This is Banjo Paterson blog launch

Monday, 16 January 2017

Come and join me to celebrate the launch of This is Banjo Paterson, with 7 days of blog posts in celebration of Banjo's life, and showcasing the book's creation.

From Thursday 26 January to Wednesday 1 February (the book's release date), I will be posting right here on this blog, and will update this post with daily links.

I hope you can come along and help Christina Booth and I celebrate!


And for those in Canberra...
Book Launch - This is Banjo Paterson
Sunday 12 February 2017
National Library of Australia
...more info and reserve a place...

International Book Giving Day 2017

Thursday, 12 January 2017

14 February 2017

The International Book Giving Day team, founded and headed by my gorgeous friend and colleague, Emma Perry, is delighted to announce that Marianne Dubuc is the illustrator behind 2017’s official poster. Isn't it just divine!?

Now in its fifth year, International Book Giving Day (IBGD) continues to grow from strength to strength, reaching places such as Nepal, India, Canada, South Africa, UK, France, Germany, Australia, New Zealand, Italy, Nigeria, Fiji, Czech Republic, USA, Cambodia, Hungary, The Philippines and Romania.

On the 14th of February, #bookgivingday participants are encouraged to give books to children.

This can take many forms, the only limit is your imagination. Books have been sent to child refugees in Calais, France; a new library was created in Cape Town, South Africa; in Uganda the Mpambara-Cox Foundation gifted books to children, and for many, it was the first time they have been given a book of their own. In 2014, Scholastic Australia went to the Melbourne Children’s Hospital and gifted a book to every child. People continue to be creative in so many different ways, all keen to share the love of books. More examples can be viewed here.

Turning the commercialisation of Valentine’s Day on its head, people across the globe are encouraged to spread the love of reading by getting books into the hands of as many children as possible on 14 February.

Learn more about IBGD here and about Marianne Dubuc here.

On Feb 14, I'll be giving books to kids. When you've finished gobbling chockies and smelling the roses, won't you do the same?

The 52-Week Picture Book Challenge

Tuesday, 3 January 2017

Over at the 52-Week Illustration Challenge, we have a very special announcement.

Tomorrow, 4 January, we embark on our very first theme for 2017, and at the same time, we are launching a very special YEAR-LONG bonus challenge that will run alongside the 52-Week Illustration Challenge this year.

For those Challenge members who are aspiring picture book creators, we are offering a bonus challenge to help you commit to penning one picture book manuscript a week.

Yes, that's right, you heard right. Is it possible? YES!

Just head to the Challenge blog to read up on how it will work:

If you haven't yet joined the Challenge, head there now and request to join. This is a priceless opportunity to get a heap of manuscripts under your belt, created to sensational themes.

Many thanks to Sarah Wallace for the wonderful idea!

a quiet Christmas and a shiny new year

Friday, 30 December 2016

Well, hello everybody. How was your Christmas? Was it warm or cold where you were? Did you eat seafood? Fruit mince pies? Antipasto in the sunshine? Flaming puddings by the snow-banked window? Did you open presents under the palm tree on Christmas morning or did you wait till the afternoon, with fat bellies popping by the fire?

Our day started not-too-early--07:30, gasp. Yes, for our family, the 04:30 days are long gone (though I fully empathise with those who are still entrenched!). We waited 40 mins for my girl Ella to zhuzh herself up (which gave me time to drink my Daily Tea in bed) and then it was under the tree for our traditional personalised Christmas cookies, with Riley as Christmas elf. This year, it was gingerbread with lemon icing in random filigree patterns. Mmmm. They were delish.

By the time the pressies were done, it was time to start cooking. It's been a looooong time since I've made Christmas lunch, and my goodness, even for four people, it takes a while, non??? Why is that?

a pre-Christmas wrap-up, with news, pretty pictures, plump pillows and other stuff

Wednesday, 21 December 2016

Week 50: FESTIVE

It's 1.32pm on 21 December and I've just, against all better judgment, eaten two fruit mince pies for lunch and then wandered the halls for nearly an hour, unable to decide on which pile to tackle.

That sentence pretty much sums up my 2016.

It's been a strange, fragmented, bizarro year of major ups and downs, calamity and calm, and the oddest sensation of feeling either upside down, or wanting to abscond to an isolated villa in Tuscany. Granted, the latter is pretty much a permanent sensation! But more so than ever this year.

It's been such a strange and challenging 12 months--for everyone, it seems--that I'm kind of expecting to wake up and realise it was all just an upside down dream.

That truly wouldn't surprise me at all. I'd wake and I'd go 'Wow, that was a marathon dream nightmare hybrid! I'm so happy to be awake now, yes I am!'

So, as I wait to wake, and as the fruit mince pies settle onto my thighs, I'm only making one resolution for 2017... and that's to recalibrate. Earth myself, house, family, world, work. All of it. Take what's needed and chuck the rest. Cleanse. Focus. Streamline. 2016 was the carnival ride sugar rush. 2017 will the rowboat on an expansive, deep and beautiful lake. A lake bustling with Things I Love to Do.

I hope it's like that for you, too.

In the meantime--here is a pre-Chrissie update before I disappear into a Lindt box the size our car (why fight it?).

Announcing... This is Banjo Paterson!

Thursday, 15 December 2016

Tomorrow, I'm officially in holiday mode, but before I go, I'm thrilled to share with you my newest books--both will be released in February 2017 (National Library Publishing).

This is Banjo Paterson is the follow-up book to This is Captain Cook, and once again features gorgeous illustrations by my dear friend Christina Booth. I'm so excited about this book--an historical picture book for very young children. There'll be a launch here in Canberra on 12 February at the National Library, so keep an eye on my events page for that.

