Book rec time!

Have you always wanted to buy Australian picture books, but never known where to start? Of course you have. What? That’s a thing lots of people want, right?

1. Rose meets Mr Wintergarten by Bob Graham (one of Australia’s most loved children’s illustrator/authors and with good reason) is about friendship and kindness and bravery and small good things. Published 1992, and yes, I grew up with this one.

2. The Rabbits by John Marsden and Shaun Tan (who you may know from Tomorrow When the War Began and The Lost Thing respectively, although they’ve made lots of cool stuff so who knows why you might have heard of them.) It’s not necessarily a book for children, though it’s also not not for children. It’s a metaphorical retelling of the European invasion of Australia (though definitely applies elsewhere). The front cover is inspired by this piece, and all the art is superb and beautiful. Published 1998.

3. The Patchwork Bike by Maxine Beneba Clarke (who you should definitely all read. Try: The Hate Race (autobiographical) or Foreign Soil (short stories)) and Van T Rudd (who is a graffiti artist, activist and, incidentally, Kevin Rudd’s nephew). It’s a sweet story about being a kid and having fun and it has really nice writing that feels like it’d be good to read aloud and the artwork is so textural you wanna reach out and touch it. Published 2016 and I have only just bought a copy and it arrived this morning and that’s why I’m making this post.

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