Cover reveal - The Gum Family Finds Home

Friday, 6 July 2018

https://taniamccartneyweb.blogspot.com/2018/07/the-gum-family-finds-home-august-2018.html

I'm so delighted to showcase the cover for my next book with friend and illustrious illustrator, Christina Booth--The Gum Family Finds Home--published by the National Library of Australia.

It's all about a darling family of koalas, on the hunt for a more 'stable and rock solid' home. Leaving their flimsy gum tree, they set out on a tour of Australia, discovering a range of our magnificent geological sites. Not only do they learn a lot, they also learn that home is pretty much where the heart is. But where will that home be?


The book is out this August and I'll soon have some giveaways and koala-like fun on my blog, so keep your eyes peeled!

You can grab a peek at the internal pages in my blog post for the NLA right here, and if you're really keen, you can pre-order a copy here!

July - a snugglefest of writing and illustrating

Tuesday, 3 July 2018

watercolour/paper-cutting experiments

Finally, finally winter is in full force here in Canberra, and I am enjoying every frosty beanie/boot/mitten-wearing moment! Endless cups of hot tea, toasty soups, faux fur blankets . . . my feels are quite Icelandic. And of course, other than a quick dash to the shops and a brisk walk in the glorious winter sun, it's lovely to have every excuse to shut myself away in my light-filled studio, and create create create.

Speaking of beanies, can you believe how gorgeous my gumnut beanie is, below? I found it on Etsy--the store is Fibre Delights--and how could I resist? I'm hoping to wear it to my launch for Mamie--my picture book on May Gibbs, out this December. And how good would this beanie be for Book Week dress-ups?

chief minister's reading challenge visit

Monday, 4 June 2018


I had the great pleasure of visiting Rosary PS here in Canberra today, as part of my role as an Ambassador for the Chief Minister's Reading Challenge. What could be more fun than talking books, showing how books are made, celebrating books, sharing books, laughing about books, and reminding children how much fun they are (not to mention how they make their brains and hearts grow super huge).

world map giveaway

Saturday, 2 June 2018



To celebrate the release of my new World Map (Hardie Grant Travel, more deets here), I have two copies to give away to a lucky travel lover--yes, you there, reading this, it could be you!

All you have to do is head to my Instagram page, follow me and tag a friend. I'll then pick a random winner on Saturday 9 June at 5pm, and the winner and their tagged friend will win a map each!

I will announce the winner over on Instagram and I'll also message the winner, so be sure to check your messages Saturday evening. Please note that maps can only be sent to Australian addresses. This comp is in no way linked to Instagram.

If you don't win, Kids' Book Review will also be giving away a map soon, too, so keep an eye on the website. Good luck!

https://www.instagram.com/taniamccartney/

marvellous maps wrap-up and sorry day launch

Thursday, 31 May 2018


It would easily be thirty years since I've set foot inside the State Library of New South Wales. Sydney was my stomping ground during the '80s, and I still have a deep affection for this city, especially its molten core of culture, the arts and humanities.

The SLNSW is a central hub in this delicious melting pot, and how I've waited this long to revisit, I do not know. The Library has been undergoing some impressive upgrades, and several new galleries (with more to come) have opened, along with a children's learning centre, opening early October.

The current line-up of programmes, events and brain-popping resources is, on its own, worth a Sydney visit (I hope to go later in the year), and I was fortunate to have a wee tour of the SLNSW's hallowed halls ahead of my Marvellous Maps event this past Sunday.

I left Canberra early on a Dash-8. It was a glorious day. I used to be a flight attendant, but taking off and landing still causes an earnest nose pressed-to-window, as though a birds' eye view is something completely new to my eyes. Each and every time.

Leaving Canberra and arriving in Sydney...

world map - big reveal!

Tuesday, 29 May 2018

https://taniamccartneyweb.blogspot.com/2012/11/worldmap.html

Okay, I cannot wait a moment longer. I just can't. Here it is--the big reveal--my illustrated world map!

