story, science, technology and creativity

Free family fun day at the State Library of WA

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Books From Your Backyard 2017It’s on again! SCBWI WA’s amazing annual family fun day, and it’s free!!!

Come and listen to your favourite children’s book authors and illustrators read, perform and create drawings before your eyes! It’s on all-day, with sessions for all ages…

I’ll be on stage at 1.30 with a sneak peek of a new graphic novel, illustrated by the amazing Aska.

So, bring the kids and enjoy! Every session is free! (See below for session details…)

Where and When

Date: Saturday 21st January, 2017

Time: 10:30 am – 4:00 pm

Venue: “The Story Place”, Mezzanine Floor (accessible via lift and stairs), State Library of Western Australia.


Ten different creators from SCBWI Australia West (the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators) will present at this family fun day in 30 minute timeslots. Listen to one or stay for the whole day! You will be amazed by the local talent that we have in Western Australia.

The event also features an Illustrator Duel, in which illustrators battle it out as they draw their responses to a series of wacky prompts. This is heaps of fun for audience and participants alike.

Books will be for sale and all sessions will be followed by book signings at the signing table. There will also be an activity table where children not attending sessions can participate in a range of book-themed craft activities under parental supervision.


All sessions are free and no bookings are required! Please note that children must be accompanied by an adult at all times.

Session Timetable

Time Author/ illustrator Session Ages
10.30 Frané Lessac Pattan and his amazing pumpkin 3–8
11.00 Gabriel Evans Become the character you illustrate 5–8
11.30 Kelly Canby Paper, pencil, pickle! 5–11
12.00 Teena Raffa-Mulligan Story tracks 6–8
12.30 Illustrator Duel All ages
1.00 Bec J. Smith Penguins around Perth 6–10
1.30 Cristy Burne and Aska Cosmic adventures in science 7–11
2.00 Elaine Forrestal I.C.U.R.YY.4 me 7–12
2.30 Dianne Wolfer Researching and writing The Shark Caller 8+
3.00 James Foley Brobot: Just as a brother should be? 8+
3.30 Norman Jorgensen Set sail to adventure and excitement with The Smuggler’s Curse 10+


Session Details

Frane Lessac10:30 – 10:55am
Pattan and his amazing pumpkin with Frané Lessac
Ages: 3–8

Pattan’s pumpkin grows BIGGER than the goats, BIGGER than the elephants, until it is as TALL as the mountains. But can his pumpkin save his family and all the animals when the storm-clouds burst and the waters rise? Come and hear this enchanting tale and others from around the world.

Gabriel Evans11:00 – 11:25am
Become the character you illustrate with Gabriel Evans

Tips and tricks to use when creating a character for a book. This is a fun and energetic session. Drawing activity included.


Kelly Canby11:30am – 11:55am
Paper, pencil, pickle! with Kelly Canby
Ages: 5–11

Come along and learn how simple it is to draw Phil Pickle, the next big dill, and star of the book bearing his name, in a fun and lively drawing session.

Teena Raffa-Mulligan12:00 – 12:25pm
Story Tracks with Teena Raffa-Mulligan
Ages: 6–8

Meet Blue the bouncing red kangaroo and her little mate Pedro the Chihuahua from True Blue Amigos. Join them in their exciting Aussie adventure as they travel the states of Australia looking for a place to call home. Follow the story’s journey from idea to published picture book.

duelling illustrators12:30 – 12:55pm

Illustrator Duel!
Ages: All welcome

See some of WA’s best children’s illustrators go head-to-head in an epic drawing battle. They’ll need to create spontaneous illustrations based on audience suggestions. Ink will be spilled. Laughter will ensue.

MC: Sam Hughes.
Duellers: Aska, Kelly Canby, Gabriel Evans, James Foley, Sam Hughes and Frané Lessac.

Bec J. Smith1:00 – 1:25pm
Penguins around Perth with Bec J. Smith
Ages: 6–10

Join a penguin adventure, with children’s author-trio Bec J. Smith. See the sites of a very special P.I. Penguin’s investigations around Perth. Connect stories to real-world places, and see how some of the most fascinating settings are right in our own backyard.

Cris BurneAska1:30–1:55pm
Cosmic Adventures in Science
with Cristy Burne and Aska
Ages: 6–10

Is there life on other planets? Is time travel possible? Will that thing really explode? Join author/illustrator team Cris and Aska in a cosmic adventure through space and time, and sneak a preview of their new graphic novel. Learn to draw your own time machine. Get a taste for invention, innovation and incineration.

Elaine Forrestal2:00–2:25pm
I.C.U.R.YY.4 me with Elaine Forrestal
Ages: 7–12

Find out what this cryptic title means and see how wise U.R. Then meet Tas, for whom nothing in life is as it seems.


Dianne Wolfer2:30–2:55pm
Researching and writing The Shark Caller with Dianne Wolfer
Ages: 8+

Did you know octopus have three hearts and cuttlefish have blue-green blood? Discover more weird sea creature facts and how the traditional practise of shark-calling was part-inspiration for Dianne’s latest novel, The Shark Caller. Learn words in another language (Tok Pisin) and find out how to draw a cartoon shark.

James Foley3:00–3:25pm
Brobot: Just as a brother should be? with James Foley
Ages: 8+

James Foley’s latest book is a comic for kids called Brobot. Sally Tinker makes machines, and her baby brother Joe breaks them. As the world’s foremost inventor under the age of twelve, Sally knows she can build a better brother than Joe. But is her invention – Brobot – really all that a brother should be? Find out how James put together his hilarious graphic novel, and have fun designing your own perfect robot.

Norman Jorgensen3:30 – 3:55pm
Set sail to adventure and excitement with The Smuggler’s Curse with Norman Jorgensen
Ages: 10+

Discover how Norman Jorgensen researched and brought to life the cast of villains, murderers, freedom fighters, head-hunters and blood-thirsty pirates in his exciting new adventure story, set in Broome, Singapore and Sumatra in the dying days of the 19th century.

Author: cristyburne


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