Ruth Starke reviews 'Standing on the Shoulders of Giants' by Mark Rafidi

Ruth Starke reviews 'Standing on the Shoulders of Giants' by Mark Rafidi

Standing on the Shoulders of GIants: Insights from Great Australian Picture Book Authors and Illustrators

by Mark Rafidi

Harbour Book Publishing House, $39.95 pb, 248 pb, 9781922134257

‘When I think about picture books,’ writes Mark Rafidi in the first line of his foreword, ‘the words of the young girl in David Legge’s Bamboozled strikes [sic] me immediately.’ What strikes me immediately is that Standing on the Shoulders of Giants is a book that hasn’t been properly edited. By the time I reached the final page I wondered if the book had been edited at all.

Rafidi has interviewed twenty Australian writers and illustrators of picture books, all of them talented and arguably all with some claim to being called ‘great’, if not ‘giants’, although one was completely unknown to me and the list was missing a couple of others I would have included – Bob Graham, who recently collected a Prime Minister’s Literary Award, for one. Rafidi lists them alphabetically on the cover.

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Ruth Starke

Ruth Starke

Dr Ruth Starke holds Academic Status at Flinders University where she is the Editor, Creative Writing, for Transnational Literature. She has published over twenty-five books for young readers; her latest title is My Gallipoli (with Robert Hannaford), Working Title 2015.

Published in April 2015, no. 370