14 December, 2011

26 September, 2011

A Favourite Book

I like to hang on to children's books that have impressed me.

The one I've chosen today, dates from 1971, and is called The Pedlar of Swaffham.  It's written by Kevin Crossley-Holland and illustrated by Margaret Gordon.  It's published by Macmillan.

The story in this book is based on an East Anglican folk tale set in the 15th century.

I love the illustrations!  They are influenced by the style of the woodcut, and are a perfect match for this medieval tale.
Margaret Gordon has illustrated two books similar to this one, The Green Children and The Callow Pit Coffer..
They were also written by Kevin Crossley-Holland

As well as the books I've mentioned, Margaret Gordon illustrated The Wombles written by Elizabeth Beresford.  The famous Wombles of Wimbledon.

16 September, 2011

A Well-Travelled Hippopotamus

There's a Hippopotamus on our Roof  Eating Cake is the first title of a series of books featuring a well- rounded and jovial hippo who has a sweet tooth.
These books have been popular for decades
Along with their English language editions, all of the hippo titles have now been translated into Chinese and published by Sichuan People's Publishing House. 
Available from 2011.

The cover looks very colourful.  I hope these books will be enjoyed by another generation of children!

25 August, 2011

A Tall Man Library Display for Book Week

From Fremantle City Library a wonderfully colourful creative display for Book Week.

Check out the gorgeous pictures based on the illustrations in The Tall Man and the Twelve Babies!

Thanks Bree, for sending me the photos!

24 August, 2011

Children's Book Week 2011

Now we're in the middle of Book Week and there are so many wonderful books to read!

Last Friday The Tall Man and the Twelve Babies written by my nephew, Tom, and his mother, Kilmeny and illustrated by me, was awarded a prize in the CBCA Awards for 2011.
All the books and award-winners can be found here.

Tom and I were thrilled to have received an award, and Kilmeny would have been as proud as Punch of her talented son.
Thank you to the publishers Allen & Unwin who believed in this funny story and were totally supportive.

I'd like to acknowledge the dedicated work from the members of the CBCA who have done a magnificent job in encouraging and extending the reading habits of children.  Also to our fantastic teachers/ librarians who promote reading and work tirelessly for good literacy standards.

Nicola from Swallowcliffe School in South Australia has sent me a photo of herself dressed up as a Book Week character.  She has chosen The Tall Man.  Doesn't she look fabulous!

Well done Nicola!  I'm sure the kids were delighted!

15 August, 2011

Another Activity for It's Bedtime, William!

Here is a word search activity for my book It's Bedtime, William!

Click on the image and print out.

Remember to check out my other William activities under the entry dated 31 July, 2011.

14 August, 2011

The Tall Man and the Twelve Babies Activity

Here is another fun activity for the Tall Man.
This one is word based.

Click on the image and print out.

See how many words you can find!

There are other Tall Man activities on this blog to try.  Have a look at more ideas shown in the entry on the 27 July 2011.

Korean edition of Double Trouble!

I've recently received advance copies of the Korean edition of my book Double Trouble.
This is a story of the day to day antics of twin toddlers.

Originally published in English by Penguin Books Australia, this new edition has been published by Glbburi in South Korea in 2011.
It is a beautiful production.

No matter what language my story is in, I'm sure twins do the same funny things all over the world.

04 August, 2011

Babies Proms: Music Book 2011

This year I've been lucky enough to have one of my books, It's Bedtime, William! selected as a performance piece for the fabulous Babies Proms held each year at the Sydney Opera House.

Popular children’s books are combined with music by the Babies Proms Orchestra, Music Book 2011.

These performances introduce very young children to the joys of live music accompanying their favourite stories shown on screen.
The dates for this year's concerts are from 9-19 August.

These concerts are enormously popular and fun for the littlies.

Find out more details from the Sydney Opera House site here.
I might see you there!

31 July, 2011

Activities for It's Bedtime, William!

This craft project is based on my book It's Bedtime, William! published by Penguin.

With this activity, we can make a mobile of William having a pillow fight with his visiting friend, the lion.

Hopefully, it is an idea with which crafty people can springboard into their own creative ideas.

Download this Activity Sheet here.

Once the pages are printed, they can be used for just colouring-in if a mobile is not your thing.
You can make these figures bigger or smaller by adjusting your printer settings.

I've been working on another activity for It's Bedtime William!
This one is fairly simple to make. It is a Lion Face or Mask.
A number of lion faces would be quite impressive decorating a classroom wall.
Click on the image and print the instructions.

27 July, 2011

Activities for The Tall Man and the Twelve Babies

I do get many queries for activities relating to my books.  I thought I would design some printable activity sheets for children that might be fun!

