An Illustrated Year 2013 Calendar: About Sally Rippin (Miss April)

Interview with Sally Rippin

About April’s Illustration:

Boy, Book, Bird‘  was an illustration commissioned by the Department of Education for the Premier’s Reading Challenge poster a few years back. They didn’t end up using it so I was happy that it found a home in the calendar.

How did you create this image?

Collage, charcoal pencil and coloured pencil. The leaves are cut from an old Thesaurus.

About the illustrator:

Sally’s artwork is influenced by Chinese aesthetic and composition due to the time she spent living and studying in Shanghai. She has written and illustrated over 50 books for children. Many have received literary commendations including The Rainbirds, which received an honour for CBCA Picture Book of the Year in 2007. Sally loves being able to run workshops with children all over Australia.

You can learn more about Sally at

What do you enjoy most about illustrating picture books?

Losing myself in my illustrations. There is very little that could make me happier than a whole day in my studio with the music on, surrounded by art materials, working away on an illustration.

Can you tell us a little bit about your upcoming book?

Later this year I will be illustrating a book by my American author friend, Whitney Stewart, on meditation for children. We collaborated on ‘Becoming Buddha’ together and it will be the first picture book I have illustrated in over two years because I have been so busy with my writing. I have booked myself a week at the Varuna Writers’ Retreat in the Blue Mountains to get a good start on the illustrations. I can’t wait.

Can you tell us a about your creative work space?

I share a converted garage with my partner out the back of our house. It’s hot in summer and cold in winter and crammed with way too many books, but I love it.

Sally’s books include:

  • Becoming Buddha, by Whitney Jones
  • The Rain Birds, by David Metzenthen (Lothian Books)
  • Millie by John Marsden (Pan Macmillan)

Some of Sally Rippin’s prints can be purchased through Books Illustrated


  • Find and explore some of Sally Rippin’s other books.
  • Find some other books that feature collage and/or charcoal pencil in the illustrations. Create a classroom display of these books.
  • Compare and contrast a range of collage and charcoal pencil illustrations.
  • Create your own image using collage and charcoal pencil.

Love this illustration?

Consider purchasing a copy of An Illustrated Year 2013 Calendar

Illustrations can be framed at the end of each month


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