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!