AUGUST #PICBOOKBC CHAT QUESTIONS

It’s time to get excited because it’s almost time for the August #picbookbc chat party! This month it’s all about Picture Books that celebrate Friendships and what a perfect match our guest author Gus Gordon is!

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We are chatting about Picture Books that Celebrate Friendship with Guest Gus Gordon on Thursday 3rd August at 8pm!

Gus Gordon is both author and illustrator of some of our favourite picture books including his newest book Somewhere Else which follows George a rather unconventional bird who doesn’t go anywhere but with help from his friends that all might change! If you want to know what happens though you’ll just have to grab a friend and read it to find out what George gets up to and what adventures he goes on (or doesn’t!).

Gus Gordon is also author/illustrator of Herman and Rosie, which is one of my personal favourite  picture books at the moment as it combines a beautiful story of friendship, music and illustration to tell a story of how even in a big city you can find friends who sing your song and help you to share your passion with the world.

 

Now here are the chat questions to help you get ready!

Q1.What’s your favourite picture book/s that celebrate friendship? (Share a photo!)

Q2. What is unique about the way picture books communicate different types of friendships?

Q3. Do you think friendship picture books help encourage diversity positively? Why?

Q4. If you could choose a picture book character to be you BFF who would it be and why?

There will also be plenty of time at the end to ask Gus Gordon questions so come prepared!

 

If you haven’t joined one of our chats before and wondering how it works head on over to our Welcome to the #picbookbc Twitter chat post!

 

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday night at 8pm for another #Picbookbc Twitter chat!

-Ashleigh

 

JULY #PICBOOKBC CHAT QUESTIONS!

Not long now until our July #picbookbc chat party! This month we are celebrating NAIDOC week with the theme ‘Indigenous Picture Books’ and are honoured to have Dub Leffler as our special guest!

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We are celebrating by chatting Indigenous Picture Books Thursday 6th July at 8pm!

Dub Leffler is an Indigenous author/illustrator descended from the Bigambul and Mandandanji people of south-west Queensland. His first Picture Book Once There was a Boy “is a poignant, universal story of friendship, temptation and reconciliation.” He is also the Illustrator for a number of other picture books including Frog Finds a Place. If you haven’t read them yet, be sure to check them out!

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Here are the chat questions, to help get you prepared!

Q1.What is one of your favourite Indigenous picture books? (Share a photo!)

Q2.How can we better promote Indigenous picture books and their importance?

Q3.Share with us an illustration from a favourite Indigenous Picture Book. What is the context of the story?

Q4.How can we use storytime/picture books to partner with Indigenous communities?

There will also be ample time at the end to ask Dub Leffler questions so come prepared!

 

If you haven’t joined one of our chats before and wondering how it works head on over to our Welcome to the #picbookbc Twitter chat post!

 

We look forward to seeing you on Thursday night at 8pm for another #Picbookbc Twitter chat!

-Ashleigh

 

 

 

Animals in Picture Books

Our June chat is only 2 sleeps away! Our guest Katherine Battersby brings readers so much joy through the creation of her animal themed picture books. Her first Picture book is titled ‘Squish Rabbit’. Squish is only a little rabbit…which makes him hard to see and hear. However as we turn the pages we soon discover that despite being small….this little rabbit has a huge heart…and will definitely make his way into yours! Celebrate the joy of friendship with one very special little bunny .

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In her gorgeous book ‘Little Wing’ we discover that he is not just any bird…he is the world’s smartest animal! Yes my friends, this smart cookie of a bird had been reading his whole life. Join Little Wing on this journey of self discovery to help him figure out who is and where he belongs.This is such a beautiful gem and will resonate with adults and children. Learning is a fun adventure, spread your wings , be true to yourself and enjoy it.

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If you haven’t discovered Katherine’s charming books I encourage you to go on a treasure hunt and add them to your ‘to read’ pile. Her titles include ‘Squish Rabbit’, Brave Squish Rabbit and Little Wing’ . She also has the ‘You’re Five’ series coming out in June with Shelly Unwin. Take a little adventure over to her website where you can  find out more. 

Katherine has written us very lucky folk at #picbookbc a blog post explaining why she uses animals in her work. Don’t forget to join us for our picture book party (with Kath, Squish and Little Wing! )  on Thursday, 8pm over on our twitter account! (@picturebookbc)

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      ‘Animals at Play in Picture books’       

In my picture books, I always explore common themes of childhood – feelings, friendship, fears, identity, fitting in, family – and yet my characters are never children. Instead, I use animals as stand-ins for children, as many writers and illustrators do.

