Facebook Friday

November 30, 2012

Cannot get this song out of my head.

Facebook Friday: Trolo

January 13, 2012

Thanks Sydney

* Facebook Friday : If I see it on Facebook and I think it’s worth sharing I will.

Facebook Friday

October 14, 2011

I’ve decide to make a feature out of Fridays.

If I see it on Facebook and I think it’s worth sharing I will.

This one is from Rory.



Image from Lauren Childs book 'Who's afraid of the big bad book?' source: bswigshoppe

Author/Illustrator: Lauren Child

Genre: childrens picture books

Artists medium: collage, pen, photo montage

Age Appropriateness: 4 and up.

Introduction: Of course, I had seen Lauren Child’s artwork used to animate the Charlie and Lola series of books but one Christmas I came across “Who’s afraid of the bog bad book?”. After looking through it quickly I saw that it was perfect for our no. 2 who at the time was about 6. It’s a fantastic read aloud and talk about the pictures….. as your read the font becomes part of the illustration and experience. Turing the book this way and that it makes for a very fun experience.

Other work: Beware of the storybook wolves, many of the Charlie and Lola series, The Clarice Bean series, The Princess and the Pea, The Pesky Rat,I want a Pet, My Dream Bed, Hubert Horatio Barten Bobten -Trent…



For all the surface brio of illustrations that are crammed full of everything from photographs to fabric scraps, in person, Child remains as tentative as her books are bold, as hesitant of her success as her characters, with their crimped mouths and vast, wary eyes, appear to be of their exuberant environments.

Video Interviews: An extended  interview about how she became a writer illustrator.

Her website: Milkmonitor…. a very fun and arty website.

Other things they do: Lauren works with UNESCO to help children in need.

Her work can be purchased through the Illustration Cupboard.

This one I find super exciting…. Lauren’s illustrative style has been commissioned  by Liberty of London for fabric. Beautiful and playful.

You can find out about the design process here.

Image of Lauren Child fabric for Liberty from Design Wotcha

Image taken from the Design Wotcha of Lauren Child fabrics for Liberty.

Illustration from Hansel and Gretel by Anthony Browne. Image from The apple and the egg.

Author/Illustrator: Anthony Browne

Genre: childrens picture books

Artists medium: Pencil and very controlled watercolour.

Age Appropriateness: a bit book dependent…. baby to older primary…… through to adults.

Introduction: Although Anthony Browne is best known for his books featuring gorillas, my first real exposure was very recently while in the library with 5 year old ….researching for this series of posts. I came across and read ‘In the forest’. I love how the pictures are predominantly  black and white with the subject being in colour. I also loved the way the story required other book knowledge.

This book lead us on the path of revisiting fairy tales (which we hadn’t read a lot of recently). The experience reminded me of Tim’s english literature lecturer who said (20 years ago) …. much of the imagery in literature is lost because students don’t have a good grounding in biblical literature….I wondered how much children miss out on when not exposed to the ‘old fairy tales’. Interestingly enough….at least to me … academics are starting to acknowledge that reading the ‘old fairy tales’ and experiencing books from moments in history when thinking was different to ours, aids in encouraging the imagination. Nic blogs about it  this idea here.

Other work: Voices in the park, My Dad, My Mum, Zoo, Willy and  Hugh, Little Beauty, Gorilla, Willy the Wimp, the tunnel, Silly Billy, Piggybook, Changes, Willy the dreamer, Look what I’ve got, Hansel and Gretel, Bear Hunt, Willy the Champ, The Shape Game, Willy the Wizard, Through the magic mirror, Willy’s pictures, Bears Magic Pencil, Me and You, The night Shimmy, My Brother, Things I like, King Kong, I Like Books, The Tunnel, Willy’s pictures. (Over 40 books if you include translations)


…again too many books to show the covers of all of them


 Anthony Browne is an internationally acclaimed author and illustrator of children’s books, with nearly 40 titles to his name. He creates strongly narrative watercolours that blend near-photographic realism with fantastical, surreal touches and ingenious visual puns. His skilful use of colour, pattern and background detail subtly conveys an exquisite empathy for his lonely and sensitive child protagonists (both human and ape). Gorillas feature in many of Anthony’s books. He says, ‘I am fascinated by them and the contrast they represent – their huge strength and gentleness. They’re thought of as being very fierce creatures and they’re not.’

