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Oliver, Narelle 1960-

Oliver, Narelle 1960-

Personal

Born 1960, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia; mother an art teacher; married; husband's name Greg (an environmental scientist); children: Jessie, Liam. Education: B.Ed. (printmaking and design). Hobbies and other interests: Nature, conservation.

Addresses

Home—Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. E-mail—neoliver@pacific.net.au.

Career

Author and illustrator. Queensland School for the Deaf, Queensland, Australia, former teacher; University of Southern Queensland, former tutor for faculty of education; University of Melbourne, May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust artist-in-residence, 2000. Exhibitions: Oliver's artwork has been exhibited in Australia at the Freemantle Children's Literature Center, Dromkeen Children's Literature Center, and State Library of Queensland.

Awards, Honors

Australian Picture Book of the Year Award, shortlist, 1994, for The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay, winner, 1996, for The Hunt; Eve Pownall Award shortlist, and Wilderness Society Environmental Award for Children's Literature, both 2000, both for Sand Swimmers; Picture Book of the Year Award Honor Book designation, and Eve Pownall Award Honor Book designation, both 2002, both for Baby Bilby, Where Do You Sleep?; Chil-

dren's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Notable Book designation, 2002, for Mermaids Most Amazing; BILBY Award for Early Reader, 2003, and Young Australian Best Book Award shortlist for Picture Storybook, 2004, both for The Very Blue Thingamajig; Queensland Premier's Literary Award shortlist, 2006, and Wilderness Society Environmental Award for Children's Literature shortlist, Patricia Wrightson Prize, New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards, and CBCA Picture Book of the Year shortlist, all 2007, all for Home.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

Leaf Tail, McCulloch Publishing (Carlton, Victoria, Australia), 1989.

High above the Sea, Jam Roll Press (Nundah, Queensland, Australia), 1991.

The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay, Lothian (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1993, Fulcrum Publishers (Golden, CO), 1995.

The Hunt, Lothian (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1995.

Sand Swimmers: The Secret Life of Australia's Dead Heart, Lothian (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

Baby Bilby, Where Do You Sleep?, Lothian (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Mermaids Most Amazing, Ommibus Scholastic (Gosford, New South Wales, Australia), 2001, G.P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 2005.

The Very Blue Thingamajig, Omnibus Scholastic (Gosford, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

Dancing the Boom Cha-Cha Boogie, Omnibus (Malvern, South Australia, Australia), 2005.

Home, Omnibus (Malvern, South Australia, Australia), 2006.

Twilight Hunt, Star Bright (New York, NY), 2007.

Fox and Fine Feathers, Omnibus (Malvern, South Australia, Australia), 2009.

Oliver's work has been published in Korean.

OTHER

Gary Crew, The Well ("After Dark" series), Lothian (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1996, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1999.

(Illustrator) What a Goat!, illustrated by David Cox, Omnibus Scholastic (Gosford, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

Adaptations

Several of Oliver's books have been published with CD audio.

Sidelights

Award-winning Australian-based author and illustrator Narelle Oliver feels extremely lucky to have a career that she enjoys so passionately. The creator of the picture books The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay and Sand Swimmers: The Secret Life of Australia's Dead Heart, as well as a compilation of mermaid facts and lore titled Mermaids Most Amazing, Oliver first became interested in children's books while she was working as a teacher at the Queensland School for the Deaf. Utilizing picture books in the classroom, and often creating them with her students, Oliver thoroughly enjoyed the process so much that she decided to write and illustrate her own books. She also creates artwork for books by other Australian writers, among them Gary Crew. Reviewing Mermaids Most Amazing in Booklist, Connie Fletcher praised the "rich assemblage" of magical waterbeings profiled in Oliver's text and art, while Angela J. Reynolds noted that the "hand-colored, folksy linocuts … deftly illustrate the [book's] lively text."

Birds figure prominently in several of Oliver's books, such as The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay, which finds a group of locals competing in a best-beak contest, as well as her award-winning picture books The Hunt and Home. In Home, Oliver's collage illustrations, which combine linocut rubbings and digitally enhanced photographs, bring to life her story about a pair of falcons that make their home on a skyscraper in a large city and manage to find food despite the seemingly inhospitable surroundings. The text, which includes descriptions of various features of a large city, is written through the eyes of the falcons themselves. Turning to the birds of North America, her self-illustrated Twilight Hunt: A Seek-and-Find Book finds a mother screech owl hunting in a forest as the sun sets. Readers can aid the sharp-eyed owl in her task and hunt through Oliver's intricate tinted linocut and collage images to discover the many small creatures hiding from sight. In School Library Journal Nancy Call dubbed Twilight Hunt a "stunning portrayal of predator and prey," and added that "Oliver's elegant text is highly descriptive and action packed." According to a Kirkus Reviews writer, Twilight Hunt will also serve teachers and parents alike as "a good prelude for a field trip of the outdoorsy sort."

