Thursday, September 16, 2010

18th September

Australian twins, Deborah Niland and Kilmeny Niland are both illustrators of children's books. They were born into a very literary family as both parents, Ruth Park and D'Arcy Niland were well known novelists. Instead of writing, their daughters initially illustrated books, both together and separately, but more recently they have written and illustrated their own books.

Sadly, Kilmeny passed away last year. Her website gives an insight into all of her other artistic pursuits as well. Deborah continues to illustrate her own and others' books. Her website announces that she has illustrated a book that will be released in November called The Tall Man. It was written by Kilmeny and Kilmeny's son, Tom. This year, her book There's a Hippopotamus on the Roof Eating Cake which Hazel Edward's wrote, celebrated its 30th anniversary. To commemorate this a new edition with 'sparkles' was published and another book was added to this successful series ... Hooray! There's a Hippopotamus on our Roof Having a Birthday Party. Deborah's book Annie's Chair won the Book of the Year for Early Childhood in 2005. She followed it up with Annie to the Rescue.

An illustrated version of Mulga Bill's Bicycle, the poem by Banjo Patterson, and the illustrations for Ruth Park's When the Wind Changed, both books published many years ago, continue to be my favourites among the sister's works. They bring these books to life and they still work for audiences in 2010.

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