Huge thanks to the lovely people at Hardie Grant Travel--what a hoot it was to travel the continents in search of imagery to delight little (and big) ones.

This map is out 1 June (just 3 days away...) and you can pre-order online now at Booktopia or at Readings (posts internationally). Otherwise, you're sure to find it Australia-wide, wherever books and maps and gifts are sold.

This map is a little smaller than the Australia map, so you may more easily find precious wall space... I'm seriously considering my ceilings, I'm out of walls.

I hope you love this creation--it was such a joy to create. Enjoy these close-up snapshots below, too, and here is the official blurb and map info.

Happy travels!





marvellous May, maps, mammals, microbiomes and making changes

Sunday, 20 May 2018

platypus playing with gouache

It's marvellous May! and winter has finally descended on Canberra. But it's not the winter I know. I may be decked in knits and beanies and ugg boots (hurrah!), but many of our trees are STILL in full leaf. Or part-leaf, dotted with a red leaf or three. There is still no blaze in our neighbourhood--no trees on fire with red, yellow, orange, no no. It's still 'meh'.

It's summer being strangled by the cold paws of Jack Frost. There has been no autumn in our city this 2018. And other than this snatch of yellow down at the lake recently, it seems there will be no autumn. And it makes me uneasy.



Maybe you've seen the same kind of changes where you are, maybe you haven't. But it's a timely reminder that our dear planet isn't well, and that every little bit we can do to nourish her is a must. Yes, even if we feel the horrendous impact multinational juggernauts are waging on our planet while chasing a buck, makes it feel like our efforts are for nought.

But then, I guess, there's always Mars, right?

Groan.

On a lighter note...

maps in May at the state library of new south wales

Thursday, 3 May 2018

http://www.sl.nsw.gov.au/events/family-fun-maps-may

Magical, Marvellous, Magnificent Maps!
Sunday 27 May 2018
11am - 12pmState Library of New South Wales

Explore time through the marvelously magical and magnificent world of maps with children’s author/illustrator, Tania McCartney. Tania is positively, absolutely mad about maps, but then, who isn’t?

From the beginnings of time, when earth’s land was just one great big blob, to the way countries have formed and unformed and reformed again, little adventurers can make their own explorer hats, jump on a virtual ship, and come on this journey to uncover geological, floral and faunal treasure.

See how our Great Southern Land was once mapped—your eyes will boggle!—and which major part was completely missing. Learn who was first to complete an accurate cartographer’s map of our coastline, and how the land was once divided (there was once no Queensland!).

Through visual exploration, Tania will also show kids how her Australia: Illustrated Map was put together, from crafting the illustrations through to digital placement.

Children can then make their very own map, featuring plants, animals and markings of their own travels. Suitable for kids aged 4 – 12.  

Book a place

acres of glorious book covers

Wednesday, 25 April 2018


We all have our 'things', do we not? Those little things in life that make us sigh and curl up in delight, preferably with a cup of tea and the sound of some kind of chirping through an open window.

That's how I feel about book covers. Yes, the contents are also pretty special, but the covers. Sigh. They are everything, and yes yes--feel free to judge away, for in this world of easy-access, brilliant illustrators and designers from all walks of life and around the world, there is simply no excuse for a book with amateur illustrations, shoddy design and woeful typography.

In a fit of happy, I trawled Pinterest recently for book cover stunners, and although this line-up is long, it's a mere piccolo peep in an orchestral ensemble of beautiful works over the years.

These are books covers that are beautifully crafted, design-wise, clever, and even enchanting, but I'm aware they're covers that particularly enchant me. Yours might be different. Do you have a favourite you want to share?

hello april! you are really summer

Friday, 13 April 2018

Um, what's happening with this endless summer? A 30-degree week in Canberra (???) and only a small selection of our trees are even thinking about putting on the ritz with orange, red and gold. Some are still full green but scraggly and tired, you know? This ugly garden phase is kind of doing my head in, as is my chomping desire to slip boots and gloves on. Come on, 'summer', enough already!

