What is there not to love about children’s books? I have always been caught in their spell. As a child I would spend the holidays copying the pictures from my favourite books. Picture books offered me a world of creativity, imagination and unlimited possibility. This seed of inspiration has stayed with me for life.
As a young child I was so inspired by May Gibbs’ charming gum blossom babies, that I planted my very own flowering gum two metres from our back door. In my child’s mind I did not think to check the potential height of this tree, and ten years later, when the tree towered above our little house, it had to be cut down.
Perhaps I should have also taken more notice of the wicked Mrs. Snake, as it was through the same back door, that I once brought in a ‘beautiful’ snake I had found in the bushes to show mum. Her scream quickly showed me that she was not impressed.
Now, as an adult I am extremely fortunate to once again dive into the world of children’s picture books. In 2011, I illustrated ‘Were You Still Dreaming Ruby?’ by Steve McGlaughlin. One of the many delights of this project was the opportunity to conduct book readings and craft activities with local children. We were warmly welcomed by bookstores including, Berkelouw’s Book Barn Eumundi, and The River Read, as well as local kindergartens. It was a joy to see the children’s creativity and imaginations come alive through story; the joy of children’s picture books for all generations.