Renowned authors Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern and Tania McCartney joined forces to create Aussie Kids: Meet Matilda at the Festival to celebrate the experiences of kids growing up in Canberra.
This is part of Puffin's Aussie Kids series; a series of books written and illustrated by authors representing different states or territories.
"It's a way of celebrating their own experiences and showcasing the much-varied experiences across states and territories in Australia," de Rose-Ahern said.
"It's also a window to different experiences we have when we travel around Australia."
"So for kids who can't go to certain places, especially during this challenging time, it kind of gives a window to what they could experience if they were over there and what kids go through."
Meet Matilda At The Festival follows Matilda, a Canberra local with friends from all over the world, from Japan to Ireland.
The book is set at the Japanese embassy, and tackles the bittersweet reality of saying farewell to friends while finding ways to keep in contact over distance.
"The ACT is a meeting spot for all different people from all over the world, they come to Canberra," de Rose-Ahern said.
"I think that's what makes Canberra so beautiful, because people just love to come here and visit.
"It's really about showcasing that link about it being a meeting place, and the vibrancy of the capital."
The message of friendship over borders is particularly pertinent as the world faces the COVID-19 pandemic.
"At the moment we're going through a very challenging period and I think that's the other beauty about Matilda's story, how it can be hard to say goodbye and still stay connected with those you can't necessarily see all the time," de Rose-Ahern said.
Canberra author, illustrator and editor Tania McCartney illustrated the books and was excited about the racial diversity portrayed in the book.
"I think that it's really important to start human beings young ... to give the youngest children access to this understanding," she said.
"I just love any opportunity to enlighten children young as possible because they are not yet biased, they are not yet listening to things that may skew their understanding of race."
McCartney said the series was a great opportunity for children to have a break from screens and get into reading.
"A book like this that is bite-sized and that has other books in the series they can move on to is important particularly for kids learning to read or early readers," she said.
"The way kids read online is very different to how they read a book.
"When they are on screen they do scanning in a way that's very short, and it's more difficult for them to elicit meaning and nuance and narrative when on screen."
"But when reading a book the process of turning a page, having the object of the book in your hands and feeling the paper and not having that backlight is really important for kids' eyes and for their reading comprehension."