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Gus Gordon is an author and illustrator.

He grew up on a farm in northern NSW Australia and, after leaving school, worked on cattle stations all the country before deciding to pursue a drawing career.

Gus studied at the Julian Ashton School of Art in Sydney. After a brief stint as a cartoonist, Gus was asked to illustrate his first children’s book in 1996. He knew at once that this was where he where he wanted to be, believing he shared a child’s natural curiosity and love of stories. Gus began his career illustrating books for others before a yearning to tell his own stories compelled him to try his hand at writing. He has since illustrated and/or written nearly 80 books for children.

Gus' illustrations are known for their loose/naive, energetic line work, mixed media (most notably collage) and nonsensical humour. He enjoys the versatility collage offers and is particularly attracted to found things like old paper, postcards, maps, advertisements and vintage engravings. He feels that it is important for children to recognise the collage elements in the narrative and understand that this is something that is not beyond them when telling their own stories. In fact, it is this disparity between the perceived cleverness of the professional author or illustrator and the story telling skills of a child that Gus is mindfully aiming to narrow in order for the child to feel more engaged with the story. He is especially inspired by children’s drawings and their ability to tell story in an honest, uncomplicated fashion and feels adults can often be overly clever with words and pictures while the most critical element, story, takes a back seat.

His writing is always anthropomorphic. Animals take the place of humans in his narratives. This most likely stems from an early and long-lasting love of Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in The Willows and an ongoing fondness for Richard Scarry's frenzied 'Busy Town' stories. He considers animals to be the perfect voices for his characters. They are immediately engaging to children and also allow Gus the ability to ‘sweeten’ sensitive topics, thereby giving children the respect they deserve and not avoiding unsavory or difficult content altogether.

Gus’ stories are typically very character orientated, relying heavily on the character’s personality and their reaction to an environment or situation to direct the story. He never deliberately sets out to write for a particular age group (he wouldn't know how to do that anyway!) Rather, he writes for anyone who enjoys books - small and big people. He feels we, as parents and educators, abandon picture books far too early in a hasty effort to move children on to chapter books, thereby missing valuable opportunities to study shortened story form and visual literacy, specifically the often complex relationship between the text and the illustrations.

Picture books have always been a passion for Gus. He is drawn to picture books that are multi-layered and have soul; an emotional depth. He is also attracted to books that are funny, in an offbeat way. He believes humorous picture books can be deceptively clever and, most often, never get the credit they deserve.

His picture book, Wendy (Penguin) about a motorcycle riding stunt chicken, was selected as a Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Notable Book in the 2010 Book of the Year Awards. His most recent picture book Herman and Rosie (Penguin), a musical love story set in New York, was sold at auction in New York to US publisher Neal Porter Books (Macmillan) and has since been sold into twelve countries. It has been adapted for the stage by several theatre companies, was chosen as the ‘Read for Australia’ book and won the 2013 CBCA 'Honour Award' for best picture book. It has also been shortlisted for the German Youth Literature Award, the Sakura Medal in Japan, the Kirico book awards in Spain, the Les Incorruptibles prize in France and the Premio Anderson Children's Book awards in Italy.

In 2016 Gus was nominated for the prestigious 2017 Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award (ALMA). It is the world's largest award for children's and young adult literature.  

Gus' influences are varied and diverse. They include the illustrators Arthur Rackham, Jean-Jacques Sempe, William Steig, Serge Bloch, Sara Fanelli, Eric Carle, Leigh Hobbs, Laura Carlin and Quentin Blake. Also the cartoonists George Booth and Bill Watterson.

Gus is published by Penguin Books in Australia and Neal Porter Books (Macmillan) in the US. He is represented by Charlie Olsen (charlie@inkwellmanagement.com) of Inkwell Management in New York.

He is also proud to be an ambassador for the Room to Read foundation.

Gus lives with his wife and three kids on the Northern beaches of Sydney.

2005 Illustrated book To the Moon and Back, written by Jackie French and Bryan Sullivan, was awarded the CBCA Eve Pownall Award for Information Books. 

2007 Illustrated book Born to Bake, written by Phillip Gwynne, was shortlisted for the Children's Peace Literature Award (PEACE).  

2008 Illustrated book The Undys: Let's Get Physical, written by Michael Wagner, was shortlisted for the W.A. Young Readers Book Award (WAYRA) - Young Reader. 

2009 A Day With Noodles, was shortlisted for the Speech Pathology Australia Book of the Year Awards - Young Children. 

2010 Wendy, was selected as a Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Notable Book in the 2010 Book of the Year Awards - Picture Book category.

2010 Wendy, was Highly Commended at the Prime Minister's Literary Award (Children's Fiction)

2011 Illustrated book Haggis McGregor and the Night of the Skull Moon, written by Jen Storer was shortlisted as a finalist for the 2010 Aurealis Award, an Australian award for excellence in speculative fiction - Children's Fiction category.

2013 Herman and Rosie was awarded The Honour Book award in the Children's Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Book of the Year Awards - Picture Book category.

2013 Herman and Rosie was selected as the National Literacy and Numeracy Week's (NLNW) 'Read For Australia' book, where a book is simultaneously read on a chosen day in schools and libraries across the country.

2013 Herman and Rosie was selected for the New York Society of Illustrators 2013 Original Art Show for the year's best illustrated children’s books.

2013 Herman and Rosie was shortlisted in the 2014 Adelaide Festival Awards for Literature - Children’s literature category

2013 Herman and Rosie was adapted for the stage by the theatre company Tony Bones Entertainment for a national schools tour

2013 Herman and Rosie was adapted as a musical production by West Australia's Kaleidoscope Ensemble  

2014 Herman and Rosie was nominated for Japan's Sakura Medal in the English picture book category  

2014 Herman and Rosie was shortlisted for The German Youth Literature Award in the picture book category

2014 Herman and Rosie was shortlisted for France's Les Incorruptibles prize in the picture book category

2015 Herman and Rosie Finalist in the 2014/2015 Kirico book awards in Spain

2015 Big Pet Day, written by Lisa Shanahan, was awarded Best Picture Book (5 to 8 year old category) in the Speech Pathology Awards

2015 I am Cow, Hear Me Moo! was selected as a White Raven book. Selected for annual catalogue of book recommendations

2016 Herman and Rosie Shortlisted in the Premio Anderson Children's Book awards in Italy, in the Best Illustrated category