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Author Visit – Irena Kobald


​Last week, Chevallum Library was lucky enough to play host to award winning author Irena Kobald. Irena is the author of My Two Blankets which is the Winner of the 2015 Children’s Book Council Award for Picture Books and it is also a shortlisted book for the 2015 Prime Minister’s Literary Award for Children’s Books.

Irena speaks three languages – English, Russian and German – and the story of Two Blankets explores the sense of disconnection a young migrant child, Cartwheel, has in a world where the language she does not understand. The character feels like she is “standing under a waterfall of strange sounds”, when people speak to her.
In the story the young girl connects to her new world when another child smiles at her in the park and starts to teach her English. The hand of friendship is extended, a sense of belonging and warmth develops and the reader is reminded of the importance of simple kindness.

The students were very curious about the writing process from idea to publication and also the languages Irena spoke. The groups also discussed concepts of inclusion, isolation, friendship, happiness and community. A creative offshoot of the visit will have students construct a blanket made up of individual squares designed by the students.

We would like to thank Irena for visiting Chevallum and sharing her creative ideas and energy with our students.