Engaging with Readers

Colin Thiele's work resonates with people of all ages and from all over the world.  He received letters, gifts, artwork and tributes from friends, students and admirers, thanking him for his books and sharing the impact it had on their lives throughout his life.  These gifts were very special to Colin and he kept each and every one, responding with his gratitude where possible.  These items, preserved in the Colin Thiele Research Collection, are evidence of the ongoing legacy of Colin Thiele's work.

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A small selection of the collection of pelicans gifted to Colin Thiele

Most notable are the collection of over 250 replica pelicans given to Colin following the 1963 publication of his book Storm Boy, which featured the legendary pelican Mr. Percival. Given to him by readers, teachers, friends and family, the collection grew considerably after the 1976 release of the film Storm Boy. The collection includes such pelican-themed items as:

~ Ceramic, wooden and glass statues
~ Paintings, drawings and other artworks
~ Wine stoppers and bottle openers
~ Spoons
~ Salt & pepper shakers
~ Earrings

Birthday card from Sonya_1.pdf

80th birthday card to Colin Thiele from a young reader

Colin Thiele received thousands of letters and cards from readers, many of them school children and teachers.  They covered a range of topics. Some expressing their love for his books or their addition to classroom programs, while others simply offered birthday wishes or holiday greetings.  The majority were handmade, often accompanied by children's drawings of scenes and characters from Colin's books.

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A small selection of the letters and cards from readers, received by Colin Thiele

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Letter to Colin Thiele from a young, aspiring writer

Among Colin Thiele's readers were those inspired to follow in his footsteps as an author.  Many aspiring writers sought advice while others wrote sequels to Colin's stories, or created their own narratives inspired by his books, which they were eager to share with him.  

Meet Colin Thiele (1989)
In this video, Colin Thiele is interviewed by school children about being a successful author

Thank you note from Maroochydore State School 6D_1.pdf

A thank you card received by Colin Thiele following a school visit in 1986

As both a passionate educator and children's author, Colin Thiele regularly visited schools around Australia sharing his stories and knowledge with fascinated students.  Many students and teachers took the time to offer their appreciation for these visits with cards, letters and artworks.