Inquisitive youngsters meet their literary heroes at CBCA event

CBCA LITERARY LUNCH: Eve Norton, Ponk! author Edwina Wyatt, Rafe Jolley and book illustrator Christopher Nielsen. Picture:  Robert Peet
CBCA LITERARY LUNCH: Eve Norton, Ponk! author Edwina Wyatt, Rafe Jolley and book illustrator Christopher Nielsen. Picture: Robert Peet

Well known Illawarra children’s authors and illustrators were in literary heaven on Wednesday as young inquisitive minds absorbed all their tricks of the trade.

Over 150 primary school students from Kiama in the south to Austinmer in the north joined some of their favourite authors at a special literary lunch at The Fraternity Club in Fairy Meadow.

The event is a major fundraiser for the Illawarra-South Coast sub-branch of The Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA).

The day involved 16 well known authors and illustrators, each sitting with the children and imparting their vast knowledge about writing, illustrating and publishing children’s books.

Gerringong author Edwina Wyatt enjoyed meeting with the eager youngsters and also took the opportunity to launch her third book for publishers Little Hare, called Ponk!

As an added bonus Wyatt also got to meet the book’s illustrator Christopher Nielsen, for the first time.

‘’This is the first time we’ve met and it is a real privilege because you have two years almost of corresponding online with illustrators and you never get to sort of put a face to a name. It’s really lovely to meet Chris, he is a nice guy,’’ she said.

The admiration was mutual, with Nielsen adding he had a lot of fun illustrating Ponk!

‘’I decided to come here today to help launch the book, meet Edwina and celebrate the beautiful thing that we did,’’ Nielsen said.

Wyatt said the book was about lead character Ponk the bird.

‘’He lives at the top of the tree but he continually falls out and goes ponk, hence the name,’’ she said.

‘’His neighbours aren’t happy with all the noise and mess Ponk makes and wonder why he bothers to keep going up...but it is because it is a beautiful view and he can see strange and excitable things.

‘’So it is really a parable between ambition and not being afraid to go ponk sometimes...we all go ponk sometimes and that’s okay as it shouldn’t stop you from trying to get the good view.’’

The mother of two has five more children’s books in the works.