What I’m Reading: Emily Joe, Children’s Book Author

Children's picture book author Emily Joe.


Children’s picture book author Emily Joe.

I like to read all kinds of things. Articles. Poems. Memes. But there are a few things that have stood out to me over the past few weeks. A cookbook, a children’s book and a science fiction.

I don’t always reach science fiction. But when I do, I want it to be like this. Adrian Tchaikovsky’s Children of Time is both bizarre and believable, and I devoured it. It has all the right sides: sentient spiders and refugee spaceships – while also being a story about religion, technology, learning from mistakes and ultimately what it means to be human.

I want to tell you everything that’s going on, but I also want to say nothing to you so that you come out as surprised and delighted as I am.

* Story of disabled boy and Maori legend wins top prize at Children’s Book Awards
* What I read: Laya Mutton-Rogers
* Te reo works celebrated among the finalists of the Children’s Book Award

Rainbow Baby by Claudio Ripol​ and Yeonju Yang​ is a book for infants, but I’ve included it here because it’s the kind of book that makes me both thrilled and jealous.

It looks like a rainbow, joined at the base, with each color of the rainbow unfolding to reveal a new character in the story. It’s delicious because it pushes the boundaries of what a children’s book looks like, and it makes me jealous because I haven’t thought of it myself.

Made in India by Meera Sodha is a staple on any cookbook shelf. It makes you hungry just looking at it – the whole book is colorful, the photographs jump off the page, and I find all the recipes accessible and fun. It’s a joy to cook or just browse, and I find myself constantly recommending it to people. The cilantro chicken alone is worth the price of the book.

Emily Joe is a finalist for the 2022 New Zealand Book Awards for Children and Young Adults. His first picture book My Cat Can See Ghosts (Beatnik) was a finalist in three categories: the Picture Book Award, the Russell Clark Award for Illustration and the NZSA Best First Book Award.

Grover Z. Barnes