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Kids' big book spectacular

Join us for a day of free family fun to celebrate the wonderful world of children's literature and illustration!

13 February 2016, 11:00am3:00pm
Location Multiple venues
See list below for venue details

Join us for a day of free family fun to celebrate the wonderful world of children's literature and illustration!

Children of all ages can drop in anytime for all-day activities. Kids aged 8 to 12 years can book workshops with favourite illustrators Ann James, Leigh Hobbs and Kylie Dunstan. Workshop spaces are limited, so bookings are essential. UPDATE: All workshops are now booked out!

Learn how to create your own stories, draw amazing pictures, invent crazy characters and enjoy our special pop-up exhibition. Meet our special guest, Leigh Hobbs, the Australian Children's Laureate for 2016–17.

Creative workshops

Where: The Courtyard
When: 11am, noon, 1pm, 2pm
Duration: 45 minutes
Age: 8 to 12 years

Book online:

  • 11am: Ann James – Silhouette workshop  – BOOKED OUT
  • noon: Leigh Hobbs – Line-drawing workshop – BOOKED OUT
  • 1pm: Leigh Hobbs – Line-drawing workshop – BOOKED OUT
  • 2pm: Kylie Dunstan – Collage basket workshop  – BOOKED OUT

Ann James is an award-winning illustrator of over 60 books including The midnight babies, Lucy Goosey and the Audrey series. In 2000 she was awarded the Pixi O'Harris Award for Distinguished Service to Australian Children's Literature. In 2003 she received the Dromkeen Medal for making a 'significant contribution to the appreciation and development of children's literature'.

Leigh Hobbs is an artist and author best known for his children’s book characters Old Tom, Horrible Harriet, Mr Chicken and Mr Badger. In 2002, Horrible Harriet was shortlisted for the Children’s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year awards, as was Old Tom’s holiday in 2003. He was shortlisted again in 2010 for Mr Chicken goes to Paris. A highly successful animated TV series based on Leigh’s Old Tom series of books has been screened in Australia and Europe.

Kylie Dunstan is an award-winning author and illustrator of children’s picture books. Her first book, Collecting colour, won the CBCA Picture Book of the Year in 2009. Her other titles include This way up and The red bridge.

Pop-up illustration station

Where: Library forecourt
When: 11.30am, 12.45pm, 2pm
Duration: 30 minutes, drop-in activity
Visit the giant easel for an illustration session curated by performer, comic book maker and comic book communicator Bernard Caleo. Paper and pencils are on hand so kids can create their own drawings as Bernard demonstrates how to sketch simple comic book characters, and provides a brief overview of comics and graphic novels. Bernard began making comic books in the early 1990s, and launched the imprint Cardigan Comics in 1997.

Creature retreat

Where: Experimedia
When: 11am–3pm
Duration: drop-in activity
Children are invited to express their inner monster and create their own unique creature using a variety of shapes and collage materials. They can then select the ultimate holiday destination for their creature creation – will it be London, Paris, the seaside or State Library Victoria!

Storytellers picnic

Where: Library lawn
When: 11am–3pm
Duration: drop-in activity
The Library lawn will be set up with bean bags, beach umbrellas, picnic rugs and crates of books so children and families can read at their leisure. Scheduled story-telling sessions will take place throughout the day.

Gallery for a day

Where: Experimedia
When: 11am–3pm
Duration: drop-in activity
A travelling exhibition of original artwork from Australian picture books, including illustrations by Alison Lester, Ann James, Mark Wilson, Bob Graham, David Miller, Gregory Rogers, Andrew McLean, Kim Gamble, Jan Ormerod and Judy Watson. The inclusion of preliminary drawings and developmental work reveals the process of producing picture book illustrations.

Giant outdoor mural

Where: Library forecourt
When: 11am–3pm
Duration: drop-in activity
Children are encouraged to participate in free play illustration and expression on our chalkboard mural – they can even extend their drawings onto the forecourt flagstones!

Pop-up exhibition

Where: Keith Murdoch Gallery
When: 11am–3pm
Duration: drop-in activity
Open for one day only, the exhibition showcases artworks from the State Library Victoria collection by Leigh Hobbs, the newly announced Australian Children’s Laureate for 2016–17.

This program is presented in partnership with the Australian Children's Literature Alliance.