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  • Published: 30 April 2014
  • ISBN: 9781743482667
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 32

Our Island

A lyrical picture book celebrating Mornington Island by Children's Laureate Alison Lester and Elizabeth Honey, created with the children of Mornington Island State School.

Our island lies beneath a big blue sky,
surrounded by the turquoise sea.
Turtles glide through the clear salt water,
and dugongs graze on banks of seagrass.
In this lyrical celebration of place, the children of Mornington Island explore their home in words and pictures. This is a collaboration with much-loved children's picture-book creators authors Alison Lester and Elizabeth Honey.

All royalties from Our Island and one dollar from the sale of each copy are donated to Mornington Island State School to fund art projects in the community.

  • Published: 30 April 2014
  • ISBN: 9781743482667
  • Imprint: Penguin eBooks
  • Format: EBook
  • Pages: 32

About the authors

Children of Gununa

Our Island was created by the children of Gununa (Mornington Island) with Alison Lester and Elizabeth Honey. The children who contributed to the book include: Roy Amini, Lydia Claxton-Amini, Carmelita Binjari, Brett Evans, Lenford Gabori, Letisha Gabori, Luckeisha Gabori, Saiyuri Govender, Serena Govender, Kenneth Jacob, Jasmine Jingles, Elijah Joe, Kathleen Juhel, Daniel Kohler, Jaylo Linden, Reed Linden, Saige Reid, Graham Roughsey, Cheraine Sewter, Miranda Thomas, Miguel Thompson, Sheyenne Thompson, Tianna Thompson, Landon Wall and Amber Wilson.

Elizabeth Honey and Alison Lester on the making of Our Island:

In 2006 we were invited to Mornington Island State School to make a picture book with the kids. We worked in the library with a group of twenty students. A short poetic text by Jasmine Jingles provided the inspiration, then we all searched for exactly the right words to describe the island. An ever-changing cast of illustrators drew with crayons, and washed over their drawings with food dyes. This wax-resist process made the drawings rich, the colours of the lines contrasting with the colours of the background. Some kids completed their own illustration; sometimes several children worked on the same picture. We hopped around art directing, whipping away pictures before they were overdone, and our young artists came and went as they were called out for tutoring, sport or other things. One copy of the book was printed out and we read it at assembly, minutes before catching the plane home.
In 2013 we returned to the school and there were the original illustrations beautifully framed, hanging in the office corridors out of the tropical sun. We met the new staff and kids, and worked with them on the words and the pictures – some old, some new – that became this version of the book.

Alison Lester

Alison Lester is one of Australia's most popular and bestselling creators of children's books. Her picture books mix imaginary worlds with everyday life, encouraging children to believe in themselves and celebrate the differences that make them special.

In a career spanning decades, Alison Lester has written many books, and won numerous prestigious awards, including the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Award for her much-loved classic Are We There Yet? and the CBCA Eve Pownall Book of the Year Award for One Small Island. Her picture books include Kissed by the Moon, Running with the Horses, Sophie Scott Goes South and My Dog Bigsy – to name just a few. Alison Lester became Australia's first Children's Book Laureate in 2012, a position shared with Boori Monty Pryor. In 2016, Alison was awarded the Dromkeen Medal for her outstanding achievement in the creation of Australian children's and young adult literature, and in 2018 she became the first children's book writer to win the Melbourne Prize for Literature, for her contribution to Australian literature and cultural and intellectual life.

Alison lives on a farm in the Victorian countryside. She spends part of each year travelling to schools around Australia, helping students and teachers develop their own stories.

Elizabeth Honey

Elizabeth Honey is an award-winning author of poetry, picture books and novels. Her playful humour, originality and energy strike a chord with children everywhere. Elizabeth is also an artist and she illustrates her own books. Her picture books include Ten Blue Wrens, Not a Nibble!, I'm Still Awake, Still! and That's not a Daffodil! Elizabeth's books are published in many countries around the world.

Awards & recognition

Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards

Shortlisted  •  2015  •  Indigenous Children

CBCA Book of the Year Awards

Notable Book  •  2015  •  Early Childhood

CBCA Book of the Year Awards

Notable Book  •  2015  •  Eve Pownall Award for Information Books

WA Premier's Book Awards

Shortlisted  •  2016  •  Children's Books

Melbourne Prize for Literature

Winner  •  2018  •  Alison Lester

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