My visit to Books Illustrated on Monday 12 December, 2022

On Monday I made my final visit to the wonderful Books Illustrated which is sadly closing at the end of this month. I couldn’t help my mind going back to my very first visit to Books Illustrated when it was located at Gasworks Art Park. I remember the number of stunning children’s books and beautiful artwork lining the walls and bookshelves. That was 19 June, 1994 when I was a writing student at Box Hill Tafe. On that day, my eyes boggled and I came away with two treasures for my children, Drac and the Gremlin written by Allan Baille and illustrated by Jane Tanner and My Dearest Dinosaur. written by Margaret Wild and illustrated by Donna Rawlins which I now proudly share with my little grandson.

On Monday’s visit I carried both of those books with me, sharing with the Anns that I gifted My Dearest Dinosaur to my then 5 year old son. After that wonderful first visit to Books Illustrated, the day was book-ended with a visit to Box Hill Hospital because my son had an accident at mini-gym and slit his eyelid open. This precious book was signed by Margaret Wild years ago and the Anns kindly offered to get Donna Rawlins to sign it for me, so I left it with them.

So for the last 28 years, the Anns and Books Illustrated have been there for me, from my learning-to-write days, my writing educational books days, my working for Ann Haddon when she was President of CBCA Victorian Branch and I was the Office Manager, to the excitement of receiving notable, shortlist and Honour book awards for some of my own titles.

The Anns are squirreling away precious copies of books for authors and illustrators who may like to stock up on their out of print or hardcover titles. There’s also a lovely selection of artwork so do contact them to see what they have on their shelves. I can assure you there is still a precious selection. I came away with hardcovers of Queenie One Elephant’s Story (the Australian version), The Dog on the Tuckerbox, Bob the Railway Dog and To the Bridge. Only the US version of Queenie is now available and the other three titles are only available in paperback.

So thank you Anns and Books Illustrated for always being there, for so many of us and although Books Illustrated is closing, its good to know that you will both still be part of our precious children’s book industry. All details are on the Books Illustrated Website and there’s a sale!


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