Moira Court recognised as a new talent by the Children’s Book Council of Australia

Western Australian illustrator Moira Court was one of six artists shortlisted for the Crichton Award for First-time Illustrators on Tuesday 31 March.

The Australia-wide award is administered by the Victorian Branch of the CBCA and aims to recognise and encourage new talent in the field of children’s book illustration.

Moira Court was nominated for Miss Llewellyn-Jones which was written by Elaine Forrestal and is published by Fremantle Press in May last year.

Moira said she was shocked, excited and in a daze when she discovered she’d been shortlisted.

“I submitted some of my work to Freo Press, which they liked so I was put ‘on file’,” said Court.

She said when Miss Llewellyn-Jones came along shortly afterwards, Elaine Forrestal chose her over two other illustrators.

“Elaine is a great to work with, not only is she a lovely person but she was happy for me to come up with my own ideas for the book rather than try and recreate what she had in her imagination when she wrote the story,” said Court.

Court is originally from Plymouth in the UK where her main occupation was Trompe l’oeil paintings in grand country houses. After arriving in Perth she turned her hand to greeting cards and eventually started exhibiting her canvasses before becoming the illustrator for Miss Llewellyn-Jones.

Fremantle Press Children’s Publisher Cate Sutherland said a sequel, Miss Llewellyn-Jones goes to Town, would be released in March 2010.

“I’m delighted to see a talented illustrator like Moira making the shortlist.

“It was a great year for Fremantle Press with Jack’s Island by Norman Jorgensen and The Two-Hearted Numbat by Ambelin and Ezekiel Kwaymullina also listed as CBCA Notable Books,” said Sutherland.

Illustrations from Miss Llewellyn-Jones are currently on display at the Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre.

Other nominees for the Crichton Award are Sarah Davis, Mending Lucille, M.S. Dawson How weird is that, Kylie Dunstan, Collecting Colour, Peter Carnavas, Jessica’s Box, and Jo Oliver, Pilgrim.

Miss Llewellyn-Jones was also a CBCA Notable Book in the Early Childhood and Picture Book Category.

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