Welcome to Creative Kids Tales, Tohby Riddle.
Tohby Riddle wears many hats (like his well-known fable, one might even be a singing hat). He is an award-winning author, illustrator, designer, cartoonist and editor.
With a degree in art and architecture, and an organic approach to his vocation as an author/illustrator, Tohby is able to create exceptionally designed books that not only are thoughtfully and innovatively crafted but astutely written. A genuine appreciation of words and language has supported Tohby in generating literature of quality for his ever-growing audience.
Tohby was the former editor of the renowned School Magazine (a literary magazine for children published by the NSW Department of Education). As Tohby has previously described, at the heart of The School Magazine is an affectionate respect for the reader, it is evident that Tohby himself embraces this value in all his bookish endeavours.
Using writing as an outlet to express his ideas and feelings, Tohby is able to build incredible worlds within his stories and characters that are not only relatable but also admirable. His stories are original and playful, combing the complexity of reality with a touch of make-believe. His illustrations are a marvel with exquisite detail and a mix of mediums, reserved in simplicity.
Since 1989, Tohby has produced a number of outstanding picture books that have been published within Australia and internationally, including in the United Kingdom and the United States. Some of his books include Careful With That Ball, Eugene!, A Most Unusual Dog, Arnold Z Jones Could Really Play the Trumpet, The Royal Guest and The Tip at the End of the Street. His 1997 book The Great Escape from City Zoo, was shortlisted for the 1998 Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Picture Book of the Year Awards and the NSW Premier’s Literary Awards. Similarly, The Singing Hat was recognised as an Honour book in the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Awards for 2001 and Irving the Magician was shortlisted for the CBCA Picture Book of the Year Awards in 2006. Tohby has also received countless other awards including the Patricia Wrightson Prize in the 2009 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards, for his illustrations in The Word Spy, written by Ursula Dubosarsky. In 2011, he received the CBCA Book of the Year Award for his amusing book, My Uncle's Donkey. Recently, Tohby’s book The Greatest Gatsby: A Visual Book of Grammar was shortlisted for the 2016 Prime Minister's Literary Award for Children's Fiction, and Milo, A Moving Story was a Notable book in the 2017 CBCA Picture Book of the Year Awards.
In addition to his staggering line-up of books, Tohby shares his cartooning skills with a number of publications, including regular features in the Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend Magazine. Tohby’s highly celebrated cartoons have also given rise to two collections of his work entitled The Big Idea and Pink Freud.
A fondness for Dr Seuss, Krishnamurti, Julian Cope and Geoffrey Bardon, Tohby draws on these highly respected authors in his own work, with clarity, humour, curiosity, sentiment, musicality and an informed sense of reality. With his many hats and earnest approach, Tohby is a true force in the industry.
Introduction by Jacqueline de Rose-Ahern
Some of Tohby Riddle's books: