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Terry Denton is among Australia's busiest literary creative forces! Born in Melbourne in 1950, the second youngest of five boys, Terry originally studied architecture but grew unhappy with the course. He left Uni and set about discovering what kind of artist he really wanted to be. Over the next seven years he tried animation, painting, theatre, etching, sculpture, cartooning, and worked part-time with a friend running a music shop.
He has written twenty books and illustrated more than 100! He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Multicultural Book of the Year and the Best Designed Picture Book. In 1984 he wrote and illustrated Felix and Alexander, which won the CBCA Picture Book of the Year in 1986. Jandamarra was short-listed for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards 2013.
Terry’s sense of what interests and amuses kids has resulted in more than 40 children’s choice awards throughout Australia. In 2008 Just Shocking! (written by Andy Griffiths) won all six children’s choice awards and has been shortlisted by the CBCA many times. His work is characterised by a devious sense of humour and an adventurous and inventive drawing style. Terry has collaborated many times with zany author Andy Griffiths to produce a host of award-winning books. The 13-Storey Treehouse won the ABIA's 2012 Book of the Year for Older Readers, and The 26-Storey Treehouse won the Book of the Year for Older Readers in 2013. Since then the pair have released the third book in the series The 39-Storey Treehouse.
In 1991-92 Terry worked for the Australian Children's Television Foundation on Lift-Off, acknowledged as one of the most innovative children's TV shows produced in Australia. He spent a year helping devise the program, and another year designing the puppets and the look of the program.
Terry has worked with many renowned Australian authors to create exciting and colourful picture books as well as adventurous and whacky books for readers of all ages. His picture book venture with Margaret Wild produced Leo The Littlest Seahorse, a warm and endearing story, showing that sometimes the littlest ones just need more time to flourish. In recent times, he also collaborated with WA author Mark Greenwood to publish a remarkable picture book, Jandamarra.
Terry meets with thousands of school kids throughout the year, holding workshops and working with small groups designing and painting murals. He lives by the beach with his wife and three kids, two dogs, a few chooks and a huge burial mound of previous pets. His hobbies include bushwalking, ball sports, water sports, painting, strangling cats and visiting sick people in hospital.
In Term 3, 2013 Terry was the 'Illustrator in Residence' at the Literature Centre. The Literature Centre is fortunate to have had all the original artwork from Jandamarra on exhibition throughout Term 3 and Term 4, 2013. Terry was also our special guest at the Literature Centre's Family Open Day on Sunday, 22 September along with local author Mark Greenwood.
Terry Denton and long-time collaborator Andy Griffiths were a huge hit as guest presenters at the Celebrate Reading National Conference - The Inside Story on Quality Australian Literature for Children, held at The Literature Centre in Fremantle, WA from 13-14 September, 2013.