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Exploring Book Week with Helen Milroy

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Continuing the magic of our CBCA Book Week interview series we spoke to talented creator Helen Milroy, and discovered the power story telling has to help us explore our world and to relate to the creatures and minds that are within it.

What does this year’s CBCA Book Week theme Curious Creatures, Wild Minds mean to you?

I think the theme Curious Creatures and Wild Minds is fabulous as it encourages readers to explore the world around them and let their imaginations soar. Exploring the world through books is a wonderful and safe way to learn, be challenged, solve problems and be inventive. Just what childhood needs.

Name your favourite curious creature – either one you’ve created or read about. What do you love about them?

Most of my stories revolve around the inter-relationships with the natural world and how we relate to the birds, animals and creatures that live in our homelands. I think there are many wonderful things we learn from animals and how they remind us of our own family and people we know. Currently in Wombat, Mudlark and Other Stories, there is a story about a little mudlark who is best friends with the sun. When the sun becomes troubled, the mudlark tries to find out what is wrong and help the sun to feel better. Through the use of animal characters in an animate world we can explore social relationships and the challenges we face and use imagination and endless possibility to create solutions.

How will you be celebrating CBCA Book Week this October?

Hopefully reading stories and creating new ones!

We asked Helen a little more about herself!

Describe yourself in a sentence.

I am a proud Palyku woman who grew up on stories and continues to learn from them.

What do you love most about writing for children?

I love writing stories for children because I would like to encourage their creativity and imagination,install hope and joy, and see them flourish in life.

2020 has been a year of much change and uncertainty – can you tell us a bit about what the year has held for you in terms of your creativity and work?

2020 has been such an extraordinary year and despite the many challenges there have been opportunities for doing things differently. I have really enjoyed my extra time at time and have become much more aware of how to create a sanctuary to allow time for thought and reflection. I am focused on how my little place in the world can also be a home for the many curious creatures that live alongside us.

Make sure you add Helen’s fun and lively work Backyard Birds to your book week reading list – a boldly illustrated work that celebrates birds – from laughing kookaburra’s to prancing mudlark’s, there’s lots to uncover among the pages.