Intellectually speaking, there are many reasons picture book creators do this. Animal characters are instantly relatable – they’re cute, fun, intriguing, and come with their own set of character traits that people attach to them, which writers can use to both shape and subvert. Animals are also easy to empathise with – everyone can see themselves in an animal character, whereas many kids might not often see themselves reflected in human characters. Alternately, animal characters can also create distance, which allows writers to tackle themes and issues that may be too confronting with human characters – providing a little distance in a story can allow readers room to re-examine their own thoughts and beliefs. Ultimately, using animals as characters can be an incredibly powerful tool for change.

But when thinking about why I use animals in my picture books, it’s not really a decision I’ve made. The reason seems to be much more emotional.

Whenever I’m making books, I have to go back to that place inside me where I remember what it was like to feel small. As a child, I was quite introverted and experienced a lot of significant change in a very short period of time. I had trouble expressing myself and relating to other kids, and yet I always felt comfortable with animals. When I was with animals, I didn’t have to talk. My cat was not particularly affectionate, and yet when I was sad she would sit on my lap and purr. When I went outside seeking alone time, if I sat still for long enough, small birds would collect at my feet. I loved that friends always joked that their pets had an affinity with me that they shared with no one else. I felt an easier connection with animals than I did with people.

I also grew up in quite an intriguing home. I lived in a small coastal town in north Qld, and my dad built us a rather spectacular eco home in the side of a cliff overlooking the ocean. We had grass on our roof and the animals in the area were pretty confused about whether it was a human home or not. Over the years, many local animals tried moving in with us, which had varying levels of success.

We had a family of frogs that lived on top of our dishwasher – my mum would fill the sink for them at night as we went to bed, and as my bedroom was closest to the kitchen I could hear them blobbing about in the water. We had a tree snake named George who started sleeping in the computer paper box in the office (he was less welcome than the frogs). Then there was the family of bats who lived down the back hall – they moved out in a hurry one day when George relocated. We also raised a baby wallaby whose mother was killed on the road. She was tiny but could jump surprisingly high and used to hop up onto my desk and chew the end of my pencils as I tried to do my homework. On our lawns, there were always kangaroos and bandicoots and possums and echidnas. Even the occasional wombat. We were surrounded by animals, and I couldn’t have been happier.

Growing up, we couldn’t keep the animals out of our house. It’s really no surprise to me now that I can’t keep them out of my books.

Katherine Battersby

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JUNE #PICBOOKBC CHAT QUESTIONS!

The countdown is on until our June #picbookbc chat party! This month we are celebrating ‘Animals in Picture Books’ and are very lucky to have Katherine Battersby as our special guest.

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Katherine is the critically acclaimed author and illustrator of picture books published around the world, including Little Wing and the Squish Rabbit series. Her books have  been shortlisted for numerous awards. She also has a gorgeous new series of picture books being publishing in June with Shelly Unwin. The ‘You’re Five’ series are ‘sweet rhyming picture books that celebrate early childhood in all of its wonder and curiosity.’ She lives in Ottawa (Canada) with her super cute puppy Frank, her husband and many imaginary rabbits . Lucky for us Aussies she does frequently visit Australia to visit festivals/schools and libraries.

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Here are the chat questions, to help get you prepared!

Q1.Who are some of your favourite animal characters in picture books and why? (share a photo!)

Q2.Why do you thinks animals populate so many picture books?

Q3.What are the advantages of using animals with human characteristics in picture books?

Q4.You are writing a picture book! What animal/s would you choose for the star of your story and why?

You will then have time to ask our guest Katherine Battersby questions! So put your thinking cap on!

If you’re unfamiliar with how the chat works head on over to our welcome post!

We are also running a competition this month!!! (yippppiiieee!) All you have to do to be a winner is join in with this months chat! The winner will receive a copy of Katherine Battersby’s gorgeous book ‘Little Wing’ and a limited edition ‘Picture book’ book club tote bag! Just when you thought the prize couldn’t get any more amazing….Katherine is going to put a personalised message in the book just for you! (yes total awesomeness!) . This comp is open to worldwide participants.

