Hardie Grant reveals further acquisitions at new children's imprint Bright Light

Hardie Grant reveals further acquisitions at new children's imprint Bright Light

Australian independent publishing house Hardie Grant has revealed more new titles it will issue through its recently launched UK children's imprint Bright Light.

The new imprint will shine a light on "challenging and pertinent topics important to young people and their families across the world". Commissioning for the imprint is underpinned by six thematic pillars: gender, environment, first nations, bodies, character and diversity.

In 2021 to date the list has already issued picture books How to be a Real Man and The Very First You by Scott Stuart; All Bodies are Good Bodies by Charlotte Barkla, illustrated by Erica Salcedo; The Boy Who Tried to Shrink His Name by Sandhya Parappukkaran, illustrated by Michelle Pereira. Minty Mae Gray and the Strangely Good Day by Fifi Box, illustrated by Freda Chiu, will be released next Thursday (14th October).

Board books published to date include We Got This! by Teresa Bellón; and You Are Awesome!, I Can Wear Anything! and I Can Play with Anything! by Susann Hoffmann (September 2021). The list will publish two titles by Megan Anderson and illustrator Genna Campton, Let’s Change the World: Zero Waste and Let’s Change the World: Slow Fashion, in December.

Speaking at The Bookseller's Children’s Conference last month, Kate Brown, commercial director at Hardie Grant Children’s Publishing, described how the Bright Light imprint was conceived in Melbourne during lockdown as the world faced global unrest, unprecedented forest fires and flooding, and responded to #MeToo and the Black Lives Matter movement.

She said: “We know that conversations about privilege, anti-racism, sovereignty and equality are critical in raising children to become good citizens of the world, but they’re also notoriously tricky to start and keep going. Of course parents can talk to their kids about these topics any day of the week, but it can be so powerful and illuminating to use a story as a prompt for that discussion. Bright Light is all about providing those prompts so that parents can guide their children confidently.”

Its 2022 list will deep dive into body image, consent and representation, and include the launch of a series about neurodiverse children, a non-fiction series about bees, ants and worms, and a Samoan story about the nation's celebration known as White Sunday. Big acquisitions include a book from bestselling author Sally Rippin and disability advocate Eliza Hull. The duo's Come Over To My House explores the home life of children and parents who are deaf or disabled. The story focuses on friendship, play and family life while normalising accessible home environments.