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 Illustration Challenge Winner: Ruby

Ruby1. Tell us about your illustration for Around Australia in 30 Places.

I chose the Great Barrier Reef because the ocean is a colourful place and I love colour. There are so many pretty things in the ocean. I also love swimming in the ocean at summertime, so this was the perfect picture for me to draw!

2. If you could travel anywhere in Australia, where would it be?

The Great Barrier Reef.

3. What would be your No.1 travel tip?

Always take lots of pictures so if you don’t ever go back to the place you are visiting you will always have lots of memories to look back on.

4. What’s something you can’t live without in your suitcase?

My family! I love travelling with them!

Around Australia in 30 Places is available for pre-order now.

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Meet Illustration Challenge Winner: Daisy

1. Tell us about your illustration for Around Australia in 30 PlacesDaisy

My illustration is a water colour painting of the Australian Nullarbor. I love the orange toned colours of the Nullarbor as well as all the lines that draw the viewers eye to the amazing landscape.

2. If you could travel anywhere in Australia, where would it be?

If I could travel anywhere in Australia, I would have to choose Kangaroo Island in South Australia. The clear blue water, white sands and getting close to kangaroos on the beach would be amazing!

3. What would be your No.1 travel tip?

My number one travel tip is to never under pack. It sounds obvious but so many times I have packed everything for a warm weather trip and then for one of the days, the weather turns cold and I wish I had packed just one jacket in case.

4. What’s something you can’t live without in your suitcase?

I cannot live without my sketchbook and pencils in my suitcase because it helps time pass by on the plane or relax in the hotel room. Also, there is always a ton of inspiration from the surroundings.

Around Australia in 30 Places is available for pre-order now.

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Meet Illustration Challenge Winner: Sonya

Sonya1. Tell us about your illustration for Around Australia in 30 Places.

I have heard people say that Wagga Wagga is the 'City of Good Sports'. Many of Australia's sporting heroes say that their home town is Wagga Wagga. So, I wanted to illustrate something that was ‘sporty’.

2. If you could travel anywhere in Australia, where would it be?

Uluru. It is so unique. The rock looks incredible to visit. Have you seen the one in Around Australia in 30 Places? You can learn more about the Aboriginal people because the site is of great cultural and spiritual significance to them. They have lots of great walks, bike rides and tours to go on. I would like to go on one at night.

3. What would be your No.1 travel tip?

Get excited. Before any holiday my family talk about the distance and the destination for months beforehand. My sister and I will go on the internet and have a look at what we are going to see.

4. What’s something you can’t live without in your suitcase?

Always pack kid-sized headphones in your luggage. I have trouble using the headphones the aircraft give me. If we are travelling in a car, I try not to get stuck with my parents’ headphones which are way too big. Always have volume child-safe headphones that can fit in your ear properly. If you're travelling by airplane you also need a headphone socket ‘thingy’ so it can be used…. I’ve been caught without it!

Around Australia in 30 Places is available for pre-order now.

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Meet Illustration Challenge Winner: Layla

Layla Photo1. Tell us about your illustration for Around Australia in 30 Places.

I decided to do Solomon Island because I love islands, flowers and the things they wear.

2. If you could travel anywhere in Australia, where would it be?

Tasmania, because my best friend lives there, it's a beautiful place and I want to see the northern lights.

3. What would be your No.1 travel tip?

Roll all your clothes that you would wear for the day together so that you save time and explore more. You just have to pick a pack and you’re ready to go out.

4. What’s something you can’t live without in your suitcase?

My camera and toy dog.

Around Australia in 30 Places is available for pre-order now.

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Meet Illustration Challenge Winner: Zach

Zach1. Tell us about your illustration for Around Australia in 30 Places.

I’ve done an illustration of the Penguin Parade in Phillip Island. It’s a very popular tourist attraction where people can watch penguins waddle their way from the sea to their burrows. I thought it would be fun to illustrate a parade of penguins getting tickets at a booth to visit the beach, with the tourists looking on, so I made the picture look comical.

2. If you could travel anywhere in Australia, where would it be?

I would love to visit northern Queensland and see the Great Barrier Reef and the rainforests.

3. What would be your No.1 travel tip?

Bring a notebook and keep a journal of your trip, so that you can record your favourite memories of your trip.

4. What’s something you can’t live without in your suitcase?

I love reading, so I can’t live without books, especially when there’s a long journey in the car.

 

Around Australia in 30 Places is available for pre-order now.

