Published on: 3 August 2023

We were thrilled to welcome WA-based author and illustrator Gabriel Evans to our Preparatory Library this week. In 2018, Gabriel wrote and illustrated his first children’s picture book called ‘Ollie and Augustus’ about his two favourite subjects – dogs and friendship. This year, he published ‘A Friend for George’, a heartwarming story of a lonely dog who lives at sea and befriends a fish named Claude.

Gabriel read ‘A Friend for George’ and ‘Norton and the Borrowing Bear’ to Kindy boys, who were enthralled in the tales of friendship and laughed along with the characters’ adventures. The boys followed Gabriel’s storytelling with his bright, whimsical illustrations on the big screen to capture their imagination. Gabriel then spoke to the boys about how the book came to fruition, sharing his initial drawings and ideas about where George would live and what animal his new friend would be. The students were given a glimpse into some of Gabriel’s many sketchbooks, where he draws ideas for new characters and stories as soon as they come to him, and then develops them with much consideration. Gabriel then developed a character with the boys and taught them how to draw it  – the end result was a very cute crocodile in a suit!

Gabriel has published over fifteen children’s books with some of Australia’s most renowned publishers, including Penguin Australia, Hardie Grand Egmont, and Walker Books. He has won several awards and collaborated with fellow award-winning authors including Sonya Hartnett and Jane Godwin. Author visits are a fantastic way to encourage reading from a young age and the high level of engagement among the Kindy boys during Gabriel’s visit highlights the importance of inviting authors to speak with our boys.