Margaret Robson Kett

Margaret Robson Kett

Margaret Robson Kett is a Melbourne writer and editor and recently founded Kettlestitch Press.

Margaret Robson Kett reviews 'Lioness: The extraordinary untold story of Sue Brierley, mother of Saroo, the boy known as Lion' by Sue Brierley

November 2020, no. 426 22 October 2020
Margaret Robson Kett reviews 'Lioness: The extraordinary untold story of Sue Brierley, mother of Saroo, the boy known as Lion' by Sue Brierley
The vision was of a brown-skinned child standing by her side. She sensed it so keenly that she could even feel the child’s warmth. It was so striking she wondered about her sanity … but as time went by, she became more comfortable with her vision, accepted it as something precious, a visitation of some sort that only she knew about.’ Saroo Brierley related this life-changing vision from his ... (read more)

Margaret Robson Kett reviews 'The Threads of Magic' by Alison Croggon, 'Euphoria Kids' by Alison Evans, and 'The Vanishing Deep' by Astrid Scholte

June–July 2020, no. 422 26 May 2020
This month’s survey features three bewitching novels from authors intent on transporting younger readers to other worlds. The Threads of Magic by Alison CroggonWalker Books, $19.95 pb, 380 pp In Alison Croggon’s latest fantasy novel, The Threads of Magic, Pip and his sister El are living in a poor but snug apartment in the city of Clarel, bequeathed to them by Missus Pledge. Pip, always on t ... (read more)

Story Time: Australian Children’s Literature (National Library of Australia)

ABR Arts 03 December 2019
Story Time: Australian Children’s Literature (National Library of Australia)
Like a party where you hope to see famous faces, this exhibition offers the familiar – the Green Sheep, the wombats, the Magic Pudding – but also the chance to meet half-remembered friends and to make new ones. Story Time: Australian Children’s Literature, the result of three years’ work by curator Grace Blakeley-Carroll, features works from NLA’s collection and beyond. In the exhibition ... (read more)

Margaret Robson Kett reviews 'Storytime: Growing up with books' by Jane Sullivan

November 2019, no. 416 03 September 2019
Margaret Robson Kett reviews 'Storytime: Growing up with books' by Jane Sullivan
Maryanne Wolf’s excellent book about the reading brain, Proust and the Squid: The story and the science of the reading brain (2007), quotes Marcel himself: There are perhaps no days of our childhood we lived as fully as those … we spent with a favourite book … they have engraved in us so sweet a memory (so much more precious to our present judgment than what we read then with such love), ... (read more)

Margaret Robson Kett reviews 'The Bone Sparrow' by Zana Fraillon

December 2016, no. 387 30 November 2016
Margaret Robson Kett reviews 'The Bone Sparrow' by Zana Fraillon
Subhi lives with Maa and his older sister Queeny in ‘Family Three’, hoping that the ‘Night Sea’ will bring his Ba back to them. Born in detention to his Rohingya mother after she arrived illegally in Australia, his friend Eli and a kindly ‘Jacket’ make his life one of fitful pleasures amid the uncertainties of camp life. On the other side of the fence, in the nearby community, Jimmie f ... (read more)

'Making the Australian Quilt 1800–1950' (NGV Australia)

ABR Arts 25 July 2016
'Making the Australian Quilt 1800–1950' (NGV Australia)
With a needle on cloth, Mary Jane Hannaford preserved her sharp observations of people as stout appliquéd figures set amidst interpretative renditions of Australian animals. Late in life she embroidered favourite verses and slyly captioned her pictures in quilts for her family. Close to one hundred years later, she has a room dedicated to her art in National Gallery of Victoria's exhibition Makin ... (read more)

Margaret Robson Kett reviews 'The Singing Bones' by Shaun Tan

January-February 2016, no. 378 21 December 2015
Margaret Robson Kett reviews 'The Singing Bones' by Shaun Tan
In 2012, Shaun Tan was commissioned to make pictures for a German publisher's edition of fifty of the Brothers Grimms' fairy tales, retold by Philip (His Dark Materials) Pullman. Pullman's challenge is that the tales do not necessarily benefit from illustration – he dismisses most as 'art school exquisiteness'. Tan's response was to return to his boyhood medium: sculpture. Inspired by the tales, ... (read more)

Bunyips and Dragons (NGV)

ABR Arts 17 August 2015
The pleasures of looking at pictures from a young age inspired Albert Ullin. At the opening of this exhibition to mark his donation of eighty works by Australian children’s book illustrators to National Gallery of Victoria, he expressed the hope that they would be recognised as mainstream art. In 1960, Ullin established the Little Bookroom in Melbourne: it was the first dedicated children’s ... (read more)
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