Michael has been a graphic designer and high school art teacher in Western Australia. He's keen to explore themes of consumerism, the environment, grief and kindness in his stories in surprising and accessible ways. His first picture book, The All New Must Have Orange 430, won recognition as an Honour Book for the CBCA awards, 2019. It also won the Environment Award for Children’s Literature in the Picture Book category. This book is a cheeky picture book for anyone who’s bought a thingy or whatsit … and doesn't quite know why. It explores our obsession with stuff in a fun and edifying way. His next book, ‘The Gift’ touches on loss and grief, but also highlights the kindness of others through altruistic actions.
Breakout Session/s: How on Earth did I end up creating a book about the environment?
Never too old for picture books!
Michael discusses how he ended up writing and illustrating his first picture book, 'The All New Must Have Orange 430', which has been has been embraced by teachers, librarians and children across Australia and New Zealand.
From enjoying art at school, to working as a designer, teaching at high school and studying contemporary art at university, Michael has enjoyed a broad range of artistic experiences that have influenced and assisted his journey into the world of children’s books. 'The All New Must Have Orange 430' has strong links to the primary curriculum, but it could be used within the high school context as well. It’s a quirky book that discusses the power of advertising, the hip pocket, and the effects of consumerism on the environment. The sessions will be relaxed, informative for those who want to know more about how books come together, hint at curriculum and other resources that are available out there for The Orange 430, and obviously a quick drawing exercise will assist those that feel artistically challenged.
Style: (Lectures plus quick drawing workshop)
-One lecture will have a more of a Primary School focus,
-the other lecture will be similar, but it will hint at opportunities within the High School curriculum to utilise picture books as valuable literary tools to assist student to embrace the English curriculum.