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Kath Batt and your amazing prize! ‘Little Wing’ 🙂

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Personalisation of ‘Little Wing’ from Kath Batt!

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Amazeballs #picbookbc tote!

See you on Thursday evening over on our @picbookbc twitter account at 8pm! Will you be partying/tweeting on the roof and eating cake like our friend the Hippopotamus?!

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See you in the twittersphere party people!!! #picbookbc

MAY #PICBOOKBC CHAT QUESTIONS!

In just a few days we will be having another #picbookbc chat party! This month we are celebrating National Simultaneous Storytime and are super lucky to have the author of this years book joining us. The Cow Tripped Over the Moon is the delightful picture book written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Laura Wood that will be celebrated across the country on 24th May 2017 for NSS2017!

Here are the chat questions, to help get you prepared!

Q1. What are some advantages of being involved and participating in #NSS2017?

Q2. What are some ways you can use this years book to create a fun and vibrant storytime?

Q3. What book would you choose for #NSS2017? What are some reasons for this choice?

Q4. Is your local community participating in #NSS2017? How are they celebrating?

And we’ll wrap it all up with question time with Tony Wilson, so come prepared!

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If you’re unfamiliar with how the chat works head on over to our welcome post!

Join in on the fun at 8pm (AEST) on Thursday the 4 of May!

Hope to see you there!

‘Migrainysaurus Rex’ – A Hallelujah Moment

Tony Wilson is an author and broadcaster who has been writing books for children for more than a decade. In 2016, the bestselling The Cow Tripped Over the Moon soared to 2016 CBCA Honour Book status, and other titles such as Grannysaurus Rex, Harry Highpants, The Princess and the Packet of Frozen Peas, The Emperor’s New Clothes Horse, and Emo the Emu are also favourites. Tony will be our special guest for May’s #picbookbc Twitter chat and National Simultaneous Storytime themed party on Thursday 4 May.

National Simultaneous Storytime is held annually by the Australian Library and Information Association. Every year a picture book, written and illustrated by an Australian author and illustrator is read simultaneously in libraries, schools, pre-schools, childcare centres, family homes, bookshops and many other places around the country.

This year NSS takes place on Wednesday 24 May at 11am (AEST) and with the picture book The Cow Tripped Over the Moon written by Tony Wilson and illustrated by Laura Wood.

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Thank you Tony for sharing your picture book story with us!

‘Migrainysaurus Rex’ – A hallelujah moment

Tony Wilson

I became a picture book author because one day, out of the blue, I had a picture book idea. I remember exactly where I was. I was doing the dishes in our rental in Birkenhead Street, North Fitzroy, and I was living out my normal but best internalised monologue of jokes and word plays, as I applied elbow grease to a saucepan.

The word that came into my head was ‘Migrainysaurus Rex’. I was thinking about my mother, Margaret, a migraine sufferer, and an alternate reality in which she might turn into a dinosaur every time she got a migraine. ‘Hey that’s a good picture book idea,’ I thought, and then promptly unthought it, because kids wouldn’t know what a migraine is.

But I kept muttering ‘Migrainysaurus Rex’ ‘Migrainysaurus Rex’ ‘Migrainysaurus Rex’ over and over, and pretty soon it started sounding like ‘My Grannysaurus Rex’. It was a hallelujah moment. Every preschool kid on the planet loves dinosaurs, almost as much as grannies! And grandmas buy piles of picture books! My god. I was going to be rich! I ran to the computer and wrote my million dollar idea. Why would granny turn into a dinosaur? Maybe she’d undermine mum’s strict no-lollies policy and they’d go on a hallucinogenic sugar trip together? In the end, it was 1500 words long. I borrowed the ‘Writers Handbook’ from the library the next day, a very 2003 thing to do, and looked up the address for every publisher of kids books. Forty one Tatts tickets.

Two ended up paying off — Penguin wanted it for an Aussie Nibble, and Scholastic wanted me to cull 1000 words and the whinging mum, and make it a picture book. I ended up choosing the picture book, because the idea of having my name on a picture book was beyond my childhood dreams.

[As a side note, and unsurprisingly to anyone who knows anything about children’s publishing, my million dollar idea came up $993,000 short. That still counts as a success, by the way. ‘Bedsosaurus Rex’ got released in Denmark.]

