The big day out for little readers is back … it’s time for our annual Children’s Book Festival celebrating the wonderful world of children’s literature and storytelling.
It’s a day when we invite kids — and their parents — to dive into the pleasures of books and reading, in as many different ways as possible. All you have to do is turn up and start roaming across the lawns and throughout the State Library and the Wheeler Centre — there’s plenty to discover. For one big day, it’s all been turned into your very own children’s literary playground.
Meet your favourite authors and illustrators — from big names like Shaun Tan, Hazel Edwards and Andy Griffiths, to terrific emerging talents in the world of children’s books. There are storytellers, musical acts and performers of all sorts to discover. Grab a book from the picnic library … and sink into a beanbag to get lost in it. Help create a giant book that will become a memento of the day. And drop by the Children’s Book Festival Monster Marquee, where you can make your own horns to wear all day long.
Read, listen, dance and make things … it’s an active day of fun for the whole family to enjoy together.
Suitable for ages 5 to 11.
Full programme available now! Download yours here.
Stories from Children’s Book Festival 2015
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Oliver is a young Thai-Australian writer for children. He has featured on panels at the Sydney Writers' Festival among many other appearances at festivals and writing events, as well as in blogs. He has worked as a primary school teacher and now spends his time writing – and sharing his passion for storytelling with kids and engaging them with humour.
He's also a stand-up comedian and has appeared on national TV and radio, as well as at a number of well-known comedy venues including the Comedy Store in Sydney. His first book, Thai-riffic!, was published to critical acclaim, followed by Con-nerd, Punchlines, Thai-no-mite and Ethan in the Stuff Happens series in 2015, The Other Christy and, most recently, Super Con-nerd.
Tristan Bancks is a children’s and teen author with a background in acting and filmmaking. His books include Two Wolves – a crime mystery novel for middle-graders, Mac Slater Coolhunter, and the My Life series of weird-funny-gross short stories.
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.
Best known for There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake, Hazel Edwards writes across media, for adults and children. She is currently writing her autobiography.
In 2013, she was awarded an OAM for Literature. As a national literary ambassador, Hazel supports various reading organisations. She mentors 'Hazelnuts' and is a director on the Australian Society of Authors' board. She is the recipient of the 2009 ASA Medal awarded by her writing peers.
Gabrielle Wang is an author and illustrator born in Melbourne of Chinese heritage. Her maternal great grandfather came to Victoria during the Gold Rush and her father from Shanghai. Her stories are a blend of Chinese and Western culture with a touch of fantasy.
Shaun Tan grew up in Perth and works as an artist, writer and film-maker in Melbourne, best known for illustrated books that deal with social, political and historical subjects through dream-like imagery. The Rabbits, The Red Tree, Tales from Outer Suburbia and the graphic novel The Arrival have been widely translated throughout the world and enjoyed by readers of all ages.
Shaun has also worked as a theatre designer, a concept artist for Pixar and won an Academy Award for the short animated film The Lost Thing. In 2011 he received the prestigious Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award in Sweden, in recognition of his services to literature for young people. His recent titles include Cicada, Rules of Summer and The Singing Bones. Tales from the Inner City will be published in September 2018.
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.
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.
Josh Earl is a comedian with a very weird family. His latest show for children is called My Family is Weider Than Your Family. And believe us, he's not lying.
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).
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.
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.
‘Uptown’ Brown is a man who has worn many hats in his colourful life – inventor, musician, aviator and adventurer, to name but a few.
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.
Allison Colpoys is an award-winning designer and illustrator, and the Associate Art Director at Scribe Publications. Her picture books include The Underwater Fancy-dress Parade, Under the Love Umbrella, If All the World Were... and All the Ways To Be Smart.
As well as receiving numerous Australian Book Design Awards for her illustration and cover design, she has won the CBCA Crichton Award for Best New Talent and an Australian Book Industry Award. As a freelancer, Allison is represented by the Jacky Winter Group.
Alex Papps is a Greek Australian actor and television host. He has been a presenter on Play School since 2005.
Andrew Joyner is an internationally published illustrator and author. His books include The Terrible Plop, written by Ursula Dubosarsky (shortlisted for the CBCA awards and the Prime Minister's Literary Awards), and the Boris series. He lives in Strathalbyn, South Australia.
Davina Bell is a writer from Western Australia. She is the author of the award-winning picture book The Underwater Fancy-Dress Parade, which won the 2016 Australian Book Industry Award for Best Children’s Book from a Small Publisher, and Under the Love Umbrella, which was shortlisted for the same award in 2018 (both illustrated by Allison Colpoys). She is also author of the ‘Alice' books in the best-selling Our Australian Girl series.
Ben Target is a comedian.
After completing a degree in International Development, Becky has come to the world of circus arts over 11 years ago, with a sincere curiosity for circus arts and a deep desire to make people laugh. She now has a wide variety of performing experience, from corporate events, under the big top, festivals, cabarets to social circus missions; solo, duo and with groups.
Mitch Vane has had a long career working as an illustrator and artist. She works in a variety of media, but is at her happiest drawing with a good old-fashioned dip pen and Indian ink.
Peter Combe is a children's singer/songwriter. Having sold over one million CDs and DVDs througout his career – including seven Gold and two Platinum albums, and one Gold DVD – he was inducted into the South Australian Music Hall of Fame in November 2014.
The Hoodangers are a six-piece band from Melbourne who draw on a rich jazz tradition, embracing it, and morphing it into something completely their own. Their influences are as diverse as their musical moods, from turn of the century New Orleans jazz to post 2000 genre-mix-match pop.