Welcome to Creative Kids Tales, Margaret Hamilton!
Margaret Hamilton AM is one of the most respected and passionate women in the creative world of Australian children’s books. Amongst her many awards for her significant contributions, are the Dromkeen Medal, the Nan Chauncy Award, the Lady Cutler Award, and the Order of Australia.
Margaret was born in Surry Hills, Sydney into a family that weren't into books. She grew up reading second-hand comics from her cousins, and at the age of ten moved to Parramatta with her family. Here, Margaret studied Librarianship and took her first job at Parramatta City Library, eventually becoming a Children’s Librarian in charge of nine libraries. During her study she met the legendary Maurice Saxby. He introduced her to a lifelong passion for children’s books and when she left the library, she spent some time learning the commercial side of books working in a bookstore. She met her husband Max, also a librarian at Parramatta City Library, and they married in 1967. Their daughter Melissa was born in 1981.
Margaret worked at Hodder & Stoughton Australia as the only female Director in charge of publishing, where she was responsible for Hodders entire list. She loved ‘discovering’ new talents and seeing them develop into an award-winning book.
Now with a young child, Margaret decided to leave her position as director to work from home. She began Margaret Hamilton Books with her husband Max and the company quickly built up a reputation for high quality children’s books. Knowing how much competition was out there, Margaret worked hard continuing to attend the Bologna children’s book fair and promoting their books everywhere. They won many awards and had considerable success on the world market through the dedicated philosophy ‘that children have a right to the best of everything, especially books.’
In 1996, after ten years in publishing they became a division of Scholastic Australia with a five-year employment contract.
In 2000, Margaret and Max bought a property at Blackheath. It was here that Pinerolo Cottage was born.
Pinerolo, the Children’s Book Cottage has the largest collection of original artwork from picture books in NSW. Here Margaret runs one day courses in creating picture books, alongside an award-winning author or illustrator. She also offers an inspirational Illustrator in Residence program providing mentorships for talented illustrators.
On Australia Day 2008, she was honoured to receive an Order of Australia for services to authors and illustrators, and to publishing in Australia, as well as her work for the Children’s Book Council of Australia.
After over 30 years of publishing other people’s books, Margaret published her first picture book B is for Bedtime, with illustrator Anna Pignataro.
B is for Bedtime is a CBCA 2015 Notable Book. It’s companion book Counting Through the Day was published in 2016. (Little Hare Books).
To find out more about Margaret and Pinerolo cottage go to: www.pinerolo.com.au
Introduction by Fiona Lloyd
View some of Margaret Hamilton's books: