Revisit your favourite children’s book characters: Story Time: Australian Children’s Literature

Revisit your favourite children’s book characters: Story Time: Australian Children’s Literature

What is it that makes a children’s book character memorable? That’s what the National Library of Australia set out to explore with their new exhibition Story Time: Australian Children’s Literature.

This retrospective, presented in association with the National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature, is open now and runs until 9thFebruary 2020. Celebrating over a century of illustrated Australian children’s literature this is a wonderful walk down memory lane and the perfect opportunity to introduce a little reader you know to your favourites!

The period covered stretches from colonial to present day and you can expect to see beloved characters from your childhood including those created by Australian authors and illustrators Bronwyn Bancroft, Mem Fox, May Gibbs, Bob Graham, Emily Rodda and many more…

Reminisce with The Magic Pudding, Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, Blinky Bill, Mulga Bill, John Brown in John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat through to more recent favourites GrugPig the Pug, Mr Huff and The Little Refugee.

The exhibition includes books, manuscripts, illustrations and ephemera from the National Library collection and others loaned from private collections.

A series of events will be held along with the exhibition, such as ‘The Art of Storybook Illustration’ with Leigh Hobbs and a variety of activities for children to take part in where they can write their own story or enjoy stories being read to them via Storybox Library – if you’re unfamiliar with this you can read our earlier piece on Storybox Library here.

A wonderfully nostalgic book produced by the National Library of Australia and released this weekend has been produced as a companion to the exhibition.

The book profiles some of Australia’s favourite children’s book characters, with quotes and colour illustrations from the character’s story. There are also essays describing the ways these stories and their original artwork are preserved by the various institutions that collect them.

With chapters that run from Puddings, Gumnuts and Aussie Larikins to Ponies, Pugs and Little Refugees it is wonderful to see the broad range of books included. 

You’ll definitely spot some of your favourites and be pleasantly surprised that there are others that you can go back to with a little reader or just for your own enjoyment.

There is nothing quite as enjoyable as taking a walk down memory lane and reminiscing about your favourite childhood stories so make sure you put this one in the calendar.

Story Time: Australian Children’s Literature | National Library of Australia

22nd August 2019 – 9th February 2020 – find out more details on their website here.


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