Welcome to Creative Kids Tales Paul Jennings.
This month’s featured author has sold a staggering 8.9 million copies and his books have been translated into 18 different languages. With over 100 titles to his name it is no wonder why Paul Jennings has long been a household name in Australian children’s literature. He has been voted ‘favourite author’ over forty times in Australia and has won every children’s choice award we have.
Paul was born in England in 1943 during the war. Until the age of six he lived in Heston, London with his parents and sister, Ruth. In 1949 Paul and his family set sail for Australia. However, it wasn’t as exotic as it sounds in fact, in 1949 the only way to travel down under was by boat and it took around 5 weeks from England to our shores.
Paul and his family settled in Melbourne where he commenced his schooling at Bentleigh West Primary School. In fact, Paul’s favourite teacher, Mr Wheeler would later find his way into Paul’s books.
After Paul left school, perhaps inspired by Mr Wheeler, he decided to become a teacher and studied at Frankston Teachers College. After graduating, he taught at several different schools around Victoria before returning to the Lincoln Institute to study speech pathology. Paul then became a Lecturer in Special Education at Burwood State College. In 1979 Paul moved on to teach at the Warrnambool Institute of Adult Education, working as a Senior Lecturer in Language and Literature. At this stage of his career Paul was lecturing part time, devoting his other time to writing. In 1985 his first book Unreal! was published and in 1989 Paul decided to leave teaching and became a full-time writer.
Since then he has released book after book and won award after award. His book Unseen! was awarded the 1999 Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Children’s Book. In 1995 Paul received a top honour and was made a Member of the Order of Australia for services to children’s literature. In 2001 he was humbled to receive the prestigious Dromkeen Medal.
Some of Paul’s short stories have been adapted for TV and in 1989, Round the Twist aired on the Australian Seven network before relocating to the ABC in 1993-2001. With some of Australia’s acting elite playing out Paul’s carefully crafted characters, the show was a hit. In 2001 and 2002 the show won Logies for ‘Outstanding Children’s Program’. Round the Twist also received a nomination for an award at the Australian Film Institute. ABC3 is currently airing re-runs.
It aired on the UK’s BBC in the early 1990’s. The show has also had success in Ireland, US, Germany and the Netherlands. In Canada in 2000 it won the Banff Television Festival award for ‘Best Children’s Program’.
In 1998, Driven Crazy based on his book Undone and Uncovered, aired for one season.
His books, Unbearable, Spooner or Later, Rascal’s Big Day, Unbelievable and The Nest along with countless others, have helped educate young Australian minds for years. Paul’s new series, Don’t Look Now with Andrew Weldon sees a return of his classic wit and his awarding winning style of ending with a twist. Just in case one is not enough there are four in this new series. Check out our review of this new series on our Pitch ya book! page.
Paul is father to six children and grandfather to nine. He often reminisces about his mother’s bread and butter pudding and early reading days with his Rupert the Bear books. He’s never strayed too far from his adopted home, Victoria and resides in Warrnambool in his home by the sea.
Enjoy Creative Kids Tales featured author of the month, Paul Jennings.
You can read more about Paul Jennings here: www.pauljennings.com.au