Simpson and his Donkey – an exhibition

Illustrations by Frané Lessac and words by Mark Greenwood share the heroic story of John Simpson Kirkpatrick in the picture book Simpson and his Donkey.  The exhibition is on display at the State Library until  27 April. 

simpson
Unpublished spread 14 for pages 32 – 33
Collection of draft materials for Simpson and his Donkey, PWC/254/18 

The original illustrations, preliminary sketches and draft materials displayed in this exhibition form part of the State Library’s Peter Williams’ collection: a collection of original Australian picture book art.

Known as ‘the man with the donkey’, Simpson was a medic who rescued wounded soldiers at Gallipoli during World War I.

The bravery and sacrifice attributed to Simpson is now considered part of the ‘Anzac legend’. It is the myth and legend of John Simpson that Frané Lessac and Mark Greenwood tell in their book.

Frané Lessac and Mark Greenwood also travelled to Anzac Cove to explore where Simpson and Duffy had worked.  This experience and their research enabled them to layer creative interpretation over historical information and Anzac legend.

simpson2

On a moonless April morning, PWC254/6 

Frané Lessac is a Western Australian author-illustrator who has published over forty books for children. Frané speaks at festivals in Australia and overseas, sharing the process of writing and illustrating books. She often illustrates books by , Mark Greenwood, of which Simpson and his Donkey is just one example.

Simpson and his Donkey is published by Walker Books, 2008. The original illustrations are  display in the Story Place Gallery until 27 April 2017.

  • This exhibition is supported by a self-guided trail and educators guide. For school group bookings visit our website.
  • Copies of the book are available for sale from the Discovery Store at the State Library.

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North Metropolitan Health Services Kambarang Day, Midland 9th October

Yellow Everlastings

Yellow Everlastings road to Carnarvon

Kambarang – Wildflower season (season of birth) October – November

North Metropolitan Health Services Kambarang Day,  Midland  9th October

Family History Subject Specialists Tricia Fairweather and Leonie Hayes recently attended Kambarang Day at Midland. Appropriately, it was a typical balmy spring day that attracted a good crowd.
The purpose of Kambarang Day is to create awareness in Indigenous communities of health and allied services available and to promote healthy living. There was live music, a petting zoo (very cute piglet), cooking demonstrations, fresh fruit, free health checks and all manner of advice available.
We were attending to support our Indigenous Specialist Damien Webb to promote Storylines the State Library website that has been developed to make our digitised indigenous heritage material available online to Aboriginal people.

Bessie Flower

Anne Camfield (seated) and Bessie Flower, 1860s

Storylines is a growing database of photographs and documents relating to Aboriginal people. So many photographs from our collections have only the original captions: “group of natives at…” or “aboriginal man with spear”. Making them available online is not only a way of returning them but is also helping us to identify many of the individuals in the photographs .

Carol and Max, Warburton Mission, 1958-1961

Carol and Max, Warburton Mission, 1958-1961

We have found demonstrating Storylines to be very rewarding and it has given us a great sense of how close knit the community is. Our experience has encompassed the excitement of a young boy on being shown a delightful photograph of his auntie as a young girl and an elderly gentleman identifying his grandfather and other relatives in a family group.

Domestic science class

Karalundi Mission, September 1960, domestic science class.

Violinist, Derby 1948.

Violinist, Derby 1948.

As well as promoting Storylines we were able to assist many people with general and specific enquiries about family history. The day also provided us a welcome opportunity to network with other stallholders and exchange information about the various services we all have to offer.
As Librarians, we were particularly delighted with the stall for Ngala, a provider of early childhood services, that had a selection of some of the most popular picture books as giveaways. We swapped information about our Better Beginnings early literacy programs and left brochures detailing these as well as our eresources for family history.
We were also able to demonstrate our children’s eresources to some youngsters, their older siblings, parents and grandparents. They were particularly taken with Busythings  a fun online suite of games and activities that help children to develop literacy and numeracy while having great fun.
It was a very productive day for us with the added benefit of having an excellent time – although I did have to reluctantly relinquish my freebie yo-yo to a very appealing (and pleading) child.

The State Library has a cow!

One of the State Library’s most unusual artworks, the Books Moove Me cow,  is now ‘live to the public’ on the Ground Floor of the Library.  She was created by members of the WA Branch of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, and is a unique way of showcasing children’s books by talented locals.

Books Moove Me cow

Books Moove Me cow

To find out more about her, check out  the webpage at http://www.slwa.wa.gov.au/find/books_moove_me_cow

Come on in to the Library and say hello to the Books Moove Me cow  – see if you can find a book helicopter, a book-a-saurus, or some zombies up a tree. And if you like the look of the books, they are available at the State Library Shop.