Niland, Deborah 1951–

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Niland, Deborah 1951–

Personal

Born 1951, in Auckland, New Zealand; daughter of D'Arcy Niland (a writer) and Ruth Park (a writer); children: three children. Education: Attended Julian Ashton Art School.

Addresses

Home—Sydney, New South Wales, Australia. Agent—c/o Author Mail, Penguin Group/Pearson Australia, 250 Camberwell Rd., Camberwell, Victoria 3124, Australia. E-mail[email protected]

Career

Writer and illustrator of books for children.

Awards, Honors

ABPA Book Design Award, 1973, Commonwealth Visual Arts Board (CVAB) Award, and Australian Book of the Year designation, Australian Children's Book Council (ACBC), both 1974, and International Board of Books for Young People Certificate of Honour, 1977, all for Mulga Bill's Bicycle; CVAB Award commendation, 1995, for Stuff and Nonsense; ACBC Picture Book of the Year Highly Commended designation, for ABC of Monsters, and Commended designation, for Tell Me Another Tale, both 1977; ACBC Picture Book of the Year Commended designation, 1978, and International Book Design award (Leipzig), honorable mention, both 1978, both for The Sugar Plum Christmas Book; ABPA Book Design Award, 1979, for Spooks and Spirits, 1980, for Velvet Paws and Whiskers, and 1981, for There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake!; New South Wales Premier's Literary Award, 1981, YABBA Award, 1986, and BILBY Award, 1996, all for When the Wind Changed; International Book Design (Leipzig) Bronze Medal, 1982, for There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake!; Best Book for Language Development for Young Children, Speech Pathology Australia, 2006, for Annie's Chair.

Writings

SELF-ILLUSTRATED

(With sister, Kilmeny Niland) Birds on a Bough: A Counting Book, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1975.

ABC of Monsters, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1976, McGraw (New York, NY), 1978.

(Compiler) The Jack Dandy Song Book music composed by Patrick Niland, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1982.

Old MacDonald Had an Emu, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1986.

Annie's Chair, Penguin (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2005.

When I Was a Baby, Penguin (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2006.

Let's Play, Penguin (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2007.

ILLUSTRATOR

Animal Tales, Angus & Robertson (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1974.

Michael Dugan, compiler, Stuff and Nonsense, Collins (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1974.

Barbara Ireson, Tumbling Jack, and Other Rhymes, Transworld (London, England), 1976.

Jean Chapman, The Sugar-Plum Christmas Book: A Book for Christmas and All the Days of the Year, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1977.

Jean Chapman, compiler, The Sugar-Plum Song Book: Christmas Songs, music by Margaret Moore, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1977.

Eric C. Rolls, Miss Strawberry Verses, Kestrel (Harmond-sworth, England), 1978.

Margaret Hamilton, compiler, Spooks and Spirits: Eight Eerie Tales, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1978.

The Drover's Dream (poetry), Collins (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1979.

Jean Chapman, compiler, Velvet Paws and Whiskers, Hod-der & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1979.

Hazel Edwards, There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake!, Holiday (New York, NY), 1980, reprinted, Penguin Group (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2006.

Trevor Todd, Fairy Strike!, Methuen (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1980.

Ruth Park, When the Wind Changed, Collins (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1980, Coward, McCann & Geoghegan (New York, NY), 1981.

Trevor Todd, Kneedeep, Methuen (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1981.

Jean Chapman, Haunts and Taunts: A Book for Hallowe'en and All the Nights of the Year, music by Margaret Moore, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1983.

Jean Chapman, The Tall Book of Tall Tales, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1985.

Glenys Smith, compiler, All Australian Funny and Frightful Verse, Ashton Scholastic (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1987.

Hazel Edwards, My Hippopotamus Is on Our Caravan Roof Getting Sunburnt!, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1989, reprinted, Penguin (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2006.

Peita Letchford, The Very Sniffy Dog, Heinemann (Port Melbourne, Victoria, Australia), 1989.

Nan Hunt, Families Are Funny, Orchard Books (New York, NY), 1990.

Ruth Park, James, Viking O'Neil (Ringwood, Victoria, Australia), 1991.

Hazel Edwards, Hey Hippopotamus, Do Babies Eat Cake Too?, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1992.

Hazel Edwards, Look, There's a Hippopotamus in the Playground Eating Cake!, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1994.

Hazel Edwards, Guess What? There's a Hippopotamus on the Hospital Roof Eating Cake!, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1997.

