I'm a children's author, wife and mum in no particular order. I perform these jobs simultaneously and I love them all!

Thursday 5 March 2015

'The World Through Picture Books' Exhibition at Erina Library

Last night my children and I attended the launch of ‘The World Through Picture Books’ international exhibition at Erina Library.

As we arrived we were greeted with live classical music and scrumptious food. It was lovely after being in Central Coast traffic!

‘The World Through Picture Books’ exhibition will be on display at Erina Library from 2-26 March and features books from 36 different countries. Erina Library is the only venue in Australia to host this exhibition.

A panel of librarians from each of the participating countries submitted up to 10 titles that were suitable for children 0-11 years old.

The Australian librarians selected 10 beautiful picture books. I can’t believe Queen Victoria’s Underpants by Jackie French and Bruce Whatley wasn’t selected. Maybe it was number 11.

1. Possum Magic – Mem Fox and Julie Vivas
2. Wombat Stew –Marcia Vaughan and Pamela Lofts
3. There’s A Hippopotamus On Our Roof Eating Cake – Hazel Edwards and Deborah Niland
4. Big Rain Coming – Katrina Germein and Bronwyn Bancroft
5. Edward The Emu – Sheena Knowles and Rod Clement
6. Who Sank The Boat – Pamela Allen
7. Pete The Sheep – Jackie French and Bruce Whatley
8. Magic Beach – Alison Lester
9. The Lost Thing – Shaun Tan
10. The Little Refugee – Ahn Do and Bruce Whatley

The marvellous illustrator Bruce Whatley opened the exhibition and entertained us with stories of how he started his illustration career, and the story behind his creations The Ugliest Dog in the World, Pete The Sheep, and The Little Refugee. His stories were fascinating.

To complete his presentation, he read Pete The Sheep. This was a highlight for my children.


Afterwards we wandered Erina Library viewing the books in the exhibition. My children modelled in a few of the photos below but soon took off with their nanny to claim their ‘good behaviour’ reward - yes I bribed them! Here is a taste of some of the picture books from 25 of the 36 featured countries:

             Nigeria                          South Africa                      Russian Federation

India                                       United Kingdom

Madagascar                        South Korea                        Reunion Island

 Turkey                                               Argentina

 Brazil                                Guadeloupe (France)

Haiti                                                    Serbia
 Denmark                                            Norway

 Croatia                                         Switzerland

 Sweden                                               Germany

 Romania                                           Finland

 USA                                                  France


The full catalogue of featured titles can be viewed here:http://www.ifla.org/files/assets/hq/publications/professional-report/135.pdf

Claire Stuckey introduced me to Bruce not long after I arrived. He is such a lovely man. What a privilege! Of course I had my personal stash of books to get signed (only 4). My copy of Looking for Crabs is 20 years old.

Thanks to Ruth, Lynn, Robyn, Gwynne and my mother-in-law Annette who also travelled to participate in this event. Newcastle was represented very well. We also found Sarah Davies and Cathie Tasker wandering around. We had a lovely evening mingling, eating and chatting.

I highly recommend a trip to see this exhibition. You won’t be able to read many of the book of course (unless you know how to read languages other than English) but the covers and subject matter are fascinating. Well done, Claire!


  1. Almost as good as being there in person. Thankyou for sharing .
    Hazel Edwards, author of 'There's a Hippopotamus on our Roof Eating Cake'

  2. Thank you for your lovely comment Hazel. And congratulations on being the author of one of the ten books chosen. What an honour for you!

  3. Hoping I can get to Erina to see this. Sounds fantastic.

    1. Hi Jill! The Australian books are outstanding. I really enjoyed comparing the subject matter and illustrations styles across the countries represented.

  4. Replies
    1. And I wish I could have come to Perth! Too many fun children's literature events all around us.