Children’s laureate website.

Interviews: You can read CBBS’ author spotlight…including questions from kids here.


Activities from books: Play the Shape game.

Art: book illustration plates available as artworks from the Illustration Cupboard.

The Self-Portrait by Shaun Tan. From 'The Red Tree' Image his.

Author/Illustrator: Shaun Tan

Genre: childrens picture books

Artists medium: painting, mixed media

Age Appropriateness: The pictures can be a little scary and melancholy, so probably not before school age…..and on. Think adult fables rather than children’s books.

Introduction: During a library visit about 7 years ago I first came across ‘The Red Tree’. I loved the book but it felt too sad to own. I remember being intrigued by the art of Jeffery Smart and Martin Sharp as an early teen and by the great skill of cartoon artists. Shaun Tan combines these artistic ‘looks’ in a thoughtful whimsical way to explore complex issues. His work reminds me a little of the ‘Wallace and Gromit’ creations of the Aardman group…..but with less of a sheen.

Other work: The Bird King, Tales from outer suburbia, eric, the arrival, Sketches from a nameless land, The Lost Thing, Lost and Found and What Miscellaneous Abnormality Is That?


‘The lost thing of the title is a curious amalgam of what could be best described as a teapot melded with a crab. 

The environment Tan creates is deliberately unsettling. Buildings and concrete slabs are old and decayed with rusted pipes jutting out at strange angles. The city looks worn out and tired, and there is a complete abscence of plant life. 

The city is populated by self absorbed adults, preoccupied with their ritual habits. Too busy with their dreary and gray lives, they neither notice nor care about the lost thing. But the unnamed protagonist does care. He is a beacon of goodness and decency in a dark, detached environment. 

The youth, a tireless collector of bottle tops, takes on the responsibility of finding the lost thing a home. 

Shaun Tan’s illustrations are a homage to several artists, such as John Brack and Jeffrey Smart.’

Review from Speechlanguage- resources

Video Interviews: A preview of Tans Award winning short film The Lost Thing.

An interview with Shaun Tan on madness and Nonsense and the Writing and Illustrating process.

Tan talks about the idea of an adult fable and the process

Other things: As well as working on concept drawings for Wall-e and Horton Hears a who, Tan has created murals, made award winning short films and had his work adapted by artists in different fields. You may recognise his drawings from “Fuel Your Mind’ Book Week 2008 .

Shaun Tan's illustration for 'Fuel the mind' Book Week 2008

The ACO adapted ‘The Red Tree’ into a musical production, puppets have been used to bring his books to life and theatre productions have also been made of his works.

Art: Like many Illustrators Tan’s artwork can be purchased through the illustration cupboard and is the feature artist of the moment.…as it turns out.

Norseman by Shaun Tan.

'Estuary' by Shaun Tan.

'Fighting Crows' by Shaun Tan.

'Track Layers' by Shaun Tan.

'Alert but not armed' by Shaun Tan.

'Never leave a red sock on the line' by Shaun Tan.

'The Gift' by Shaun Tan.

* All images are the copyright of the artist. Click through on the images to go to original source.


5 year olds favourite illustration from her favourite PA book.

Author/Illustrator: Pamela Allen

Genre: children’s picture books

Artists medium: Pen and watercolour paint.

Age Appropriateness: From very young.

Introduction: One of the first books that I every bought when our first was born was ‘Who sank the boat?’ I loved the illustrated animals with human abilities like knitting. I loved the scientific principles behind the story. I loved it’s readability. We now own many Pamela Allen books and give them to others often as gifts. This one, ‘Belinda’ formed the beginnings of a book character birthday party two years ago for our youngest ….then 3. ‘Belinda’ remains her absolute favourite book…..’Herbert and Harry’,’Inside Mary Elizabeth’s House’ and the Mr McGee series are also standards in the pile of books she brings me to read. Whenever we are at the library I search out other Pamela Allen books to share with her, as I know she will love them.

