- Children’s Books: Writing for the Youngest Readers
Saturday 8 June
One of Australia’s most successful children’s authors and illustrators, Bellingen-based Colin has had over 70 books published, with many being translated and widely read internationally. As a sideline he also produces illustrations for jigsaw puzzles, one of which is the largest selling jigsaw puzzle in the world.
He has won a bookshelf of prestigious literary awards in England and Australia, including the Children’s Book Council of Australia’s Picture Book Award for The Violin Man, and he also won this award in 2006 for The Short and Incredibly Happy Life of Riley. His other titles include Dust. The Big Little Book of Happy Sadness, The Staircase Cat. Additionally, he was added to the International Board on Books for Young People in 2002 and awarded the Hampshire Illustrated Book Award in 2007.
Colin was born and raised in England where he worked as a graphic designer and screen printer before attending the London Film School and making documentaries for the BBC. He lived for a while in Majorca and the Outer Hebrides before migrating to Australia in 1995. He came to writing late in life and almost by accident. In 1990 he sent a series of his black and white illustrations to a number of publishers assuming that a story to go with them could be written by someone else. One publisher liked the illustrations but wanted them redone in colour and suggested that Colin write the accompanying story. He did, and in one and half days wrote Ethel the Chicken. The rest, as they say, is history.