Australian children’s books

Dorothy Wall was preparing for the Christmas publication of her illustrated series of Blinky Bill books in August 1933.


The author-artist is at present engaged in a series of children’s illustrated books, the first of which, “Blinkie Bill,” will be published for Christmas by Messrs Angus and Robertson. She has also done the illustrations for another book, “Jacko, the Broadcasting Kookaburra,” by Dr Brooke-Nicholls, to be published next week.  Illustration: “Blinky Bill,” the Koala, and his mother in sad circumstances, as sketched by the artist.





To mark Children’s Book Week in 1952, Kathleen Commins wrote this piece on Australian children’s literature with observations and recommendations of old favourites and new writers.

We can claim at least one world classic-from the pen of Norman Lindsay. His “Magic Pudding,” first published by Angus and Robertson in 1918, is as fresh and joyous to-day as ever.

The Magic Pudding stands the test of time as a children’s story.  Sadly Angus and Robertson (together with its contemporary partner Borders Australia) is currently under administration after a long history in Australia.

A few titles such as Cole’s Funny Picture Book are mentioned.  I’m sure that this publication, popular as it was in its time for its puzzles and conundrums, does not hold the following fundamentals as outlined in the article.  If you head over here to White Hat, you’ll read a bit more about E W Cole and the views and attitudes that crept into these picture books.

In a world of shifting values, certain fundamentals remain the same. This is particularly true of publishing for young people. Here the old values stand as strong as ever. There must, as always, be children’s books to satisfy the imagination and books to awaken and strengthen the children’s interest in things as they are. A good book for a child is a good book for anyone. It must be genuine, something that will not only interest a child, but something in which he can believe, something to make him think a little more.

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