The launch of ‘Lucy’s Book’ last week was truly beautiful and a huge thanks must go to St Aidan’s Anglican Girls’ School for allowing me to host the event in our lovely Junior School Library and being, as always, so utterly supportive of all the ideas Jackie Child and I throw at them. I am privileged indeed to adore my job and the people I work with.
Thank you also to Cheryl Orsini, who flew from Sydney especially to be at this launch – and gifted me an original artwork from the book and myself as a peg doll (!). It was really special to have Brisbane based author Natalie Jane Prior, and Cheryl Orsini at the launch of their latest collaboration – and what a truly gorgeous work of art they have produced together. ‘Lucy’s Book’ is for anyone who has ever loved a book with all their heart, and for those who understand the wonder of libraries.
‘Lucy’s Book’ is my love song to libraries and the printed word; a lifelong obsession that you can read more about in this blog post. It’s about the special relationship between a little girl, her friends, and her very favourite library book, the one she borrows over and over again. (http://nataliejaneprior.com/lucys-book.html)
Order your copy of ‘Lucy’s Book’ by clicking on title links or cover images.
‘Lucy’s Book’ is also my new favourite teaching tool for Kindy – Year Four/Five students, for when I am talking about what a library is, why they are important and how they work. The last few weeks I’ve read ‘Lucy’s Book’ to every.single.class who has walked through the door, and we’ve made themed bookmarks, kaleidoscopes and ‘charts’ about areas of the library using images from ‘Lucy’s book’. In the makerspace area of her website, Natalie Jane Prior has a plethora of excellent downloadable activities which her and illustrator Cheryl Orsini have put together for each of their books, including the gorgeous ‘Mrs Mancini’ and ‘The Fairy Dancers’. I use their printables all the time for displays, lunchtime activities, home play and library lessons. They also have a Spoonflower shop where you can order fabric, wallpaper and wrapping paper based on their books and you can purchase the ‘Reading Girl’, ‘Reading Boy’ and ‘Future Reader’ shirts from the launch here.
It is a good thing this is one of my favourite picture books in many years, as I am pictured in it! It would have been extremely awkward if I was illustrated into a book which really didn’t work – glory me I can’t even begin to imagine the horror! When Natalie Jane Prior wrote the text for ‘Lucy’s Book’, she named her librarian character ‘Mrs Bruce’, after QUT academic Christine Bruce, with whom she is close friends. When Cheryl Orsini went to illustrate Mrs Bruce, she illustrated her as she remembered librarians – with a bun, twinset and glasses. Natalie Jane Prior clearly loves Cheryl’s ‘charmingly retro’ illustrations :), but could not come at a librarian in a twinset, and asked Cheryl to have a look at *me* as a more current image of a librarian. Given I am not hard to find on social media (*hello oversharer*), Cheryl set about illustrating me into the book – the main image features my favourite dress, pink hair and silvery blue patent leather knee high boots (long may these boots live). She also gave me a Gorman dress and a Zimmerman outfit – so I’m rather pleased with my dress sense in the book.
The launch party was a great success, though we didn’t expect the 200+ RSVPs! The gorgeous cupcakes were topped with fondant books and hearts from online company Topped – and I’ve never seen cupcakes and cheese platters devoured so fast. We had ample food which was there one minute, then I turned around and it seemed to vanish – although a fair amount ended up on the library floor and I had to slink out before the cleaners arrived.
Natalie and Cheryl spoke about the process of creating ‘Lucy’s Book’ , Christine Bruce (‘Mrs Bruce’) launched the book and Emily from Where the Wild Things Are sold many, many books – without once looking stressed.
Book launches are wonderful events to take your young readers along to – sign up to the email lists of your local independent bookstores to find out about happenings in your local area. Brisbane based readers really must keep in touch with what is happening at Avid Reader, Where the Wild Things Are and Riverbend Books.
5 Reasons to Attend Book Launches
To meet the authors and illustrators behind the books – they are real people (and perhaps you could even be one)!
To celebrate the birth of another story – with cake and clapping and much merriment.
For a little glimpse into the life of how a book came to be; the process celebrated and savoured.
For the ritual of a launch: listening to the various speakers; a lovely book reading and the signing and dedicating of books
For the conversations that follow about the life of other books and how they came to be.
The titles of each book takes you to the Australian based online bookstore Booktopia. You can also compare prices on Fishpond and Bookworld for Australian purchases.If you live in the US or would prefer to use Amazon click here. If you live in the UK or would prefer to use Book Depository click here. Purchases clicked through from the Children’s Books Daily site result in a small commission. Commission is used in part to maintain Children’s Books Daily and to support community groups which connect children with books.