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Image credit: Sam Oster

Mem Fox was born in Melbourne in 1946. She grew up in Africa, went to drama school in England in the mid-sixties, and came back to Australia in early 1970. Growing up outside the country of her birth gave her a unique perspective on Australia and a passionate love for it.

In 1983, she became Australia’s best-selling writer. She has remained the pre-eminent writer for young children for an entire generation. Possum Magic, her first book, is still available in hardback after 39 years, and has become a beacon of children’s literature for millions of Australian families.

Mem Fox has written over 40 books for children, many of which have become international best-sellers in Australia and the USA, including Time for Bed, Where Is the Green Sheep? and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes. She has also written several non-fiction books for adults, including her renowned book for parents: Reading Magic. Her books for both adults and children have been translated into twenty-three languages. 

After years of study in literacy she became a full-time Associate Professor of Literacy Studies at Flinders University, South Australia, where she delighted in teaching teachers for 24 years until her retirement in 1996. Her focus on learning to read is legendary: how it is best learnt by reading to children for the first five years of their lives; the effect of literacy, or the lack of it, on every individual; and its enormous benefits for the economy of the country.

She has received three honorary doctorates and many other civic honours and awards, including South Australian of the Year in 2004.

Her latest book: Cat Dog, illustrated by Mark Teague, is aimed at very young children. And there are at least three more books in the pipeline.

Short Biography

Mem Fox is Australia’s pre-eminent writer of picture books for young children. Her first book, Possum Magic, still available in hard back after 39 years, has become a beacon of children’s literature for millions of Australian families. She has written over 40 children’s books, many of which have been bestsellers in Australia and the USA, including Time for Bed, and Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes.  She has also written several non-fiction books for adults, including her renowned book for parents: Reading Magic. Her books have been translated into twenty-three languages.

Mem Fox was a full-time Associate Professor of Literacy Studies at Flinders University, South Australia, where she delighted in teaching teachers for 24 years until her early retirement in 1996.

She is grateful to have received many civic honours and awards, and three honorary doctorates.