About the author
Anna Walker writes and illustrates children's books and is based in Melbourne. Her charming studio is shared with a printmaker, Rosy the lamp, a few friendly plants, and knitted, woolly creatures. Working with pencil, ink and collage, Anna develops her characters and enjoys spending time with them before they venture out into the world. Her illustrations are inspired by the everyday details of life and the amusing antics of her menagerie. Anna's latest book as author/illustrator with Penguin, Mr Huff, is an exploration of how kids deal with the worrying feelings that can accompany a bad day.

Image of author Anna Walker.


About the book
Award-winning and much-loved author and illustrator Anna Walker gives us a gentle, poignant, affirming and wise picture book sure to delight all ages. Mr Huff is a story about the clouds and the sunshine in each of our lives.  Bill is having a bad day. Mr Huff is following him around and making everything seem difficult. Bill tries to get rid of him, but Mr Huff just gets bigger and bigger! Then they both stop, and a surprising thing happens…

Book cover of Mr Huff by Anna Walker.


Penguin Random House Australia

Judges' comments
Nothing is going right today for Bill. His favourite socks are missing and his cereal is soggy. That cloud of concern has grown bigger and turned into its own depressing presence. Mr Huff is an exquisitely drawn and designed book about a child's anxiety, depression and resilience. Anna Walker's seamless images—digitally composed from etchings, gouache, pencil and collage—produce an arrangement so light and right to explore a child's experience of anxiety, depression and resilience.

In rendering those grey feelings into the shape-shifting figure of Mr Huff, here is a picture book that allows young readers to see and name a nameless dread. The interplay between Bill and Mr Huff is perfectly weighted. Mr Huff is first a stranger, then an unwelcome guest, then a deep enemy and something to be confronted. Bill's world is laced with tenderness and profound empathy.
As a storyteller Walker shows young readers that in his struggle, Bill's feeling will pass, and that a day that starts out cloudy with a chance of showers can be followed with the chance of sunshine.