Tag Archives: Kim Gamble

Anna, Kim and Stephen’s Monsters

Anna Fienberg (writer), Kim Gamble and Stephen Axelsen (illustrators), Monsters (Allen & Unwin 2018)

monsters.jpgThis is the final collaboration between Anna Fienberg and Kim Gamble, the creators of the wildly popular Tashi books. They began it when they both knew Kim didn’t have long to live. When Kim became too ill to continue he bequeathed the job of finishing the illustrations to his close friend Stephen Axelsen. In the  published book it’s all but impossible to tell where Kim’s work finishes and Stephen’s starts. So the book is a testament to love and friendship, a cairn of lyrical words and luminous images.

It’s also a funny, scary picture book about a little girl, Tildy, who is terrified of monsters in the night and finds a way to overcome her fear through her friendship with Hendrik. There’s plenty of room to play spot-the-monster (and an occasional thieving magpie), and plenty of the visual and verbal wit and warmth that has made Anna and Kim (and, until now separately, Stephen) such beloved giants of Australian children’s literature.

Monsters is the eighth book I’ve read for the 2018 Australian Women Writers Challenge.

Patricia Wrightson and Chinese poetry

This blog post is the love child of two recent ones.

Patricia Wrightson was on the editorial staff of the School Magazine from the mid 1960s and was its editor for pretty much the whole 1970s. My acquaintance with Chinese poetry prior to reading J P Seaton’s anthology came largely from poems published in the magazine during those years. None of the poems I could lay hands on were published in the anthology. I think they are all translated by Arthur Waley. They all stand on their own merits, not sending the reader off in search of that which they have translated (not, as I was saying when blogging about the anthology, that there would be anything wrong with that – in fact, from some points of view, a translation should make a reader go searching for the original).

Click on the thumbnails to read the poems and see a little of their contexts in the magazine: Robert Louis Stevenson, Pixie O’Harris, a story about a dog, a Pauline Clarke serialisation, a historical article. The illustration of Li Po’ s ‘In the Mountains on a Summer’s Day’ is by the great Astra Lãcis. The last one, illustrated by Kim Gamble, was published in my day, but I found the poem in back copies from Patricia’s era.