In Oliver's humorous lift-the-flap book The Very Blue Thingamajig, a mysterious blue creature that is very unbirdlike hatches from an egg covered with spots. While other thingamajigs are interested at first, they soon wander off; then the newly hatched creature begins an amazing transformation. At the end of the week the thingamajig rushes to show the other thingamajigs its new appearance, with surprising results. Reviewing The Very Blue Thingamajig in Aussiereviews.com, Sally Murphy called the picture book a "fun" read highlighted by Oliver's block-printed illustrations featuring "rich pastel colours." While entertaining, Murphy added, the picture book also provides young children with opportunities to count, learn the days of the week, and gain "a gentle lesson on differences."

The vast desert that covers much of the center of the Australian continent is the focus of Oliver's self-illustrated picture book Sand Swimmers, which won the Queensland Premier's Literary Award in 2000. Other desert creatures are depicted in her interactive picture book Baby Bilby, Where Do You Sleep?, which features peepholes through which to discover burrowing rodents and other creatures. She engages in a bit of fantasy in Dancing the Boom Cha-Cha Boogie, telling a story about three fun-loving murmels, imaginary creatures that wash up on the shore of a place where everything around them is strange and rather scary. Teaming up with another illustrator, Oliver has also created a story geared for budding readers in What a Goat!

As Oliver noted in her profile posted on the Scholastic Australia Web site, her interest in the environment inspired her to begin her writing career. In the early 1980s, she traveled with her environmental scientist

husband. On these trips, she explained, "We explored many national parks on the east coast of Australia and I became convinced that there was a need for picture book stories about the many fascinating and less well-known Australian animals in their own unique habitats. I was especially interested in showing how these animals adapt to their surroundings, and using this idea as the basis of various story plots." "Most of the time I feel very lucky that something I enjoy doing so passionately is also my work," the author/illustrator added. "Coming up with a new picture book idea, and then creating it, is an irresistible challenge."

Biographical and Critical Sources

PERIODICALS

Booklist, February 1, 2005, Connie Fletcher, review of Mermaids Most Amazing, p. 956.

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, February, 2005, Timnah Card, review of Mermaids Most Amazing, p. 26.

Kirkus Reviews, December 15, 2004, review of Mermaids Most Amazing, p. 1206; August 1, 2007, review of Twilight Hunt.

Magpies, May, 2001, review of Mermaids Most Amazing, p. 9; March, 2003, review of The Very Blue Thingamajig, p. 27; July, 2003, review of What a Goat!, p. 30; September, 2005, Maurice Saxby, review of Dancing the Boom-Cha-Cha Boogie, p. 6.

School Library Journal, February, 2005, Angela J. Reynolds, review of Mermaids Most Amazing, p. 126; December, 2007, Nancy Call, review of Twilight Hunt: A Seek-and-Find Adventure, p. 98.

ONLINE

AussieReviews.com,http://www.aussiereviews.com/ (February 6, 2004), Sally Murphy, review of The Very Blue Thingamajig.

Scholastic Australia Web site,http://www.scholastic.com/au/ (January 23, 2009), "Narelle Oliver."

OTHER

Bellingham, Daryll, editor and producer, Undercover Stories: Writing, Illustrating, Publishing, Printing: Book Creators Reveal Their Secrets (videorecording), Book Links, 2007.

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"Oliver, Narelle 1960-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Oliver, Narelle 1960-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/oliver-narelle-1960-0

"Oliver, Narelle 1960-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved October 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/oliver-narelle-1960-0

Oliver, Narelle 1960-

OLIVER, Narelle 1960-

Personal

Born 1960, in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia; mother an art teacher; married; husband's name Greg (an environmental scientist); children: Jessie, Liam. Education: B.Ed. (printmaking and design). Hobbies and other interests: Nature, conservation.

Addresses

Home 19 Wilkins St., Annerley, Brisbane 4103, Queensland, Australia. E-mail neoliver@pacific.net.au.

