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Indie Spotlight On: Magic Cat Publishing

By Priyanka Joshi, William Swift, Elizabeth Haslam and Jess Fischer

 

Magic Cat Publishing, founded in 2019, is a five-time regional finalist for the British Book Awards, or the Nibbies. While consistent nominations and regional successes seem unlikely in London, a competitive city with many independent presses, Magic Cat’s philosophy makes them the obvious choice year after year.


Magic Cat Publishing was conceived to unite adults and children in conversation over picture books that inspire critical literacy or the ability to analyse literature and challenge its prejudices. Critical literacy can be practised in various ways, and Magic Cat’s catalogue of picture books aims to engage children and their adults in issues of climate change, mindfulness and culture. Designed to be a reading experience and a dialogue, titles such as Little Dinosaur, Big Feelings and Slow Down are not to be missed. Children and the adults who read to them can freely discuss inclusivity, diversity and friendship, as Magic Cat brings families closer than ever.

 

New Releases


My First Day Fishing by Will Millard (Author) and Joanna Lisowiec (Illustrator)


My First Day Fishing is a middle-grade heartwarming children's book that captures the experience of a young child embarking on their very first fishing adventure. Released in March 2023, this beautifully illustrated story follows a child's journey from the initial excitement of preparing for the trip to the tranquil moments by the water. Millard's engaging narrative and Lisowiec's vibrant illustrations bring the wonder and serenity of nature to life. The book explores the joy of fishing while subtly teaching patience, respect for wildlife and the value of outdoor exploration. Through the child's eyes, readers experience the thrill of casting a line, the anticipation of a bite and the simple pleasure of spending time with family. This book is a perfect read for young adventurers and families looking to share the timeless tradition of fishing.

 

Little Dinosaurs, Big Feelings by Swapna Haddow (Author) and Yiting Lee (Illustrator)


Little Dinosaurs, Big Feelings is a delightful anthological children's book released in June 2023 that explores the emotional landscapes of young dinosaurs. Through Yiting Lee's expressive illustrations and Swapna Haddow's engaging narrative, this book helps children recognise and articulate their emotions. Each dinosaur faces different feelings—happiness, frustration, sadness, and excitement—teaching young readers that all emotions are important. This book can be considered a valuable tool for parents and educators to discuss emotional awareness with kids, fostering empathy and understanding. Little Dinosaurs, Big Feelings is a captivating and instructive story for young readers.

 

Animal Words for Little Zoologists by Will Millard (Author) and Monika Forsberg (Illustrator)

 

Animal Words for Little Zoologists is an engaging children’s book published in August 2023, designed to introduce early readers to the fascinating world of animals. Will Millard’s informative and playful text and Monika Forsberg’s colourful illustrations make learning fun and interactive. Each page features a different animal, teaching children unique words and facts about various species. The lively artwork and accessible language help spark curiosity and a love for wildlife. This book would be an excellent resource for budding zoologists and parents looking to enrich their child’s vocabulary and knowledge of the animal kingdom.

 

Notable Releases


Slow Down by Rachel Williams (Author) and Freya Hartas (Illustrator)


This bestselling collection of fifty stories about nature inspires readers to pause and consider the magic of nature. In today’s busy world, taking a moment to discover and appreciate the beauty of wildlife seen in a garden or through a window is often neglected. However, beautiful illustrations of the magical transformations occurring in nature each day instil a calming sense of wonder in little ones as they are encouraged to explore the natural world. Slow Down has become part of a series by Magic Cat with later books, including Slow Down and Be Here Now and Slow Down and Sleep Tight, the latter of which shifts the focus to bedtime.

 

5 Minute Human Body Stories by Gabby Dawnay (Author) and Mimi Purnell (Illustrator)


Moving from the vast world of nature to details and facts about the human body, this next book explains the marvels of the body to children. Everyone has a body, from the hairs within our noses to the nails on our toes, and this book explores how that body works. Filled with cute, colourful drawings, this book takes children through the processes within the body, such as digestion, conception and respiration, in a clear and engaging way. Perfect for young children, this collection of short stories aims to teach children the basics of human biology.

 

If You Go Down to the Woods Today by Rachel Piercey (Author) and Freya Hartas (Illustrator)


Lastly, this simple yet charming book of poetry brings the magic of nature to life. In this book, young readers join Bear and his delightful woodland friends on a journey through the seasons, where they meet lots of friends and discover new places. Each page contains a short piece of information and a spot-the-object activity sure to foster a keen interest in the natural world within our forest. Rachel Piercey’s poetry would be a lovely first poetry book for a child as its bold and cheerful illustrated tales engage young minds and foster an active imagination.

 

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