Tuesday, 2 February 2016

You are invited - Smile Cry launch party!

http://taniamccartney.blogspot.com.au/2016/02/you-are-invited-smile-cry-launch-party.html

Come and join us for a launch party to celebrate the release of Smile Cry, a unique double-story picture book, with Smile starting and one end and Cry at the other! A Beginner’s Book of Feelings, join Pig, Bunny and Cat as they explore their emotions with gorgeously whimsical illustrations and lots of humour.

Kids will enjoy a story, book signing, goodie bag, a special animal mask and colouring-in. Yes, there will be cupcakes and maybe even pies, and they’ll be able to meet real life versions of the characters!

Perfect for kids up to the age of 6, but all ages welcome.

Bring along smiles, a love of story and your favourite stuffed toy—especially if it’s a pig, bunny or cat!

RSVP to woden@harryhartog.com.au or 02-6232 5832 if you’d like a goodie bag.

Monday, 1 February 2016

One Word Wisdom with author Jacqueline Harvey


1. What is the best thing about being an author? 
Creativity

2. What’s the worst thing?
Juggling

3. How did writing the 13th book in the Alice-Miranda series make you feel? 
Happy

4. What do you hope it brings its readers? 
Pleasure

5. What else do you like to do? 
Golf

6. Who has influenced your writing the most? 
Dahl

7. What has been your biggest career reward?
Readers

8. What is the most important contribution an author can make to the world? 
Ideas

9. What’s your biggest writing goal?
Longevity

10. What’s next?
Clementine Rose Paris

Learn more about Jacquie's fabulous books 
at her website


Monday, 18 January 2016

cover reveal - Smile Cry!

http://taniamccartneyweb.blogspot.com/2012/11/smile-cry.html

Absolutely delighted to reveal the cover to my latest book--created with the amazing Jess Racklyeft, out this March in NZ, UK, USA and Canada, and an April release for Australia. 

I simply adored working with Jess on this book for little ones--her illustrations so perfectly convey my words and the emotion behind them.

Huge thanks to Mark Thacker who typeset the book and designed these amazing covers, and endless thanks to my publisher Anouska Jones for yet again making book publication not only a joy, but a breeze.

Below are the book's details, and look out for my book launch to be held at Harry Hartogs, Woden (Canberra) on Saturday 5 March (click poster below for more). You might get to meet these hand-crochets characters from the book!

http://taniamccartneyweb.blogspot.com.au/p/events.html


Smile Cry OUT MARCH/APRIL 2016
(March 2015, EK Books, $19.99, hard cover, 9781921966989)
BUY

A fun, flip-over picture book for children that reads from both front and back, Smile Cry is an innovative picture book for young kids, showcasing the full emotional range of their formative years.

Readers follow three adorable characters--piglet, bunny and cat--as they react emotionally to a variety of events and circumstances from everyday life. From an 'ate all the pies' smile to an 'ice-cream plopping down cry'; from a 'cosy under blanket smile' to a 'need a band-aid quick cry', children will empathise with the tear-jerking calamity of a popped balloon or lost toy, or feel the smiley warmth of a being tickled.

It's the little things that touch the hearts of children the most, and Smile Cry typifies both the small joys and challenges that are the essence of childhood. Younger kids will respond to the soft whimsical illustrations, while older readers will learn more about the range of their emotions--how it's possible to cry with happiness and also smile with trepidation.

The clever 'flip book' format means that the Smile story reads from front to back, while the Cry story reads from back to front, with both delicious narratives meeting in the middle.

A heartfelt picture book that will be treasured for years, Smile Cry is perfect for ages 3 and upwards.

Teachers' Notes -- coming soon!


Monday, 11 January 2016

book characters come alive


One of the most exciting thing about writing books, is playing 'god' when it comes to creating characters. You can create absolutely anything you like, in whatever colours, styles, moods, personality traits. It's like imaginary play for grown-ups.

