Ron Brooks

Ron Brooks spent his childhood in Mallacoota, Victoria. Now he writes, designs and illustrates picture books for kids. He has made many books over the thirty or so years he has been working, has won many awards, including the Children's Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award (three times) and is published in many languages around the world.

Two of his earlier books, The Bunyip of Berkeley's Creek and John Brown, Rose and the Midnight Cat, both written by Jenny Wagner, are widely recognized as the books which introduced Australian picture books onto the world scene. Two of his more recent books, and perhaps his own personal favourites, are Old Pig and Fox, both written by Margaret Wild. He has also been a teacher, and he paints, sculpts, does a bit of printmaking.

Why I make books
'I mostly illustrate other people's stories, and I just love it when an author has written something so beautifully, so powerfully, that it stills my heart somehow…I feel so lucky, so privileged really, then to have the opportunity of taking that text and trying to make a book, trying to find and make the pictures which in some way will then add to that stillness…or maybe give it a small, but useful little nudge... give it more room. The whole process is tantalisingly difficult, but it does feel good to get close.'

How do I do it
'With great difficulty, mostly! I take ages, and drive everyone crazy. My family, my publishers, the authors, and myself more than anyone! It can sometimes be sheer agony. I have a genuine talent when it comes to finding distractions…anything to avoid that confrontation with the desk and the blank paper.

I can spend too much time in the garden, which I love, or fiddling about in the cottage (an old picker's hut halfway down the hill) which I always wanted, but which the kids have taken over, or in Henry's Hut (next to the cottage), setting it up as a cubby/workshed with him…and probably far too much time reading and listening to music in the studio (halfway up the hill).

But the words are always kind of moving about in my head…until some piece of music, or something I read, hear, remember, or see in the landscape will just, rather mysteriously, trigger it off. And then, almost before I know it I'm beavering away at my desk. And, like a kid in a sandpit, hauling all sorts of stuff around, I'm absolutely loving it!'

Books by Ron Brooks

The Coat

Published: May 2019

This paperback edition of the 2013 CBCA Picture book of the year winner tells the story of how a neglected coat and a down-at-heel man experience the joy and magic of creativity.

On the Day You Were Born

Published: August 2018

This beautiful picture book from the acclaimed partnership of Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks is a glorious celebration of family and new life.

Old Pig

Published: January 2017

A tender, poignant picture story about how to say goodbye. Celebrating twenty years of this treasured classic from two highly acclaimed picture book makers.

The Dream of the Thylacine

Published: April 2011

This arresting and beautiful picture book from Margaret Wild and Ron Brooks is a shimmering encounter with the Tasmanian tiger, a lament for a lost species, and a compelling evocation of the place of animals in Nature.


Published: February 2004

This sophisticated, multi-award winning picture book goes to the heart of human relationships.

Frankel Mouse and the Bestish Lair

Published: June 2002

An endearing story for 7- to 10-year-olds, in which Frankel Mouse and his friends go to the Bestish Lair to get colour for their DANGER 100 000 VOLTS cupboard; sequel to Frankel Mouse

Frankel Mouse

Published: November 2000

Four young mice - Frankel, Berrel, Michael and Cousin Ruthie - face danger and adventure, making their home in the London Underground. A charming, funny and immensely satisfying story for young children by a master storyteller, introducing memorable new characters.

Old Pig

Published: April 1998

A tender story of living and loving, giving and receiving: a glorious celebration of the world.

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