12 Days of Christmas – Mark Wilson

Welcome to the 12 Days of Christmas for this year and it is a thrill to have Mark Wilson joining the blog to recollect his best Christmas Ever … this is glorious.

Mark Wilson


The best Christmas ever!

It was 1958 and I was nine years old. We lived in a housing Commission house in Sale in E. Gippsland in Victoria. I was truly obsessed with building model aeroplanes – plastic ‘Airfix’ kits of WW2 fighters like the ‘Spitfire’ and the ‘Hurricane’, the heroes of the Battle for Britain. But when I undid the wrapping on Christmas morning, it was a model of a Catalina flying boat. Never heard of it! It was in parts to be glued and painted and put together, but the painting on the cover of the box was brilliant! I just stared at it for ages. My dad had never talked about the war before, but told had flown a Catalina in the air-force and told me the story before Christmas lunch. Those Catalina crew members were unbelievable. They would fly out from Darwin, 1-2,000ks, be attacked by enemy fighters and land on the ocean during huge storms, just to rescue one pilot or sailor! And they did that sort of thing every day until the war ended. That’s bravery.

I’ll never forget that little model plane, or that Christmas when we were all still together.


And Mark sent his bit longer short bio … super!


Mark Wilson is a multiple award-winning author/illustrator with seventeen books in print worldwide. Mark has a particular passion for Australian history and the environment, particularly endangered species, exploring these themes through his picturebooks and workshops. He has won five Royal Zoological Society of N.S.W. (Whitley) Awards for children’s literature, nine CBCA Children’s Book Awards, including a 2015 CBCA Eva Pownall Notable Children’s Book Award for The Afghanistan Pup. He also has three Wilderness Society Picturebook Awards and was shortlisted in the 3rd C.J. Picture Book Awards International. He was also presented with the 2011 Dromkeen Medal for Services to Children’s Literature. Mark hopes his books not only encourage students to study their own family history and Australian native species, but to have confidence in their own writing and illustrating.

Uncover more about Mark here: www.marklwilson.com.au

And do check out some of his latest titles:
Migaloo – the White Whale Hachette
My Secret Friend with Jackie French Harper Collins
Barney and the Whale, with Jackie French, Harper Collins

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