Mem Fox

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The Magic Hat cover

Magic Hat

by Mem Fox, illustrated by Tricia Tusa

Possum Magic cover

Possum Magic

by Mem Fox, illustrated by Julie Vivas

Small red-headed boy playing behind an older woman in a chair

Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge

by Mem Fox, illustrated by Julie Vivas

Mem Fox was born Merrion Frances Partridge in Melbourne, Australia, on March 5,1946. She grew up in Africa, studied drama in England, and returned to Adelaide, Australia, in 1970, where she lives with her family. Her husband, Malcolm, is a retired drama lecturer and daughter Chloë, after working in journalism and teaching, is now a Labor Party Member elected to the South Australian Parliament.

Mem Fox is Australia’s most highly regarded picture-book author. Her first book, Possum Magic, is the best selling children’s book ever in Australia, with sales of over four million. And in the United States Time for Bed and Wilfrid Gordon McDonald Partridge have each sold over a million copies. Time for Bed is on Oprah’s list of the twenty best children’s books of all time. Mem has written over thirty-five picture books for children and five non-fiction books for adults, including the best-selling Reading Magic, aimed at parents of very young children. A recent book: Ten Little Fingers and Ten Little Toes, beautifully illustrated by Helen Oxenbury, was on the New York Times bestseller lists for 18 weeks in 2008/2009. It also won the ‘best book for 0-3 year olds’ award (May 2010) at the International Book Fair in Turin, in its Italian edition.

Mem Fox was an Associate Professor in Literacy Studies at Flinders University in Adelaide (Australia), where she taught teachers for twenty-four years until her early retirement in 1996. She has received many civic awards, honors and accolades in Australia, including two honorary doctorates. She has visited the United States over one hundred times, mostly in her role as a literacy expert although she is also a well-known author in America. She is an influential international consultant in literacy, but pretends to sit around writing full time.