On Saturday I got to spend the afternoon with authors Jackie French, Tania McCartney and a bunch of book-loving children. Frankly, it doesn’t get much better than that. Here we are just hanging out in front of a gorgeous window display of our books, as you do.
Electric Shadows Bookshop was made cosy with fluffy rugs and lots of cushions (my daughter appointed herself chief stylist). And it turned out to be an afternoon filled with wonderful stories and lots of laughter.
Tania was up first and read her latest releases, An Aussie Year and Riley and the Jumpy Roo. My two year old is so obsessed with this Riley book (the fifth in the series) that for Halloween he dressed as a roo (except that he got so over excited bouncing everywhere that he broke his ears and then had to settle with being a random zebra instead).
My turn next. I read one of my two Bugs and Beasts books, published by the National Library of Australia, which was great fun. And then my latest book, Megumi and the Bear. Whenever I read this story the crowd descends into silence. There’s something about the sadness and longing of Megumi, so beautifully expressed in Craig Phillips’ watercolours, that takes the audience into a quieter, reflective space. Tania declared it ‘a lovely pause of beauty and enchantment’. I like it!
Finally, Jackie read Wombat Goes to School. I’ve never seen Jackie read one of her wombat series and I felt like a big kid, giggling with the rest of them. These books have been a favourite with my kids and they are such fun to read. Jackie helped the children discover if they were wombats in disguise (here they are checking if they have furless noses). Now, if only I could scratch my ear with my foot (like some of the wombats in disguise could).
We wrapped up the afternoon signing books and chatting with readers young and old (always one of my favourite parts of any event). The kids gorged themselves on sugary treats (there were so many that while we packed up my daughter took it upon herself to hand out leftover honey joys and biscuits to passersby!). A big thank you to Electric Shadows Bookshop for hosting, and to my fellow authors, Tania McCartney and Jackie French, who made it such a pleasure.