Friday, March 26, 2010

Bottersnikes and other lost things: a celebration of Australian children's books

Juliet O'Connor has produced a fascinating insight into early children's book illustration in Australia. Divided into five major sections - schooldays, morality and family, home and land, journeys, other worlds - the book describes the development of illustrative material produced for Australian children.

Schooldays, for example, looks at nineteenth century educational texts, the development of alphabet books from The Young Australian's Alphabet published in 1871 to more recent publications such as Graeme Base's Animalia (1986) and A is for Aunty by Elaine Russell (2000) as well as school papers and readers including John and Betty (1951).

Each page of the book contains illustrations from the books described in the text demonstrating changes in art reproduction and style as well as the type of material made available for children. A great addition to the history and understanding of Australian children's literature.

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