Culture Street

tashiandtheforbiddenroomIt is with great sadness that the publishing industry comes to terms with the death of children’s book illustrator Kim Gamble. He died on Friday, aged 63.

Anyone with young children in Australia will be familiar with the Tashi books, often the first chapter book read independently. The books are filled with fantastical daring adventures and whimsical illustrations thanks to the author/illustrator dream team of Anna and Barbara Fienberg and Kim Gamble.

Tashi embodies the brilliant characteristics of cleverness and cheekiness that delight children. The world of Tashi is one children can easily lose themselves in.

The Tashi books have sold more than a million copies in Australia and New Zealand and have been translated into more than 20 languages.

Gamble worked in a variety of occupations before beginning, at the age of 36, to illustrate stories for children. His first illustration was for School Magazine where he met Anna Fienberg. He has since illustrated more than 70 books.

If he wasn’t an illustrator Gamble said he would have been a struggling artist, such was his passion for drawing.

‘I've always loved drawing, both for its own sake and to get things out of my system. As the youngest of four, whenever I was angry because I wasn't getting my own way, I'd go into my room, take a sheet of paper and a pencil, fill the sky with jet planes and draw soldiers all over the ground. Then I'd attack them - zzzooomm BLAT! BOOM! BLAT! - with long fast lines and lots of squiggles.’

Take a look at some of his beautiful illustrations here.

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