It’s been a while since I last wrote a blog post here. I’ve been so busy setting up my business in surface pattern design. There have been some delightful goings on in the children’s picture book area though. This weekend is the first book launch for Grace’s Mystery Seed. I was fortunate enough to meet the author the other day and she is a bundle of enthusiasm, so the lunch should be a lot of fun. This Sunday 24th March 2019 – 2pm, Ford Street Publishing, 162 Hoddle Street, Abbotsford, Melbourne
I had some delightful news today. The short lists for the Speech Pathology Australia Children’s Book Awards 2018 is out. I was delighted to see my name on the 5-8 year olds list for ‘My Super Special Granny’, just a above Andy Griffiths and Terry Denton. Then I looked a little further down and there was my name again! Horray!
A few hours later I looked through the 3 – 5 year olds list and there I am again! Wow, I need a lie down.
Yesterday I had the absolute joy of experimenting and getting to grips with photoshop. I was motivated to reproduce a pop-up piece I did for The 52 Week Illustration Challenge last year. It came together surprisingly quickly.
I have really been enjoying working on this next book. I wanted to approach this one differently, a softer approach to show the closeness of the family members.
This book will be available form ‘Empowering Resources’ later this year
I was delighted to receive this unexpected parcel of advance copies this morning. This book has been out for a while and I illustrated it ages ago, but Hachette has brought it out in a board book. It’s very cute.
I also received the happy news that ‘You’re Different, Jemima’ will soon be in print. This book has had a rocky start in life and almost didn’t make it. But the fabulous Naomi and Jeremy Hunter at ‘Empowering Resources’ look it on and now it’s available for pre-sale.
This week I’ve been working on Naomi Hunter‘s new book. If you know her first picture book you’ll know that she doesn’t shy away from tackling the big issues. This one is about parenting and depression. Which sounds very sad, but it’s a book full of hope. It’s beautifully written and I really hope the pictures do it justice.
Depression and mental health are uncomfortable issues to discuss in relation to parenting. My oldest is nearly 15, so I’ve been to many playgroup sessions week after week and school mothers nights out. Predictably there’s always a lot of talk about mile-stones and achievements. The one thing you can count on not hearing is ‘Do you know what? I’m not having such a great time of things’. Parents can’t talk about not coping. It would be like admitting failure. And when you live in a gorgeous suburb by the sea, with a nice house, good jobs and healthy children….well failing to be anything but joyful and grateful is frankly not on!
Picture books often tackle the big issues. Here are some of my favourites:
Refugees and migration:
Memory loss and Altzeimers disease:
Grief and Loss:
Anxiety in children:
Exciting news! Both these books are on the Speech Pathology Australia Children’s Book of the Year Awards!! There are some seriously impressive names of the lists, so fingers crossed!
Well, the bad news is that we didn’t cross the line at the ABIA awards and win, but it was truly fantastic to be nominated. I’m busy getting on with the next book. This one is called ‘Being Different’ and I’m really enjoying it. The little girl looks strangely familiar with her wild curly hair and I can really relate to the way she just can’t get things right at school.
This is a very exciting thing that’s happened in the past 24 hours. Naomi Hunter and I are very very happy to have been shortlisted for the ABI Awards in the small publisher section. Fingers crossed!!