The Grand Imaginarium Kids Own Publishing

The Grand Imaginarium is a book making experience for children aged 5-12 years run by Kids Own Publishing and guest artists. 

The philosophy of not-for-profit Kids Own Publishing is to give children a voice, to inspire community storytelling and to introduce children to the magic of books.

The main way they do this is to partner with community groups to teach children to write and illustrate little books. It’s simple – just fold an A3 piece of paper into a 4-page booklet (no tape or staples required), write and illustrate your book, then photocopy the A3 sheet so that your book is then ‘professionally’ printed for the world to see! How to instructions here.

The Grand Imaginarium Kids Own Publishing

The book can then be taken home or housed in the Kids’ Own Book Cubby. It’s a book display module and travelling library containing over 80 books for children by children.

The Grand Imaginarium Kids Own Publishing

Every school holidays Kids Own Publishing also holds workshops at The Grand Imaginarium where you can drop in to make your own little book or participate in a drawing session with a guest artist before making your book.

I booked Lady AB into a session with Melbourne author illustrator Marc Martin because we have long admired his work. We own three of his books – Max, A River and his latest release, Lots, as well has having read A Forest and The Curious Explorer’s Illustrated Guide to Exotic Animals A to Z.

The Grand Imaginarium Kids Own Publishing

His work is typified by vibrant colours, small details and a whimsical story line told in sparse words. His illustrations are gloriously vibrant and instantly recognisable. You’ll find his mural adorning the Readings Kids bookstore

Lots is fact-based books covering a different city on every page. The joy of it is revisiting some of my previous travel destinations (with and without kids) – Tokyo, Reykjavik, London – as well as inspiring wanderlust for places such as San Francisco and Antarctica. There are lots of interesting factoids and minute details to appreciate and we can’t wait to travel the world with it!

The Grand Imaginarium Kids Own Publishing

During the workshop Marc reads from A River then teaches the children how to draw various animals from The Curious Explorer’s Illustrated Guide to Exotic Animals A to Z.

After an hour or so the children are encouraged to make their own books but Lady AB is more interested in checking out the Kids’ Own Book Cubby.

The Grand Imaginarium Kids Own Publishing

Turns out she didn’t want to make a book on the day – but has been regularly churning out little books since the workshop, short stories filled with whimsical charm and existential ideas. Her first trilogy – The Lonely Popcorn, The Unhappy Ice Cream and The Lucky Egg have become favourites in our household, re-read again and again!

To find out when Kids Own Publishing are running the workshops or opening The Grand Imaginarium sign up to their newsletter on their website. The next lot of events are from Monday 2 October – Thursday 5 October 2017. 


The Grand Imaginarium by Kids Own Publishing, Abbotsford Convent, 1 Helier St, Abbotsford

Monday 2 October – Thursday 5 October 2017
Two sessions daily
10am – 12pm
1 – 3pm

$10 per child
$30 per family (up to 4 children)

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