Kids’ Own Publishing is changing the world one book at a time.
We collaborate with artists to co-create books by kids for kids. Children publish books that reflect their own unique worlds in a process that supports confidence, creativity and connection. Our work is profound, transformative and based in the strengths of the communities we partner.
We are a not-for-profit arts organisation established in Naarm/Melbourne in 2005, and since then we have co-created and published over 200 books by children.
What we do
Kids’ Own Publishing community projects are co-designed and co-created with children between the ages of 0 – 12, their families, carers and communities.
Kids’ Own Publishing artists facilitate high quality, participatory creative workshops where children lead the process of writing, illustrating and publishing their own unique story.
We work with partners to co-design a project with their community. Examples of our partners include early childhood educators, teachers, librarians, health providers, playgroup leaders and local council staff.
Why we do it
We publish books by kids because self-representation, creative expression and visibility are powerful.
When children co-create and publish books they contribute to the creation of culture, and see themselves reflected in it.
Through an engaging and fun process of making books with artists, children take creative risks, make meaningful social connections and build confidence as thinkers, writers and readers.
In 1983 Victoria Ryle began teaching in a multicultural primary school in North London. One of her students, a young boy whose parents were from Gujarat, India did not progress with his reading.
One day Victoria sat with him, a book between them, open at a picture of a white woman in a kitchen. Beneath her the one word, ‘Mummy’. Victoria pointed to the picture, reading the word, ‘Mummy’, encouraging the boy to join in. Eventually he turned to her and said, “That’s not my Mummy.”
Victoria and the child found pictures of people who looked more like his family, wrote names beneath them and created a book. The boy read this book out loud, confident, again and again.
Out of this was born Victoria’s conviction that children needed to create their own books. In the following years Victoria developed a community publishing model which unleashed children’s creativity, engaged children in reading, writing and storytelling, and supported children’s learning and self-belief. In the process she founded Kids’ Own Publishing Ireland with partner Simon Spain. In 2005, Victoria founded a sister organisation in Australia.
Victoria has now moved on from Kids’ Own Publishing to work on her PHD. Kids’ Own Publishing Australia has grown a dedicated team and community of partners across Australia. We continue to be inspired by the communities we work with and to publish books which value and respect the many authors and illustrators who created them.