Ron Brooks

Andrew Daddo

One of Australia’s best known illustrators, Ron Brooks has produced a large number of beautiful picture books but is probably best known for the seminal John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat (with Jenny Wagner). Other well-known publications are The Bunyip of Berkeley’s CreekMotor Bill and the Lovely Caroline (both with Jenny Wagner), Henry’s Bed and Henry’s Bath (with Margaret Perversi) and Old Pig and Rosie and Tortoise (with Margaret Wild). In 2001 Fox, also written by Margaret Wild, won the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Award, Best Children’s Book in the Queensland Premier’s Literary Awards and the Patricia Wrightson Prize (NSW Premier’s Literary Awards).

Ron spent his childhood in Mallacoota, Victoria, mostly just messing about…in billycarts, cubbyhouses and boats, out on the beaches, in the bush, on the islands…hardly able to believe how beautiful the world was. Then four years in and around Paynesville and Bairnsdale, before heading off to Melbourne and the art schools, Swinburne and RMIT, to try and really learn how to draw.

Ron now bases himself in Tasmania, where he writes, designs and illustrates picture books for kids… and for anybody else who is interested. He sees himself as a ‘book-maker’ rather than just an illustrator and states, ‘I am strongly committed as an artist to the genre of children’s picture books, but that passion of involvement has more to do with the wonder of what happens between good writing, good pictures and the young reader.’