Thursday, October 15, 2009

Family Fun Day

As Children’s Week celebrations draw to a close, a new initiative—Children365: celebrate them every day—will be launched at Melbourne Museum on Sunday 1 November 2009.

The concept for Children365 was developed after the tragic death of Darcey Freeman in early 2009. Following the loss of their precious little girl, Darcey’s mother and her family suggested an annual day to cherish all children. They asked the Alannah and Madeline Foundation to help make it a reality. The Alannah and Madeline Foundation initiative Children365 encourages all of us to cherish our children every single day of the year.

The Victorian State Government is proud to partner this initiative and by hosting a family fun day to launch the beginning of Children365. This day signifies the end of a week of celebrating children and the commitment to cherish and protect our children every day of the year. Melbourne Museum is supporting Children365 by generously offering FREE entry for all adult patrons on Sunday 1 November 2009. Concession and children 16 years and under are free every day.


A wide range of free activities will take place throughout the family fun day including – kite and puppet making workshops, chalk drawing, appearances from Premier’s Reading Challenge Ambassadors, sports and games, arts and crafts, entertainment and lots more!

The museum is open from 10am until 5pm. Most of the free activities will run from 10.30am until approximately 3.30pm (some will finish a little later). Andy will be speaking at 1.00pm. Some activities will be held outside the museum (in marquees such as the kite making), but most will take place inside. A full program of the day will be distributed to patrons attending the event and will also be available on our website from mid October.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mannie and the Long LONG Brave Day

Mannie and the Long Brave Day is now out in the world. It was a long (and brave?) process, finding just the right style to suit Martine's text, so I thought I'd post some of the early sketches to give you an idea of how the book developed.
There is also a photo of the 'real Mannie' - Martine's little girl. I took heaps of photos of her and stuck them all around my studio while I worked to inspire me - but this is one of my favourites, sent by Martine when they were in Paris together.
I have included the illustration we ended up using for the cover (left), as well as another cover idea (above) the designer came up with using one of the illustrations from inside the book. It took a long time to find a style that everyone was happy with and I worked in many different mediums. You can see that at one stage Lilliput was going to be in pink gingham! In the end we decided on the pale watercolour wash because Martine and I wanted the book to have a classic, almost old-fashioned feeling.
Every book I work on I try out many different styles and techniques until I find the one that most suits the feel of the book. I will post some other examples of more books I am working on later on.
"Mannie" has had some nice reviews so far. Here is a lovely one from the Sunday Age:
13 September.
When you were a child did you have (or wish you had) a Useful Box chockers with incredible items that might come in handy some time? Mannie has a special box filled with secret things and it's the perfect accessory for a girl with a yen for adventure. The intrepid Mannie coaxes companions Lilliput and Strawberry Luca into an expedition. They set off into the great unknown, stopping regularly to check the box for anything that will put the excellent back into their exploration. During their journey, repetition and delicious onomatopoeia abound, reminiscent of "We're Going On A Bear Hunt". Indeed, read this to an under-five and you'll see their eyes light up as they detect the patterns in the story. Two talented author-illustrators have collaborated for this tale. You can feel their friendship frolicking from page to page.

This one is from Australian Bookseller & Publisher:

And this one was from Magpies: