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Mark Wilson
Author | Illustrator | Prep- Year 12

Mark Wilson is a multiple award-winning author/illustrator with 24 children’s books in print worldwide, in 14 languages. Mark grew up with a love of comics, drawing, rock music, Australian history and endangered species – exploring most of these themes through his writing, illustrating, paintings and workshops. He has won many Awards for children’s literature, including ten CBCA Awards, four Wilderness Society Awards, the 3rd C.J. Picture Book International Award, the 2011 Dromkeen Medal for Services to Children’s Literature. He also won a 2023 CBCA award for Votes for Women! The Story of Nellie, Rose and Mary.

He hopes his books and workshops encourage students to study not only their own family history, but also Australian history, as well as native species and conservation.

My grade 4 students were so engaged and very eager to share what they had learnt with our principal when she dropped by. I can’t wait to see the writing they produce after this. My students considered it an honor and privilege to meet Mark.
-Heathdale Christian College, Melton

Books by Mark Wilson


2024 CBCA Book of the Year Notable

Best Suited 8-12 Years

Caroline is the true story of Caroline Chisholm, All who went before her did their part in helping shape Australia into a confident, progressive and vibrant society. But when Caroline arrived in Australia, she thrived on the challenges facing her to help the many orphans, migrants and destitute girls she found living on the streets of Sydney.

Mark Wilson’s book gives the reader an insight into her life of service which was evident from when she was a young girl. He traces her life from childhood through to adulthood, retelling her story for young readers.

This book is a tribute to a remarkable woman, and an inspiring story of female achievement.

Votes for Women! The story of Nellie and Rose

Best Suited 6 – 10 years
From award-winning author and illustrator Mark Wilson, a stirring story of the women who first won the right to vote in Australia – inspired by real people and historical events In 1890, Rose Birks and her stepdaughter, Nellie, two strong-willed and determined women, began writing letters and attending meetings to help improve the lives of women and children in their home city of Adelaide. They soon found themselves part of a movement that would change the lives of women everywhere. Through their friendship with the famous female suffragist Mary Lee, they petitioned politicians and lawmakers – and in 1896 they became the first women in Australia to vote in an election. Votes for Women! tells their story.

Subbie and his mate

Best Suite 9-12 Years
Winning the Melbourne Cup was just the beginning for Subzero and his best mate Graham Salisbury. Never has there been a greater bond between man and horse. What they did together will touch your heart. Both words and illustrations will touch your heart and stay with you long after the final page is turned. ‘He makes friends wherever he goes. That’s why people love him.’ – Graham Salisbury

Tupaia, Isaac and Cook The Search for the ‘Great South Land’

Best Suited 6-9 years
There are as many mistruths as there are truths about James Co ok and his famous first Voyage of discovery, including his secret orders to find the mythical ‘Great Southern Continent’. This book shows a new side to this voyage. Cook may never have stumbled onto the South East coast of Australia at all, if it had not been for a young Raiatean master Navigator named Tupaia. He came on board the ship Endeavour when it was in Tahitian waters, and essentially piloted the ship through much of the Pacific. He facilitated communication with the First Nation peoples they met, particularly in New Zealand, and on more than one occasion, saved Cook and his entourage from being massacred. This book does not document all that happened on that voyage. I t puts into perspective the importance of Tupaia to the voyage that changed the course of history, and altered forever the lives of many people throughout the Pacific.

Rachel’s War The Story of an Australian WWI Nurse

Best Suited for age 6+ years
Growing up on a farm in country Victoria, all Rachel wants is to help people. When war comes, she travels to distant Europe and the Middle East, working tirelessly to care for wounded and sick soldiers from the battlefields of Gallipoli and the Western Front. Inspired by the life of Rachel Pratt, a World War I Australian army nurse who was awarded the Military Medal for bravery, this is an incredible story of bravery and sacrifice.

A New Prayer for the Animals

Best suited 5 to 12 years
A New Prayer for the Animals is a message of hope for animals across the world. The book contains information on each of the animals and includes at the end, a brief description of how they are threatened.

All of Us

Best Suited for ages 8+ years
A stunning non-fiction picture book that explores the history of South East Asia.  Join two children as they journey through the history of Southeast Asia.

Eureka! A story of the goldfields

Best suited 6-10 years
Molly and her father have emigrated to Australia to try their luck as gold prospectors in Ballarat, Victoria. Life on the diggings is hard and not everyone on the goldfields is friendly.  Before long, they are caught up in a protest that will become known as the Eureka Rebellion – a legendary battle that will profoundly affect them all.

Beth: The Story of a Convict Child

Best Suited for ages 8-12 years
Beth is a child convict, caught stealing on the streets of London and sent to Australia on the First Fleet. Through Beth’s story, we discover the unbearable hardships those first convicts suffered, not only on the long journey to Sydney Cove but also in the two years of near-famine following their arrival.

Digger: The Dog Who Went to War

Best Suited for ages 5-9 years
Matthew, a young Australian soldier, smuggles his beloved dog, Digger, onto the troop ship when he leaves to fight in World War One.

Flapper, VC

Best Suited for ages 6-10 years
FLAPPER, VC is based on the true story of an Australian carrier pigeon during World War II. Raised and trained in Australia, Flapper is sent off to war in the Pacific. While on patrol deep in the jungle, Flapper’s unit find themselves surrounded by enemy troops.

