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Little Hare Books

Baby Wombat's Week by Jackie French & Bruce Whatley & Jasper & Abby and the Great Australia Day Kerfuffle by Kevin Rudd & Rhys Muldoon

March 2010, no. 319

In the 1970s and 1980s many Australian children’s picture books had a distinctly Australian look. The local landscape, flora, and fauna predominated, and unique Australian characters abounded. Today, it is much harder to pick an Australian picture book. Globalisation and market imperatives have led authors to broaden their subject matter, and illustrators have adapted their styles so that a more universal sensibility imbues their work. 

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Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes by Mem Fox, illustrated by Helen Oxenbury & Enigma by Graeme Base

February 2009, no. 308

While the children’s picture book is a relatively recent literary phenomenon, most picture book authors still tap into the strong traditions of oral storytelling. Multi-award winning author Mem Fox is particularly good at this. Fox’s picture book texts are firmly grounded in the three R’s – the traditional rhythms, rhymes and repetitions found in children’s songs and verses throughout the ages. This, combined with Judy Horacek’s inspired illustrations, was what made Where is the Green Sheep? (2004) such a success.

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