The Book That Made Me, edited by Judith Ridge

We were all hooked (and a bit unsettled) from the outset, so there was no turning back. My brother and I looked forward to each progressively disturbing chapter: conniving pigs, brainwashed sheep, a horse carted off to something called the “knackers”, and poor Mum had to field all of our questions. (Shaun Tan)

From acclaimed authors from around Australia and overseas, The Book That Made Me offers a glimpse into the formative years of the creators, and of the book (or books) that shaped who they are – as authors, as readers, as people. From early readers and picture books to graphic novels, science fiction, to medical encyclopedia, each author’s preference is different and their tales behind why and how these particular books stayed with them are sometimes funny and other times very moving, but always intriguing.

Editor Judith Ridge is a passionate children’s literature advocate and has brought together a wonderful array of authors, including Shaun Tan, Julia Lawrinson, Sue Lawson, Markus Zusak, Ted Dawe and many more – thirty-two authors in total.


This is a book for book lovers of all ages and, with all royalties going to the Indigenous Literacy Foundation, purchase supports a really important cause.

The Book That Made Me
Walker Books Australia, 2016
ISBN 9781922244888

DVD Review: Undercover Stories

Undercover Storiesprovides an excellent resource for increasing children’s understanding of all aspects of the book creation process. The DVD includes interviews with five children’s book creators who explain how they go about writing and illustrating books, as well as an interview with publisher Leonie Tyle (at UQP at the time of filming). There is also a discussion about how book covers are designed and an inside look at the printing process.

This is an excellent resource for teachers, librarians and also for creators, making real the behind the scenes work in producing a children’s book. It also enables children to see and hear five prominent children’s creators – Narelle Oliver, David Cox, Fiona Doyle, Michael Gerard Bauer and James Moloney.

Undercover Stories is a project of Book Links, an association dedicated to fostering an appreciation and understanding of children’s and youth literature in children and young people, as well as in the wider community.

Undercover Stories is available directly from Book Links.

Undercover Stories
Book Links, 2007