Alison Lester grew up on a farm by the sea, and first rode a horse as a baby in her father's arms. Her picture books mix imaginary worlds with everyday life, encouraging children to believe in themselves and celebrate the differences that make them special. Alison is involved in many community art projects and spends part of every year travelling to remote Indigenous communities, using her books to help children and adults write and draw about their own lives. In 2012, Alison became Australia's first Children's Book Laureate, a position she shared with Boori Monty Pryor. In 2016, she was awarded the Dromkeen Medal for her outstanding achievement in the creation of Australian children's and young adult literature, and in 2018 she became the first children's book writer to win the Melbourne Prize for Literature, for her outstanding contribution to Australian literature and cultural and intellectual life.
ea. vol: illus. by author. unpaged. Viking. 1989. BD $3.50. LC number unavailable. PreS-- While Lester's soft-edged pastel illustrations sometimes have a whimsical (and often naughty) quality when depicting children at play, they are not strong enough to save the series' bland texts. ``Baby is happy,/ Baby is sad,/Baby is good,/ Baby is bad'' is just a sample of the inane verse found in these four toddler titles. All of the illustrations are double-page spreads done in muted colors; each spread is bordered by very small drawings that relate back to the main picture, but most of the objects in these petite drawings are too small for or will be unfamiliar to toddlers. This series represents the kind of books that adults often pick up and say, ``How sweet,'' and then find themselves searching for a less boring alternative. --Louise M. Zuckerman, formerly at San Francisco Public Library