Wombat Books Blog

Wombat Books blog is the place to keep up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Aussie kid's books.

Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Sarah

Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Sarah

First name: Sarah
Age: 17
School: Open Training and Education Network (OTEN)

What are your interests? I like drawing, watching movies, cooking, dancing, playing the piano, and bike riding.

Tell us a bit about your illustration? At the time of the Zooball challenge I was experimenting with drawing on the computer so I decided to attempt creating a drawing with it for the challenge. Although it was not quite the quality I wanted I felt it conveyed the essence of that scene in the story. I felt it adequately showed how Ned was feeling as he watched his ball sailing into the lion’s cage, and I also thought it created a sense of anticipation.

Why did you enter? The reason I entered the Zooball challenge was because I was curious to see how well I would do, and the thought of getting a drawing published was exciting.

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Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Isabelle

Meet Isabelle 

Isabelle

Age: 11
 
School: Maria Regina Catholic Primary School
 
What are your interests? I love to draw or paint whatever comes to mind on any given day; using chalk, charcoal pencils, watercolour pencils and acrylic paints. Listening to pop music and singing are a very big part of my day. I also enjoy playing soccer and tennis. Being part of a team keeps me fit and I get to spend more time with my friends.
 
Tell us a bit about your illustration? I researched each animal included in the page spread and on the back cover to make sure I captured their true expression and personality. Secondly, I figured out where the ball needed to be placed on the page and designed the characters around it. Finally, I carefully drew the animals in the foreground and left the background till last, placing them in their zoo environment and making the ball look as though it was bouncing from animal to animal each in their separate enclosures. I really loved designing the pelican on the back cover because the ball was scooped up in its bill throughout the story. I thought this would be super challenging to illustrate, but I was really happy with the outcome. 
 
Why did you enter? I entered the “Zoo Ball” challenge following Aleesah Darlison’s visit to our primary school at the beginning of 2014. She wasisabellewise really passionate about her writing and I am really passionate about my drawing. I thought immediately that this was the challenge for me! I entered 5 illustrations which took me three months to complete, and then kept my fingers crossed. I wished and thought how cool it would be to see one of my drawings in print for my family and I to enjoy forever.
 
Any wise words? I would like to say that if you find something that you really love, go ahead and do it. You never know when opportunities like this might come your way. Take them with both hands, be brave, and do your best!
 
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2015 Australian Family Therapists’ Awards for Children’s Literature

2015 Australian Family Therapists’ Awards for Children’s Literature

We are delighted to hear that Emily Eases her Wheezes by Katrina Roe and Happy Pants by Heather Gallagher have been recognised as "Recommended titles" by the Family Therapist Award Judges.

Well done to the authors and illustrators of these beautiful books. To celebrate we are offering a special therapist book pack of Wombat titles:

Same. (Released June 2015).

Happy Pants (Family Therapist Recommended title 2015)

Emily Eases her Wheezes (Family Therapist Recommended title 2015)

Coming Home (Family Therapist Recommended title 2012)

RRP: $88.75

Book pack: $70 including free postage.

 

Read about the award winners here.

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Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Meredith

Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Meredith

Meet Meredith

Age: 14

School: William Carey Christian School

What do you like best about your illustration? I drew, first, the outline of the major shapes in my picture, and then used water colour pencils to fill in the picture. I liked the lighter colours where the glass fence appears.

Why did you enter the Zoo Ball Challenge? Because I enjoy drawing and something different to draw.

Tell us a bit about yourself? I really love drawing and painting and anything crafty! I play piano and love it.

Meredith

 

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Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Sophie

Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Sophie

Meet Sophie

 Age: 16

School: Tooleybuc Central School

Tell us a little bit about your illustration? The process of creating my illustration was quite long as I experimented a lot with how I wanted the main character to look before I began the drafts for the final drawing. I think I did two or three drafts before drawing the final illustration, experimenting with composition and colours. My favourite part of creating my entry was discovering how to illustrate the motion of the ball bouncing.

 Why did you enter? When I saw the Zoo Ball challenge advertised I was very excited about the possibility of having one of my illustrations published. I’ve always thought being an illustrator would be a really fun and rewarding job and I though this challenge might give me a taste of what being an illustrator is like - as well as being a lot of fun!

 What are your interests? I have had a massive passion for horses ever since I was really little and am very lucky to own two horses as well as two very naughty ponies. I particularly love working with and training young horses. I also have a love for graphic design, writing and drawing. I’ve kind of tied all of my passions together by making a horse magazine for friends and family twice a year - which is just a lot of fun!

Any final words? I really love the opportunity this challenge is giving budding illustrators around Australia and I want to say congrats to all the talented artists whose entries were chosen. To all of the talented artists whose illustrations unfortunately didn’t get chosen - great effort, don’t be scared to keep practising and make sure you try all the different ways you can draw and make art, it’s so worth it and definitely a lot of fun!

