Jump! - but no way out.
It's been over 5 years since the launch of The Poppy, and I wasn't sure I'd ever feel as excited by another book that I created, or as happy with the final product, as I was with The Poppy. It was pretty special to me in lots of ways. But then, a bit over a year ago, a story about a tree fern morphed into something very different, Paul Collins of Ford Street Publishing said 'How about something a little dystopian?' (music to my ears!) and a strange little chimera of chameleon, dragon and puppy emerged from my pencil. Stumpy was born, and as his world grew up around him, his story became so much more complex and interesting than I had ever originally imagined. I've been so lucky in my illustration work with so many wonderful authors, but Jump! is possibly my favourite. Of course, there are bigger things happening right now. There will be no launch party for Jump! or school visits or library events. Stumpy is lying unpacked in boxes, although he is appearing on the shelves of book shops. And what better time to get books? What better time to curl up with a book and your kids at home, unable to go to the playground or even visit their friends? Stumpy's story is one of the little guy finding resilience, facing his fears, sometimes failing, but not giving up. It's the story of finding an unexpected strength and talent inside. This is the perfect time to pull out dog-eared old favourites, and buy new books, perhaps even Jump! You can order online from Ford Street or from your local bookshop. Or you can get in touch with me and I'll sign a copy just for you and post it. (RRP plus $5 packaging and post). There's also the hide-and-seek fun of The Perfect Leaf and the stinky playfulness of Tulip and Brutus. Or just get in touch and tell me which favourite old story of your family's has been pulled out for bedtime reading. Me? I've pulled out Varmints, by Helen Ward and Marc Craste, a story of dark times and great hope. Beautiful! Stay safe, and keep reading!