Hey cHEwY Gum Gums!
Happy Lunar New Year. It’s my second of three new years (The Thai New Year is in April 13-15th, so that’s my final chance to make new year resolutions haha). I thought it’d be a great opportunity to put five Asian-Australian authors in the spotlight, ones that you may have not heard There are giants in the scene like Anh Do, Shaun Tan and Gabrielle Wang, but here are some more who making great waves too.
Wai is joy wrapped in skin, honestly whenever I see her, I just want to smile and wave my hands in air. She started off with the Chook Chook junior fiction series, before diving into Freedom Swimmer, a daring escape story inspired by true events. I always pictured her as a YA author, so I’m chuffed to see her kicking goals with The Surprising Power of a Dumpling. Her voice is tailor-made for a teenager 🙂 Oh, and she also has a penguin plushie mascot called Bogs who travels with her too.
I met her at last year’s Melbourne Writers Festival. I say meet, what really happened was I popped up on stage with her and Alison Lester and Maxine Beneba Clarke for a quick photo and then dashed haha. She’s a fellow Thai-Australian who has a cool picture book out with Affirm Press, ‘When You’re Going To The Moon’ with Vivienne To.
Gavin Aung Than
Gavin’s already a mega superstar in the world of cartooning, with loads of fans following his Zen Pencils adventures on social media. But he brings his A game on this Junior Fiction series called Super Sidekicks. A few pages is all it takes for you to fall in love with this lovable group of misfits who are called to save the world. Book 1 and 2 are out with Book 3 on its way. He’s also a really humble guy, the kidslit scene is brighter because of him hehe.
Shout out to another fellow Westie (that’s Western Sydney), Christina’s a wonderful illustrator who has done everything from wall murals to picture book illustrations. Christina’s stunning debut with Coral Vass to create Grandma’s Treasured Shoes is a tender tale of family and belonging, told through a pair of shoes. I went to the launch at local bookstore, Lost in Books, and it was a packed house. The story behind this story is just as fascinating. I hope it’s not last picture book that she illustrates 🙂
Remy’s debut ‘Pie in the Sky’ generated a lot of buzz in the industry, and it’s zipping its way through the US, attracting awards like magnets. It was in my top three books of 2019. Remy’s blend of heartfelt characters and her soft, rounded illustrations go together to create a memorable tale about growing up Asian in Australia in the 2010s. Yeah, I went there haha. I haven’t met her yet, but I’m sure it won’t be long 🙂 Bring on her next book, Fly On The Wall.
I’m sure there’s a ton of other cool Aussie-Asian children writers and illustrators out there, please let me know so I can do another edition down the track 🙂