Kids Book Fest Wrap Up

On Saturday, The Little Bookroom celebrated it’s 58th birthday with it’s inaugural Kids Books Fest. It was a day of celebrating books and reading with a session for young readers in the morning and I attended the afternoon for primary school children.

(Watch in full screen by clicking on the square)

By 2pm everyone was seated and eager for our exciting afternoon to begin…

Author vs Illustrator Debate
We were treated to a lively debate between author and illustrator partners  chaired by Peter Helliar (Frankie Fish series). The panel was made up of Danny Katz and Mitch Vane (The Little Lunch and Poppa Platoon series), Andrew McDonald and Ben Wood (Real Pigeons series) and Andrew Hansen and Jessica Roberts (Bab Sharkey and the Animal Mummies series). They had to convince us which is more important – words or pictures? What do you think?

Illustration Battle
The illustrators battled each other under extreme pressure with just THREE minutes to draw requests from the audience! It’s not easy drawing a moth with cheese for antennas or a zombie unicorn with a banana horn. Mitch Vane and Ben Wood’s illustrations were so close they used ‘Paper, Scissors, Rock’ to decide the winner! The final result was a draw between Mitch Vane and Jessica Roberts.

Total Quack Up! 
Sally Rippin and Adrian Beck are the editors of Total Quack Up! They wanted to do something to help raise money for Dymocks Children’s Charities who provide books to children who don’t have access to books. Sally and Adrian approached eight author friends to write a funny story for the book and James Foley to be the illustrator. All of these generous people donated their story and illustrations to create this book. Total Quack Up! is guaranteed to have you laughing and quacking up! Buying a copy means you will be helping other kids to have books so they can enjoy reading too.

We had laughed lots while listening to Adrian and Sally read ‘Who Blocked Up the Dunny?’ written by Ella Wallace who won a competition to have her story published as James Foley illustrated the ‘unplugging’ part of the story. 

Gastronauts Launch
James Foley launched his book Gastronauts which is the third book in his Sally Tinker series. We were all blown away when James showed us his dummy book of illustrations that stretched across the front of the room and round the corner! 

In Conversation: Sally Rippin and Elliot Perlman
Elliot Perlman is a famous author of adult books who has written his first book for children called The Adventures of Catvinkle Elliot told Sally that Ula the dog in the story is based on his dog called Ula when he was growing up. The children in the audience were very lucky to be the first children to hear Elliot read his book aloud – what a treat it was!

 A BIG thank you to Leesa and the staff of The Little Bookroom and all of the authors and illustrators for a fabulous afternoon of celebrating books and reading. See you next year!

Happy reading!

Kids Book Fest @ Fitzroy Town Hall

The Little Bookroom is thrilled to present its first Kids Book Fest!

Come along on Saturday, October 13th to the Fitzroy Town Hall’s Grand Ballroom to celebrate reading, writing, illustration and creativity and meet some of our talented Aussie children’s book creators.

October 13 also marks 58 years since the doors of The Little Bookroom first opened. The Kids Book Fest is a fabulous opportunity to celebrate the way this amazing kid’s bookshop has been bringing kids and books together! 

The Kids Book Fest has two sessions with a Storytime Spectacular for Little Kids and an Epic Extravaganza for big kids.

You can find more information and book your tickets HERE.

See you there!

Happy reading and celebrating!

Celebrating Australian Picture Books

Thanks to The Kids’ Bookshop, I spent an inspiring evening listening to the Andrew JoynerGus GordonAnna Walker and Jane Godwin talk about the process of creating their latest picture books.

I really enjoy hearing about what sparks an author’s ideas, where they like to write or illustrate, the process they follow and any other interesting tidbits of information I can share with readers.

Here are some little pieces of information I gleaned from the evening….

Andrew Joyner – The Pink Hat

The Pink Hat was inspired by the 5 million people in 82 countries who participated in the 2017 Women’s March

This is the first book that Andrew has created entirely on an iPad

Andrew does his thinking by drawing

Andrew once worked in a record shop and has a big collection of vinyl records he likes to listen to as he illustrates in his office space at home

Teacher notes

Gus Gordon – The Last Peach

The Last Peach is Gus’ first book that is written completely as a dialogue

Gus was playing around drawing bugs to match a possible book title when he drew the two bugs that star in his latest book. A little dialogue between the bugs started in his head and their story was born

Gus chose to use a limited pallet of colours for this book and when collecting green papers for his collage he was amazed at the many shades of green that can be found

Gus wasn’t sure how the book would end. He found his answer when walking along a street in Paris and saw a vintage black and white picture with a bright orange sun…that looked like a peach to him!

Gus works in a gorgeous light-filled nook at home where he has an impressive set of drawers that hold his precious collection of vintage papers, cards, flyers etc that he uses for his collage illustrations

Gus enjoys listening to music as he illustrates 

We both come from the same area in country New South Wales!

Teacher notes and Activities


Jane Godwin and Anna Walker – Go Go and the Silver Shoes

Go Go and the Silver Shoes is the seventh book that Jane and Anna have created together. They see the world in the same way and their words and illustrations complement each other

The name Go Go is thanks to Andrew Joyner!

Jane is an author and a book publisher

Jane prefers doing her writing alone and in silence or with just the sounds of the natural world

Anna works to scale with her illustrations (same size as the book) and it takes about a year for Anna to complete a book from the roughs through to the final illustrations

Creating collages reminds Anna of playing with her doll’s house when she was young and she is still very good at focusing and getting lost in her work

Anna enjoys working in a shared workspace at the Abbotsford Convent

Anna owns a pair of sparkly silver shoes just like Go Go!

Teacher notes and Activities

We are lucky to have many talented Australian authors and illustrators! Thank you for a fabulous evening giving us a peek into your creative processes and for generously giving your time, Andrew, Gus, Anna and Jane…

Happy Reading!