CBCA Awards Foundaton Bears - introducing Mamie

Saturday, 25 May 2019

I was thrilled and honoured to be asked to create a bear for the CBCA Awards Foundation, which raises valued Book of the Year prize money for Australian children's book creators. Meet 'Mamie' - one of four bears that will be silent auctioned at this year's CBCA National Conference in Canberra.

hello, Flo - passion project

Tuesday, 14 May 2019

While scouring my laptop today, I came across this watercolour I did for a picture book I was penning on Florence Broadhurst (around 4 - 5 years ago). The project, like my book on May Gibbs, Mamie, proved difficult to pursue, but if Mamie could come to fruition, maybe Flo could, too.

Although I'd change a million things about this artwork, seeing it brought back a flood of beautiful memories - mainly because this was a passion project for me. Uncontracted and just for 'fun'.

It's also a reminder to revisit past ideas and projects that bring us joy. Will I pursue this book one day? Perhaps. When I get out from under this production mountain I'm under! Until then, I hope this little random post encourages you to dive into projects you adore - and ignore both the limitations imposed by the world around you ... and by yourself.

some lovely bits as winter creeps in

Friday, 3 May 2019

Hello, hello - I hope you're having a gorgeous start to the winter season. Above is a Canada goose flying to Texas for the winter, and as ANZAC Day has come and gone, Canberra has (as it always does) plummeted headlong into beanie weather. If I had wings, though, I wouldn't be heading to warmer climes, no no. Could not be happier. I even bought new boots last week. Beanies, gloves, boots, scarves, tights is where I'm at. Bring it on!

Yes, it's definitely snuggle weather, and that couldn't be more appropriate because all I seem to be doing of late is snuggling up to my Mac, my laptop, my drawing board . . . and barely looking up. I'm right in the thick of a LOT and feel quite out of touch with the world, so wanted to say hi, share a bit of news, and give you some peeks before I go back into creative hibernation.

Australia Map--it's a puzzle!

Friday, 12 April 2019

Sometimes, you just have addictions, you know? Picture books, handbags, puzzles. I LOVE puzzles. Totally surreal, then, to sit at a table and do your own puzzle! (By the way, this photo, above was taken on a table, with me standing on it!)

Thanks to the gorgeous peeps at Hardie Grant Travel, my Australia Illustrated Map has been converted to the pieced-up form--252 pieces, to be exact. I've already made it three times and it's so much fun, especially as I drive my son nuts by knowing where most things are located!

Australia Map Puzzle will be on the shelves 1 June, in bookstores or online, and you can pre-order a copy right here. The puzzle pieces come in a lovely sturdy box, and on the front of the box is a 12-page booklet with fun facts the kids can work through as they make the puzzle.

Here are some more pics, and you can read the product blurb right here. Happy puzzling!

This is Home : Essential Australian Poems for Children launch wrap-up

Monday, 8 April 2019

Yesterday, at the National Library of Australia, a sea of poetry-loving peeps descended to celebrate the official launch of This is Home: Essential Australian Poems for Children. It truly was the most beautiful gathering--there was some poetic magic in the air.

Publisher Susan Hall opened proceedings, then the amazing Margaret Hamilton, who had travelled all the way from the Blue Mountains, launched the book. She spoke so eloquently while simultaneously having us laughing, as she is wont to do. Jackie then spoke, and as always, had the entire audience enchanted. Even the children were enthralled, and a friend's young son later expressed he was brought to tears by her beautiful words. Says it all.

I spoke briefly before handing the mic to the gorgeous poets in attendance, some who had travelled from far flung places. In order of left to right in the following photos: Stephen Whiteside, Libby Hathorn, Janeen Brian, Geoff Page, Chris Cheng, Jackie Hosking and young local poet Leo Barnard. Absolute literary legends in this group, and such beautiful people. I am fiercly clutching my book copy, signed by all poets (except Geoff, but I hope to have him sign it in the future, along with any other poets I encounter!). It's now a treasured possession, that's for sure.

