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Baby Wombat’s Week

by Jackie French, Bruce Whatley

He sleeps. He eats. He gets bored. He creates havoc wherever he goes! He’s Mothball’s baby – and he’s even cuter, naughtier and more determined than his mum. Created by writer Jackie French and illustrator Bruce Whatley, Baby Wombat’s Week is an irresistible new picture book by the award-winning duo of the international bestseller Diary of a Wombat.


Overview

Publisher
Book Club Notes
Released
01 October, 2009

About Jackie French

Jackie French is the Australian National Children’s Laureate for 2014 and 2015. She is also an historian, ecologist, dyslexic, and a passionate worker for literacy, the right of all children to be able to read, and the power of books. Jackie's writing career spans 25 years, 148 wombats, over 140 books, 36 languages, 3,721 bush rats, and over 60 awards in Australia and overseas. Jackie wrote her first children's book Rainstones in a desperate attempt to earn $106.40 to register her car, while living in a shed with a wallaby called Fred, a black snake called Gladys and a wombat called Smudge. The editor at HarperCollins said it was the messiest, worst spelt manuscript they'd ever received. The mess was because Smudge the wombat left his droppings on the typewriter every night. The spelling was because Jackie is dyslexic. Jackie recommends all beginning writers misspell their first book so it stands out of the pile. Jackie is one of the few writers to win both literary and children's choice awards. Hitler's Daughter spent a decade on most of Australia’s kid’s choice award shortlists; among other awards it won the 2000 CBC Book of the Year for Younger Readers, the UK Wow! Award, a Semi Grand Prix Award in Japan and has been listed as a "blue ribbon' book in the USA. Monkey Baa’s production of Jackie French’s Hitler’s Daughter: the play won both the Helpmann and Drover’s Awards and toured the USA in 2013. Pete the Sheep; the musical, will open in March 2014. Diary of a Wombat, created with Bruce Whatley, is also one of Australia’s best-loved picture books. It has been on bestseller lists across the world, with a still increasing number of awards and translations. Jackie’s vast body of work contains both fictional and non fictional accounts of the last 60,000 years of Australian history, with books like Nanberry: black brother white; The Girl from Snowy River, Tom Appleby: Convict Boy; The Night They Stormed Eureka; A Day to Remember created with Mark Wilson; and Flood, created with Bruce Whatley. Her non-fiction also includes an eight volume history of Australia for young people (The Dinkum History series). Let the Land Speak: how our land created a nation (October 2013) is a work of history for adults, showing how the land itself contributed to iconic events from the first human foot on Australian soil to Eureka, Federation, Gallipoli, and how the land will continue to shape our future. Jackie is also the ACT Children’s Week Ambassador, 2011 Federal Literacy Ambassador, patron of Books for Kids, YESS, and joint patron of Monkey Baa Theatre for Young People with Susanne Gervais and Morris Gleitzman. She is also a director of The Wombat Foundation that raises funds for research into the preservation of the endangered northern hairy nosed wombat. Jackie is a passionate advocate of help for children with learning difficulties as well as the conservation of wildlife and our planet. For nearly 40 years she has studied the species in the bush where she lives, with publications ranging from scientific articles on wombat ecology or endangered species to her ground breaking books on theories and practices for pest and weed ecology and more popular books on subjects like backyard self sufficiency. Jackie and her husband Bryan live in the Araluen valley, a deep valley on the edge of the Deua wilderness area. Most of their property is now a Conservation Refuge for the many rare and endangered species of the area. They live in a home made stone house, with a waterwheel Bryan made as well as solar panels to power their house, with an experimental orchard of over 800 fruit trees and more than 272 kinds of fruit that show how farming can coexist with wildlife. Jackie writes columns for the Canberra Times, Australian Women’s Weekly, Earthgarden Magazine, Australian Wellbeing and Gardening Australia. Her garden rambles over about 4 hectares, and there is never a time when there aren't basketful of many kinds of fruit to pick.


About Bruce Whatley

I spent the earlier part of my working life in advertising as an art director and illustrator but since 1992 I have written and/or illustrated over 60 children’s picture books published both in Australia and overseas. The award winning titles include The Ugliest Dog in the World, Looking for Crabs, Detective Donut and the Wild Goose Chase, Diary of a Wombat and Baby Wombat’s Week which took out the Australian Book Industry Award in 2010. Flood and The Little Refugee both were CBCA Honour books in 2012 and Nog and the Land of Noses a Notable book. My main inspiration has been my family, who feature in several of my earlier picture books. I use a variety of illustration medium including gouache, pen and ink, pencil, oils, watercolour and more recently CGI software. I aim to entertain and surprise the reader with illustration styles that vary considerably depending on the text and the age group of the audience. I often work with my wife Rosie Smith, who has co-authored several titles including Whatley’s Quest, Detective Donut and the Wild Goose Chase, Little White Dogs Can’t Jump, My Mum's the Best and Dad's the Coolest. In 2002 I formed a successful partnership with Jackie French resulting in the Award winning Diary of a Wombat series of books. Books released in 2010 include Hunting for Dragons, Zoobots which I illustrated with his son Ben, Monster – a collaboration with Andrew Daddo and another book with Jackie French, Queen Victoria’s Underpants. In 2011 titles included Nog and the Land of Noses (CBCA notable book 2012), Flood (CBCA shortlisted 2012) another collaboration with Jackie French, The Little Refugee (CBCA shortlisted 2012) with Anh Do and Tin Toys another book with Ben. I completed my PhD, in 2008 Left Hand Right Hand: implications of ambidextrous image making looking at the image making of the non-dominant hand discovering that in most people the ability to draw lies in using the ‘other’ hand. I am continually looking for new innovative ways to make images to tell my visual narratives. It's just an excuse not to grow up really!  



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