Gus Gordon is a children’s book author and illustrator. He has written and illustrated over 70 books for children. His most recent picture book, Wendy (Penguin), about a motorcycle riding stunt chicken, was selected as a CBCA Notable Book in the 2010 Book of the Year Awards. His newest picture book, Herman and Rosie (Penguin, Sep 2012), will be released in 2013 in the US.
Gus has always been attracted to drawing and writing about animals in human roles. This most likely stems from a long love of Kenneth Grahame’s Wind in The Willows. Gus also likes cheese.
In 2013, Gus will undertake his first Melbourne tour for Booked Out. He will be available to schools in Melbourne for Book Week (19-23 August). Make him welcome at your school!
In Sydney but we soon moved to a farm in northern NSW where we made things and were cruelly forced to use our imagination. Tough times.
When I left school I worked some years as a stockman on humungous cattle stations in far north Queensland and the Northern Territory. One of these stations was 16,000 square kilometres! Later, in the city, I worked on building sites banging things, making loud noises and digging really large holes.
I always end up writing about ordinary characters (animals) and their journeys. They either have an exceptional (nonsensical – often inconceivable) adventure or they discover something they didn’t know that was there in front of them all along. Generally I’m seduced by the everyday ‘man in the street’ character who is missing something and may or may not realise it. Also, humour is never far away, even in the darker moments.
Seeing my first book, A Day With Noodles, in the bookstore after illustrating other folk’s books for so long. Seeing Wendy through to publication gave me the confidence to keep up my writing. Heading to New York to research my new book Herman and Rosie and picking up my agent while over there. I think my biggest career highlight was waiting (very nervously) as US publishers bid for Herman and Rosie at auction in New York. Moments like these make the long hours and storytelling frustrations well and truly worthwhile.
Australia, New Zealand, China, Korea, the UK and the US (soon!)
Making books; bringing to life an idea or character from a sketchbook. I love spending time with my family and kids and I find the beach particularly inspiring.
I am partial to good wine and mouldy cheese. I am also a fan of good comedy (Mitch Hedburg, Bill Bailey, Ricky Gervais) and indie music (The Blue Nile, Trashcan Sinatras, Deehunter, Fleet Foxes, Grandaddy, Orange Juice, Sparklehorse, Bill Callahan, Frightened Rabbit, Decemberists, Matt Pond PA etc etc.)