It's time for The Great Aussie Living Book Give away #4, I reckon!
Soon after taking office, Victoria's Premier, John Brumby, spoke at the 2007 Children's Book of the Year Awards. During his speech he said this:
The winner of the 1946 Children's Book of the Year Award was The Story of Karrawingi the Emu, written by Leslie Rees and illustrated by Walter Cunningham. I have a copy here, on loan from the State Library of Victoria.Does it not strike anybody else as ironic that a book that is 'still popular and sells well' has been relegated to the shelves of the 'rare book dealers' instead of being found in Borders and Dymocks?
This classic Australian children's book was part of a series that I am sure some of the people here today grew up with with titles including Shy the Platypus and Russ, the Australian Tree Kangaroo.
Today, rare book dealers will tell you that this series is still popular and sells well, proving that the qualities that made it a classic the skillful storytelling, the Australian setting, the memorable animal characters and the wonderful illustrations remain the hallmark of a great children's book.
Leslie Rees, who died aged 94 in October 2000 is one of the greats of Australian Children's Literature. Maybe one day he will be recognised as such and his books will be readily available once more.
Until that day, at least I have a few Leslie Rees books to give away as part of A Peaceful Day's 1st Birthday Celebrations (Hip Hip Hooray!) Sarah is now the proud owner of Wy-Lah the Black Cockatoo. Now one of you has the opportunity to adopt Koonaworra the Black Swan.Take a look at a couple of Margaret Senior's illustrations:
To enter The Great Aussie Living Books Give Away #4 to win this copy of Koonaworra, all you need to do is comment on this post and tell us of an Aussie kids' book that you think deserves to more readily available. If you're not an Aussie I'll accept a classic from your country instead. Like always, you'll get another entry by joining my Faithful Friends by clicking on the 'follow' button in the right side bar - or by mentioning that you already do so. I like seeing your smiling faces there!! I'll draw a winner at the end of Tuesday next week - that is, when it is no longer Tuesday anywhere in the world. Be sure to enter before then.
I'll start the ball rolling with Ethel Pedley's Dot and the Kangaroo. What's your favourite hard to find children's book?
And don't forget, there is still time to enter The Great Aussie Give Away #3 to win a new copy of 60 Classic Australian Poems edited by Christopher Cheng and illustrated by Gregory Rogers.
Of course, you're welcome to enter both!
Happy First Birthday, A Peaceful Day!