|milkshake cupcake from the 'Quokka Selfies' page|
It's a little surreal sitting here with a strong coffee, wrapping up my book launch for Australia Illustrated. When I first sat to begin sketching ideas for this book... well, it feels like a lifetime ago. It's almost dreamlike.
When I began speaking at the launch today, it indeed dawned on me that perhaps I was dreaming, and that everyone who came along was actually gatecrashing a dream and that I would soon wake up. This is how surreal it is to see, hold and touch my own illustrated book.
A huge thanks to everyone who came along (or sent messages!) to celebrate this dream-attainment today. Thanks to Harry Hartog bookseller in Woden for this sensational space and for their endless support. Thanks to my daughter Ella and my dear friend Sylvia (her name is in the book!) for the gorgeous photos, and thank you to EK Books and my publisher Anouska Jones for taking this punt on me and my work. I've heard whisper that the book may already go into reprint, so this is certainly a heady time (as dreams most often are).
Herewith a peek at the launch today, and you can see a video of me speaking and also mini interviews of local authors who were also in attendance, organised by the amazing Suzanne Kiraly of Aussie Writers, right here.
This was just the most happy, happy, warm and happy launch. I highly recommend the following of dreams ...
|with apologies to Oliver Jeffers... may be the only time I ever trounce him!|
Without doubt, my favourite part of a launch is the book signing. This is because I get to meet amazing people and catch up with friends and colleagues, but it's mostly because I can connect with children. I can't even tell you how much joy it brings me to see children absorbed in books--tumbling into them and finding adventure, comfort, happiness, strength, courage and beauty in there. Connecting with them over story and books--it's everything.
|this wee man dressed as Riley during Book Week!|
|my Ella Bella, photographer extraordinaire|
|with darling friend Irma Gold|
|this little darling--oh my--so into books; his mum is amazing to start him so early|
|the talented Devon Sillett and family|
|Devon's little boy--gasp; always get a cuddle from him; melts my heart|
|with Caroline from Libraries ACT|
|with talented local author Cate Whittle|
|with Anne-Sophie Hermann from Buk bilong Pikinini |
and Leanne Barrett from CBCA ACT
|with Belle Alderman from the National Centre |
for Australian Children's Literature
|with Mr Smooth - I mean, fab author Craig Cormick ;)|
|with the divine Deb Stevens, book person extraordinaire|
|so chuffed you made it, James!|
|my lovely friend and true book aficionado, Leanne Barrett|
|Mandy! We lived in Beijing together--it's been almost a decade! |
So beautiful to see her; she hasn't changed a bit
|the joy these two bring me--my mother's cousin Colin and his wife Jo|
--beyond special to have them here from Tassie
|Deb Stevens and me|
|don't go, Colin and Jo! (see what I did there?)|
|crazy for books with Devon Sillett and son|
|these two--too beautiful--dear friend Sylvia and my Ella Bella, |
photographers for the day
|the collective soul runs deep in this one|
|the 'milkshake' cupcakes were a bit of a hit |
(overheard by young lad: 'best cupcake ever eaten'; thanks, White Wings)
|Anzac bickies? of course!!|
|Deb Stevens and me: post-event papped|
my Riley - rabble-rousing with Mr Chicken
|where did all the books go?? two massive piles sucked into a vortex - thank you, book lovers!|