Over the next thirteen years, I’ve had a few of these Eureka Moments. The writing of a picture book may be less exhausting or time intensive than other types of fiction, but the ideas clamber around in the ether, refusing to be pinned down. It’s an almost visceral triumph when you grab one. I was at the lights in Swan Street when I had the idea for The Minister for Traffic Lights inventing a mauve traffic light as a cure for road rage (when the lights turn mauve, you have to jump out and hug your fellow motorists). I was in my back yard, watering the garden under one of those faint, early evening, crescent moons when I decided to write a book about the Cowolympics, and the main event there, the open age moon jump.

That book became ‘The Cow Tripped Over the Moon’. Not immediately. First I had a crack at a middle grade fiction, a bovine sporting adventure story to reflect my love for a childhood favourite ‘The 27th Annual African Hippopotamus Race’, but I couldn’t make my story soar. It was only when I was singing nursery rhymes to my son, Jack, that I realised I was missing the glorious essence of hey Diddle Diddle — it’s perfect rhythm, rhyme, and romance. It’s stand-alone place in all literature for involving cutlery and crockery as a romantic subplot. I scrapped my Cowolympics, and sat down to write alternative verses, ones where the Cow doesn’t succeed with her moon jumps. It was suddenly enormously fun to write. It seems a moon clearance, takes great perseverance. Probably the best line I’ve ever written.

It’s an enormous thrill to be a contributor to children’s literature, to call myself an author. Like most authors, I feel books built me into the person I am. My parents read to us every night, and the picture books that seeded my love for story include The Story of Ping, Caps for Sale, The Giant  Jam Sandwich, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Are You My Mother, all the Dr Seuss Books.

I get almost misty eyed when I read a great picture book to my own kids. Gus Gordon’s ‘Herman & Rosie’ gives me that feeling, and also many of Julia Donaldson’s. I place Tiddler, The Gruffalo and Stick Man in a three way tie. She’s the best rhymer and story builder since Dr Seuss. My kids love the funny ones. I remember exactly which bookstore I was standing in when I first read Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus. The Book With No Pictures still makes my kids roar, even at the fiftieth reading. Then there is a jaw dropper like Margaret Wild ‘Fox’, which the kids are so-so on, but leaves me weeping.

It’s a beautiful world to be associated with. On May 24th, I get my moment in the moonshine, when The Cow Trips Over the Moon is read all around the country. Half a million kids, jumping with my Cow! Or should that be Laura Wood’s Cow? (let’s not forget the perfect illustrations). Or should that be Mother Goose’s Cow (let’s not forget the person who is too long dead to launch a copyright claim).

Thirteen years, eight picture books. It’ll be the highlight of my creative life.

It seems a moon clearance, takes great perseverance.

~ Tony Wilson ~

April #picbookbc chat Questions!

Only a few days till our next #picbookbc chat, oh my! We’re certainly excited and hope you are too! In case you’ve missed it, this month’s theme is Illustrations in Picture Books. We’ll also be joined by our delightful guest, illustrator and story teller Anna Walker!

Here are the questions, to help get you prepared! We apologise for the delay in the upload of the questions as they normally go up on the Monday before the chat, oops! We’re going to blame the extreme weather we’ve been having for this one!

Q1. Who are your favourite picture book illustrators and why? What do you love about their illustrating style?

Q2. In a picture book, do you think illustrations are just as important as text? Why?

Q3. When collaborating with an author, do you think that illustrators can get overlooked?

Q4. In your experience, how have picture book illustrations changed over the years? How do you see them evolving in the future?

And we’ll wrap it all up with question time with Anna Walker, so come prepared!

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If you’re unfamiliar with how the chat works head on over to our welcome post!

Join in on the fun at 8pm (AEST) on Thursday the 6 of April!

Hope to see you there!

-Ashleigh

 

‘The Possibilities of Picture Books’

Anna Walker is a name synonymous with picture books in Australia. She is known for her charming, thoughtful and beautiful illustrations all of which are inspired by the tiny details in the world around her. Anna is an award winning author and illustrator and we are most delighted to have her as our guest at the April #picbookbc Twitter chat/party on Thursday 6 April to discuss illustrations in picture books!

Florette‘ is the latest release by Anna Walker and is a sheer delight for readers of all ages.

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Thank you Anna for sharing your own picture book story with us!

