Tania McCartney
Fauna: Australia's Most Curious Creatures

Children's Publishing

Commissioned | Professional

Why did you make this work:
I created a book with a strong conservation thread, to inspire children to engage with and care for animals. The visual narrative, design elements and layout foster visual literacy—vital for kids struggling to read or retain information. The book also celebrates Australia’s diverse and unique fauna by using striking graphic imagery. My hope is to foster an early appreciation of artistic forms.

How was the illustration used:
The illustrations are the backbone of Fauna. Junior non-fiction needs to be exciting and engaging, with a text/image balance that draws children in and provides visual narrative, nuance and context. Diagrams, charts and life-size imagery like crocodile teeth, clarify information and lend excitement and fascination. The imagery was designed to be visually impactful, for example, using close-ups.

How did you make this work:
I researched, wrote, illustrated, typeset and designed Fauna. Digitally-composed illustrations, textures, gradients and filters were collaged with hand-printed colour and texture, along with photographs of pavement, tiling, foliage, bark and water from around the National Library. Colours were taken from our Australian flora, fauna and landscapes. Wood-free paper gave a distinctly artistic feel.

Commissioner Name :
Susan Hall, Publisher
Commissioner Company :
NLA Publishing (National Library of Australia)

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Tania McCartney is an award-winning creator of over 50 books. Her illustration clients include HarperCollins, Hardie Grant, Flow Magazine, Penguin/Random House and the National Library of Australia. A juvenile literacy ambassador, Tania is the founder of Kids’ Book Review and the 52-Week Illustration Challenge. Awards include the SCBWI Crystal Kite Award for Australia/NZ. Tania has lived in France, England and China, and currently lives in Canberra, Australia.