To cheer myself, I've been hiding inside with the aircon on (in April???), painting up a storm and working hard on my next illustrated book (a sneak peek coming in this post). I've had many requests to sell giclée prints of my Flora series, and you'll notice, above, I'm putting a bulk order in so they'll turn out cheaper to buy (just $35 including postage; on my Etsy store, they are $50).

If you want a Flora print, email me with what you'd like, or head to my Insta page where you can leave a comment. Sorry for the short notice, but orders close at midnight on Sunday 15 April. I can only post to Australian addresses.

You'll notice I've created some slightly different illos in the series... using collage. When I created Australia Illustrated, I spent a lot of time monoprinting backgrounds for use in the book. Endless monoprinted pages have been sitting in my cupboard and they're just too beautiful to throw away, so I've been snipping away, creating shapes...


I kind of knew what I wanted to do with them (but not really) and this is what I came up with...

see hear: FOR KIDS!

Sunday, 1 April 2018

Happy Book Birthday, See Hear!

Hey kids! Want some cool stuff to download and print? Piglet, Bunny and Cat have some treats for you... a colouring sheet, two word searches (one super easy--above--and one super hard below) and a Spot the Difference!

We hope you have fun with these. And don't forget to enter our comp to win a copy of See Hear!

Word Search

Spot the Difference

There are 10 of them--see how you go. And if you need a little help, just click here.




Colouring-in

Just print and colour! And if you want to show us your creations, email them here!

see hear: creator interview

Wednesday, 28 March 2018


In celebration of the release of See Hear (EK Books), Jess and I have put together a little inside creator interview--all about our favourite things!

Favourite thing to see:

TM: Art. Man-made: illustrations, paintings, collage, architecture. Nature: mountains, trees, the way light bends itself into such beauties as bokeh and rainbows.
JR: My kids playing in our veggie patch.

Favourite thing to hear:

TM: Rain falling. Always has been, always will be. Also love hearing laughter.
JR: Rain (while I am inside).

Childhood memory of something you saw:

TM: I have vivid memories of someone from my family, perhaps an aunt, holding helium balloons. I think we might have been at the show or the zoo or something--I was super young. I can still picture them and can still feel a flood of pure happiness. Maybe it explains my balloon obsession??
JR: Full moon rising, dolphins jumping, still ocean while we were in a little boat at sunset.

Childhood memory of something you heard:

TM: I grew up in Hobart, where it rained pretty permanently. I feel an enormous sense of comfort and love when I hear rain. Combine it with the smell of ironing clothes or cheese toasties in a pan, and I am transported straight back to childhood.
JR: Listening to my parents chat with friends at the dinner table while I fell asleep at their feet.

Favourite page in See Hear: 

TM: You know how hard this is, right?? I love them all, seriously. But if I had to choose, I would choose happy humming. It just warms me to my toes.


JR: I think the discovery of the castle.



Favourite onomatopoeia in See Hear:

TM: I do love sizzle, pop and clatter, but my favourite would have to be giggle giggle giggle. Because I can almost literally hear it. And what's more beautiful than the trails of children giggling?
JR: Happy humming.

Favourite onomatopoeia of all time:

TM: SPLOTCH!
JR: Warble

Best thing about working on See Hear:

TM: The ease, and the excitement of seeing what imagery Jess would come up with next. It was like Christmas each and every time.
JR: Working with such an easy and fun team again, and getting to hang out with the three characters again.

Best thing about creating early childhood picture books:

TM: Knowing the impact we may have on young minds. Providing comfort, joy and enchantment for kids is everything. The thought of a child saying 'again! again!' and befriending any of my books ... how happy that makes me ... no words to describe that.
JR: It's a dream job, creating something kids can see (and hear) and building new worlds on the page.

What I hope kids will take away from See Hear:

TM: Connection. And I hope adults are transported back to the happiest moments of their childhood.
JR: A bit of fun and magic while learning more about their senses.



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