hip hip hooray something special

Tuesday, 12 March 2019

Launching 1 April, Hip Hip Hooray is going to have a very special extra something that kids will love--the pages come to life! Make sure you turn up the sound. #hiphiphooray

upcoming book launches

Sunday, 3 March 2019

Books always tend to come at once.
I'm delighted to be launching two books this April. 
If you're in Canberra, would love to see you there! 


summery goodness and birthdays and gardens and books

Sunday, 24 February 2019

Hello! and welcome to my brand new website/social media look. This happened randomly the other day. I was inspired by a pretty font (as is the way with me) and I just went and did a new header. Literally took ten mins--just selected a few illos that make me smile, and bam. Done.

If you're interested in these divine fonts, they are by Tom Chalky, who was offering a font special recently. How could a girl resist? The texture behind my name (this font is 'Bobby Jones Regular') was made by clipping mask in Adobe Illustrator, using the head dress of the flamingo, top right. The loopy font below my name is 'Magnite' ... there is no way to improve this font. It's sheer perfection.

I like to change up my website 'look' every two or three years. I think it keeps things fresh, and anyway, we need to move and change and grow as our careers do, non?

So, how are you? Are you heralding autumn, like me? Already brushing off boots and hauling out the scarves? We had a blistering 8 weeks over Dec/Jan in Canberra, and thankfully, things have really eased off, which much cooler nights and warm (not quite literally burning) days. We've also had some rain, hallelujah. Cannot believe summer is almost over, but, as ever, I'm thankful it's nearing its end.

Suddenly, new books are sneaking up on me, too. This April, I have two new books out ...

Cover reveal - This is Home

Monday, 11 February 2019


Over the past couple of years, I've had the immense pleasure of working on a dream project for the National Library of Australia, alongside the inimitable Jackie French, to produce the most incredibly wonderful poetry book for children, including poets from all times, all walks of life and backgrounds, and featuring poetry from the classic to the whimsical, the modern and the kooky, the humorous and the heart-breaking. What ties all of these creations together is that they are pure Australia, and they will appeal to so very many ages and interests.

Masterfully chosen by Jackie, and also featuring her glorious chapter intros, kids (and adults) will enjoy poems from such luminaries as Oodgeroo Noonuccal, AB Paterson, Henry Lawson, Elizabeth Honey, Alison Lester, Libby Hathorn, Shaun Tan, Andy Griffiths, Omar Musa, Judith Wright, Meg McKinlay and so very many more.

The illustrations for the book were done in both print and digital mediums, and to say that a tonne of love, sweat and tears went into this would be an understatement! At over 150pp, it is one of my most beloved projects yet.

I cannot even believe it's almost here.

The book is out this April, and you can pre-order it right here.

Click more to see a page peek ...

Mamie giclée prints!

Thursday, 7 February 2019

I'm so very excited to (finally!) be offering prints from Mamie.

These 6 x A4 Limited Edition giclée prints (25 of each) will be signed, dated and numbered.

They will be priced at just $70 each, but I'm offering a special introductory price of $40 each, ONLY for the month of February.

Postage to anywhere in Australia is FREE! You can message me if you're super keen to have one sent overseas.

See my Etsy store for details.  

Mamie Peeks

Mamie Sings

Mamie Baby

Mamie Forest

Mamie Wish

Mamie Queen

Hip Hip Hooray! cover reveal

Tuesday, 5 February 2019

Hip hip hooray, Hip Hip Hooray! is almost here! Jess Racklyeft and I just loved creating this sequel to Merry Everything! and I can't wait for you to see how these delightful animals celebrate their birthday anniversaries ... all around the world.

The book will be released on 1 April, and watch this space for a children's party event here in Canberra, to celebrate the launch.

You can pre-order your copy right here.

And while you wait, here is a sneak peek at an internal spread.



The big day is almost here. The invitations are sent, the presents made pretty... there's some fun to prepare!

Peek inside the homes of these adorable animals as they celebrate charming birthday traditions - from party hats and pinatas to blowing out the candles... and making a wish. Hip hip hooray!

This picture book, by an award-winning duo, features echidnas in Australia, goats in Canada, sloths in Costa Rica, narwhals in the nippy Barents sea, orangutans in the depths of Borneo, and an entire menagerie of creatures from around the world-sending invitations, wrapping presents, playing party games and of course, prepping the birthday cake for the ultimate annual wish.