The Possibilities of Picture Books

Anna Walker

Imagine a huge room full of magnificent books. A child wanders through the aisles carefully looking for the right book, when she hears a faint sound. Past the towering shelves, through the novels full of adventure, the sound grows louder. Eventually she reaches the far corner of the room to be greeted by a wonderful chorus of chirps, growls and joyful elephant trumpets! It is the children’s book section. The sun streams in the window and as if discovering treasure, the child picks up a book.

Sitting in that sunbeam of light, lost in another world is where I belong. I have always loved books, but picture books are my true love. It has been this way ever since I can remember.

Mum tells the story of me as a baby sitting in my cot with a stack of books. Apparently I would look carefully through each book, ceremoniously tip it on to the floor and then pick up the next one. I am not sure whether my love of books was inspired by this story or whether this story came from my love of books. Either way stories give our life meaning, provide connection and identity. The stories we listen to as a child, the stories we tell as children form part of who we are.

The possibilities picture books provide are not limited to helping us understand the world around us, they are a gateway to the imagination. Words hardly do this concept justice. I wish I could illustrate this paragraph! The chance to escape on an adventure to a place you have never dreamt of, to take part in a tea party with a lion or run with a rabbit in golden shoes is pure joy.

As a child I was sometimes reluctant to voice my thoughts by speaking up. Creating images and writing though, was a way of expressing my ideas and helped me gain confidence. I am passionate about children being given the chance to not only experience diverse picture books but to explore telling stories, and express ideas in different mediums.

One of the privileges of being an illustrator is doing workshops with children – the wonderful creative beings that they are! In some classes we create bird characters. It is with delight that I see all those individual expressions of birds using only paper and a pencil, each of them with their individual character. It gives me particular pleasure to see the child who exclaims ‘I can’t draw’ proudly holding up their creation and telling the class about a world they have envisaged.

If it was up to me all children would have the chance to explore different art mediums along with reading and writing – all the way through primary school and beyond! I would love to see further exploration of creativity as part of the curriculum. Paper clay, animation, sand sculpture, split pin creatures, dioramas, cardboard cities, mono-printing, chalk drawings, shadow puppets, ink blobs, stick construction, watercolour, screen printing, fabric painting, abstract work, collage and more! This desire is not because I want all children to become artists, it is seeking the chance for them to discover new ways of seeing things. I think it is great to use different mediums for problem solving and finding interesting solutions to express an idea. And an added bonus is the child weaving their own stories around this creativity.

We are fortunate to be in an era in which there are sooooooo many wonderful picture books! To see a child connect with a story or delight in the world of imagination is a precious thing. And the possibility that a story might inspire a child to express their own unique voice is one of the many reasons I love the world of picture books!

March Wrap up!

Last Thursday night was the launch of our first #picbookbc chat on twitter and what a chat it was! We were blown away by your support and excitement and loved sharing the experience of our first chat with so many passionate picture book lovers and hearing all your insightful comments on Aussie picture books. I’m sure those who took part will agree that their list of picture books to read has grown thanks to the chat! For those that missed it, our first chat was on the theme ‘Aussie’ picture books and featured our guest author Damon Young , author of ‘My Brother is a Beast’.

We shared our earliest memories of Australian picture books and the authors that stood out in our memory from our childhood. Lots of fond memories of stories read with parents and time spent pouring over picture books from the library and our own collections. Popular choices were books by Mem Fox – Possum Magic, May Gibbs – Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, and Alison Lester – Magic Beach. Other popular choices were the classic Little Golden Books and Blinky Bill books by Dorothy Wall.

It was a struggle to narrow down our favourite authors and picture books as we all realised that we’re certainly blessed with a diverse range of Australian picture books that not only capture the Australian way of life but also our unique flora, fauna and style. What we loved about our favourites were their different styles of illustrations such as Jeannie Baker’s use of mix-media collages, the way they told their stories, the way they made us feel and the rhyme & rhythm of the words. These were also the elements we believed made up a good picture book. How surprising, right?

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But what makes an Australian picture book unique? According to our participants, it’s about our people, fauna, flora, indigenous culture, humour and world view among other things. Our land and culture gives us a unique view point and landscape to share and this is evident in the illustrations and stories of our picture books whether it’s directly about Australia or not.