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Meet Illustration Challenge Winner: Kai

1. Tell us about your illustration for Around Australia in 30 Places.Kai

My illustration in Around Australia in 30 Places depicts the Bungle Bungles – 350 million year old lime stone formations in Purnululu National Park in WA. I drew this picture in kind of indigenous style using with fine liners (markers) on paper.

2. If you could travel anywhere in Australia, where would it be?

If I could travel anywhere in Australia, I would go to the Great Barrier Reef so that I would be able to see all the fascinating flora and fauna.

3. What would be your No.1 travel tip?

My number one travel tip is: don’t get stuck with your original plan when travelling. If you come across some interesting place along your journey, go there, whether you planned it or not.

4. What’s something you can’t live without in your suitcase?

Something I can’t live without in my suitcase is a book. After a long day hike, the best thing to do in the evening is to relax in your sleeping bag and read an interesting novel.

Around Australia in 30 Places is available for pre-order now.

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Meet Illustration Challenge Winner: Anna Rose

Anna Rose1. Tell us about your image from Around Australia in 30 Places.

With my image I wanted to be a little creative and out of the ordinary by using animals as the tourists/visitors to the Flinders Ranges. I enjoyed illustrating the camel race and even added in an emu for a bit of fun. I used bright and dusty colours with water colour paints to create what I believe the Flinders Ranges would look like. I also included some native Australian plants such as the Sturt Desert Pea. I hope that the readers of the book enjoy my colourful and fun artwork.

2. If you could travel anywhere in Australia where would it be?

I love going to Queensland or New South Wales. I love swimming in the ocean at both of these destinations. I enjoy relaxing in the warm weather in Queensland and seeing my Aunty and cousins in Sydney.

3. What would be your No.1 travel tip?

My number one travel tip would be to always have a notebook and pen or pencil with you wherever you go. Then you can record your ideas, thoughts and experiences to remember in the future. You can create drawings if you have nothing else to do.

4. What’s something you can’t live without in your suitcase

I can't live with out my special dog puppet soft toy that travels with my whenever I go on holiday!

Around Australia in 30 Places is available for pre-order now.

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Meet Illustration Challenge Winner: Rebecca

1. Tell us about your illustration for Around Australia in 30 Places.

Rebecca TangMy illustration was Coffs Harbour (with the Big Banana). I chose this place as I have been here many times and it has the best dessert ever. I thought that I could connect the most with this place so I knew that I had to draw it. I was just doing this competition for fun and I was not thinking about winning, so when I received the news, I was so surprised and ecstatic at the same time.

2. If you could travel anywhere, where would it be?

I would love to travel to New York because there are so many beautiful places to visit and the views are always so amazing. However, I would also want to travel to France because then I would be able to go to Paris and visit the Eiffel Tower. There are too many amazing places to choose from!

3. What would be your No.1 travel tip?

Always make a checklist of what you need to bring on that trip. This tip will always be handy because everyone has had that feeling, when you walk out your front door and you feel like you are forgetting something but you can’t remember what it is. Then by the time you arrive at your destination you remember that thing that you forgot at home. Therefore, it is always handy to have a checklist when you pack your bag to and from your destination, so that you can make sure that you are not forgetting anything.

4. What’s something you can’t live without in your suitcase?

Sunscreen. I can’t live without sunscreen because when you stay in a hotel, most of the time there is going to be a pool and you don’t want to get sunburnt so I always bring sunscreen. This is the thing that I cannot forget during a trip.

Around Australia in 30 Places is available for pre-order now.

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Meet Illustration Challenge Winner: Rory

1. Tell us about your illustration for Around Australia in 30 Places.

In my illustration for “Around Australia in 30 Places” I aimed to incorporate Rory Smithas much of the natural beauty found in the Australian landscape as I possibly could. The natural environment in itself is such a precious and beautiful thing and portraying this accurately in my illustration proved to be a challenge. I tried to capture the landscape in a unique way that portrayed the way I perceive it and its wonders. This experience has helped me to develop new skills with my art and has helped me gain insights and new perspectives on the Australian environment that I am lucky enough to live in.

2. If you could travel anywhere in Australia, where would it be?

If I could travel anywhere in Australia I would love to visit the end of the world in Tasmania. It is such a beautiful and peaceful spot that looks so inviting. Being able to experience the beauty of the natural environment with the fresh, crisp air would be a dream come true. I think it would be quite an inspiration for many artworks seeing as the great expanse of ocean is just a glance away. At the end of the world Tasmania, there is so much open space surrounded by natural vegetation which would be a lovely way to escape the bustling cities of the mainland.