Starting on birthday eve and ending as the party hits full swing, this vibrant romp will delight little ones as their very special day comes around... and highlights the importance of family, friends and the heart-warming traditions of childhood.

Scotty Day at Nutcote

Sunday, 20 January 2019

Of course, May has my favourite flower on her doorstep

Sydney, especially its north shore, was my stomping ground in the mid-1980s and early '90s. It was an incredible time of glamour and excess. I still have my diary from that time, and 30 nights of every month were pretty much filled with some fabulous event (yes, even February). Days were for work. Things were a wee spot busy.

Perhaps that's why I failed to visit May Gibbs' beautiful house in Neutral Bay--Nutcote. Sometimes we have bliss on our doorstep and we simply miss it, you know? I don't know why we do that to ourselves. Why do we do that?

I made up for things today.

Hubster and I drove to Nutcote early this morning, where I had three hours of happy. The gorgeous Stephanie greeted me and showed me around. The grounds are superb and of course the house--the house. I stood in wonder.

I touched May's drawing desk. And her writing desk. It was momentous. There may have been tears.

And I imagined her busy by the sweet little studio light dangling from the ceiling, as she often created at night. I saw hand-knitted socks made just for her. I swooped my hand in the sink with its wooden bench and imagined her washing dishes. I pictured her tending the hydrangeas outside the front door, and sitting on the balcony overlooking the Harbour Bridge, the city skyline, the bobbing boats ... and the ferries swooshing by.

The house is magnificent, and testament to May's progressive nature. The architecture is a blending of Georgian, Arts and Crafts and Mediterranean architecture (thank you, Edwina) and hosts many features that were unusual for the time (the house was designed and built in 1924/25 with architect BJ Waterhouse; read more about it here), such as built-in bookshelves and wardrobes, and a large main room that cleverly provided several living spaces.

THE HAPPY BOOK Children's Book Podcast

Wednesday, 2 January 2019

Hello, I’m Tania McCartney. I’m an author, illustrator and editor of children’s books. I’ve always wanted to live inside a book, and now I practically do.

I'm here to share with you over thirty years of writing and publishing experience. This is where you'll find insights, insider info, interviews and inspiration to take with you on your kids' book journey. I’ll be discussing the publication journey in all its incarnations—from baby books to young adult literature—from emerging status right through to taking your career up a level.

I’ll share with you my own journey and experience, and will also regularly pick the brains of some amazing people—authors, illustrators, editors, publishers, booksellers, librarians and other industry professionals.

In Series One, we’ll be covering a wealth of ideas, from sowing story seeds through editing, picture book construction and into illustrator journeys. We’ll look at assessments, plotting and planning middle grade, conferences and festivals—there’s just SO much to cover.

As the series of 10 podcasts goes live, you’ll see details of each one listed in the space below. Content will suit both emerging creators and those who’ve been in the game a while.

If you have any questions or comments, you can say hello at books@taniamccartney.com.

So, let’s get started. Fire up your device, cram in those earbuds and enjoy this foray into the magical world of kids’ book creation. Welcome to this happy place—The Happy Book.

What peeps are saying...
Sooo inspiring, meaningful and heartfelt. Listening to them as I create has helped me feel less isolated here in my own little imaginative world. I look forward to each new week!

I'm thoroughly enjoying the Happy Book podcast. Part of today's did more than just resonate with me - I felt the reverberations in my bones. So much so, I took action I've been procrastinating over for several months.

Just tuned into Ep. One! You are always so generous with advice and industry insight, T. A fantastic podcast concept, and one which will benefit creators at any stage of their journey. Bring on Ep. Two!!

Listened to Chapter One this morning- what a lovely inspirational and motivational experience. So excited to have another fabulous Australian Kidlit podcast to delight in!

A gem of warmth, glorious voice giving great advice and reminders. Thanks, Tania. A triumph.

Thoroughly enjoyed listening to this! Tania, you're a renaissance woman!

Great content, fabulous advice. I’m looking forward to chapter 2!

Tania this is such a wonderful podcast. Without meaning to use any writer puns, your voice and pacing are perfect. And it's so interesting. Lucky listeners.

You are AMAZING! Just finished listening to both episodes now that it is on iTunes. You magically crammed so much into two episodes. I can't wait to tune in for more.

