Peter Carnavas

Peter Carnavas


Speaker type

  • Author
  • Illustrator / Designer
  • Cartoonist
  • Virtual visits
available for virtual visits

Peter Carnavas graphic

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.

Session times

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.

Group sizes

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.

Peter Carnavas book covers

Presentation Outline

(Most sessions follow a similar structure but are adapted to age groups)

  1. Telling Stories with Pictures - A fun and interactive introduction to the ways in which pictures tell stories, told through live cartooning.
  2. Story Ideas – Quick and simple ways to think of your own story ideas, focusing on characters and problems.
  3. 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!
  4. Let’s read! – A reading of one of Peter’s books.
  5. Making a book – the steps taken to make a book, including ideas, roughs and storyboards.
  6. Questions – What car do you drive and how much money do you make?


  • Peter was a big hit with all classes P-6. He enthralled the students with his stories, drawings and information on how to write and illustrate books.
    Teachers and students all spoke positively about the session they had with Peter and I recommend him to any school looking for an author/illustrator to speak to their students.

    St Ambrose's School - August 2019

    St Ambrose's School - August 2019
    Peter Carnavas
  • Peter delivered informative and enjoyable presentations that catered for all of his three groups. He developed different presentations for our 3 different age groupings which helped to add to his effectiveness. The children where engaged and productive. Furthermore he inspired the teachers to continue on with his ideas and activities.

    Maleny State School - June 2019

    Maleny State School - June 2019
    Peter Carnavas
  • Peter was fantastic. The students were engaged and really enjoyed his presentation.

    Nambour Christian College - June 2019

    Nambour Christian College - June 2019
    Peter Carnavas
  • This was the first time we'd conducted a virtual visit, but it was a resounding success. Students fully engaged during the whole session. Peter was fantastic (as usual) - the experience was not at all diminished by the fact that he wasn't presenting in person at our school.

    St Peters Lutheran College - May 2019

    St Peters Lutheran College - May 2019
    Peter Carnavas
  • 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 2018

    Our Lady of the Rosary Primary School - September 2018
    Peter Carnavas
Peter Carnavas