Extending characters by creating 3D models is a whole lot of fun, and how could I resist creating crocheted caricatures of Piglet, Bunny and Cat from my upcoming book, Smile Cry? These beautiful critters came to life from the paintbrush of the gorgeous Jess Racklyeft, then hopped onto the end of my crochet hook. They'll be coming along to my Canberra launch in early March! (see EVENTS for more)


Another delightful surprise regarding book characters came from my dear friend and 52-Week Illustration Challenge admin member, Lisa-Marie Kerr, who has started a business that will blow your socks off if you're into gorgeous interiors for kidlets. Bear and Sparrow. You simply must check it out.

Lisa-Marie surprised me with this beautiful peg doll, based on one of the characters from my first self-illustrated book (our November 2016). Can you believe how gorgeous she is?



Creating anything, in any form, whether it be painting or cooking a cake, is such a fine way to feel happy, connected and at one with life.

What are you creating today?



Wednesday, 6 January 2016

sunshiny buckwheat pancakes with coconut yoghurt


During our Christmas trip to Queensland's Sunshine Coast, it was glorious to spend time with friends and family, and it was also glorious to continue to explore this beautiful part of the world--a place I feel a real connection with.

The tiny hinterland towns are some of my favourite places on the planet--and I've always loved Maleny, Buderim,  Montville and Eumundi (the Eumundi markets are superb).

On this trip, we visited Woombye, and stopped at a coffee shop for brunch where I had the most divine buckwheat pancake with yoghurt and banana.

Inspired by this delicious feast, I cooked up my own buckwheat pancake version for the family. This treat is not only gluten-free and dairy-free (other than the eggs), it's low-GI and absolutely delicious.

Combine 2 cups buckwheat flour with 2 tsp baking powder and a scant tsp of baking soda. Ad 1/4 tsp nutmeg, 1/2 tsp cinnamon and a good pinch of sea salt flakes.

Whisk 1 1/2 cups almond or soy milk (I use unsweetened almond), 2 eggs, 2 tsp vanilla extract (you can make your own with a vanilla pod and vodka--though plan in advance as it takes a good 6 months to mature) and lastly, 4 tablespoons of naturally-sweetened coconut yoghurt. If you like dairy, you could also use naturally-sweetened fruit or plain yoghurt like Jalna.

Mix wet with dry until just combined. Cook in coconut oil until just browned underneath then flip and cook no longer than a minute. Be sure not to over cook.

Serve with a good splotch of coconut yoghurt, sliced banana, a shaving of fresh nutmeg and a good squeeze of lime. I sprinkled mine with chopped pistachios and you could also serve with slivers of nectarine and raspberries.

If you make them small enough, you can freeze them for up to a month. Just pop them in the toaster to defrost! A quick brekkie.

Delish!

Sunday, 3 January 2016

Smile Cry - sneak peek


Way, way back when I first decided to reconnect with illustrating (end of 2013--eons ago!), I began the 52-Week Illustration Challenge, which is still going strong in its third year (directed by the gorgeous Nicky Johnston for 2016).

A major part of the joy of the Challenge was in meeting some incredible people, and one of those was Jess Racklyeft.

When I signed contract for a really unusual style of picture book, Smile Cry, I opened an illustrator opportunity to the Challenge group, and we were inundated with stunning work, with three finalists. Jess ended up securing the contract and it has been an absolute joy to work with her on this picture book--a book that has a special place in my heart.

Here are the two images Jess did for the Challenge competition (to fit the text I provided entrants):



Could they be any more adorable??

Of course, like all books, these images have since gone through an even greater transformation and I'm just thrilled with how the book has turned out. It's actually two books in one--Smile begins in one direction and Cry begins in the other direction, with a double-page-spread meeting in the middle.

One thing we wanted to do, to differentiate the two emotional (and opposite) states, was to commit to a set colour palette for either side of the book. For Smile, we wanted to go for a slightly warmer colour palette and for Cry, a slightly cooler one.

Here you'll see the colour palettes Jess worked on, and they just work so very well with the emotional components of the book, and its adorable characters.


I also wanted to give you a peek at the storyboard Jess first provided for the book. I loved all of her ideas! but some of them did develop over time, to provide a nice visual balance through the story. This is really important when it comes to picture books--sometimes close-ups, sometimes full scenes, sometimes vignettes and of course, that all-important white space that rests the eye.


