I had a wonderful and very full first day in Canberra. After flying in from Melbourne, I caught up with Mike Shuttleworth from the National Library of Australia. I had a look around the Treasures Gallery and the Reading Room. It was so quiet I felt I had to tiptoe!
Mike Shuttleworth and I standing in front of one of Leonard French’s dazzling mosaic windows.
I was pleased to see “The Race for the Chinese Zodiac” on display in the children’s section of the Reading Room and “Zadie Ma and the Dog Who Chased the Moon” for sale in the library bookshop.
My next stop was Belle Alderman’s wonderful National Centre for Australian Children’s Literature, where complete collections of Australian children’s authors and illustrators works are housed. Unfortunately, time ran out, and I didn’t get a chance to see all the rooms.
After this, I visited Gungahlin Library. At the library, Jodie Griffiths Cook, the Public Advocate and Children and Young People Commissioner interviewed me for a kids session followed by dragon drawing. As it was a small group, I was interested in discovering what belonging meant to them. The responses were so varied. I forgot to get photos; we were so absorbed.
The final event was for the ACT Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, where I had a Q&A with lovely fellow children’s author Shelly Unwin.
On my final day in Canberra, I went to the Australian Library and Information Association headquarters, where I was recorded reading “The Speedy Sloth” for National Simultaneous Story Time. This fun picture book is written by Rebecca Young and illustrated by Heath Mckenzie.
I had an amazing time in Canberra and am looking forward to travelling to Sydney next for the Lit Up Conference.
– Gabi X