On Haunting Dunnies and Other Things

The haunted dunny from children’s book Round the Twist, and Paul Jennings’ colourful sea creature in The Fisherman and the Theefyspray, are among characters and scenes in a new exhibition inspired by the famous writer.

A magical immersive world is expressed through Jennings’ writings at Newcastle Library’s Lovett Gallery in the form of sculptures, interpretative panels and various illustrations from his books.

Named for his 1985 bestseller, the Paul Jennings: UNREAL! exhibition is for the first time away from the Warrnambool Art Gallery when hosted in Newcastle from tonight (13 March 2020).

Paul Jennings AM is one of Australia’s best loved storytellers whose books have sold millions of copies worldwide, won countless awards and been turned into hit television series,” Lord Mayor Nuatali Nelmes said.

I know many parents who grew up loving the stories of Paul Jennings and I hope that they have passed this love onto their children.

“Unreal will appeal to children and parents alike and the exhibition will serve as a celebration of Jennings’ work for Newcastle families.

So far, more than 2,000 students are scheduled to visit school workshops, which are still available.

The City of Newcastle invests around $15 million in delivering cultural facilities in our city year in year out and the Library plays a vital role in telling our stories and showcasing wonderful Australian talent like Paul Jennings.”

The English-born writer has sold more than 10 million books worldwide in 18 different languages, with his characteristic series of events ending with a twist to resonate across cultures.

The Library launch tonight at 5.30pm includes performances from local artists, craft activities and access to the exhibition.

Many of the items on display are privately owned by Jennings, a Warrnambool resident, and other individuals.

Jennings’ books are available in print, audio and e-books from Newcastle Libraries.

Current programming scheduled for the duration of the exhibition includes school excursions, school holiday programs and professional development opportunities for teachers and librarians.