What I’m Borrowing: Sophie Beer

What I’m Borrowing is a new blog series exploring our affection for libraries, loans, and sharing great reads. Each post we ask a Queensland writer and reader to tell us about their recent lending-loves.

This month we welcome the brilliant Brisbane-based children's author and illustrator Sophie Beer whose latest book is 'The Little Queenslanders' Alphabet Book', written by Sally Scudamore, and published by State Library of Queensland as part of the First 5 Forever literacy program.

Tell us about the last thing you borrowed from the library. How did you discover it? Did you return it on time?

I borrow a lot of audiobooks as I chew through them really quickly while working – it feels like the ultimate multitasking! Working on books while listening to books! It's an excellent way to stay on top of middle grade releases too. The Polly and Buster audiobooks are such a treat!

I also recently read Tirra Lirra By the River by Jessica Anderson and absolutely adored it. It is an exploration of feminine tenacity, power, and creativity which describes Brisbane so lovingly yet with a twinge of anger bubbling beneath it. I need to read her other works next!

Do you remember your first library card? Can you describe the library you visited as a child?

Yes! It was Grange library and I was about 7 or 8. I distinctly recall being so proud to be old enough to receive my own card and not just have my mum borrow for me. It had my name on it and everything! It was the only thing in my Winnie the Pooh velcro wallet that year. Grange library had a delightfully abundant kids section back then. I remember just losing myself in there for hours and having my mum send my sisters in to find out why I was holding up everyone heading home!

Radiant Sophie and her sparkling library card

What other items are you, and people in your house, borrowing right now?

We've just welcomed a newborn in the Beer household so there's been a lot of borrowing of baby items! It appears that babies outgrow clothing at an alarming rate of which I was wholly unaware. Like a weed after a week of rain, it seems he's sprouting new centimetres all the time and I'm immensely grateful to my friends who have donated clothing of all sizes to accommodate his rapidly lengthening limbs.

Sophie with her biggest fan, her best listener

Thinking about your own bookshelf, what is your favourite book to lend out from home?

I love to lend out my Rifle Paper Co edition of Anne of Green Gables. It's so beautiful that it needs to be appreciated by the largest possible audience. I seem to lend out Sabriel by Garth Nix an awful lot too; I think I'm on my third edition because I keep forgetting to whom I've lent it.

About the author

Sophie Beer is an award-winning, internationally published children's author and illustrator. As a commercial illustrator, she's worked with clients such as Google, Disney, The Guardian, and The Boston Globe. Her children's work has been published internationally and in Australia by publishers such as Penguin Random House New York, Simon and Schuster, Scribe Publications, Hardie Grant Children's Publishing, Scholastic UK, and Hachette. 


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Grange library still has a wonderful and large children's section!

Such a beautiful and bright library.