3. What would be your No.1 travel tip?

I think my number one travel tip would be to live in the moment and take it all in while you can. Take a step away from your device and any distractions and just take the opportunity to appreciate where you are and all you have to be grateful for. I find that when you just focus on where you are now, the experience is so pure and eye opening that nothing could make you forget how you feel in that moment. When you just take the time to be in immersed in the moment, you are able to fully appreciate where you are and what you are doing, which I think is ideal when you are travelling.

4. What’s something you can’t live without in your suitcase?

I think the one thing I couldn’t live without in my suitcase would be my camera. When going on a holiday I find so much inspiration in the places I go. The atmosphere is always different, there’s always new things to discover and explore. Having my camera allows me to capture the memories I make and the atmosphere I never want to forget. Also, seeing as photography is such a passion of mine, I feel that practicing in a new environment is very good to help develop my skills and make the trip even more enjoyable.

Around Australia in 30 Places is available for pre-order now.Rory snippet Resize

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Meet Young Illustrator: Nicole

IMG 0666Nicole is 12 years old and one of the young Aussie illustrators featured in Yay! It's Library Day. 

1. Tell us about your illustration for Yay! It's Library Day?

A funky, little mythical boy running in the forest and jumping upon a huge mushroom!

2. What do you love about libraries?

A peaceful library is always a place where anyone could hide away in the land of books and stories that are open to all.

3. What is your favourite book?

The Orient Express by Agatha Christie.

4. If you were sucked into a book, where would you want to visit? Or who?

The Orient Express. I would love to solve a mystery and travel back in time, since I love all things old, vintage and steampunk.... and of course take a trip on the famous Orient Express!

Olivia's illustration will be featured on Page 22 of Yay! It's Library Day. To see the full version, you can get your copy here.

 

Nicole Novobon

 

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Meet Young Illustrator: Olivia

OliviaGoodmanOlivia is 10 years old and one of the young Aussie illustrators featured in Yay! It's Library Day. 

1. Tell us about your illustration for Yay! It's Library Day?

I used a mixture of watercolour paints, and coloured pencils to create my illustration. I looked up some pictures of the Isle of Capri, and tried to capture the blues of the water and the rocky coast.

2. What do you love about libraries?

The smell of books inspires me. I love how you can just go in and borrow any book you want. I discovered a lot of my favourite books at the library, and now I am lucky enought to own some of them for myself.

3. What is your favourite book?

The Sea of Adventure by Enid Blyton.

4. If you were sucked into a book, where would you want to visit? Or who?

I would like to get sucked into The Sea of Adventure and see the puffins and bird islands off Scotland. I'd love to go for an adventure with Jack, Phillip, Dinah and Lucy-Ann.

 

Olivia's illustration will be featured on Page 23 of Yay! It's Library Day. To see the full version, you can get your copy here.

olivia

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Meet Young Illustrator: June

juneJune is 9 years old and one of the young Aussie illustrators featured in Yay! It's Library Day. 

1. Tell us about your illustration for Yay! It's Library Day?

I got my inspiration from reading books with my family. I really like the illustrations by Anna Walker - I like how she uses different techniques to make her images. For my illustration I used paint, wash tape, pencils and textas. I even used a toothbrush to spray the paint!

2. What do you love about libraries?

There are so many stories from all round the world.

3. What is your favourite book?

Dork Diaries (Rachel Renee Russell), Goodnight Stories for Rebel Girls, Ruby Redfort (Lauren Child) and Bad Dad (David Walliams). I also like comic books like The Lumber Janes.

4. If you were sucked into a book, where would you want to visit? Or who?

Definitely Narnia to meet the Susan, Peter, Lucy, Edmond, Mr Tumnus and Prince Caspian. Id also like to visit Hogwarts in Harry Potter and meet everybody - even Voldemort!

June's illustration will be featured on Page 3 of Yay! It's Library Day. To see the full version, you can get your copy here.

June

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Meet Young Illustrator: Alex

20180201 101338Alex is 12 years old and one of the young Aussie illustrators featured in Yay! It's Library Day. 

1. Tell us about your illustration for Yay! It's Library Day?

My illustration is about when they explore the deep and see something strange in a cave.

2. What do you love about libraries?

How they have so many interesting stories that you can read most of the time without being disturbed.

