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Craig Smith


Craig Smith’s warm, quirky illustrations have amused kids for more than three decades. With over 360 books to his credit, the humor and pathos of home and school life, and a fondness for unusual perspectives are features of his work.

What other jobs have you had?

Other jobs include fruit picking, rust-scraper (on the Sydney Harbor Bridge), geriatric nurse, advertising illustrator, TV animator (killed my interest in the form) and teacher. I’ve also worked as a dad (unpaid).

What themes are recurring in your work?

I try to evoke an Australian childhood. A childhood lived in an Australian landscape – usually a suburb! I want to arm children with a sense of humour, of imagination, and of empathy.

What have been the highlights of your career?

Perhaps those few awards early in a career that are such a real encouragement. So, for instance: The NSW Premiers Literary Award 1982 (Whistle Up a Chimney by Nan Hunt). The Children’s Choice Award listings (when they occasionally happen) are also a buzz.

What are you passionate about?

I am passionate about children learning to think critically and with real curiosity.


The students loved watching Craig draw. He was very captivating and memorable. His skills were evident and they were very inspiring for the student cohort to observe. Craig has a lovely manner and was able to present in an impromptu manner – going with the needs of the class. We’d like to thank Craig for inspiring our little illustrators!

—K. Ngu, Caulfield Grammar School, November 2017

Our children and teachers thoroughly enjoyed Craig’s presentation. He engaged every child for the whole hour. The children particularly enjoyed watching Craig illustrate and doing a drawing themselves.

Craig was amazing.

—J. Doupe, St John's, August 2017

We had a fantastic day last Wednesday with Craig Smith!

I have received many positive comments from both teachers and students. It was especially interesting to hear the comments of 3 of our regular teachers who all happened to be away ill last week, so missed Craig’s visit. They passed on to me high praise from their “replacement staff”, who I don’t think had experienced a visit like Craig’s before. They were genuinely very impressed. Furthermore, the regular teachers were amazed at the drawings the kids did, as were the students themselves. Some students showed these teachers what Craig taught them!

Craig kept all the students fully engaged and left them with a lasting positive momento of his visit. For our Prep students, especially, to be so fully occupied was amazing.

I would highly recommend Craig, and I thankS Booked Out for suggesting his visit.

—F. Greenough, Nunawading Christian College, August 2017

All of our students from Kindergarten to Year 6 loved the workshops, listening to Craig and learning some techniques about drawing and the importance of how illustrations can bring a story alive.

—C. Deshon, St Joseph's Walgett. July 2017

Craig was, as always, fabulous in his enthusiastic presentation. There was heaps of variety in what he did and the students (ALL students) were interested, engaged and amazed by what he did. He was also genuinely happy and enjoyed working with and at all levels of our kids.

—P. Fayhey, Lightening Ridge Central School, July 2017.

We have used Craig before to present to our 3/4 grades on visual literacy and his material and approach were great. He didn’t do the same thing to each class but would use a different book or illustration- which kept an energy and freshness to his sessions.

—S. Allan, Balwyn Primary School, June 2017

Thank you so much for your assistance in helping us book Craig Smith for our Book Week event.
Craig was an excellent choice. He presented to 5 levels in the one day and tailored his presentations to suit each age group. He was easy to work with and had a lovely manner with the students. They were enthralled watching him create an illustration and were so excited to be able to create their own illustrations under his expert guidance.
The choice of an illustrator for our Book Week celebrations was a good one and I would highly recommend Craig to any school looking for an illustrator who can explain the creative process to students in an educational and thought provoking manner.

—M. Mitchell and S. Austin, Karoo Primary School, August 2016

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