White gum rustle, tawny frog mouths still as wood, dragonflies swoop. Banjo frog calls the secret – watch the world carefully, your backyard is home to animals other than you!

A child stands on her back step at dusk and surveys her backyard. The backyard is teeming with life - birds, possum, native rat, bats, insects and bugs.

In Backyard, critically acclaimed Australian author Ananda Braxton-Smith and fine artist Lizzy Newcomb team up to present a lush, lyrical picture book about all the life that children can find in a suburban backyard.


Ananda Braxton-Smith is a journalist and children's author. She has written several titles for Black Dog Books, including a series for older readers, the Secrets of Carrick. The first two books in the series, Merrow and Tantony, were Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Books in 2011 and 2012, in addition to being finalists in the Young Adult Fiction category of the 2010 and 2011 Aurealis Awards.

As a child, Lizzy Newcomb would sit and watch her dad draw and hand-colour his architectural plans; this inspired her love of art. Sydney-born and raised, she spent most of her childhood exploring the bushland near her home and began a love affair with nature. Lizzy has studied nursing, travelled throughout Europe and Scandinavia, and run a business producing handmade ceramic pieces. In 2006 her first solo exhibition sold out and she has held an exhibition each year since. My Name is Lizzie Flynn (written by Claire Saxby) was her first book with Black Dog Books.


Kids will love the rich vocabulary and dreamy imagery of Backyard.

The Golden Adventures

This beautiful book encourages parents and teachers to reconnect children with their backyards and the natural world.

Trevor Cairney Blog

I may just be a nostalgic old fool, but I found the imagery of Backyard deeply evocative.

Blog of Dad

The visual and word imagery will intrigue and delight readers as they roll the lines around, practising reading them out loud and peruse the pictures with care to find out what lurks beneath the leaves.


I feel this book really has two audiences – for the younger reader the illustrations are so rich and complex that a story can be gleaned without text. While the complex, poetic language would suit an older audience that takes the time to read it

Sharon Greenaway Reviews

Wheverever you live, you can experience the wonderful world of some of Australia’s wild creatures, and their life in our suburbs, by reading Backyard.

Kids' Book Review

Visually sumptuous and satisfying, this picture book encourages mindfulness and evokes calm and imaginative thought. Captivating language coupled with sensory illustrations on every page will have youngsters revisiting this celebration of creatures great and small again and again.

Boomerang Books

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