The first one is making your very own Tall Man!

Tall Man Activity

Click on link above and print out instructions.
I'll add other activities as soon as I can.
Also suggestions are welcome!

Tall Man Activity No 2

Colouring-in page.
Click on the image below and print out.
Print it bigger if you like.
Colour all the babies in different colours.  See how unalike you can make them.
The tall man and the babies like to be bright and happy!

Tall Man Activity No 3

Another picture to colour.
The Tall Man is taking the Babies for a walk.
Remember to print in landscape format.

13 July, 2011

The Tall Man and the Twelve Babies

This book has received some lovely reviews so far and I get many emails from children and adults. 
They are always a delight to read.  Recently I was most impressed to view the following video on youtube.

Check out this great book trailer created by 11 year old Marcus!


I would be happy to see other videos and creations based on my books from children of all ages.
I love to see original ideas from the kids.


02 July, 2011

A treasured painting

About twenty-five years ago I bought a small painting from the local thrift shop in Sydney.

I had seen it in the shop window and loved the quietness of it. I took it home and had it cleaned and reframed.
I've always had this painting hung on a wall in my house.
I never knew who had painted it until a name revealed itself after the cleaning.  Even then I couldn't find out anything about the artist.  I've been curious all these years because I've always admired the fine detailed work in this small painting which measures only 10 x 8 inches.

Since the advent of the internet and the wealth of information to be explored, I've finally found out who my mystery artist is.  The name on the painting is C B Presbrey which I have traced back as belonging to Clara Briggs Presbrey (1864-1946) an artist who lived and worked in Taunton, Massachusetts, US.  She specialised in miniature painting.  

I haven't been able to find any other work by this artist and I wonder if any others exist.  And how did this painting end up in a thrift shop on the other side of the world?

Painting by Clara Briggs Presbrey (1864-1946)

Larger than actual size close-up. Painting by Clara Briggs Presbrey (1864-1946)

The other mystery I've yet to solve is the identity of the subject.  For a while I thought it might be a portrait of Clara's cousin, Frank Presbrey, who had a significant reputation in the advertising industry in New York.  Then I thought it could be a portrait of her own father, Silas Dean Presbrey, well known in Taunton, MA, as a respected physician and educator.  Or it could be someone quite unrelated to Clara.

Meanwhile I continue to enjoy my little painting!

24 June, 2011

Art of Giovanna Garzoni

Giovanna Garzoni (1600-1670 ) was an artist who was greatly admired during her professional life. She produced superb paintings under the patronage of the powerful Medici family of Florence, Italy.

Her delectable paintings of flowers, fruit and vegetables with the occasional lizard or hedgehog, were painted on vellum using watercolour in a gouache technique.

08 June, 2011

When Coco was a Kitten

This is another book of mine for the very young. 

The theme is children and pets. The story features a kitten and her owner who looks after the kitten from babyhood to adulthood.
She observes the changes as the kitten grows.

I've made the illustrations simple and colourful, and again I have used Photoshop for the entire book.

I love working on the illustrations using the computer these days.

This book is also published in the USA by Kane/Miller.

First published by Penguin Books, 2009

14 April, 2011

Good News!

Wow!  I was so delighted to learn that two of my books have been shortlisted for this year's CBCA Children's Book of the Year Awards in Australia.
What a surprise!

The books shortlisted are:

  •  It's Bedtime, William!  Published by Penguin Viking, 2010

  •  The Tall Man and the Twelve Babies.  Published by Allen & Unwin, 2010            

William jumps for joy!

 The lion is laughing!

The babies are so happy!

We are all thrilled at this exciting news!

10 April, 2011

Let's Play!

I've written and illustrated this book for very young children.
Using bright colours and a simple theme, this story takes a look at friends having fun together in the playground.
The version shown below is the delightful Spanish edition published by Kane / Miller Book Publishers in California.

Let's Play! Cover of Spanish edition
Red Dog climbing
Blue Cat and Yellow Bird Swinging
 This story tells of three friends having a great time by sharing and co-operating with each other.

28 February, 2011


A fantastic win for Shaun Tan!

He is taking home an Oscar in the category of Best Animated Short Film in today's Academy Awards.
His film was based on his very popular children's book, The Lost Thing.

Shaun Tan is an outstanding artist and deserves all the acclaim he receives now and in the future.
He inspires many, many new and established illustrators and artists with his superb work..

Grandpa Baby

How exciting to see a copy of the Portuguese edition of a favourite book of mine, Grandpa Baby!
Here is the cover.

And the title page...

Written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by me, this Portuguese edition is published by Editora Fundamento, Brazil.