The children’s literature community in Australia has farewelled two members in recent weeks.
Jean Chapman (-2012) had a literary career extending across four decades. She wrote scripts for ABC radio broadcasts (including Kindergarten of the Air) and for ABC Television’s Playschool. Her many children’s books, both fiction and non-fiction, often drew on traditional stories from around the world or featured Australian native animals. Chapman compiled several anthologies of children’s stories including Cockatoo Soup (1987). Published to coincide with Australia’s Bicentenary, Cockatoo Soup celebrates the nation’s multicultural heritage.
Pamela Lofts (1949-2012) was well known as both an artist and a children’s book illustrator. A long-standing resident of Alice Springs, Lofts collaborated with Indigenous storytellers in bringing Aboriginal culture and dreaming stories to a wider audience. This is evidenced particularly in the An Aboriginal Story series, compiled by Lofts in the 1980s. More recently, Lofts provided the illustrations for Hunwick’s Egg (written by Mem Fox) and Snug as a Hug: An Australian Lullaby (written by Marcia Kay Vaughan).
The talents of both Chapman and Lofts endure in their books.