'The best books, reviewed with insight and charm, but without compromise.'
- author Jackie French

Tuesday 16 October 2012

An Evening with Graeme Base

What a unique and wonderful experience at Paperchain, Manuka tonight. Canberra welcomed a flying visit from Graeme Base, internationally-renowned children's book writer and illustrator, whose book career spans an impressive 30 years. It was an honour to speak to him tonight and share in his diverse and creative world.

reading out Graeme's impressive list of books

The packed audience tonight, comprising everyone from retirees to poppets, was testament to Graeme's enormous crossover appeal - and his warmth and good humour made for a relaxed, thoroughly entertaining evening.

We loved learning about the inspiration behind Graeme's books, how he takes a visual cue and draws themes and characters and complete storylines from something as simple as a lampshade (which, incidentally, inspired The Legend of the Golden Snail). Graeme is currently celebrating the launch of his most recent book - Little Elephants - and he admitted the idea had stemmed from a fantastical idea to send miniature flying elephants into battle with a throng of locusts - love it!

It was wonderful to hear about Graeme's past working history (advertising - he hated it; part of a rockband - he married the lead singer) and how he has peppered his own children through a few of his books.

Audience question time was also fascinating - we could have gone all night!

But the queue for book signings was long - so we wrapped things up and Graeme set to signing and drawing the sweetest creatures in everyone's book - what a divine treat.

some book lovers await their turn

queue to the door

What a thrill it was to experience this wonderful evening with Graeme Base - such a gorgeous atmosphere with lots of book-loving people and friends in attendance.

As the National Year of Reading begins to draw to a close, I asked Graeme what he is reading - Anna Funder's All That I Am was his reply, although he is currently so busy, he's become stuck on page 62. His all-time favourite book? The Lord of the Rings, and his all-time favourite Base book? Animalia - for this was the book that truly launched his amazing career.

And may there be many more books to come.

 - Tania McCartney, KBR Founder 

{Warmest thanks to the lovely Leanne Barrett, KBR Contributor, for taking the piccies!}