Next week the Bologna Children’s Book Fair commences – and after 12 years, I will be there once again!

I used to sell co-editions for a children’s publisher and was so lucky to go – it blew me away. I still have some photos from that trip (why do they look so old? Hipstamatic!!). It was so inspiring as a future illustrator – it really was a life turning point to see the art made in the world of children’s books.

Fast forward to this year and myself and Anden Wilder had the most incredible email recently when we learnt that we had won the SCBWI Bologna Scholarship!! This incredible opportunity not just means the big costs to attend the fair are covered, but we have the chance to be on the SCBWI stand, do a portfolio review, an illustration battle (!) and meet many amazing people that are part of the SCBWI team.

This is my first trip overseas in ten years (kids and covid!) and I couldn’t be more excited to return, this time as an illustrator and author rather than co-editions seller! I am with an absolutely incredible crew of Australian publishers, illustrators and authors and can’t wait to maximise every moment.

The biggest thanks to SCBWI, the Australian Publishing Stand, and my partner Matt for holding the fort at home. x

New Book – All the World Says Goodnight

At the end of this month a new book I worked on is out – All the World Says Goodnight.

This book is a gentle story for kiddos going to sleep – celebrating the way all different animals sleep – how/where/when etc, and how to get back to sleep when you wake. It was so fun to paint with all the scenes around the world! I hope it makes some readers very happy (and snoozy)…

New Book – Big World, Tiny World: Reef

This month I have been so excited to see the follow up to Big World, Tiny World: Forest. And this time it is set in the sea!

Once again the book flows from the huge (universe) to tiny (tiny rock pool worlds) through the beautiful die-cut sparkling star. A huge thanks to the Affirm Press crew for allowing me to make books with these kind of deluxe special effects, and to Hannah Janzen who did the beautiful design.

Reef is available now in bookshops across Australia.

Whisper on the Wind

Today is launch day for Whisper in the Wind! This is a new book by Claire Saxby, illustrated by moi. I really really love Claire’s layered text, which builds – all set in the ocean at night (which I found super hard to do but also a wonderful challenge!).

“A stunning picture book about separation, connection and reunion from the team behind the glorious Iceberg, renowned picture book creators Claire Saxby and Jess Racklyeft.

This is the wind

that carries the whisper

from Ren’s dream.

This is the sailor,

long at sea,

who catches it.

The multi-award-winning duo behind Iceberg returns! With its lyrical, cumulative text and whimsical, richly imagined artwork, Whisper on the Wind is a celebration of the wonders of the ocean and the power of love to find us – wherever we are.”

Finishing off the year!

Well it’s that time again where school hols are about to kick off and summer hits Melbourne. It’s been a really hard year for us in lockdown after lockdown, and the lack of seeing friends, school, travel etc – it really hit me hard. But things are looking brighter with Melbourne kind of finding its groove again, the kids settling into school (well, holidays are coming so that helps too), we got our house fixed up a bit… and new books are on their way!

I thought I would share the upcoming titles. Firstly, Big World, Tiny World: Forest is coming out January 25th! It follows the shining ball (cut out through the whole book) but the perspective changes – from the universe, to earth, to land, to forest, to plants, to tree roots – its a look at the connection of life through it all. Published by Affirm Press and designed by Hannah Janzen, I am thrilled it will be out in a month!

The soon after in March ’22 “Whisper in the Wind” is out – written by Claire Saxby, published by Allen and Unwin. I found this one a lot trickier – it is set at night, in the ocean, with a dreamy and lyrical text. But with the help of super editors and publishers Davina and Nicola and with the amazing manuscript it all came together beautifully!

Along with my family and friends, I think work really helped me get through this tough year (oh and running – a new hobby!). I am looking forward to celebrating these books early next year and hopefully they bring back the good memories of 2021. xx

New Books

I’m counting down the days, as in the next two weeks two new books are out!

The first is a BIG ONE! The Book for Happy Hearts by Maggie Hutchings and published by Affirm Press is a big 120 pages, a treasury of poems, stories and activities. It was so fun to illustrate with such varied subject matter, and we had the design wonder Kristy Lund-White working with us. It’s kind of arrived at the perfect time here as we are a little flat with remote learning and lockdown, and started doing the activities today! We hope it brings lots of happy hearts out to play.

The second, arriving just a few days later is Peek and Boo. Written by Coral Vass and published by Windy Hollow Books, this one is a sweet tale about two owls and their egg. I got to experiment by combining my big painted canvases with the illustrations, and I love how to it turned out!

It’s been quite a year (again) and despite the challenges of lockdowns and remote learning and the rest, I’m so chuffed I still get to do my beloved job illustrating children’s books! I hope you like these new titles.

New things and different formats!

This month two new books are out: There’s Only One Grandpa Like You, and two books from previous years have had a reboot – TOOFLY and Welcome Baby! All of these are out with the wonderful Affirm Press and a big thanks to Tash and the team for thinking up the new ideas and formats.

New Books!

At the end of the month I am chuffed to have two new books in the “There’s Only One” series… Grandma and a board book version of Mum!

Both books are looking rather snazzy, and extra exciting to see TOOMLY in a new format of a board book. Sending love to all the mums, gma’s and brilliant/tough and wise women in the world, constant inspirations. I hope these books have lots of young readers giving their loved ones a high five for all they do and are.

You can find these books from the 30th of March at your local bookshop, more details available at Affirm Press.