The author and illustrator braving the hordes at Tranby Primary School, courtesy Heather Zubek

Let the pillaging begin!

23rd June 2011

Viking hordes are set to storm the barricades on Friday 24 June for the launch of The Last Viking by Norman Jorgensen and illustrator James Foley.

Twelve modern day Vikings (and their wenches) will pillage and plunder a 300-strong crowd of teachers, librarians and local school children at the Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre.

The Last Viking will be launched by Kris Williams, writingWA board member and former Director of the All Saints Literature Festival.

Jorgensen said he had invited Williams to launch the book out of a list of potentials that included the CEO of IKEA, Princess Mary and all four members of Bjorn Again, especially the cute one.

“Kris was top of my list– not only is she clever, witty and Danish, but her Uncle was the Head Brewer at Carlsberg in Copenhagen – SKOL!” said Jorgensen.

This is the ninth book written by Jorgensen who won the coveted Children’s Book Council Picture Book of the Year award in 2003 for In Flanders Fields.

“A friend who had seen an early draft of the story recently said to me, Norman, this is the book you were born to write,” said Jorgensen.

Foley said creating a picture book took a lot more than he had imagined.

“Most of my drawings were just preparatory and aren’t even used in the final book – there’s character sketches, sculptures, endless storyboards, colour tests … at one point, I even made a cardboard Viking longboat with my 10 year old next door neighbour,” said Foley.

Norman Jorgensen is the author of five picture books and three novels for teenagers including the 2008 winner of the WA Young Readers Award Jack’s Island and CBCA Picture Book of the Year In Flanders Fields.

James Foley (of Kensington) began his professional career in 2003 drawing cover cartoons for WA’s weekly Quokka newspaper and has since drawn hundreds of cartoons and illustrations for clients such as Woodside, Caritas Australia and the State Child Development Centre.

The Last Viking is published by Fremantle Press. The book will be launched at 6pm on Friday 24 June at the Fremantle Children’s Literature Centre, Old Prison Hospital, corner of Knutsford Street and Hampton Road, Fremantle.

The Last Viking (July 2011) is available from all good bookstores and online at

For more information please contact Claire Miller,

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