Margaret Wild, Chatterbox, Penguin (Camberwell, Victoria, Australia), 2006.

Illustrations included in anthologies, including Mulga Bill and Friends: A Collection of Classic Australian Stories, 1991; Mulligrubs and Friends: A Collection of Favourite Children's Stories, 1992; and My Favourite Stories: A Collection of Australia's Best-Loved Children's Stories, Hodder Headline (Rydalmere, New South Wales, Australia), 2001.

ILLUSTRATOR, WITH SISTER, KILMENY NILAND

Elizabeth Fletcher, The Little Goat, Transworld (London, England), 1971.

Elizabeth Wilton, Riverview Kids, Angus & Robertson (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1972.

Elizabeth Fletcher, The Farm Alphabet, Transworld (London, England), 1973.

A.B. Paterson, Mulga Bill's Bicycle (poem), Collins (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1973, Parents' Magazine Press, 1975.

Elizabeth Fletcher, What Am I?, Transworld (London, England), 1974.

Ruth Park, The Gigantic Balloon, Collins (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1975, Parents' Magazine Press, 1976.

Jean Chapman, Tell Me a Tale: Songs, Stories, and Things to Do (also see below), Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1976.

Jean Chapman, Tell Me Another Tale: Stories, Verses, Songs, and Things to Do (also see below), Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1976.

Ruth Park, Roger Bandy, Rigby (Adelaide, South Australia, Australia), 1977.

Jean Chapman, Tell Us Tales: Stories, Songs, Verses, and Things to Do (includes selections from Tell Me a Tale and Tell Me Another Tale), Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1978.

Elizabeth Fletcher, The Zoo Alphabet, Transworld (London, England), 1980.

Sidelights

Award-winning illustrator Deborah Niland is well known in her native Australia. Although she has illustrated the text of several writers, including Jean Chapman and her own mother, writer Ruth Park, Niland is best known to young Aussies for her illustrations for Hazel Edwards' award-winning picture book There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake!, about a little girl with an oversized imaginary friend, a hippopotamus, who is allowed to do anything and gets away with it. Considered a childhood classic, the 1980 book was the winner of the Leipzig Bronze Medal for international picture-book design. Other books of a similar vein have resulted from the Niland-Edwards collaboration, among them My Hippopotamus Is on Our Caravan Roof Getting Sunburnt! and Hey Hippopotamus, Do Babies Eat Cake Too?

In addition to illustrating, Niland has also penned several original stories that she matches with her whimsical art. Her 2005 picture book Annie's Chair focuses on a toddler who has one spot at home that has always been just for her: a comfy chair. When she finds the family dog curled up in the chair one day, Annie's temper starts to flare, but the dog ignores her tantrum. However, when the tears begin to flow, the pup immediately jumps up and gives the red-faced toddler a loving nuzzle, and the chair ultimately has enough room for two. Noting Niland's message about sharing in Annie's Chair, School Library Journal contributor Rachel G. Payne praised the author/illustrator's "gouache and digital art" with its "round lines and multiple soft patterns." A reviewer for Western Australia's online CMIS Evaluation praised the story as "insightful and amusing," adding that Niland's "carefully chosen, outwardly simple text" has definite toddler appeal.

In addition to children's books, Niland's illustrations have appeared in magazines and newspapers and on greeting cards. She also enjoys painting on canvas and has contributed to mixed-art shows in addition to staging one-woman exhibitions of her work.

Biographical and Critical Sources

BOOKS

Authors and Illustrators of Australian Children's Books, Hodder & Stoughton (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia), 1989.

Scobie, Susan, editor, Dromkeen Book of Australian Children's Illustrators, Scholastic (Gosford, New South Wales, Australia), 1997.

PERIODICALS

Publishers Weekly, January 30, 1981, Jean F. Mercier, review of When the Wind Changed, p. 76.

School Library Journal, March, 1983, Margaret L. Chatham, review of Velvet Paws and Whiskers, p. 172; September, 1986, Judith Gloyer, review of There's a Hippopotamus on Our Roof Eating Cake!, p. 120; March, 1992, Joan McGrath, review of Families Are Funny, p. 231; June, 2006, Rachel G. Payne, review of Annie's Chair, p. 124.

ONLINE

Deborah Niland Home Page, http://www.deborah-niland.com (July 5, 2006).

Western Australia CMIS Evaluation Web site, http://amlib.eddept.wa.edu.au/ (July 11, 2006), review of Annie's Chair.

About this article

Niland, Deborah 1951–

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