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Freya Blackwood is a rising star in the international world of children’s books. She was born in Edinburgh, Scotland and grew up in Orange in NSW, Australia. Freya was raised in a household filled with colours, shapes, textures and all things visual, (her mother was a painter and jeweller and her father an architect). Having spent many years living in Wellington, New Zealand, Freya now lives in Orange with her little girl Ivy.
In 2002 Freya started illustrating picture books. She loves creating characters, giving them emotions and their own small world to live in. Freya also enjoys the designing and problem solving involved in the creation of a picture book.
Freya’s illustrations for Two Summers won the CBCA Crichton Award 2004 for new talent in children’s book illustration, and the book was shortlisted for the Picture Book of the Year Award in the Children’s Book Council of Australia 2004 awards. Amy & Louis (written by Libby Gleeson) won the 2007 CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year, and was published in Australia, US, Germany, France and Korea. Clancy and Millie and the Very Fine House followed in 2009 and was awarded Honour Book for the 2010 CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year. In 2010 Freya was the recipient of the prestigious Kate Greenaway medal for Harry and Hopper.
Indicating her talent and dedication to her art, Freya has gone on to illustrate Maudie and Bear (written by Jan Ormerod) which won the CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year in 2011 and her book The Runaway Hug (written by Nick Bland) also won the CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year 2012. Freya and Libby Gleeson also collaborated to produce a wonderful picture book for younger readers, Look, A Book! which was short-listed for the 2012 CBCA Picture Book of the Year.
In recent times, Freya has illustrated and published The Terrible Suitcase (written by Emma Allen) which has been short-listed for the CBCA Early Childhood Book of the Year 2013. The Treasure Box, written by Margaret Wild and released in February 2013, is a haunting and beautiful tale of the power of words, the importance of stories and the resilience of the human spirit. Keep up to date with all of her projects by visiting her blog here freyablackwood.blogspot.com.au
Freya's original artwork for The Terrible Suitcase will be on exhibition at the Literature Centre in Term 1.
Freya has kindly loaned The Literature Centre the original artwork of Amy and Louis and Clancy and Millie and the Very Fine House to include in our Travelling Exhibitions. Our Education Officers can bring travelling exhibitions to schools to run interactive Literature Workshops with students.
Freya was one of 9 guest presenters at the Celebrate Reading National Conference - The Inside Story on Quality Australian Literature for Children, held at The Literature Centre in Fremantle on 13-14 September, 2013.