With a passion for children's literature it makes sense that Dr Robin Morrow AM would be appointed to the international jury of the International Board of Books for Young People.
Dr Morrow founded the first children's bookshop in NSW and teaches children's literature at universities.
She is excited to be representing Australia on the board's Hans Christian Anderson Award judging panel, which recognises the lifelong achievement of a children's author and illustrator every two years.
"I am the first Australian to be a judge for the HCA award since the 1980s. There was Maurice Saxby, who was a very well known academic in NSW. He wrote A History of Australian Children's Literature and many teacher librarians were taught by him," Dr Morrow said.
"It is important for children to have books and stories. Tactile, paper books are very important, especially for little babies and toddlers, so they actually turn the pages and have the drama of turning the page.
"We have to fight to retain librarians in schools and libraries that people have access to so that every kid has access to books, she said.
Visiting Tasmania on holiday, Dr Morrow dropped into Launceston Library ahead of International Children's Book Day on Tuesday, April 2, which was set by the International Board of Books for Young People to commemorate Hans Christian Anderson's birthday in 1805.
"[Anderson] made up all these fantastic, imaginary worlds and went to Copenhagen to try to be an actor on the stage. His life is a fairytale," she said.
After World War II journalist Jella Lepman want sent by occupying US forces to work with women and children in Germany.
"She had the great insight to see that the children needed stories and books," Dr Morrow said.
"She appealed to other countries to send them books to start a library. The main metaphor for the [board's] work is bridges of books from one country to another.
"We build bridges through children's books," she said.
This library became the International Youth Library in Munich and the International Board of Books for Young People was also established.
Stories Bookshop and the board are holding a quiz night on Tuesday to raise money for the International Board of Books for Young People's Children in Crisis Fund.
- What: International Children's Book Day
- Where: Stories Bookshop, 75 St John Street, Launceston
- When: 5.30pm, Tuesday, April 2.
- Tickets: $15 per person, $90 per table. Book at storiesbookshop.com