I hope you enjoyed this sneak peek at the work that's gone into my latest book - with the amazing Jess. It's due for release this March, so I'll be revealing the cover(s) very soon! Watch this space!

In the meantime, here is the official book blurb:

A fun, flip-over picture book for children that reads from both front and back, Smile Cry is an innovative picture book for young kids, showcasing the full emotional range of their formative years.

Readers follow three adorable characters - piglet, bunny and cat - as they react emotionally to a variety of events and circumstances from everyday life. From an 'ate all the pies' smile to an 'ice-cream plopping down cry'; from a 'cosy under blanket smile' to a 'need a band-aid quick cry', children will empathise with the tear-jerking calamity of a popped balloon or lost toy, or feel the smiley warmth of a being tickled.

It's the little things that touch the hearts of children the most, and Smile Cry typifies both the small joys and challenges that are the essence of childhood. Younger kids will respond to the soft whimsical illustrations, while older readers will learn more about the range of their emotions - how it's possible to cry with happiness and also smile with trepidation.

The clever 'flip book' format means that the Smile story reads from front to back, while the Cry story reads from back to front, with both delicious narratives meeting in the middle.

A heartfelt picture book that will be treasured for years, Smile Cry is perfect for ages 3 and upwards.

Friday, 18 December 2015

how a tiny crochet snowflake made me weep


How could one tiny snowflake make me cry?

Maybe it's the time of year, the exhaustion, the anticipation of Christmas, the God-awful heat--I'm not sure, but this beautiful little creation snuck into my letterbox today and it melted me.

Such a simple, sweet, delicate, tiny gift - but the beauty and the handmade workmanship takes my breath away.

Thank you, Emma Perry for being able to crochet. Thank you for crocheting snowflakes. Thank you for offering one of your precious, treasured snowflakes to me. I adore it just as I adore you and all you do for books and reading and happiness in the world.

Thank you for reminding me of my time in England--where part of my heart lies--of my first snows, my first white Christmas. Thank you for gifting me your time and your hands.

And so now this little treasure hangs in my studio, in the centre of a very British holly wreath, below Paris bunting, in front of a window encasing a Japanese maple, which sits happily in the heat of a scorching Australian summer. God I love this world--the diversity, the culture, the beauty, the divine blending. Who - WHO wouldn't want things to blend? Blending is so beautiful. It has such depth and shine and heart.

Race with race. Belief with belief. Culture with culture. Tradition with tradition. Home with home. 

Black with white. Rich with poor. Fast with slow. Orange with lemon. Boy with girl. Boy with boy. Girl with girl. Old with new. Lost with found. Displaced with home. Sad with happy. Up with down. Coffee with tea. Memory with future. Heart with soul.

Snowflake with sun. 

Thank you, Em. Your snowflake is what Christmas is all about.

x x x

Friday, 11 December 2015

SCBWI ACT Christmas Drinks

Pauline Deeves, Tracey Hawkins, Kerry Malone, me, Leanne Barrett, Janine, Krys Saclier

What a fun night at Mint Bar at Gorman House Arts Centre in Canberra last night, as the ACT branch of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustrators got together for some drinks and pizza. So great to catch up with everyone and talk about our year, our work and our plans for 2016.

And to do some pretty hefty laughing! What a great time.

Irma Gold, Harry Laing, Beth Amos, Grace Bryant, Tracey Hawkins, Leanne Barrett, Stephanie Owen Reeder, Pauline Deeves, me, Kerry Malone, Tony Flowers

Tracey Hawkins, Suzanne Kiraly, Pauline Deeves, Grace Bryant, Kerry Malone, Leanne Barrett

Irma Gold, Tracey Hawkins, Suzanne Kiraly, Pauline Deeves

Irma Gold, Beth Amos

Harry Laing, Tony Flowers

If you are an aspiring author or illustrator, or just a kids' book lover, I so highly recommend joining your local SCBWI branch. The networking and support and opportunities and gorgeous people are so worth it. If you would like to join the ACT branch, email Coordinator Tracey Hawkins right here. We going to have lots of fun in 2016!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...