Peter Carnavas writes and illustrates books for children and the grown-ups in their lives.
He has written and illustrated many picture books, including Jessica’s Box, Last Tree in the City and The Children Who Loved Books. His novel, The Elephant, won the 2018 Queensland Literary Award for Best Children’s Book and was shortlisted in three other national awards, including the CBCA Awards.
Peter has worked with author Pat Flynn on My Totally Awesome Story, and illustrated Damon Young’s series of picture books that celebrate family diversity, including the ABIA winning My Sister is a Superhero.
He has three book being released in 2019, including A Quiet Girl, a picture book that celebrates the small wonderful things that lay hidden in the world.
Peter lives in the Sunshine Coast hinterland with his wife, two daughters, a dog called Florence and a cat named Harry. He’s still getting used to the cat.
Thank you for hosting me at your school. The following is a list of details which will be helpful for you leading up to my visit.
I deliver 4 x 45min presentations or 3 x 1hr presentations in a school day. The session times can be decided by the school, according to what fits with the regular timetable. I aim to arrive 45 minutes before the first presentation.
My presentations are designed for all primary levels and the students may be grouped as conveniently as possible for the school and the school timetable. It makes sense to have children of similar age in the same sessions (eg. P-1, 2-3, 4-6) however I understand if this cannot be arranged. I tailor each session to suit the children’s age but I have also presented to many mixed age groups as well.
A standard session size is somewhere between 50 and 100 students but this can be negotiated to suit the school. Just let me know if you’d like to fit more in.
Any space that comfortably fits the children is fine. Some of the new school halls are wonderful but the really big ones feel a little more suited to a basketball match than an author visit. Having said that, whatever works for the school will be fine with me.
Requirements – students
Every student should arrive with:
- lead pencil
- paper (A4 sheet or sketchpad)
- something to lean the paper on (eg. book, folder, clipboard)
Requirements – Pete
- old-fashioned whiteboard (I use this a lot)
- table/desk to put things on out the front
- data projector (I bring my presentations on USB or laptop as backup)
Do teachers need to stay?
Yes. Students always get more out of the sessions when teachers stay and, even better, participate in the sessions. This enables teacher-students conversations and activities to follow later on. Also, some of the content is subtly aimed at teachers, too.
Aim of presentation
My aim is to get children excited about books – reading them, writing them, illustrating them and talking about them. I also hope they learn a bunch of concepts and techniques associated with putting a story together.
(Most sessions follow a similar structure but are adapted to age groups)
- Telling Stories with Pictures - A fun and interactive introduction to the ways in which pictures tell stories, told through live cartooning.
- Story Ideas – Quick and simple ways to think of your own story ideas, focusing on characters and problems.
- Draw a picture – Step-by-step demonstration of how to draw a picture, then turn it into an illustration. Everyone can do it – it’s just circles, lines and dots!
- Let’s read! – A reading of one of Peter’s books.
- Making a book – the steps taken to make a book, including ideas, roughs and storyboards.
- Questions – What car do you drive and how much money do you make?
Peter is a highly-accomplished presenter who offered perfectly planned workshops for our students from Prep-Year 6. Teachers across the school commented on his ability to engage students during the session, as well as motivating them to continue on with their work afterwards.
Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School - September 2018Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School - September 2018Peter Carnavas
Peter connected with the children in every session so well, and they were all very keen to hang around and talk to him and read his books.
Goondiwindi Regional Council - April 2018Goondiwindi Regional Council - April 2018Peter Carnavas
Peter visited our College to speak to Preps, Year 1 and Year 2 classes about story writing ideas, illustrating and books. Many of Peter's picture books are favourites of our students and Peter discussed how he created characters, and then generated story ideas. The children loved the drawing workshop Peter did with them and were spellbound watching him paint student illustrations.
Peter's presentation was aimed at encouraging the students to write and our students came away very enthused and armed with great tools for writing. Peter holds the attention of the children all the way through his presentation. I would thoroughly recommend a visit from Peter to any school.
Matthew Flinders Anglican College - May 2018Matthew Flinders Anglican College - May 2018Peter Carnavas
We have organised for Peter to visit our school for the last 3 years, every year our students and teachers take away so much from Peter's sessions. He is an embedded part of our Prep curriculum!
Meridan State College - May 2018Meridan State College - May 2018Peter Carnavas
Peter was highly professional and engaging towards the students and staff. He knew his audience and was able to impart not only the skills of writing but also his passion for reading and writing. My teachers have continued to use the ideas and activities that Peter shared with their classes successfully. Would definitely use him again and recommend him to others.
Rainworth State School - August, 2017Rainworth State School - August, 2017Peter Carnavas