Australian Children’s Literature


On our recent visit to Canberra I was able to visit the exhibition on Australian Children’s Literature at the National Library of Australia.

The building always impresses me and reminds me of the Parthenon in Greece.

The exhibition was in its last few days so I was lucky to be able to get to Canberra in time to see it.

The exhibition was well worth the visit as it brought back so many happy memories of reading to our children when they were little and also our grandchildren.

The art work on display was amazing and such a variety.  There was even an illustration by my favourite illustrator, Robert Ingpen.

It doesn’t look terrific in the photo but all of that work is hand drawn, including the newspaper in the background.  Amazing.

The first part of the exhibition was a display of all the paintings from the book The Rainbow Serpent.

Again the artwork was beautiful.

There were books from the earliest time of European settlement up to the present day.

There was a special area for children so they could sit and look through or read the picture books that were available.  The green sheep from Where is the Green Sheep? by Mem Fox was hidden high up on a shelf so the children had to look up to find it.

There were drafts of the drawings for that particular book.

Also there was poster artwork relating to a spin off from Mem Fox’s famous book , Possum Magic.An Australian Classic Snugglepot and Cuddlepie has also lent itself to commercial spin offs.

I wonder why there isn’t a soft toy of the Big Bad Banksia Man?  Only joking.

So many of my favourite books were on display.

The collaged illustrations by Jeanie Baker.

The story, through time, of a particular area in Australia. My Place by Nadia Wheatley.  You will need to click on the illustrations to enlarge them.

Beautiful illustration from Are We There Yet?

So many books from the teenage years.  Here are just a few but not including the Hippopotamus on our roof eating cake. 🙂

We spent quite some time going through the exhibition as there was so much material on display.  It certainly showcased the depth of literature written by Australian authors and readily available to children.

Well done to the National Library of Australian for curating this wonderful exhibition.


2 Comments Add yours

  1. Great article. National library is very imposing but very inviting.

    1. suth2 says:

      It is such a beautiful building. As well as being the national library it also has a delightful bookshop and restaurant.

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