My name is Julian Van Coevorden and for my Year 10 Personal Project, I have chosen to create a children’s picture book which deals with the social issues that refugees experience when coming to an unfamiliar country. My project was sparked through my childhood memories and love of writing.
My parents played a big part in encouraging me to write as they used to read to me, which enhanced my vocabulary and creative thoughts. Over the years I have written several short stories and enjoyed the idea of being able to come up with different plots and characters.
I have chosen to create a picture book instead of writing a novel because I wanted to learn a new skill of illustrating. This was done online in Adobe Illustrator.
The picture book revolves around a refugee girl who comes to Australia in hope of a better life, but she struggles to assimilate in an unknown country. As a result of her cultural differences, she sees monsters instead of humans. The themes of courage, hope and acceptance were included into my story to create a picture book that engages children.
Being able to explore the issues of assimilation provided me with an insight into the problems that people in less fortunate countries face and encouraged me to be an open thinker.
From researching articles about techniques on picture books to getting ready for publication, I have learnt so much and it has all been a rewarding experience. The Global Context of Personal and Cultural Expression was definitely seen throughout.
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