Journey of the Sea Turtle

Best Suited for ages 3-6 years
Following the journey of an Australian sea turtle hatchling, from the beach of her birth and the predators there, to the dangers she faces at sea.

Never Lose Hope – The Story of Australia’s First School

Best Suited for ages 6+ years
John is a child convict, transported to New South Wales for stealing a shirt.  Starving and alone, he is taken in by Australia’s first schoolteacher, Isabella Rosson. In her simple classroom, John learns to read and write and soon becomes her star pupil – until he is discovered by the soldiers and again sent away in chains.

Rats of Tobruk

Best Suited for ages 7+ years
When a Bedouin boy, Omar, is separated from his family in Libya during WW2, he makes his way to the coast to look for them.

The Last Tree

Best Suited for ages 4-8 Years
The Last Tree is a story about a beautiful old eucalyptus tree that grew tall and strong over many years. It was the centre of life in the forest and provided food and shelter for many forest dwellers. But what happens when the tree is threatened as the surrounding forest slowly disappears? The Last Tree is a companion volume to Prayer for the animal.

A Day to Remember

Best Suited 7-12 Years old
Anzac Day is the day when we remember and honour Anzac traditions down the ages, from the first faltering march of wounded veterans in 1916 to the ever increasing numbers of their descendants who march today. Containing reference to the many places the ANZACs have fought, and the various ways in which they keep the peace and support the civilians in war-torn parts of the world today, this is a picture book that looks not only at traditions, but also the effects of war.

Migaloo, the White Whale

Best Suited for ages 7+ years
In the warm tropical waters off the north Australian coast, a very special whale is born: Migaloo, the only all-white humpback whale in the world.

Angel of Kokoda

Best Suited for ages 6-9 years
Twelve-year-old Kari peaceful world is shattered when a bomb rips through his village of Kokoda. He searches among the wounded and finds a  badly hurt solider and will not leave him. Together they make the perilous journey to safety along the Kokoda Track.

My Mother’s Eyes

Best Suited for ages 3-7 years
A fifteen-year-old Australian farm boy lies about his age to enlist to war and is caught up in the horrors of World War I in Egypt and on the Western Front, where 5,500 Australian troops were lost in two days at Fromelles alone.

Vietnam Diary

Best Suited for ages 3-7 years
Leigh and Jason are inseparable. But when Jason is conscripted and sent to fight in Vietnam, they are divided not just by distance, but by their beliefs about the war.

The Horse Soldier

Best Suited 5+ Years
“Bandy jerked her head. I felt her shiver and neigh to the other horses. Then a hand went up in the distance, and the soldiers urged their horses into a canter.”

When the shadow of war descends on Australia in 1914, a boy and his horse set off for war in the Middle East. With water rations gone, they charge the enemy across six kilometres of open ground to reach the wells at Beersheba. In one moment of dash and bravura, both Jason’s and Bandy’s destinies are set as the battle unfolds, with heroic and tragic consequences.


The Little Wooden Horse

Best Suited 5-9 Years
It is not well known that there were many children among the convicts sent in brutal conditions to Australia soon after settlement in 1788. Many of them died on the months-long sea voyages from Britain, and those who survived the appalling conditions of the convict ships faced further privations when they arrived in the struggling infant colony. The Little Wooden Horse is the story of two such children who survive by the courage and strength borne of their deep friendship. The thoroughly researched story will give children an accurate and engaging picture of a child’s life in the days of early settlement.

The Afghanistan Pup

Best Suited 5-9 Years
The Afghanistan Pup is the story of an Afghani schoolgirl fighting for her education, an Australian soldier struggling to survive, and an abandoned Labrador pup who touches the lives of both of them.

With powerful impressionistic illustrations and honest writing, Mark Wilson introduces young readers to the tragedy of war in an accessible yet realistic way, showing not just the dark side but how hope can be found even in the most difficult places.

Little Dolphin

Best Suited 4+ Years
Little Dolphin celebrates the level of intelligence and compassion that scientists are only now realising Dolphins possess, and explores the life of a young dolphin as it approached adulthood. We follow little dolphin from her difficult birth of her escape through the shark net that traps her mother. She is adopted by a pod that teach her the clicks and whistles of the dolphin language. They also teach her how to use tools (sea sponges) as few other creatures, apart from humans, can do. But when the time comes for her leave the bay, the little dolphin finds she muse use all her skills to help another dolphin that is drowning.

Little Dolphin explores the new-found knowledge we have of these ancient sea mammals. Scientists believe that the system of clicks and whistles dolphin use is a language almost as extensive as our own. ‘Inshore’ Bottlenose Dolphins face a bleak future from tuna nets (tuna is a major source of food for them), boat propellers and pollution; the latter causing health problems and possibly birth defects, effecting their size.

Ben and Gracie’s Art Adventure

Best Suited 5+ Years
When Ben and Gracie visit their mum at the art gallery where she works, they lose themselves in the paintings of colonial artist Frederick McCubbin, venturing back in time to meet with new settlers to Australia. Transported into a raging dust storm before moving on to a forest glade, Ben and Gracie travel with their new friends and see for themselves the difficulties faced in the harsh Australian bush environment. But on venturing deeper into the forest in search of wildflowers, the pair come across fairies and lose their way at nightfall. Will they be able to find their way back to the settlers and the art gallery?

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