Australian writer, Mem Fox was born on March 5th, 1946 in Melbourne. At the age of six months, she and her parents who were missionaries moved to Zimbabwe and she attended the mission school there. At the age of eighteen, she left Zimbabwe and attended a drama school in London. She eventually returned to Australia where she was a college professor. She held the position as Associate Professor, Literacy Studies, in the School of Education at Flinders University, South Australia. Fox is considered Australia's most popular children's author. Her title Possum Magic, a title dedicated to her daughter, is the best-selling picture book in Australia. It was also named a Highly Commended Book by the Children's Book Council of Australia and Best Children's Book in the 1984 New South Wales Premier's Literary Awards. Night Noises was a Notable Children's Book in Language Arts, and a 1990 Horn Book Fanfare selection. It was also named by Redbook magazine as one of the ten best picture books of 1989. Other titles written by Fox include Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge, Time for Bed, Koala Lou, Wombat Divine, Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, Hello Baby!, A Giraffe in the Bath (co-written with Olivia Rawson), Count Goats!, and The Little Dragon. Fox has written over twenty picture books for children and several others for adults. Other awards received by Fox include the 1990 Dromkeen Medal for distinguished services to children's literature, a 1991 Advance Australia Award for her outstanding contribution to Australian literature and a medal in the 1993 Australia Day Honours awards for services to the cultural life of Australia. Although writing is her profession now, teaching is her first love. In addition to writing, she is an international literacy consultant who is in great demand to speak at literacy conferences nationally and internationally.
Julie Vivas was born in 1947 and raised in Australia. After college, Vivas spent some time living in Spain and later exhibited the drawings she had made there in Sydney. She got a job working on illustrations for Hush the Invisible Mouse, later to become Possum Magic, as well as illustrating The Tram to Bondi Beach, which was Highly Commended in the Childrenï¿½s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award in 1981. Possum Magic, published by Omnibus Books, was a runaway all-time best-seller, published around the world. It was also the NSW Premierï¿½s Award-winner and Winner of the 1986 IBBY Diploma for Illustration. The Very Best of Friends won the CBC Picture Book of the Year in 1990 and Let the Celebrations Begin! was short-listed for the same award in 1992. Also to her credit, Vivas was honoured with the prestigious Dromkeen Medal in 1992 for her contribution to the appreciation of childrenï¿½s literature. Vivas has also illustrated Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge; and I Went Walking; Our Granny and wrote and illustrated The Nativity. Letï¿½s Eat! marked a return to Julieï¿½s Spanish experiences. It was short-listed for the 1997 Childrenï¿½s Book Council of Australia Picture Book of the Year Award.