is a universal character with great charm and enormous worldwide appeal. — Children’s Book Council
It’s the early 1990s and Gus Watson is learning how tough it is to become an adult. In three linked narratives, Across a Fluky Sea navigates four tumultuous years as Gus grapples with the vulnerabilities of love, the disintegration of his closest childhood friend, and a growing awareness that youth is nothing if not fleeting. A haunting exploration of life, love and loss from acclaimed author Ken Spillman.
Brilliantly written… Spillman creates his characters with sensitivity, and sketches their
experiences with great craft and skill. — The West Australian
Nicholas Steyn is fourteen. He’s learning about kissing. He’s dreaming about a whole lot more. The Most Natural Thing is a sensitive portrayal of a teenage boy steering his way through a summer of desire, daydreams and disappointment.
A warm, perceptive reflection on growing up. — Herald Sun
Meet Oscar. His father is dead, his mother is a mess and his sister resembles a zombie. Oscar’s growing too fast and trying to find his feet at a new school. When life is freaky and getting freakier, can Oscar get to focus on cricket and kiss the girl who can’t keep still?
If there were just one reason why writers should be treasured, it is that they can articulate the inarticulate. That’s exactly what Spillman does in this funny, sad, sharp and warm book… If you have a young teen in your house, buy this book. — Sunday Times Magazine
A gritty discontinuous narrative centring on a group of young adults over four years of relationships, jobs and big life decisions. Cumulatively, the work gains power as a multiview exploration of the thresholds to adulthood.
A novel for the young adult market that deserves a much wider readership. Spillman uses a number of voices, taken at moments of crisis over a period of four years, weaving the strands into a complex polyphony of the ebbs and flows of friendships… Recommended. — Marie Claire
Compiled by Frank Moorhouse as a showcase of the best Australian short fiction of the late 1970s and early 1980s, this features a piece by Ken Spillman writing under the pen name of Kenneth Gaunt. Other contributors include Peter Carey, Helen Garner, Nene Gare, Michael Wilding, Kate Grenville, John Bryson, Nicholas Jose, Murray Bail, Olga Masters and Morris Lurie.
Peter Holland’s assortment of stories, articles, poems and images by some of Western Australia’s best loved authors including Ken Spillman, Randolph Stowe, Mary Durack, Brigid Lowry, Dorothy Hewett, Gail Jones, John Kinsella, Dennis Haskell, A.B. Facey, Nicholas Hasluck and Dave Warner.
Compiled by Peter and Barbara Holland, this miscellany includes writing from Ken Spillman, Tracy Ryan, Elizabeth Jolley, Andrew Lansdown, Glyn Parry, Bill Bunbury, Shane McCauley, Steve Hawke and Andrew Burke.
This novel for readers aged 10+ features another of Ken Spillman’s funny, feisty Indian girl characters. The five most venomous snake species can all be found in Australia’s Outback and that’s where Jiyaa is headed on her first school camp since moving to Perth from Mumbai. What on earth could go wrong?
With this book, Ken gives us another wonderful story, told in his unique, warm and funny way, about friendship, courage and growing up. — Kahani Tree
Co-authored by Ken Spillman and Jon Doust, with illustrations by popular children’s book illustrator James Foley, the Amity Kids adventures introduce a bunch of smart and feisty friends from different backgrounds, going all out to meet any challenge that comes their way. The titles in this series are:
Magpie Mischief ISBN 9781618130679
Disturbing the Peace ISBN 9781618130778
Kidnapped! ISBN 9781618131096
It is amazing what can be accomplished in a little over 70 pages. We are introduced to
multicuturalism, indigenous legend and small town politics and exposed to the good, the bad, the doers, the followers and the bullies. 4/5 stars — goodreads.com
Bookworm Advaita hates boarding school in Dehradun — until she realises that her favourite author, Ruskin Bond, lives just half an hour away!
