Get to Know Illustrator Stephen Pym

May 15th, 2021
Hear from the super talented Stephen Pym, all about his recent book with Gordon Winch, My First Book of Aussie Animals!

What drew you to My First Book of Aussie Animals?

The author, Gordon Winch asked if I would like to illustrate the book. We have collaborated in the past on projects that centred around Australian animals and environments. Having a passion for Australian wildlife I jumped at the chance to be involved. 

What was the most challenging part of illustrating My First Book of Aussie Animals?

I have traditionally used a highly rendered, realist style in my work, so I found simplifying the elements for a preschool audience quite challenging. Also, coming up with different and interesting composition ideas was tricky when the main subject needed to be tied to, and fit into, a flap area. 

You have a Palaeobiology degree – do you think this has helped your illustration process for My First Book of Aussie Animals?

Scientific study of the natural world always informs my work. In this book, I tried to place the animals in their natural environments and include plant species and other creatures that they would either normally use for food or would naturally occur in their habitat. These things would be overlooked by most adults, let alone preschool ‘readers’. Nevertheless, I consider it as being an authentic way of representing the natural world.    

Which animal was your favourite to illustrate in the book?

I found the echidna the most enjoyable to illustrate. I like the page composition and the character of the animal.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself!

Over the past year or so, I have been trying to learn what native plants are edible in the Sydney region. I have started cataloguing them and hopefully one day will publish a book.   

Many thanks to Stephen for telling us all about My First Book of Aussie Animals!
You can find Stephen on Facebook and on his website.

My First Book of Aussie Animals

Can you find all the Aussie animals? This vibrant lift-the-flap book features an animal hiding on each page spread. The bright, bold illustrations are accompanied by interesting yet accessible facts about the hidden animals. Children will love learning about Australia's fascinating wildlife.

Purchase Here
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