The Happy Book Facebook Page
Please do leave a review/recommendation if you love The Happy Book's content! x


December - home, heat, family, books and happy new year

Sunday, 30 December 2018

Oh, December! You are nearly done! You were oddly frosty for a while there, but on Christmas Day, you succumbed to a summer of freakish proportions. We're not expecting a cool change in Canberra until the 8th of January. Heavens to Betsy, are we now desert? I can't even cast my eye over the garden--it's too heartbreaking.

And so, the next few weeks will be spent at home and perhaps snuck inside the odd icy cinema--this is the first year in ages where I've had to make a film list (and check it twice)--there's so much I want to see. Holmes and Watson, Mary Poppins Returns (HATE the abhorrently uncreative title, but can't wait to see it), Bohemian Rhapsody (très late, I know), The Grinch, The Nutcracker, Colette. I've missed Ladies in Black, but I'm going to see the costumes from the film soon--more on that shortly. Any other film recommendations? And also--looking back at these film choices, am I still a child? Honestly??

So the next few weeks will be housebound which isn't such a bad thing, as my break is nearly over, and deadlines call. A couple more days of reading in bed till midday, then I'm up and at them.

I hope you had a lovely Christmas. Ours was quiet and around three-kilos' worth (I'm nibbling rabbit food as I type). We actually celebrated on Christmas Eve this year and it was so lovely--you get to drink cocktails as you unwrap gifts and it can be a real hoot. The kids were spoiled, as ever, and we ate our fill of antipasto, and it made Christmas Day so much more leisurely.

Speaking of Christmas, just feast your eyes on this wreath I snaffled in the pre-Christmas sales (Provincial Home Living). Is it not dazzling? It's the type of thing that stops you as you walk by, and begs a little staring. I'm in love. It's staying up all year--I'm telling you now.

Chrissy Decs 2018

Saturday, 15 December 2018

I've decked the halls! About a month later than I normally do, but that's what being out of town for a month and diving headfirst into deadlines does to a gal.

I also baked gingerbread and made our Christmas cake, though this year I made it in a bundt tin (AND it came out clean, I might add ... phew).

And now I am complete.

Decs are super slim this year--I just didn't have the energy to go full bore, and I have to say I like the sparseness. It's calming. We all need calm.

Our girl may be working this Christmas morning, so our family life is certainly changing. We might have to do the Euro thing and open pressies on Christmas Eve. Of course, we'd then need to have fortified wine and stöllen, ja? Actually does stollen have an umlaut? I don't think it does, but I want to give it one, so there you go. Happy Christmas, stöllen.

Wishing you all a sugarplum Christmas that's calm and bright. I hope you find merry, peace and quiet under the Christmas tree this year (along with a book or twenty). Whatever you do, and wherever you are ... whether you spend it out on a deck overlooking the ocean or in a hammock in the garden or snuggled up on the couch with a book 'neath a snow-dredged mountain, I send you love--from my house to yours.


Mamie window and book reading at Harry Hartog

Friday, 14 December 2018

The Mamie celebrations continue with a book reading at Harry Hartog in Woden last weekend. Such a hugely busy time of year, I'm so grateful to everyone for coming along. Any excuse to catch up, too!

A frollick of fairies and gumnut babies appeared, and got busy making their own fairy/elf crowns. Then we had a book reading (my little Mamie doll helped!) then I signed books while guests had a peek at the window, gobbled fairy cakes and sipped champagne (the big fairies!).

We sold out of all books, including those in the window display, oh no!! I know James is expecting more copies in soon, so I hope you can get to Woden and have a peek at the window and pick up a copy of the book.

Enjoy this peek at this divine little celebration. I don't think any more words are necessary other than to thank James and the lovely HH team for hosting the Mamie window and this reading so close to Christmas. Oh, and I also want to say, gosh I love kids. They are just so completely divine. Thank you, kids, for being kids.

Big thanks to Tracey Hawkins and Leanne Barrett (and others) for the sensational photos!

week four of my May Gibbs Children's Literature Trust Fellowship - A Productive, Creative Outpouring

Thursday, 13 December 2018

My final week in Adelaide was my most productive yet. I called it 'A Productive, Creative Outpouring' in the Fellows' Journal. I really put my head down and finished all the stories for my junior fiction series. I also sketched up some more line drawings and did a little more on my ABC book.

I made a point of walking a lot, too, snapping some more photos of stunning local architecture. This block of flats, below... heavenly. It had a history, complete with plaque, but I forgot to take a photo of it, so can't tell you much more. But couldn't you imagine this as a grand old family home with picnics on the lawn?
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