Saturday, March 13, 2010

16th March Donna Rawlins (1956) Giles Andreae (1966)

Donna Rawlins is probably best known by Australian teachers for her illustrations of Nadia Wheatley's text for My Place which celebrated the Bicentennial so aptly. This book has been so successful that it now has a 20th anniversary edition and has been made into a television series. In a Prep school library though she is better known for her colourful illustrations in books for a much younger audience. Among them is Sue Whiting's The Firefighters; Simon French's Guess the Baby and What Will I Be? and a favourite of mine, Morag Loh's The Kinder Hat.

Giles Andreae, like Donna Rawlins has produced many picture books but as the writer not the illustrator. It is interesting that he chooses not to illustrate his own books because he is well known as the creator of the Purple Ronnie cartoons and cards. He is also a poet and popular books such as Giraffes Can't Dance and Commotion in the Ocean attest to this fact. He has gone on though to create other series of books, such as the Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs books, the Billy Bonkers novels and the Pants books. I like the way he includes his children in his books, with Captain Flinn for son, Flinn; Nat Fantastic for son, Nat and The Magic Donkey Ride for daughter Freya. No matter whether his words are illustrated by Nick Sharratt, Russell Ayto, Vanessa Cabban, Guy Parker-Rees or David Wojtowycz they seem to be read and borrowed. Oh to be so talented!

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