I've long dreamed of a picture book series on famous Australians, and around four years ago, was fortunate to be able to approach the National Library with this idea--a series of picture books for the very young.
I was quickly set to work on some other picture books, like Australian Story, Eco Warriors and Australian Kids Through the Years (out September), but along the way, my idea for a picture book on Captain Cook took shape, and I'm beyond thrilled to officially reveal the cover of This is Captain Cook! out this March.
Illustrated by the amazing (and my dear friend) Christina Booth, this book has been the most glorious collaboration and is something I'm really proud of. It just goes to show that when you hold a dream in hand, you CAN make it happen.
Here is the book's official blurb:
Captain James Cook loved to sail. He loved making maps (he was very good at it, too) and he particularly loved shiny buttons. In this charming picture book, little ones can celebrate the life of a great mariner and true adventurer.
Join Miss Batts and her class as they tell the story of Captain Cook with a humorous and whimsical school play that’s sure to engage the very young. We see the class act out the story of Cook: as a boy watching ships on the horizon, sailing to Canada, then to Tahiti and on to New South Wales (spot the escaping chicken in each of the scenes!). Kids will discover that Captain Cook was the first European to cross the Antarctic Circle and they’ll also learn that on his final journey, he never came home again.
Parents, carers and teachers will smile at the familiar set-up of the chaotic school play and the inventive props, and enjoy eavesdropping on the audience as they interact with the performance. At the back of the book, walk through ‘Cook’s Gallery’ and see real life paintings of Cook, his ship and his travels.
I'm also thrilled to reveal that the book has already sold out and is in its second print run, even before publication! If you live in Canberra, you'll be able to snaffle a copy from the National Library Bookshop from 1 February, and the book will be all over Australia from 1 March 2015.
Be sure to watch this space for news on a book launch, too!