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 2019 Environment Award for Children’s Literature in the Picture Book category and has recently been Shortlisted for the 2020 West Australian Young Reader’s Book Awards. 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. Title: How on Earth did I end up creating a book about the environment? Abstract: 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 from 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 Orange 430 is a quirky book that discusses the power of advertising, the hip pocket, and the effects of consumerism on the environment.
The talks are relaxed and informative and an optional quick drawing exercise will assist those who feel artistically challenged. There will also be a reading of The Orange 430. Style: (Lecture, book reading, optional quick drawing workshop)