What struck me, as the event unfolded and as the poets read their work, was how utterly engrossed the children were. Even the very young. They were also super calm and relaxed, lounging on the floor cushions and drinking in the words, as though a soothing balm was washing over them. The event was quite long, yet little eyes, everywhere, were wide with wonder and engagement.

At the end of the poetry spell (did not want it to end!) Jackie and I signed books for--golly, I reckon over an hour. It was so special to meet these poetry lovers and chat and share stories.

Huge thanks to everyone who came along to celebrate This is Home. Thanks to Jackie who travelled all the way from the Araluen Valley, with her painful leg! She is one incredible woman. Thanks to the NLA--to Susan, Candice, Lynda, Amy, Katherine and the rest of the team, for this book and for this beautiful event. A special thank you to Stephen Whiteside for making everyone laugh with delight at his poetic 'performance'. It was an absolute hoot! Thanks, also, to my beautiful friend Stephanie Owen Reeder who was roped into taking pics--they are sensational!

And now--pictures paint a thousand words--so here we go . . .

Hip Hip Hooray! launch birthday party

Saturday, 6 April 2019


Hip Hip Hooray! Happy birthday to our beloved book--Hip Hip Hooray!--with Windy Hollow, which has just this week launched into the world, featuring amazing illustrations by Jess Racklyeft, and the coolest, coolest augmented reality feature!

We launched at the STUNNING new Harry Hartog store at the ANU--mega thanks to friend and The Best Bookseller in the Universe Ever Jimmy Redden, the gorgeous Katarina Pearson and the fab HH team for hosting. It was such a hoot and was the most beautiful, perfect venue.

Huge thanks, too, to everyone who came along to celebrate, and especially to the amazing Nicole Godwin for these brilliant photos, and to my girl Ella and her beau Josh for wrangling the kiddles into pass-the-parcel. Truly, these kids are amazing book-loving dynamos and I simply adore chatting with them; they always make me laugh.

Also, a humble thank you to Julie Long and Lisa Fairlamb for the unexpected and heartfelt gifts--they are just divine and I will treasure them and your words; thank you.

Here is a peek at the shenanigans... and please, if there is a photo of your child here you do not want public, please email me here and I'll remove it, pronto.

So . . . we took a peek at the book's AR pages (videos below) and we overcame a tech hiccup to do so (no wifi on my iPad, doh!) and then we lit a cupcake and sang happy birthday with the help of ACTUAL birthday girl, Cate Whittle, and of course all the kids blew the candle out from where they were sitting, too. On the last page, everyone blew their party blowers--oh, it was festive!

Then the kids played pass-the-parcel and I signed books and got lots of cuddles and laughs and then we ate cake, yes we did, and coloured in (chameleons! thanks, Jess!) and gobbled Easter eggs and the kids nabbed party bags and we all sashayed around in our book-matching party hats.

It really was the loveliest time. Thank you again, everyone--and Harry Hartog--sorry about the crumbs! Jess and Cristina, you were missed.


Goodbye, summer--hello deadlines

Sunday, 31 March 2019

Well, hello, creative people. It's been a wee while since I last wrote. Have been under a bit of a mountain and that will continue for some time, but it's all good! From under the mountain, lots of lovely things have been going on, including the onset of Autumn. Sigh. So happy.

This morning I burrowed into the oversized basket in our spare room, perennially crammed with knits--scarves, beanies, gloves. And I wore a beanie for the first time this year, on our walk around the lake (and no, I'm not being a sook, it was 4 degrees in Canberra this morning!). I sure was cold but this walk warms my heart. I love it so. Every Sunday we do it, my hubster and me. Well, he runs.

So, I'm aware it's not spring, but above you will see a forest of daisies--aren't they superb? They're hiding a little darling who is taking up a lot of my time--Evie. She is a daisy-loving girl and I'm in love with her. I was talking to Cate Whittle recently, for The Happy Book podcast, and she was saying that if you want to write a junior fiction series, you need to fall in love with your characters, and that's just what I've done. I can't wait for you to meet Evie. The books will be out next year.

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

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