What’s new in picture books?

What’s new in picture books?

Breaking the rules

Everyone who is a blogger advises you need to ‘blog’ at least twice a week. I haven’t managed anything like that and there has been an especially long gap since I last wrote. But now I really want to tell you about my new book, so here I am again.

When the Cat’s Away, a picture book for young children, illustrated by Lionel King, was launched on September 25th, 2017.

The launch, which some of you attended, was held at Stanton Library, North Sydney. John McCallum was our impressive MC and Ursula Dubosarsky graciously agreed to send our book out into the world. You can read her speech at the launch here. (Ursula’s kind words will long be cherished by me)


My just-turned one year old grandson, Noah, to whom I dedicated the book (Lionel dedicated it to Judy King, his wife) managed to upstage me as I delivered my speech. You can see him demonstrating his new skills of walking and clapping for the audience.

After the speeches, we had the trumpeter, Mark Strykowski, play the Marseillaise to get people in the mood for the storytelling. I was able to read the story from the online version projected onto the wall in the Conference Room at the library.

The process of creating this book was pure delight from my perspective. Once the text was written it was a matter of waiting for a new illustration to appear in my inbox, usually on a Sunday evening. Lionel is a scientist at RESMED and the weekends are when he does most of his sketching and painting. Numerous conversations followed as we adjusted both text and image until at last our book was ready to go into production.

It is such a pleasure for us to hear about children’s responses to the book. Already we’ve had quite a few comments such as “My daughter (3) woke this morning talking about mice in the house!🐭“. We have also had some wonderful reviews – you can see them on Amazon and at Good Reads (you can ask questions about the book on this site as well) or look at them here. We are keen for more reviewers (only honest reviews) and if you, or someone you know, would like a review copy, please let me know.

So… if you would like to put the book in someone’s christmas stocking, it is available as a print book from places such as the Book Depository in the U.K, Amazon  and the Moshshop. Or you can contact me on my website (donnagibbsbooks.com), or by email (gibbs.donna@gmail.com) and I can post it to you. It is also available as an ebook from Amazon and Smashwords for around $3.00.

In my next blog I’d like to talk about some books that are thought to send the wrong message to children. I’ll be interested to hear what you think.