 

 

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Interview with award-winning Aleesah Darlison

Interview with award-winning Aleesah Darlison

Aleesah Darlison is a multi-published, award-winning Australian author. She has written over twenty picture books and novels for boys and girls of all ages. Her story themes promote the concepts of courage, understanding, anti-bullying, love, self-belief, friendship and teamwork. Her books include Spider Iggy, Little Meerkat, Puggle’s Problem, Warambi, Little Good Wolf, Ash Rover and the Unicorn Riders Series. Most recently, Aleesah won the 2015 Environment Award for Children’s Literature in the nonfiction category for her book, Our Class Tiger and the inaugural Puggle Award (Children's Choice Award). When Aleesah isn’t creating entertaining and enchanting stories for children, she’s usually looking after her four energetic children or taking her frisky dog, Floyd, for long walks on the beach. Her website is www.aleesahdarlison.com

1. What was the first story you ever wrote and has it been published?

I’ve been writing since I was a child and many of those stories will never be published. At least I hope they never are! Since taking writing seriously as an adult and starting my journey to publication, I’ve also written many stories that won’t ever get published. It takes a while to ‘perfect the craft’ of writing so those failed attempts should be expected from everyone.

2. What is your favourite part about being an author?

Being able to escape into other worlds, dream up characters and adventures, put it all down onto paper and share that with people – and then wait for their reactions.

3. What was your favourite children’s book when you were a kid?

The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis

4. What is your favourite children’s book now?

That’s a very good question. Besides my books, of course(!), I love the Diary of A Wimpy Kid series. They always make me laugh. But, then, I love lots of children’s books. Too many to list here!

5. Have you ever travelled overseas as an author?

I’ve been a guest author presenter at the Hong Kong International Literary Festival and I’ve toured schools in Hong Kong at other times. At the end of September, I’m about to head off to the WORD Vancouver Literary Festival in Canada where I’ll be presenting and to the Young Child Expo and Conference in Spokane, Washington State in the US. It’s going to be an exciting trip not only because I’ll be a guest presenter at both events, but because I’ll be able to use my travels as inspiration for new stories.

6. Have you met anyone even more famous than you that was exciting?

I’ve met lots of famous authors like Wendy Orr, Isobel Carmody, Kate Forsyth, Leigh Hobbs and others, many of whom I’ve become good friends with. The children’s book industry is very friendly and supportive. I’ve also met John Howard and Clive Palmer.

7. What do you like writing about the most?

Stories that are highly imaginative and magical are the best. I love to write fantasy adventure stories and fractured fairytales. I also love writing animal stories and comedies. Making kids laugh sure is better than making them cry…

8. What do you consider your biggest achievement?

Gaining and maintaining publication in a highly competitive industry. Raising four beautiful, respectful children (a work in progress) and trying my best at all times to create stories that kids will love.

9. Where do you see the future of children’s books (ebooks/apps/print)?

There’s no fighting the march towards digital platforms, but hopefully paper books will still survive – especially picture books for bedtime reading and group enjoyment in the classroom or library. There’s something about the atmosphere of turning the page that no digital platform will ever be able to beat.

10. What is your favourite way/time to read?

Anywhere. Any time. Books are completely portable and so is your imagination. Just bring both along for a fun time.

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Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Hari

Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Hari

Meet Hari

Age: 9

School: Camberwell Grammar School

What are your interests? I have been interested in drawing from a very young age. I like to draw cartoons, landscapes and characters from books I enjoyed reading.  Drawing the scene from Zoo ball interested me because of this. Apart from drawing, I also like reading and playing the Violin. I love travelling and enjoy learning about different cultures.

Tell us a little bit about your illustration? I chose to draw the illustration on page 10 which shows the Kangaroo kicking the ball over the fence. I tried to make the ball look distinctive and bright as the ball is an important part of the story book. I enjoyed entering this competition and drawing the picture, as I like drawing animals and cartoons. I wanted the picture to grab the attention of young readers.

Why did you enter? I found out about the competition through my school and received encouragement to participate. I was excited by the chance to illustrate a part of this book and share my love of drawing for small children.  

Any other comments? I am grateful to wombat books for the opportunity to be involved in this book.

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Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Charlotte

Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Charlotte

Meet Charlotte

Age: 9

School: Kalbar State School, Kalbar Queensland

Tell us a bit about your illustration? I practised it first, on scrap paper.  When I was happy with it I put it on the right page.  I thought it was quite good because I had used bright colours.  I liked how the tree was on the edge of the page.

Why did you enter the Zoo Ball Challenge? I belong to a Book Lab at my school and the parent who runs it encouraged all of us to enter.  It seemed like a fun idea.

What are your interests? I love drawing, playing bass guitar and reading.

Any other words? I was very excited to be chosen to be included in the book.

