"In the Jingle jangle Jungle on a cold and rainy day, four little friends found a perfect place to play." – Nick Bland, The very cranky bear
Nick Bland is the son of an artist and a primary school teacher, and he spent his early childhood climbing haystacks and making mischief in his father's studio. Nick always told family and friends he was going to be a cartoonist and a writer. It was not until 1996, when he stumbled into a bookshop job, that he finally found the medium that would bring those two loves together.
Untrained, he spent the next couple of years reading every picture book that hit the shelves and began honing his style as a storyteller and illustrator. His first book, A monster wrote me a letter was published in Australia in 2005. Since then, Nick has written and illustrated many, many titles, such as I lost my kisses and created the adorable bear that now features in a whole series of books that started with The very cranky bear. He currently lives in Darwin, Australia and works full time as an author illustrator.
- Nick was born on a farm, but grew up in the bush.
- His favourite book growing up was A Boy, a Dog and a Frog by Mercer Mayer.
- Nick’s favourite children’s authors/illustrators are Shaun Tan and Chris Van Allsberg.
- His favourite place to write is at home. (He lives in the tropics of northern Australia in a shack on the beach which looks out towards Indonesia.)
- Nick is colour blind. He sees colours but slightly differently to most people.
- It took until Nick was 30 to get published.
- His favourite colour is brown.
- Nick’s books have featured as National Simultaneous Storytime books twice. First in 2012 with The Very Cranky Bear, followed by The Wrong Book in 2013.
- His fastest book was done in a month, his slowest in six months.
- Before becoming a fulltime writer, Nick was as a guardian for 120 aboriginal boys from around Northern Australia who were boarding in Darwin.
- Reserve Nick’s titles and collect from your local library.
Nick Bland’s most borrowed titles include:
- The Wrong Book
- When Henry Caught Imaginitis
- The Very Cranky Bear
- A Monster Wrote Me a Letter
- The Very Brave Bear
On the web
- Check out this Nick Bland interview with Scholastic Australia.
- Some years ago, the very clever chaps at Wheelbarrow adapted Nick’s stories into apps. While the apps no longer exist – enjoy a closer look into these stories online. The Wrong Book, The Very Cranky Bear, The Very Hungry Bear and The Very Itchy Bear.
- Activities to try at home - The UnScary Book, The Very Sleepy Bear and Some Mums.
- Nick’s new book Wolfred is due out later this year. Enjoy a sneak peek.
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