Calling all children!
Find your way through the Sticky Maze and onto the lawn of the State Library on Sunday 23rd March for this year’s Children’s Book Festival! There will be characters springing to life from the pages of famous books, giant word games, illustration workshops and loads more.
A ton of your favourite writers and illustrators are going to be there too – John Marsden talks about how to make words do what you want them to do, Jackie French knows everything there is to know about digging out secrets, and Sally Rippin will spill the beans about her famous characters, Billie B Brown and best friend Jack!
Download the programme now:
774 ABC Melbourne’s Libbi Gorr will be broadcasting live at the Festival from 10am – and we’re calling all superheroes, because the 774 fancy dress competition is back! Show off your finest, most dazzling get up at 11am for the chance to win fabulous bookish prizes.
If you fancy having a go at book-writing yourself, head to the publishing house, where you can design one from scratch. Listen to stories all day long in our storytelling pavilion, or dive in and help build the biggest book ever. There will be music too, and guest stars so exciting you’d explode if we told you who they were. Seriously.
So circle Sunday 23rd March with a red pen. The Festival is free, and everyone is welcome. Come down and join us for the book party.
Family Day is on Sunday, but the Festival also has two days of activities for school groups on Thursday 20th and Friday 21st March.
Here’s how the day unfolded on social media.
Find more photos on Instagram by searching the hashtag #kidsbookfest.
Jackie French is an award-winning writer. She was the Australian Children's Laureate for 2014-2015 and the 2015 Senior Australian of the Year. In 2016 Jackie became a Member of the Order of Australia for her contribution to children's literature and her advocacy for youth literacy. She is regarded as one of Australia's most popular children's authors, and writes across all genres - from picture books, history, fantasy, ecology and sci-fi to her much-loved historical fiction.
Kylie Dunstan is an award winning author and illustrator of children’s picture books. Her first book, Collecting Colour, won CBCA Picture Book of the Year in 2009. She has since written and illustrated four more books and is working on her sixth.
Ursula Dubosarsky is the Australian Children’s Laureate for 2020–2021. She was born in Sydney wanted to be a writer from the age of six. She is now the author of over 60 books for children and young adults. She has won many national prizes, including the NSW, Victorian, South Australian and Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards, the Children’s Book Council Book of the Year Award, and has been nominated for the international Hans Christian Anderson and Astrid Lindgren awards for children’s literature.
Her books have been published widely across the world and translated into fourteen different languages. Among her most well-known books are The Terrible Plop, The Blue Cat, and the non-fiction ‘Word Spy’ books about the English language.
Sarah is a multi-award winning, powerhouse chanteuse and performer.
The Mighty bUZZniks are widely reputed as a vibrant and exciting live musical group, entertaining young people and their parents. They are in constant demand at arts festivals and family events all over Australia.
‘Uptown’ Brown is a man who has worn many hats in his colourful life – inventor, musician, aviator and adventurer, to name but a few.
Bernard Caleo is a comic book communicator. He makes comics, publishes comics, teaches about comics and preaches about comics. He published the romance comics anthology Tango from 1997 to 2009. With filmmaker Daniel Hayward, he made the feature documentary Graphic Novels! Melbourne! in 2012, and they have presented the film in Australia, Europe and the USA.
Andy Griffiths is one of Australia’s most popular children’s authors. He and illustrator Terry Denton have collaborated on more than 33 bestselling books since their first title, Just Tricking, was published in 1997.In Australia, Andy and Terry’s books have sold over 10 million copies, won 80 children’s choice awards and 10 Australian Book Industry Awards—including Book of the Year for The 52-Storey Treehouse in 2015.
Their much-loved Treehouse Series has been embraced by children around the world and is now published in more than 35 countries. Five of the books in the series have been adapted for the stage and have all had sell-out seasons at the Sydney Opera House, as well as highly successful seasons in the Netherlands, New Zealand and America.
Andy is a passionate advocate for literacy and in 2015 was awarded the Dromkeen Medal to honour his outstanding contribution to Australian children’s literature. He is also an ambassador for both The Indigenous Literacy Foundation and the Pyjama Foundation.
Libby Gleeson AM is a popular, highly acclaimed writer who has published over 30 books for children and teenagers, including Eleanor, Elizabeth, I Am Susannah, and the Hannah series. She has been shortlisted for the CBCA Awards thirteen times, and won it three times.
Marc Martin is an illustrator, artist and book maker based in Melbourne, Australia. His illustrations have been commissioned by clients such as Monocle, Wired, the Financial Review, Capital, the Australian Centre for the Moving Image and various festivals.
He is also the author and illustrator of four books, A Forest (Penguin Books, 2012), Silent Observer (Erm Books, 2011), The Curious Explorer's Illustrated Guide to Exotic Animals A-Z (Penguin Books, 2013) and Max (Penguin Books, 2014).
Bec is a percussionist, drummer, performer, composer, teacher, musical director and noise maker. She is a graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts where she studied orchestral percussion. Bec has been touring with Circus Oz since 2010.
John Marsden has written more than 40 books, mostly for teenagers and children, including Tomorrow When the War Began, So Much to Tell You, and Letters from the Inside. He has sold over five million books worldwide, and has won every major award in Australia for young people's fiction. South of Darkness, written for adults, won the Christina Stead Award for Best Novel of 2015. John's passionate interest in education led him to start two schools, Candlebark, on a vast forested estate near Romsey Victoria, and Alice Miller, at Macedon, a Year 7-12 school with a particular emphasis on the creative arts. The two schools enrol 380 students in 2019.
Valanga Khoza left South Africa in 1976, exiled along with many other young people because of their struggle against apartheid or racism. The music and stories he has since created reflects the places he has been and the people he has touched throughout his journey across the world as a refugee, finally settling in Australia.
Valanga has performed and warmed audiences of adults and children at selected world music events and in many schools across Australia and the Pacific. As well as recording six albums of original music, he is also the author of well known Gezani and the Tricky Baboon republished by Ford Street Publishing in 2014.
Tohby Riddle is the creator of numerous well-loved picture books such as Nobody Owns the Moon and My Uncle’s Donkey; two cartoon collections and a novel, The Lucky Ones. He is also the illustrator of the multi-award-winning Word Spy books.
Nicki Greenberg is a writer and illustrator based in Melbourne, Australia. Her first books, The Digits series, were published when she was fifteen years old. They sold more than 380,000 copies in Australia and New Zealand.
Terry Denton has been creating children’s books for over 30 years. He has worked with many of Australia's top authors, written much-loved picture books and junior fiction novels, won more than 40 children’s choice awards and been shortlisted many times in the Children’s Book Council of Australia awards. His Felix and Alexander won Picture Book of the Year in 1986.
Sally Rippin has had over 50 children’s books published, many of them award-winning, including two novels for young adults. Her most recent books include the popular Billie B. Brown and Hey Jack! series and the children’s novel, Angel Creek, which was published to critical acclaim.
As one of Australia’s most respected and renowned Indigenous singer/songwriters and proud Mutti Mutti man, Kutcha’s music and community work has earned him iconic status amongst both Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians. What Kutcha shares through his songs and stories elicit an audience connection and sense of belonging.
Ron Murray is a Wamba Wamba man (Swan Hill area) living at Yapeen, near Castlemaine, in central Victoria on Jaara country. He is a cultural educator, storyteller, musician, didgeridoo maker and wood sculptor.