The first Wednesday of February marks World Read Aloud Day, and by a happy coincidence the Forbes Library was able to participate by sharing a special Storytime with a visiting children’s author named Lian Tanner. Lian gave a wonderfully entertaining reading of her recently published book titled, Ella and the Ocean, which she enlivened with cheery songs and finger puppets to an eager audience, amongst whom was a very well-behaved group of children from the Forbes Learning Ladder.
Ella and the Ocean, written by Lian Tanner, illustrated by Jonathan Bentley and Published by Allen & Unwin, is a simple and moving story about renewal and rejuvenation, about drought and life on the land, about travel and new horizons, and about family, and the relationship between Ella and her grandmother. Lian Tanner’s writing is beautiful and spare and poetic, but at the same time is warm, easy, and relatable for kids.
Ella and the Ocean was named Winner of the 2020 Patricia Wrightson Prize, NSW Premier’s Award For Children’s Literature.
Lian Tanner has been dynamited while scuba diving and arrested while busking. She once spent a week in the jungles of Papua New Guinea, hunting for a Japanese soldier left over from the Second World War. She likes secrets, old bones, and animals that are not what they seem. Nowadays she lives by the beach in southern Tasmania with a large fluffy tomcat called Harry-le-beau. She is the author of the internationally bestselling The Keepers series, The Rogues and The Hidden. This is her first picture book.