Although people often talk about what the future of the physical book being bleak and if it’ll be taken over by technology and electronic versions, the #picbookbc community feels strongly that the Australian picture book industry is here to stay whilst embracing the advantages of technology. The sharing of a physical picture book creates a tangible connection and experience for users that can’t be replicated with technology. However as highlighted in the chat, technology can be used to share these experiences with those we previously couldn’t. Technology allow us to share and read picture books over video chat or interact with stories through things like Tumble Book Library. It is also changing the diversity of content of our picture books.

The last part of our chat was question time with Damon Young! It’s certainly an interesting and rewarding experience learning about how illustrators and authors meet, why they write and where the ideas for their picture books come from. The inspiration for Damon’s book ‘My Sister is a Superhero‘ came from his desire to share superhero stories with his daughter but found these were few and far between for younger audiences, so he decided to write his own!

This was just a snap up of the chat and the great ideas shared on the theme. I encourage you to check out the rest of the chat particularly the question time with Damon Young as it was impossible to share all the great questions and answers we had! For the full chat check out Storify: https://storify.com/picturebookbc/aussie-picture-books-picbookbc

Our next chat will be Thursday 6th April at 8pm AEST. If you haven’t already read our welcome post on how the chat works so you can join in on the fun next time! Stay tuned for details of our next theme and guest by subscribing to the blog and following us on Twitter at @picturebookbc!

We look forward to seeing you then!

– Ashleigh

twitter @Ashleigh_CM

‘The rich dessert of Australian Picture Books’

I feel like this blog post doesn’t need much of an introduction. All you really need to know is it is written by the exceptional Peter Carnavas. He is the illustrator of the newly released ‘My Brother is a Beast’ , which he created with Damon Young (yes our amazing guest author at our #picbookbc chat /party Thursday night!).

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He has also many picture books to his name and if you haven’t come across any of his beauties….where have you been?! Check them out here…quick sticks! You will thank me.

Thank you Peter for this awesomeness .

We have a ‘Picture book’ party VIP hat with your name on it.

                                 

The Rich Dessert of Australian Picture Books

Peter Carnavas

Great picture books are like great pop songs. Undeniably charming, universally appealing. They can cover the grandest of themes – or the silliest – and they initially take just a few minutes to consume. In these storytelling forms, tales of love and loneliness sit comfortably alongside works that seem to have no meaning at all, but simply exist for the fun of it. Both are (usually) bound by a tight structure that has little to do with the art itself: a pop song fits into three minutes for radio airplay; a picture book must fit into thirty-two pages because that’s good for printing. Nobody seems to complain about it, though. Pop songs worm into our heads, set up camp, and stay there for years. So do the best picture books.

Dive into the picture book section of any library or bookshop and you’ll be embraced by the imaginings of the warmest, most caring storytellers. As you flick through the pages and lose yourself in that magic picture book quality – the marriage of words and pictures – you know you’re in the hands of people who care deeply about the world. There aren’t many art forms that speak directly to children and grown-ups at the same time, and in such a wonderful way. We all know the importance of sharing picture books for language development, but the greatest benefit is the way in which picture books bring people together – a parent and a child, or a teacher and twenty-five children. They are designed to be shared, but, of course, there is absolutely nothing wrong with sensible grown-ups poring over picture books for hours, alone (no matter how many strange looks we get).

The best picture books reflect the best parts of ourselves, and the adventures we all travel, big or small. Libby Gleeson and Freya Blackwood depict the most beautiful relationships with just a few lines and a small sequence of illustrations, whether it’s the friendship between two children or between a dog and a chook. Gus Gordon’s picture books feature slightly eccentric loners trying to find their way in the world, as in Herman and Rosie, the tale of a crocodile and a deer eluding and finally finding each other in New York. Reading Tohby Riddle’s books, such as Great Escape From City Zoo or Milo A Moving Story, is like watching a lovely old film. Leigh Hobbs charms us into caring about the most subversive, anarchic characters, like Old Tom and Mr Chicken. Damon Young’s picture book series celebrates the diversity of families through characters ordinary and absurd, the latest being My Brother is a Beast (all illustrated by me – blatant self promotion complete). And Bob Graham slows everything down and reminds us that we have more in common than we think, and that no matter where we live, the same sun falls on every one of us.

I have only picked out a few delightful crumbs from the rich dessert that is the world of Australian picture books. If you have read this far, you are probably already a hopeless picture book addict. If you aren’t, then find a bookshop, order a coffee (they almost always sell coffee), and jump in. Into the picture books, not the coffee.