Maxine Beneba Clarke (Author) Maxine Beneba Clarke is a widely published Australian writer of Afro-Caribbean descent. Maxine's short fiction, non-fiction and poetry have been published in numerous publications including Overland, The Age, Meanjin, The Saturday Paper and The Big Issue. Her critically acclaimed short fiction collection Foreign Soil won the ABIA for Literary Fiction Book of the Year 2015 and the 2015 Indie Book Award for Debut Fiction, and was shortlisted for the Matt Richell Award for New Writing at the 2015 ABIAs and the 2015 Stella Prize. She was also named as one of the Sydney Morning Herald's Best Young Novelists for 2015. Maxine has published three poetry collections including Carrying the World, which won the Victorian Premier's Literary Award for Poetry 2017 and was shortlisted for the Colin Roderick Award. The Hate Race, a memoir about growing up black in Australia won the NSW Premier's Literary Award Multicultural NSW Award 2017 and was shortlisted for an ABIA, an Indie Award, the Victorian Premier's Literary Awards and Stella Prize. The Patchwork Bike, Maxine's first picture book with Van T. Rudd was a CBCA Honour Book for 2017.Van T Rudd (Illustrator) Van T Rudd is an award winning street artist, sculptor, painter and social justice activist based in Melbourne.He has exhibited his work widely around Australia and internationally. He won the 2015 Sampari West Papua Art Exhibition's People's Choice Award for his sculpture Let Rage, Unity and Love Take Form, and the NAVA (National Association of Visual Artists) Ignition Award for the exhibition Van Rudd vs Julia Gillard (2011). He was a two-time finalist (2007 and 2009) in the Sunshine Coast Art Prize for his paintings 100 000 to 400 000 and Freedom Furniture respectively, and a finalist in the Metro 5 Art Award (2004). In 2007, his Carriers Project was selected by Kultour and toured to major cities and towns around Australia. The Patchwork Bike is his first children's book.
This deceptively simple story by author Maxine Beneba Clarke is beautifully written and incredibly powerful. It uses evocative language and onomatopoeia to flesh out a world so physically different from most Australian lives, but its universal appeal comes from anchoring the story to the experience of owning a bike. Written from the perspective of a child, we know little about her world other than she lives in a 'mud-for-walls' home in a village surrounded by 'no-go desert' and 'stretching-out sky'. The bike she shares with her cheeky brothers has been cobbled together from scavenged objects-handlebars from branches, a bell from mother's milk pot, and a flag made from a flour sack. The illustrations by artist Van T Rudd of paint on cardboard are stark and simple, often quite abstract, but they effectively flesh out this world. Like all the best writing, The Patchwork Bike asks more questions than it answers, making it a great conversation starter to learn more about other cultures, but it's also a delightful picture book for kids aged three and up that depicts the universal joy that riding a bike bestows. If it isn't shortlisted for a CBCA Award in the coming year, I will be very disappointed. - Books + Publishingthis book is just what many of us need right now - Kirkus ReviewsClarke's poetically compressed language hurtles joyfully along, while Rudd's illustrations, made on cardboard boxes with spirited swaths of paint, burst with irrepressible life. - The New York Times