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

Sunday 21 August 2016

Event: Seeing Stories Finale Event at University of Canberra

Today I had the great pleasure of attending the Seeing Stories Exhibition Finale Event at the University of Canberra. Organised by the National Centre for Australian Children's Literature (NCACL) and featuring hand-picked originals by some of our finest illustration talent, including Terry Denton, Ann James, Alison Lester and Bob Graham, The Hub was alive with stunning artworks, authors, illustrators, kids and book lovers.

This exhibit is but a small slice of the precious John Barrow collection, now owned by the NCACL.

Bob Graham

Leigh Hobbs

Local creators Emma Allen, Pauline Deeves, Kerry Malone and myself were joined by illustrator Hannah Sommerville (who illustrates Emma's books) for an afternoon of readings and chats and fun. I read Smile Cry and Tottie and Dot, followed by my very first live-drawing session. The kids had to guess what I was drawing, and of course, guessed after 8 or 10 lines--these kids are too clever--or maybe I have to up my game!

Emma and Hannah spoke about their collaboration as author and illustrator, bringing along an impressive dress-ups box, a major thread in their beautiful book My Friend Ernest. Pauline Deeves also launched her book Socks, Sandbags and Leeches--an astonishingly detailed historical account of the homefront for kids during the Great War. Kerry Malone spoke on creating stories for kids. Unfortunately, I had to leave early, so don't have photos of these other sessions.

A face painter charmed the kids with her artwork (see a version of Old Tom, below!) and a table of art supplies was a big hit, while adults (and kids) perused the art. Harry Hartog Booksellers were in attendance (thanks, James!) so creators could sign books.

Alison Lester

Elizabeth Honey

Leigh Hobbs

organisers and creators mingle, including, from right, Kerry Malone,
Emma Allen, Belle Alderman, Hannah Sommerville

the face painter did a brilliant job!

Emeritus Professor Belle Alderman and illustrator Hannah Sommerville

face painter at work

a little book reading, complete with Dot glasses

my first ever live drawing - eep!

May Gibbs quilt

Featured at the event was a divine quilt featuring the artwork of May Gibbs (in celebration of 100 years since the publication of her first book).

Raffle tickets for the quilt are available for purchase from anywhere in Australia, and you can find out more about this right here, or you can email Trish Milne at ncaclraffleATgmail.com to organise tickets, just $2 each or 3 for $5. (I'll do a separate post on the quilt on KBR soon.)

The raffle will be drawn at the National Botanic Gardens on Sunday 23 October, and all proceeds go towards supporting NCACL.

kids are so brilliant

A huge thanks to Belle, Rowan and the crew for a magnificent exhibition and celebratory event. This beautifully-crafted, heart-racing display is on show till Friday 26 August, so if you're in Canberra this week, do hurry along before you miss your chance to see something really special. More info can be found here.

- Tania McCartney