Artist Profile: Libby Hathorn

When Libby Hathorn ‘s first picture story book came out in 1979, the publisher cavilled at the species of tree being depicted in the tale. Why a Eucalyptus? they queried. An Ash or Oak would have greater international appeal. Hathorn stuck to her guns and her gums and Stephen’s Tree was a success. Two years later she had a similar problem with her story The Tram to Bondi Beach. Did she have to name the beach, her publisher wondered. Wouldn’t that alienate children from outside Australia?