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Ben Wood


Ben Wood is the illustrator of best-selling crime-fighting series Real Pigeons with Andrew McDonald, which is currently being adapted by Nickelodeon for the screen. He has illustrated over fifty books for kids, which include the popular graphic novel series Hello Twigs, and picture books Give Me a Home Among the Gumtrees and Blast Off!

His books have been shortlisted for many awards, including the Australian Book Industry Awards, Children’s Book Council of Australia, and the Readings Children’s Book Prize. He lives in Naarm/Melbourne.

Where were you born?

I was born in Melbourne but grew up in South Gippsland surrounded by bush and farmland. It was a great place to grow up as it helped fuel my imagination!

What have been the highlights of your career?

Working in collaboration with author Andrew McDonald has been a highlight. Teamwork is FUN! And I love to speak about this in my presentations. Andrew and I have created the junior fiction series Real Pigeons and graphic novel series Hello Twigs together. We have also created which is jam-packed full of writing and drawing activities for kids and families. We also have updates there about our upcoming live shows.

What are you passionate about?

Teaching students about visual storytelling (such as comics) is something I’m very passionate about! Within my sessions I teach students how to problem solve though drawing. We have a lot of fun!

What themes are recurring in your work?

I love funny and heartfelt stories about teamwork, found families, friendship, and the search for identity.

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

I love eating! And when I’m not eating, I like to talk about eating- and food! Some of my favourite foods are tacos, sushi, burritos, green spaghetti and raspberries. Yum!

In the media: 

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Photo credit: Alan Moyle


The students really enjoyed Ben’s visit. They liked that he not only talked to them about his work but also go them involved by showing them how to draw and giving them a chance to demonstrate what they’d learnt.
Ben was engaging and a pleasure to have at our school.

—S. Bourke, Glendenning Public School 2023

The girls were very enthusiastic about the session. They loved not only hearing about the process of illustration for Ben’s books but really appreciated the chance to try out some of the processes as well.

We really appreciated how well-balanced the session was with Ben; we heard about the book, his illustration process and there was still plenty of time for the guided drawing activities. We all gained so much from his insights.

—Catherine Hainstock, Fintona, August 2019

Ben Wood was an excellent engaging speaker. He was punctual well prepared and the kids were very involved. They all had a great time and left with smiles on their faces clutching their artwork from the session. Everything was very professional and more importantly fun for the 60 students who attended.

—Phil Costello, Team Leader Prahran Library, Stonnington Library and Information Service

The students really loved Ben Wood’s visit. They really enjoyed the workshop approach and all the tips and hints on how to draw characters and how to use shapes and background to complete the illustration. The students were really engaged and wanted to continue their work once they arrived back at their classrooms.

—Teacher, Killara PS, August 2017

Ben was fantastic with the students and lovely to communicate with. He was punctual and organised. His workshops were wonderful and left the students inspired. He spoke appropriately and had the students interacting throughout the workshop which was great. They were talking about it for the rest of the day. We would highly recommend him to other schools.

—M.Lingard, Panton Hill Primary School, August 2017

Year 5 teachers said the children were enthralled and mesmerised. They continued drawing long after he had left. Absolutely loved it.

Ben was on time, actually early, he was friendly, professional and kept the kids engrossed. Would highly recommend him.

—C. Roberts, St. Bernadette's PS, August 2017

Just wanted to say how awesome it was to have Ben Wood visit our school yesterday. Our students were left inspired by his work and stories. The students are still talking about him today!

—-P. Bettiol, Library Technician, Strathmore Primary School 2016

Students had a great experience visiting with Ben Wood as part of our Book Week celebrations.  Ben told everyone about his early life and how he became self- taught illustrator. He demonstrated that drawing characters is as easy as starting with a shape.  He then showed how to add feelings with eyebrows and mouths and also how to draw clothes as well as a background to the picture. Students were then given an opportunity to create their own character. Some amazing pieces of work were created and from the enthusiasm demonstrated, students had a wonderful time!

—P. Reibelt, Teacher Librarian, Albany Street State School

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