Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Friday 17 September 2021

50 years of Tasmanian children’s books and their creators

A special post this week from Nella Pickup to join with her to celebrate 50 years of the Launceston Library building (and 179 years of library services in Launceston) by reading wonderful children’s books created by Tasmanians. There are so many to choose from and you are invited to add this list through the comments feature.

Friends of the Library Launceston asked members for their favourite Tasmanian books to create a bookmark as part of the 50th anniversary celebrations for the Launceston Library building. This prompted me to compile a list of some of our family’s favourite Tasmanian children’s book creators for the same period.  

Beth Roberts The little lake who cried (1976) and Manganinnie (1979) 

Nairda Lyne Granny Stayput (1983) has a timeless theme – Granny and Albert have to fight to keep their home from the clutch of developers. FAW (Fellowship of Australian Writers) Tasmania has named a short story competition in her honour.    

Sally Farrell Odgers Dreadful David (illustrated by Craig Smith), the Blinky Bill animated film series (Yoram Gross), Drummond (illustrated by Carol Jones ) and Bushland Lullaby (illustrated by Lisa Stewart) 

Award winning Peter Gouldthorpe’s first book was Jonah and the Manly Ferry in 1983.  We also loved Sheep Dogs (text by Jack Bedson).

Ron Brooks illustrated his first children's picturebook, The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek (text by Jenny Wagner) in 1973.   

Anne Morgan the Captain Clawbeak series (illustrated by Wayne Harris), award winning The smallest carbon footprint (illustrated by Gay McKinnon) and The way of the weedy seadragon (illustrated by Lois Bury) 

Coral Tulloch’s Sydney of the Antarctic and also Antarctica, The Heart of the World, which won the Environment Award for Children's Literature in 2004 

Rosemary Mastnak’s trio of picture books starting with Dancing with Grandma

Lian Tanner Museum of Thieves, named as a "White Raven" by the International Youth Library in Munich, Ella and the ocean (illustrated by Jonathan Bentley) and the delightful A clue for Clara 

Emily Conolan’s interactive fiction Freedom Finders series 

Jennifer Cossins 101 Collective Nouns, A-Z of Endangered Animals,  Ultimate Animal Alphabet Book


Kate Gordon the Juno Jones series and Aster’s good, right things which won the CBCA Book of the Year Younger Readers this year. 

Julie Hunt’s Little Else series illustrated by Beth Norling,  Precious Little (co-authored by Sue Moss, illustrated by Gaye Chapman) and Song for a scarlet runner.

Nic Gill Animal Eco-warriors

Fiona Levings Now and Then

Carol Ann Martin is known in our household for the Cocky’s Circle Series, Underneath a Cow (illustrated by Ben Wood) and Heart and Soul (illustrated by Tull Suwannakit)

Ronda and David Armitage’s Lighthouse keeper’s lunch (now sadly out of print) celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2015.

Christina Booth’s Kip and Welcome Home, Whales are much loved.

Brian Harrison-Levers illustrations for Norman Jorgensen (an honorary Tasmanian) In Flanders Field and his own Three Kings.

Kathryn Lomer What now Tilda B?, Talk under water 

Angelica Banks (AKA Heather Rose & Danielle Woods)  Tuesday McGillycuddy adventures

Terry Whitebeach and Sarafino Wani Enadio Trouble Tomorrow and When I was a boy in Sudan

Ex-Pats include Tania McCartney, Francesca Haig (The Fire sermon),  Penni Russon (Undine series)

Jedda Robaard may have moved to the big island but Tom and Tilly has a Tasmanian flavour. 

Recently arrived Tasmanians include Rae Earl, Daniel Gray-Barnett and Mark Macleod

Join with me; celebrate 50 years of the Launceston Library building (and 179 years of library services in Launceston) by reading wonderful children’s books created by Tasmanians.

(NB Nan Chauncy died in 1970 – 51 years ago.)

Nella Pickup
Retired librarian; member of CBCA and IBBY Australia 

Editor's note: Thanks Nella, what a sterling lineup that I am sure many readers can add too - the biggest problem is "how to choose!" I will contribute one of many possibilities. Shine Mountain by Julie Hunt provides a wonderful quest to pick up and journey with.


  1. Elisha Goss, The Bunyip's Bath, 2016.(also writes under Ellie A. Goss and Elias Ag.

  2. Sally Farrell Odgers Elizabeth is a favourite in our house...especially as our Elizabeth was a similar personality to the one in the book....and there was a delightful song which was part of the audio tape that accompanied Elizabeth in the Story Chest series of school readers.