Well known Illawarra children’s authors and illustrators were in literary heaven on Wednesday as young inquisitive minds absorbed all their tricks of the trade.
Over 150 primary school students from Kiama in the south to Austinmer in the north joined some of their favourite authors at a special literary lunch at The Fraternity Club in Fairy Meadow.
The event is a major fundraiser for the Illawarra-South Coast sub-branch of The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA).
The day involved 16 well known authors and illustrators, each sitting with the children and imparting their vast knowledge about writing, illustrating and publishing children’s books.
Gerringong author Edwina Wyatt enjoyed meeting with the eager youngsters and also took the opportunity to launch her third book for publishers Little Hare, called Ponk!
As an added bonus Wyatt also got to meet the book’s illustrator Christopher Nielsen, for the first time.
‘’This is the first time we’ve met and it is a real privilege because you can have years of corresponding online with illustrators and you never get to put a face to a name. It’s really nice to meet Chris, he is a lovely guy,’’ she said.
The admiration was mutual, with Nielsen adding he had a lot of fun illustrating Ponk!
‘’I decided to come here today to help launch the book, meet Edwina and celebrate the beautiful thing that we did,’’ Nielsen said.
Wyatt said the book was about lead character Ponk the bird.
‘’He lives at the top of a tree but continually falls out and goes ponk,’’ she said.
‘’His neighbours aren’t happy with all the noise and mess and wonder why he bothers going up…but eventually they discover that it is because of the strange and exciting things he can see.”
‘’So it is really a fable about ambition and not being afraid to go ‘ponk’…we all go ponk sometimes, but it’s worth it, just for the view.’
The mother of two has five more children’s books in the works with Little Hare and Walker Books.