REAL LIFE: Love sick over children’s books

Once upon a time, in my youth, I may have had celebrity crushes on sports people, rock stars and actors, but since having Cam, my soft spot is now for authors who write brilliant literature for children.

I have a strong respect for all children’s book authors and illustrators but there are a special few who have gained my utter devotion. These authors and illustrators:

  • Make me smile from ear to ear when I read their books.
  • Make me feel giddy with happiness when I watch my Cam enjoying their books with smiles or laughs- or when she asks me to read their books over and over and over again.
  • Make me go weak at the knees when I see their name in my email inbox. Not only are they brilliant at their art, but they are incredibly genuine, giving and interesting people to connect with.
  • Give me a kick of excitement when I add another one of their books to our collection.

There are six authors/illustrators who have stolen my literary heart: Nick Bland, Freya Blackwood, Peter Carnavas, Kylie Dunstan, Anna Walker and Gus Gordon. They never disappoint me. Book after book, they continue to make my heart sing with their creations. They are talented and creative individuals who write books that are thoughtful, beautiful, deep, rich and often philosophical- not to mention books their whimsical, eye-catching and heartfelt illustrations.

My husband sometimes gets sick of hearing me speak of these artists, and you have probably noticed that barely a day goes by without me shouting their praises on our Facebook page.

I’d say a doctor would definitely diagnose me with a crush that could only be cured short term with a purchase of their latest books.

I’ve already had the pleasure of meeting fellow Melburnians, Anna Walker and Kylie Dustan.

But, this weekend was a doozy for me (and Cam). We were privileged to finally meet Nick Bland and Gus Gordon. Now I’m just patiently waiting for Peter Carnavas and Freya Blackwood to visit Melbourne- and my life will feel complete (he he!).

Meeting Nick Bland

We met Nick Bland at Matilda’s Bookstore (aptly named after Roald Dahl’s Matilda) who is travelling with the Get Reading campaign. He is as wonderful as you’d imagine him to be: friendly, funny, engaging, charismatic and humble:

And, I wasn’t the only one smitten:

Nick Bland engaged the children with his brilliant storytelling:

I am simply in awe of his rich and colourful illustrations. It was an absolute treat to watch him draw for the children:

The children helped Nick to create his ‘latest character.’ I wonder if we’ll see him in any future books?
In actual fact, Nick did provide us with AN EXCLUSIVE: 2013 will see the return of Bear as The Very Brave Bear. This cranky, itchy, hungry and brave bear is not afraid of anything…….unless that anything is something very small.

Meeting Gus Gordon:

We met Gus Gordon at one of our favourite bookstores, The Little Bookroom:

Leigh Hobbs officially launched Herman and Rosie in Melbourne:

Gus spent some time giving us all a wonderful insight into  Herman and Rosie: it’s inception, the research, the illustrations and the number of covers he trialled (this was just a small selection of possibilities):

So passionate about Herman and Rosie, Gus gave his full attention to every fan who came along to the event:

I think you’ll agree that we’ve been very lucky this weekend.

Can you confess to any literary crushes?

REAL LIFE: Love sick over children’s books


  1. No literary crushes to report, but I was actually at the Little Bookroom yesterday (still looking for a first birthday book with your guidelines in my head!) — good thing we didn’t go on Saturday or we would have found a large crowd, and the crawler would not have been happy at the lack of space. When he’s a bit older, I’d love to go along to some of these author events — they sound great!

    • Nicole,
      Feel free to send me an email with some info about your little one (name, likes etc). I’m happy to suggest some books for you if that helps.

  2. Ooooh my girls and I have a HUGE crush on Isobelle Carmody and are desperate for the next book in the Red Wind series to come out!

  3. I read your post last time about your meeting with another children’s book author… your passion really shines through your blog!

    For about two years I was part of a literary salon at an independent book store that focused on children’s literature! I loved hearing from the guest authors and illustrators, they are so dedicated! I hope to (self) publish my children’s picture books one day! (When I can afford an illustrator!) I did (self) publish a short fiction middle grade reader, though, on Kindle!

  4. I’m envious, those are some of my fav. kids books.

  5. Wow, wow WOW!! I am in total awe of all your beautiful photos with these amazing authors and illustrations. I feel and share your passion and just absolutely love what you do here at My Little Bookcase! Enjoy, you deserve all these wonderful things! x

  6. Oh I’m so loving this post. I’m finding myself developing literary crushes these days. I’m not a Mum but am a teacher and love, love, love picture books. At the moment my crushes are Nick Bland and Aaron Blabey. My housemate calls me their fangirl haha!

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REAL LIFE: Love sick over children’s books

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