Career

Author and illustrator. Queensland School for the Deaf, Queensland, Australia, former teacher; University of Southern Queensland, former tutor for faculty of education; University of Melbourne, May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust artist-in-residence, 2000. Exhibitions: Oliver's artwork has been exhibited in Australia at the Freemantle Children's Literature Center, Dromkeen Children's Literature Center, and the State Library of Queensland.

Awards, Honors

Picture Book of the Year Award, shortlist, 1994, for The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay, winner, 1996, for The Hunt; Eve Pownall Award shortlist, Environmental Prize, and Wilderness Society Award for Children's Literature, all 2000, all for Sand Swimmers: The Secret Life of Australia's Dead Heart; Picture Book of the Year Award honor book, and Eve Pownall Award honor book, both 2002, both for Baby Bilby, Where Do You Sleep?; CBC Notable Book designation, 2002, for Mermaids Most Amazing; BIBLY Award for Early Reader, 2003, and Young Australian Best Book Award shortlist for Picture Storybook, 2004, both for The Very Blue Thingamajig.

Writings

Leaf Tail, 1989.

High above the Sea, 1991.

The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay, Lothian (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1993, Fulcrum Publishers (Golden, CO), 1995.

The Hunt, Lothian (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1995.

Sand Swimmers: The Secret Life of Australia's Dead Heart, Lothian (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1999.

(With Gary Crew) The Well, Franklin Watts (London, England), 1999.

Baby Bilby, Where Do You Sleep?, Lothian (Port Melborne, Victoria, Australia), 2001.

Mermaids Most Amazing, Ommibus Scholastic (Gosford, New South Wales, Australia), 2001, G. P. Putnam's Sons (New York, NY), 2005.

The Very Blue Thingamajig, Omnibus Scholastic (Gosford, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

What a Goat!, illustrated by David Cox, Omnibus Scholastic (Gosford, New South Wales, Australia), 2003.

Oliver's work has been published in Korean.

Sidelights

Award-winning Australian-based author and illustrator Narelle Oliver feels extremely lucky to have a career that she enjoys so passionately. The creator of the picture books The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay and Sand Swimmers, as well as a compilation of mermaid lore titled Mermaids Most Amazing, Oliver first became interested in children's books while she was working as a teacher at the Queensland School for the Deaf. Utilizing picture books in the classroom, and often creating them with her students, Oliver thoroughly enjoyed the process so much that she decided to write and illustrate her own.

Birds figure prominently in Oliver's books, such as The Best Beak in Boonaroo Bay, which finds a group of locals competing in a best-beak contest. In her humorous 2003 lift-the-flap book The Very Blue Thingamajig, a mysterious blue creature hatches from an egg covered with spots. While other thingamajigs are interested at first, they soon wander off; then the newly hatched creature begins an amazing transformation. At the end of the week the thingamajig rushes to show the other thingamajigs his new appearance, with surprising results. Reviewing The Very Blue Thingamajig in Aussiereviews. com, Sally Murphy called the picture book a "fun" read highlighted by Oliver's illustrations featuring "rich pastel colours." While entertaining, Murphy added, the picture book also provides young children with opportunities to count, learn the days of the week and gain "a gentle lesson on differences."

As Oliver noted in her profile posted on the Scholastic Australia Web site, her interest in the environment inspired her to begin a writing career. In the early 1980s, she traveled with her environmental scientist husband. "We explored many national parks on the east coast of Australia and I became convinced that there was a need for picture book stories about the many fascinating and less well-known Australian animals in their own unique habitats. I was especially interested in showing how these animals adapt to their surroundings, and using this idea as the basis of various story plots." "Most of the time I feel very lucky that something I enjoy doing so passionately is also my work," the author/illustrator added. "Coming up with a new picture book idea, and then creating it, is an irresistible challenge."

Biographical and Critical Sources

online

AussieReviews.com, http://www.aussiereviews.com/ (February 6, 2004), Sally Murphy, review of The Very Blue Thingamajig.

Scholastic Australia Web site, http://www.scholastic.com/au/ (May 12, 2004), "Narelle Oliver."

Cite this article
Pick a style below, and copy the text for your bibliography.

  • MLA
  • Chicago
  • APA

"Oliver, Narelle 1960-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. 19 Oct. 2017 <http://www.encyclopedia.com>.

"Oliver, Narelle 1960-." Something About the Author. . Encyclopedia.com. (October 19, 2017). http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/oliver-narelle-1960

"Oliver, Narelle 1960-." Something About the Author. . Retrieved October 19, 2017 from Encyclopedia.com: http://www.encyclopedia.com/children/scholarly-magazines/oliver-narelle-1960