Since 1980, children’s author and illustrator Pamela Allen has published more than 30 books. This was the year Ms. Allen moved from New Zealand and made Australia her home. Her books have received wide acclaim both within Australia and around the globe. Eight of them were adapted by The Patch Theatre Company for the stage and have been performed at the world-famous Sydney Opera House. This is just one of many Pamela Allen activities that made this author famous.
Ms. Allen has won numerous awards for her books and is the only author to receive the CBCA Children’s Picture Book of the Year award during two consecutive years. Who Sank the Boat?, a picture book she created, won the Much-Loved Book category in the Gaelyn Gordon Awards. Two times, this author has won The New South Wales Premier Award for the Best Children’s Book. Her illustrations earned her an Honour Diploma from the International Board on Books for Young People.
The year 2004 marked a milestone for Ms. Allen. This was when she won the Margaret Mahy Medal, which is the most prestigious children’s literature award in New Zealand. Her books are published worldwide and translated into Japanese, Swedish, and French. People, animal, food, numbers, and letters have all become subjects of her memorable works. On a regular basis, her books are listed as Storylines Notable Books.
Mr Archimedes Bath was the book that started it all in 1980. Included in her award-nominated and winning works are Bertie and the Bear , Mr Mcgee Goes to Sea, Belinda, The Potato People, and her illustrations in A Lion in the Night. She competed against herself for the 2004 New Zealand Post Book Awards for Children & Young Adults, winning with Cuthbert’s Babies.
Despite so many accolades, Ms. Allen has not rested on her laurels. In 2009, she wrote both Our Daft Dog Danny and The Toymaker and the Bird, both of which made the Storylines Notable Books list in 2010. Her books are known for their use of “the music of language.” They are to be read aloud to children, creating a bonding experience between the adult and the child. These works are already considered classics and children pass them down to their younger siblings when they have outgrown the contents.
There is something about a picture book that thrills a child. Whether it is the use of color, the creative designs, or the stories the images tell depends on the child. Small children get excited just to see the books and their imaginations run wild as the pages are turned. Ms. Allen has discovered the way to capture the attention of these busy minds and teach children what is important in life.
Keeping up with Pamela Allen is no easy task because this children’s author keeps herself very busy. She continues to write and illustrate books that are nominated and win prestigious awards throughout the world. There is no sign that she plans to slow down so children will enjoy new works from her for years to come.