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Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Macy

Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Macy

Meet Macy

Age: 13

School: Adelaide High School

Macy hoto on 05 07 2015 at 202

Tell us a little bit about your illustration? The page I drew was page 4-5 of Zoo Ball. I was given a line which my illustration was to be paired with. Page 4-5 was about an amazing animal, native to Australia… The kangaroo! The way I went about it was to capture the liveliness of the kangaroo and the joy that it brings to children. My cartoon had to be filled with joy and colour so that children reading the book would want to look at it again and again. I used water colours and pen to create this effect. It turned out as vivid and eye-catching. I particularly liked how your eye is drawn to the pops of colour that don’t clash and work well together. 

Why did you enter? As a small child I used to spend long amounts of time in a space our family called “up top.” Every month my parents would supply me with big sheets of drawing paper, and even as a toddler I knew that I loved art. I loved the feel of a pen in my hand and paper under my fingers. As I grew, I read more children’s books and I saw the pages filled with colour and it gave me new ideas for my drawing. Sometimes the only thing I had to occupy myself was my drawing. When I heard there was a chance of being featured as an illustrator I knew that this was a chance I could not miss. A chance to be published in a book that would potentially reach lots of children and inspire them to draw was why this competition was a could-not-miss chance!

What are your interests? As a small child I grew up with art by my side, (obviously), the other thing I enjoyed and found pleasure in was participating in sports, such as running, track, field, badminton, netball, touch rugby and football. I have represented my state three times. I enjoy doing short runs around my neighbourhood, (next to a beautiful river near my house) as it keeps me fit and healthy. My other hobbies include: cycling, reading, dancing, singing, walking and shopping!  All of these things play a big part in my life keeping me happy and that is why I keep them in my life.

What inspires you?My inspiration came from an artist called “Hannakin.” (A local Australian artist.) Whilst searching round a market in Adelaide I saw this amazing little store entitled “Hannakin.”  It was filled with perfect little tokens and hand-drawn cards. The drawings were such a new idea to me. I realized in my little artist brain that I could potentially turn this style into one of my own. As soon as I got home I jumped straight to my desk, my little drawing space, my pen felt so naturally free as I traced a new kind of drawing style. The characters seemed so perfect and my small sketches grew from tiny ideas to a big thought out piece of art and became unique in a quirky way until they were my own designs. And this inspiration came from a little stall in the centre of Adelaide.

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Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Tayla

Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Tayla

Meet Tayla

Age: 12

School: All Saints Anglican School

What are your interests? My hobbies include art, running, playing guitar, singing and hanging with my friends.

Tell us a bit about your illustration? I drew this picture with watercolour pencils while looking through lots and lots of photos of cartoon animals where I got my inspiration. I started off with a rough sketch and spent many hours perfecting it. The thing that I liked about this competition was the interesting subject that we had to draw. The book uses lots of different animals and I loved using different variations of colour to brighten the picture.

Why did you enter? I entered this competition because I love art and especially drawing animals. I thought it would be a great opportunity to get a picture that I created printed into a fun and exciting book for children.

Any last words? I really look forward to seeing my picture in this amazing book. I feel privileged to be involved, so thank you.

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Meet Zoo Ball Cover Winner: Alyssa

Meet Zoo Ball Cover Winner: Alyssa
Meet Alyssa

Age: 14

School: Presbyterian Ladies' College

What are your interests? My hobbies include sketching animals, painting flowers and nature, drawing anime characters, playing the piano and oboe, playing tennis and baking desserts. I love going on holidays, hanging out with my family and friends, Japanese culture, Alaskan malamutes and huskies, home decor and funny stories.

Tell us a bit about your illustration? First I sketched out my idea which would complement the text. I wanted the upset zoo keeper to be in the centre of the page, with a few observers surrounding him and the monkeys in the background. I felt that a simple illustration would be more effective. After refining my sketch, I traced the outline using a black fine liner and coloured using watercolour paint.

Why did you enter? I chose to enter this competition because I thought that it would be very exciting and special to have my own illustration in a published book. The opportunity to contribute to a picture storybook does not come around often.

Alyssa has received the cover illustration award and will be offered the opportunity to complete the cover illustrator. Well done Alyssa.

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Emily Wins More Than Children’s Hearts

Emily Wins More Than Children’s Hearts

One of Wombat Books’ beloved childhood characters, Emily the elephant, has recently received a place on The Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable Books 2015 list.

If Emily tries to play basketball, she ends up puffing. What can you do when asthma stops you from playing with your friends? Join Emily and her friends as they find a way she can join in on the fun.

Author, Katrina Roe and illustrator, Leigh Hedstrom have continued their success with Emily Eases her Wheezes, by featuring some of our favourite characters from their popular first title Marty’s Nut-Free Party. The authors have already seen Marty with his nut allergy shortlisted in the Speech Pathology Awards and read in schools and families around the country. Wombat Books is overjoyed to celebrate another success with their authors, as Emily the elephant not only wins over the hearts of children.

You can join Emily, Marty and their friends in this new adventure to help them understand asthma in a fun and entertaining way.

Wombat Books is committed to creating quality children's books that respect, value and uplift. Emily Eases her Wheezes is available in all good bookstores or online at www.wombatbooks.com.au.

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