Learn more about the book by clicking on its cover, and if you want to get in early, you can order a copy of the book right here.

Also publishing 1 February is Australian Story: An Illustrated Timeline--a revised edition which includes 2016. This book has become a resource for primary school teachers, so it's wonderful to see the book republished, and with a shiny yellow cover, too.

Learn more by clicking on the cover, and you can order a copy here.

In more exciting news, This is Captain Cook has been shortlisted in the ACT Writing and Publishing Awards! The announcement is tonight at the ACT Writers Centre Christmas Party. Shortlisted with amazing friends and colleagues Stephanie Owen Reeder and Jackie French, I'll be drinking bubbles, whatever happens!

Here's to ending the year bookishly.

Australia Illustrated Reviews

Sunday, 4 December 2016

It's a nervy thing when you launch into a new arena (illustration), especially after decades of neglect! So it's been with great relief that Australia Illustrated is doing so well and that I may not have to put my paintbrush down just yet.

Below are some of the reviews that have been coming in so far. Thank you, everyone, for your kindness!

4 December 2016
Australia Illustrated Review in the Sunday (Funday) Telegraph (above)

2 December 2016
Australia Illustrated Review on The Book Chook

1 December 2016
Australia Illustrated review on The Good Books Blog

November 2016
Australia Illustrated review in School Days Magazine

November 2016
A Pinerolo endorsement of Australia Illustrated 

19 November 2016
Australia Illustrated in the Mummah Christmas Gift Guide

15 November 2016
Review of Australia Illustrated on Unity Words

5 November 2016
Australia Illustrated Review on Just So Stories

2 November
Australia Illustrated with Megan Daley on 612 ABC Brisbane Bookworms

2 November 2016
Canberra Times/Sydney Morning Herald interview--Australia Illustrated

1 November 2016
Australia Illustrated and Author Interview on Franki Hobson

31 October 2016
Australia Illustrated Review in New Idea

31 October 2016
Australia Illustrated Review in Reading's November catalogue

30 October 2016
Review of Australia Illustrated by author/illustrator Christina Booth

26 October 2015
Writing and Illustrating a Picture Book, Australia Illustrated, on DeeScribe

26 October 2016
Author Interview for Australia Illustrated on Pass it On blog

25 October 2016
Writing Non-Fiction Picture Books, Australia Illustrated, on Jen Storer's Girl and Duck

25 October 2016
Creating a Picture Book, Australia Illustrated, on Soup Blog

24 October 2016
Writing and Illustrating Books, Australia Illustrated, interview on Writing Classes for Kids

24 October 2016
Review of Australia Illustrated in Readings' November Catalogue

24 October 2016
In conversation interview on Australia Illustrated with Dimity Powell on Boomerang Books Blog

21 October 2016
Interview with author/illustrator Nicky Johnston for Australia Illustrated 

19 October 2016
Author Interview for Australia Illustrated on Creative Kids' Tales

October 2016
Australia Illustrated review on My Book Corner

October 2016
The Creation of a Picture Book, Australia Illustrated, on My Book Corner

8 October 2016
Review of Australia Illustrated on The Bottom Shelf


Christmas Book Reading at Dymocks

Thursday, 24 November 2016

Australia Illustrated in Dymocks and Harry Hartog Christmas Catalogues

Tuesday, 22 November 2016

Oh such a lovely, lovely thing to see your book cover peeking from the pages of a Christmas catalogue.

Huge thanks to and Dymocks and Harry Hartog.

Thanks to David Jones, too, who are stocking the book!
click to see the entire kids' catalogue at Dymocks

click to see the entire Christmas catalogue at Harry Hartog

spotted at DJs

Challenge Art Auction!

Monday, 21 November 2016

After some luscious, original art or limited-edition prints for a truly unique Christmas gift? Over at the 52-Week Illustration Challenge, we are running our Christmas Art Auction with artworks from some of our fabulous illustrators.

Just head here and click on each album to see the artworks and instructions.

Bidding starts tomorrow!

Tuesday 22 November 8pm
Friday 25 November 8pm

Here is just some of the art to whet your appetite...

Penelopes Nest

Tania McCartney

Sarah Epstein

Nicky Johnston

Penny Fisher

One Word Wisdom with author/illustrator Aura Parker

Wednesday, 16 November 2016

1. What is the best thing about being an author? Words

2. What’s the worst thing? Doubt

3. How did creating your picture book Twig make you feel? Frenzied

4. What do you hope it brings its readers? Courageandjoy

5. What else do you like to do? Textiles

6. Who has influenced your writing the most? Marena Von Behr

7. What has been your biggest career reward? Response

8. What is the most important contribution an author/illustrator can make to the world? Beauty

9. What’s your biggest writing goal? Morebooksmorebeautifulness

10. What’s next? Anexhibitionandabigliedown

As an illustrator, designer and writer, Aura Parker creates bodies of work, including textile designs, prints and picture books. She is the co-founder of boutique Australian art and textiles label Studio Bonnie.

Aura's divine debut book, Twig, is out now! 
Learn more at her website.

Children's Book Creator Masterclass

Tuesday, 15 November 2016

If you are in Canberra, I hope you can come along to my Children's Book Creator Masterclass. It's going to be a super fun event--details below.

ACT Writers Centre
Saturday 19 November 2016
3 - 6pm
ACT Writers Centre, Canberra

Join author, illustrator and editor, Tania McCartney, for this exclusive 3-hour event for serious creators—an in-conversation workshop with content decided by you! Enjoy 2.5 hours of intensive conversation followed by a 30-min drinks and nibbles networking session with other creators (with an option to stay longer). All participants receive a copy of Tania's Fantastical Flying Creator PDF Workshop, valued at $99.

Click here for more info... bookings will be limited!

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