All books by Pamela Allen: A lion in the night, Alexander’s outing, Bertie and the Bear, Black Dog, Brown bread and honey, Can you keep a secret?, Clippity Clop, Cuthbert’s babies, Daisy All-sorts, Fancy that, Grandpa & Thomas, Grandpa &Thomas & the green umbrella, Herbert and harry, Inside Mary Elizabeth’s house, I wish I had a pirate suit, Mr Archimedes Bath, Mr McGee, Mr McGee & the Big Bag of Bread, Mr McGee & the Biting Flea, Mr McGee & the Blackberry Jam, Mr McGee goes to sea, Mr McGee and the Perfect Nest, My Cat Maisie, My first ABC, Shhh! Little  Mouse, Share Said the Rooster, The Bears Lunch, The Pear in the Pear Tree, The Potato People, Waddle Giggle Gargle, Who sank the Boat?, Where’s the Gold?


….not all the covers ….just a sample.


From Pamela Allen’s first publication in 1980 it was clear that here was a creator of picture books with all the glow, gesture, din and dance to capture the attention, engage the imagination, teach, show, tickle and excite small children.’ 

Meg Sorensen, Australian Book Review via Puffin Books 

Other things: 8 of Pamela’s books have been adapted for theatrical performance by the Patch Theatre Company. If you are in Adelaide they are performing Mr McGee &the Biting Flea (and other Pamela Allen stories) this Saturday at the Oden Theatre.

* All images are the copyright of the artist. Click through on the images to go to original source.

Image from The Incredible Book Eating Boy by Oliver Jeffers.

Author/Illustrator: Oliver Jeffers

Genre: childrens picture books

Artists medium: collage, paint, ink, everything!

Age Appropriateness: kids get it at about 4…… I know lots of adults who like this one too. Very readable aloud.

Introduction: a few years ago Cathy  gave one of the girls the fabulous book….. “The incredible Book Eating Boy”

Other work: How to catch a star, Up and Down, The great paper caper, The heart and the bottle, The way back home, Once there was a boy.



‘Exquisitely trained art critics and recently potty-trained children equally love Oliver Jeffers’s work. The Brooklyn-based artist, originally from Belfast, Ireland, leaves viewers of all ages and backgrounds in awe with his whimsical paintings, installations, illustrations and picture books. He is best known for the latter, which led The Times naming Oliver as one of “The Best New Picture Book Illustrators” in 2008. Following that praise, his book Lost and Found was made into a short film that went on to win 60 international awards, including a BAFTA for Best Animation in 2009. Oliver remains humble and charming despite his substantial success…’


Taken from 10 answers

Video InterviewsAuthor video fun guy…interesting to see the process.

                                  Kids talking about what they like about Oliver Jeffers books.

Other things they do: You can see more of his artiness at the design label You and Me  The Royal We


The Before and After Painting No 1 by Oliver Jeffers.

Still Life with Logic and a Choice of Beverage by Oliver Jeffers.

Landscape with metal and Trajectory by Oliver Jeffers.

The odd sock….

March 13, 2011

Image from Delia Creates.... A cute upcycling project.

A week or so ago, I was browsing Ohdeedoh and spotted this.

Very cute idea…. but, I had to laugh out loud!

My odd socks look like this…..

Our odd sock collection!. Not really something I want to frame.

… even after a matching session, they wouldn’t fit the cute little white frame….

My own merit.

September 8, 2010

Last week I noticed a single sticker on the collar of 7 year olds school shirt. This isn’t an unusual occurrence, as her Year One teachers often give them to the kids as “rewards” for doing the right thing.

So I asked her…. “What did you get your sticker for?” Sometimes she has no idea!

This day, she said “Oh, I worked well today, and he teacher didn’t notice, so I gave myself one from my sticker box.”

“Oh…” I chuckled. “I’m glad you were doing the right thing. It matters more that you do the right thing than if they notice, isn’t it?”

Well, next morning, up she gets, dresses for school and appears, with no less than 20 stickers on her school shirt.

“What are all the stickers for?” I ask.

“I’m going to do really good work today, and now the teachers don’t have to notice!”

Nothing wrong with her self-esteem!