There is something irresistible about the book, Advaita the Writer… It's not just the story, the characters, the setting, the language or the structure. It's something else, something less conspicuous, like the roots of a tree buried deep inside. Sometimes it's the turn of a phrase, sometimes it's the shape and contours of Advaita's mind, sometimes it is the clash of the adult world and the adolescent world, but always it is there. That something which makes you want to reread and relive the story, breathing in Spillman's sheer genius… Throughout the book, Spillman gently pushes the boundaries of language, never once compromising on the intelligence of the reader or taking it for granted. It’s a delicate balance that is rarely achieved in books for young readers. — Young India Books
Forever daydreaming that’s Dev. Sitting in class or watching the clouds from the roof of Kwality Carpets, he floats off to places all over the world and has wonderful, bizarre adventures. Titles include:
Daydreamer Dev Climbs Mount Everest ISBN 9780143331872
Daydreamer Dev Traces the Amazon ISBN 9780143331889
Daydreamer Dev Crosses the Sahara ISBN 9780143331872
Read the fantasies of Daydreamer Dev as he steps into worlds where the totally incredible
becomes totally credible– and more than a little hilarious. 4.8/5 stars — goodreads.com
It wasn’t Radhika’s idea to move from India to some crazy place where kids are 49% fish. Even so, she’s wanted to go swimming since Day 1 in Australia, and is almost drowning in frustration over her mother’s queen-sized water phobia. When Radhika finally gets her chance, will she sink or swim?
A wild, magical story about a girl coping with new experiences, unfamiliar environments and the challenge of putting together that most difficult of all jigsaw puzzles — the mind of a parent. — Google Books
Edited by Ken Spillman. Take fourteen popular children’s authors from Australia and Singapore. Add one universal theme — Family. Let the show begin. Near & Dear carries the reader into a world of fun and adventure. A cross-cultural feast for the young reader.
Lighthouse in the Storm is an outcome of the unique AWIC (Association of Writers and Illustrators for Children) Book Therapy Project. Ken Spillman contributes a sensitive story dealing with child abuse in this collection of 24 gripping, heartwarming stories that put words to emotions that sometimes cannot be spoken about.
Ken Spillman is one of eight popular authors featured in this Scholastic India anthology celebrating the true spirit of this joyous festival in ways that are sometimes touching and beautiful, and sometimes simply hilarious.
Beautifully illustrated by Manjari Chakravarti, this simple story is about name-calling, labelling and self-affirmation.
The story is simply narrated, but profound… Anyone who has ever found solace in an imaginative world should find much to relate to here. Spillman has captured the ability of art to move us and transport us to new places. — Goodbooks.in
A charming picture book about loss and recovery, illustrated by Manjari Chakravarti.
Should you get it? Yes, if you want to teach your child about loss and recovery and the power of stories and storytelling. The lessons learnt here are powerful and not easily found in other picture books. Kudos to Spillman for writing about them. — thotsntots.com
With illustrations by Suvidha Mistry, this book from the National Book Trust of India is about the magic of imagination in building confidence, success and resilience.
We’re big fans of Ken Spillman, and this one stands out for the quality of the story. — Lightroom
Arjun is an auto rickshaw, plying the streets of Delhi while wishing for a more glamorous life — or is he?
A delightful and yet profoundly philosophical picture story… Read this book for its simplicity, for its realistic view about life and its fun elements. — indianmomsconnect.com
Illustrated by Chris Nixon, this series highlights aspects of early childhood safety.
Izzy in the City (ISBN-13 978-0730743972) deals with safety around traffic;
Izzy at the Park (ISBN-13978-0730743965) deals with bicycle safety; and
Izzy on Holiday (ISBN-13 978-0730743958) deals with safety while travelling in cars.
A meditation on the idea of ‘Otherness’ and an eloquent plea for harmony — a picture book to be treasured.
The Circle is a complex fable that encompasses many of the issues facing us today, in terms of our relationships with our fellow human beings and with our environment. — www.mirrorswindowsdoors.org
This picture book is a feast of art and ideas that will delight readers of all ages.
A powerful story about the fascinations of language, the delights of books, and the value of spreading our wings to take stories to others. — The Good Shop