Children’s Author and Illustrator explores consumerism, the environment, kindness and the joy of giving
Michael Speechley school talks and visits on his books The All New Must Have Orange 430 and The Gift.
Perth-based Michael explores the topics covered in his books, including consumerism, the environment, kindness and the joy of giving
Year 1 through to Year 7 students
Michael Speechley school talks and workshop topics:
Given Michael’s experience as an art teacher, he has a confident, but relaxed delivery style.
Michael Speechley school talks can include:
- Exploring concept in his books, including consumerism, the environment, kindness and the joy of giving
- Discussing where his ideas came from and how long it can take to develop stories and illustrations.
- Creating attention and interest in each page through text, texture, movement and the drawings themselves.
- How he includes hidden symbols and objects in his illustrations in the story of The All New Must Have Orange 430.
- How ‘found’ objects inspired him and the development of end papers and the cover.
- Author readings.
- Drawing workshops.
- and more…
Michael has developed a reputation as a reliable and high-quality speaker, willing to work with each school to meet their specific needs.
Michael Speechley has been a graphic designer and high school art teacher in WA. Michael’s first picture book, The All New Must Have Orange 430, explores themes of consumerism and the environment. It was shortlisted and awarded as an Honour Book in the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA) Children’s Book of the Year Award in 2019, and was the winner of The Wilderness Society’s 2019 Environment Award for Children’s Picture Fiction. His second book is The Gift, which was published in September 2019. This book deals with loss, kindness and the joy of giving. It was a Notable Book in the 2020 CBCA Book of the Year Awards, and was shortlisted for the 2019 Western Australian Premier’s Book Awards.
“It’s the sort of book that once a teacher or librarian reads the whole thing, they get it — and love it.”
About Michael’s books:
THE ALL NEW MUST HAVE ORANGE 430
Harvey owned a heap of stuff, but could always use more. The ORANGE 430 was the latest and the greatest. Harvey wasn’t sure what it did, but he had to have it!
A cheeky picture book for anyone who’s bought a thingy or whatsit . . . and doesn’t quite know why. In his debut picture book, Michael Speechley explores our obsession with stuff in a fun and edifying way.
“A splendid debut for a remarkably talented author-illustrator.” KEVIN STEINBERGER, MAGPIES
“The All New Must Have Orange 430 by Michael Speechley is a picture book that is desperately needed in today’s world. With consumerism running riot, and children and adults a like falling victim to the ‘must-keep-up-with-the-Jones’ mentality day in and day out, it’s a relief to see a picture book that fills a much needed, but unnoticed gap in the market.” NEVER ENDING BOOKSHELF
“This book has a brilliant message about the effect that wanting to have so many things has on the environment. It explores the topic in a very clever, original way. The illustrations are highly detailed and Michael Speechley is clearly talented as both an author and illustrator.” MICHELLE, IN THE GOOD BOOKS BLOG
“I think this book is unique, thought provoking and well layered.” LITTLE BIG READS
“The All New Must Have Orange 430 picture book provides an important insight for families and for classes into the effects of advertising and consumerism in our world. Take notice of the signs and labels in the background. The book encourages discussion about the difference between needs and wants, responsibility with money and the effects of advertising. A most important message for newly arrived consumers at a loss to repel the overtures of advertisers, this is an equally compelling book for all readers.” FRAN KNIGHT, READ PLUS
“The All New Must Have Orange 430 is such a clever, clever book and one that requires multiple readings in order to deeply comprehend and internalise the messages and appreciate the sophisticated visual literacy elements in the illustrations. This is a book that young readers can, will and should return to over many years, as it’s themes of consumerism and ‘making do with less’ are universal, topical and ever-present.” CHILDREN’S BOOKS DAILY
Championing simple acts of kindness, this exquisite picture book looks into the importance of friendship and the joy of giving. The Gift also gently explores themes of loss and grief in a heartwarming manner.
The house across the road looks abandoned, but Rosie knows someone lives there. She decides to give her mystery neighbour a gift – something different, something unusual, something surprising. Something her mum would have been proud of.
“This is a lovely, subtle book about grief, healing and never judging a proverbial book by its cover. It will be loved by children aged five and up. 4 stars!” BOOKS+PUBLISHING
“This is a book to be shared, to be given and to be treasured.” EDUCATE EMPOWER
“The Gift is a compelling, uplifting story of patience, overcoming grief, accepting loss, and venturing forward. It’s a tale of reaching out and healing and again, of the positive impact individuals can have on their community. Outstanding premise, superbly illustrated, Speechley’s creations are highly recommended.” DIM’S WRITE STUFF
“Without being overly sentimental, this story will tug at the heart.” READPLUS
“The Gift is a remarkable book subtly exploring loss and grief, healing and resilience, challenging our assumptions and the positive impact each person can have on their community.” BLOG OF DAD
“A very heartwarming story about lonely people finding friendship. Sensitively illustrated. A book for the whole family.” MARGARET HAMILTON
Additional Teachers’ Notes for The Gift are available from Children’s Books Daily.
Please contact Nudge Productions directly if you would like to discuss any details of a potential booking for Michael Speechley school talks. You can email firstname.lastname@example.org, or call Greg Cumming on 0406 317 801.
“Michael spoke with the children about the writing process, the importance of saving our planet, and why we should save money for important things rather than spending it on unimportant things. Michael was amazing and the children loved it!”
St Columba’s School, Bayswater
“The children had a fabulous time and enjoyed listening to Michael talk about creating his book.”
Forrestfield Primary School
“Michael’s presentation to the junior school was funny, engaging and informative and thoroughly enjoyed by all.”
St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls
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