Thursday, 23 June 2016

2016 Book Week Poster - Australia: Story Country!

Poster for Children's Book Week 2016: Australia: Story Country

Earlier this year I completed designs for poster, badges, bookmarks and stickers commissioned by the Children's Book Council of Australia, who coordinate Book Week every year in late August. It's customary that the winner of the picture book award from a previous year (Rules of Summer in my case) be invited to create visual materials for the next celebration. And 2016 is a special anniversary year for the CBCA, celebrating 70 years. That's a lot of reading! Given the theme 'Australia: Story Country' my idea was to try and include as many characters from Australia classics as possible into one landscape, which leaves me feeling immediately apologetic for the vast majority of iconic figures not included. Too many! On the other hand, I'm grateful to all the authors and publishers who granted permission to reference their creations, and the CBCA for supporting this. I hope the poster captures the overall feeling of vibrancy and sheer fun that comes to mind when thinking about all the great books published in this country over the years.

Book Week poster detail, showing a mix of both classic and invented characters

I also created a version of the same poster as a colouring-in exercise for school students (below), but of course anyone else is welcome to have a crack at it. You can find out more about Book Week here, and also buy posters and other decorations here. The CBCA is a non-profit organisation with all proceeds going back to the running of book awards, conferences and other activities that promote reading. 

CBCA poster as a colouring-in exercise for kids (and adults)


  1. Shaun, great!!! It's fun to find characters. ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ·.•*•♫°•♫·.•ʚ(ˆ◡ˆ)ɞ Cheers, Sadami

  2. Book Week doesnt seem to be as important or big a thing as it used to be, years ago(what is, I guess)
    Great montage, but I seriously doubt my children, of which I have 3 (ages 9,13 + 18) could call out even half of these. Keep in mind that my kids read a lot.

  3. There's a Hippo On My Roof Eating Cake! John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat! I can see Alison Lester and Pam Allen characters, the Bunyip from Berkeley Creek, the Magic Pudding, the bum from The Day My Bum Went Psycho, pretty sure I'm spotting Possum Magic?... I recognize the little pixie thing near the word 'Australia', the mustachioed man, and the surprised/ screaming fish, though I can't quite place any of them... I KNOW that I loved whoever did the screaming fish illustrations. Terry or Terrence something? I had a great book of spoonerisms illustrated by him... how fun! Is there any Jeannie Baker in there? She would have been a really hard one to reference.

    1. 'Gasp' by Terry Denton. Jeannie Baker is a great oversight actually, but yes, hard to reference given her work is so much about place and atmosphere over character (at least what I know).

      One thing I notice in this version of the poster (different to the final edit) is a grim reaper which I was asked to remove as 'too scary', though I wish it had stayed in, I loved the grim reaper as a kid! (This is why I'm not a fan of freelance work so much, posters like this being rare exceptions.) Anyway, it's a reference to The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. Yes, possum magic, and the pixie is an Isobelle Carmody character.

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