Shortlisted - Bologna Prize 2016

What's Your Story?

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Do you have a story? Everyone has a story to tell. Sometimes many stories.

Berbay Publishing has collaborated with celebrated Australian artist, Bern Emmerichs, and Melbourne writer, Rose Giannone, on a new children's picture book called "What's Your Story?".

"What's Your Story?” is a beautiful children's book set against the backdrop of the First Settlement of Australia.  It describes the friendship of a little orphan boy from England, Leonard, and the friendship he strikes with a little Aboriginal girl called Milba.

Leonard and Milba are mesmerised by the peculiarity of each others’ worlds.  It is an intimate first love story played against a huge backdrop of drama and discovery.

Bern Emmerichs’ stunning illustrations have been created by using large hand-painted ceramic tiles, which remarkably involved each colour on each tile being individually fired, which have then been photographed and overladen with the author's text.


2015: West Australian Young Readers Award

Picture Book Category - Shortlist

Reviews for What's Your Story?

Click to download the review from Child Magazine. 

Click to download the review from Magpies Magazine.

"What’s your story? is an incredibly moving, incredibly beautiful children’s book that renders the meeting of the early white settlers and Indigenous peoples, as seen through the young eyes of Leonard and Milba.


Illustrated by celebrated ceramic artist Bern Emmerichs with text by Rose Giannone, Whats your story? is a new venture by Alexandra Yatomi-Clarke of Berbay Publishing.


The imagery derives from Bern Emmerichs use of large hand-painted ceramic tiles, which have then been photographed and overladen with the author’s text. The shifting of mediums gives an authenticity to the project and lifts it to special icon status. The artist has given her all in the illustrations and Rose the writer has danced with her to realize a unique coupling of talents.


Australian animals and landforms are introduced in a way that seems original yet real. No fussy frolics with pen and pencil the eye never feels tricked, instead one’s emotions come alive as the story unfolds. It is an intimate first love story played against a huge backdrop of drama and discovery. We feel slightly anxious as we all know the limitations that beset the first settlement – on both sides – but this suspension of disaster leaves us hopeful rather than fatalistic.


Perhaps the first of many such stories, What’s your story? helps us to believe in the time honored ritual of reading to children, and taking them to the cusp of reading for themselves. A great book." Joe Pascoe