3. What is your favourite book?

My favourite book Ready Player One by Ernest Cline.

4. If you were sucked into a book, where would you want to visit? Or who?

I would like to visit Vattle School from Ender's Game because it has a really cool anti-gravity battling chamber.

Alex's illustration will be featured on Page 7 of Yay! It's Library Day. To see the full version, you can get your copy here.

 

alexY

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Meet Young Illustrator: Emily

Emily is 12 years old and one of the young Aussie illustrators featured in Yay! It's Library Day. Emily Chester

1. Tell us about your illustration for Yay! It's Library Day?

I thought it would be cool to draw a family interacting with each other and reading stories. I also liked the idea of drawing the bookshelves.

2. What do you love about libraries?

How every book has a different story.

3. What is your favourite book?

I don’t have a fav book as there’s too many good ones to choose from.

4. If you were sucked into a book, where would you want to visit? Or who?

It’s a tough choice between Narnia and the Treehouse in the Treehouse series!

 

Emily's illustration will be featured on Page 26 of Yay! It's Library Day. To see the full version, you can get your copy here.

 

emily chester image

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Aleesah talks about Yay! It's Library Day!

DSC 6173What made you say yes to being involved in the Illustration Challenge?

It sounded like a really fun project to get involved in and one where I could work closely with young artists, possibly helping to set them on the path of an illustration career. I'm all for engaging kids in writing and the arts and getting them to explore their imaginations and creativity. As we're discovering, there are SO many talented child artists out there, which is just lovely to see. 

What do you like about the Illustration Challenge?

I like the fact that it engages children and their families and gets them excited about creating a book where they can be the stars of the show. When we conducted the launches for Zoo Ball, the result of the first Illustration Challenge, the winning artists were so proud of themselves and rightly so. We had a lot of fun with it, presenting the children their books and showcasing their achievement to classmates, parents and the local media. Getting your work chosen and subsequently published in a hardcover picture book is a huge achievement and it was great to see everyone celebrating that.

What are a few of your special memories out of the Zoo Ball challenge?

Getting that first glimpse at the entries as they rolled in, seeing the book come together with all the beautiful winning illustrations - which allows you to discover something new on every page as you move from one illustration style to the next - and then seeing the looks on the kids' faces at the book launches where the focus was on them. There were lots of smiles, lots of laughs, lots of happy kids.

What hopes do you have for Yay! It's Library Day?

I really hope children, families, schools and libraries get behind the initiative. The story I've created this time allows for children to use their imaginations and create wild and vivid scenes throughout the book. Having the story related to a visit to the library also allows us to focus on two things: the beauty of books and stories and how they can engage children on so many levels, and also those amazing school and community spaces, those much-needed, much-loved but sometimes undervalued libraries and the people who work there.

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Meet Zoo Ball Challenge Winner: Alexander

alex lauSMALLAge: 10

School: Camberwell Grammar School

What are your interests? I love reading and drawing. My favourite book series at the moment is Harry Potter. I also like drawing comics. My latest comics book is based on my favourite game: Minecraft.

Tell us about your illustration? I was invited to enter the competition with a number of other boys in the school by our deputy principal. I drew my illustration with colour pencil and crayons. I like it because I think it looks vivid and interesting.

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Zoo Ball: A Children's Book Created by Children

9781925139433 SThe Zoo Ball Challenge provided aspiring young illustrators an opportunity to be published in a professionally-produced children's book and gain an introduction into the world of illustrating.

Zoo Ball is the latest picture book from award-winning children’s author, Aleesah Darlison. It follows Ned and his ball’s journey through a zoo as it bounces from tiger to toucan and tapir too – as well as many other favourite animals.

Young illustrators from all around Australia sent in their entries to Wombat Books and the winning students were chosen by a popularity vote.

Isabelle, a Zoo Ball Challenge winner, is thrilled about what this opportunity will mean for her. “I entered the Zoo Ball Challenge following Aleesah Darlison’s visit to our primary school at the beginning of 2014,” she said. “Aleesah was really passionate about her writing and I am really passionate about my drawing. I thought immediately that this was the challenge for me.”

Other young Zoo Ball artists are now budding illustrators because of this competition. “I loved the feel of a pen in my hand and paper under my fingers,” said Macy, a fellow Zoo Ball winner. “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. When I heard there was a chance of being featured as an illustrator I knew that this was a chance I could not miss.”

Zoo Ball is officially out today. You can buy your copy here. 

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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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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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