A Boat of Stars

A new book of the kind we need more of… This book should be in every school library.

Stephen Romei, The Weekend Australian


What do I say about a book I am prouder of than almost anything else I have ever worked on in my career?

Children’s poetry anthology, A Boat of Stars is a true labour of love, initially on the part of myself and my co-editor, Margaret Connolly, and ultimately through the combined efforts of a glorious team of some of Australia’s best children’s writers and illustrators.

The spark for the book came resulted from a conversation Margaret and I had in 2016, in which we mourned the fact that there were so few outlets for new Australian children’s poetry. From this observation, we moved very quickly to the decision that we should  put together a collection of our own. The fact that we both felt extremely strongly that young children need access to quality poetry that speaks to their needs and circumstances, only added to our determination to get the project moving. It sooned turned out we were not alone in thinking this.

From the very beginning, the most remarkable thing about A Boat of Stars was the excitement with which everyone who contributed to the book embraced the idea. We were looking for poems which would be relevant to modern Australian children and their experience of the world. We wanted poems with an emphasis on rhythm and rhyme, that children would find engaging and amusing, and return to, over and over again. Our wonderful contributors delivered everything we hoped for, and more. Making the final choice from an incredibly strong field of original submissions was one of the most absorbing, challenging and professionally exciting things I have ever done, as was the process of matching the wonderful new poems to some of Australia’s top illustrators and then seeing the magnificent artwork coming in.

Highly recommended for children from preschool to upper primary.

Margaret Hamilton AM


This gorgeous anthology of new poems to inspire and enchant has rarely left my side since I got a copy for both home and school. I've always loved a good poetry anthology, but rarely have I found one so perfectly pitched at the early childhood age group. A must have book for the home and school library and for every early childhood centre.

Megan Daley, Children’s Books Daily

Margaret and I both hope that A Boat of Stars is a book that will be treasured in families and that the poems in it will become favourites that are passed down through generations of Australian children.

Click here for Sophie Masson's interview with Margaret Connolly and Natalie Jane Prior.

Click here for a complete list of the contributors.

Click here to purchase a copy of A Boat of Stars

Click here for teachers notes by Lesley Gibbes

A Boat of Stars was  launched in Sydney on 1st March 2018 at the Children’s Bookshop in Beecroft, attended by a stellar bunch of contributors. Clockwise from top left : my fellow editor Margaret Connolly, Lesley Gibbes (reading), Pauline O’Carolan, Sophie Masson, Margaret Connolly, and Margaret Connolly and myself.

A gorgeous poetry collection for any bookshelf.

Kids Book Review


I can honestly say that it will surely be a book that you and your child keep coming back to over the years….Of all the books I've put out over the last few years, this is absolutely one of the most meaningful to me.

Matt Shanks (Illustrator)

Website © Natalie Jane Prior 2018 This website uses cookies, including third party cookies. By using this website, you consent to the use of these cookies.