My Little Story Corner

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What Do You Wish For? Book Launch

imageWhat Do You Wish For?, Jane Godwin (author), Anna Walker (illus.), Penguin Random House, October 2015.
Book Launch October 11, 2015 at Readings Hawthorn.

“All the children in the street are writing down a special Christmas wish.
But What is Ruby’s wish? What does she wish for at Christmas time?
Ruby thinks of all the things that make Christmas special…”

“From this much-loved creative partnership comes a sparkling and beautiful story, full of the wonder of Christmas, the magic of wishing, and the timeless dreams of a child.”

I chose well considering it was the first book launch that I’ve attended! Although, in the company of two of Australia’s most elite book creators I was slightly overwhelmed. It’s true, I have met the superlative Anna Walker previously at her Mr Huff Exhibition (read about it here), and she is utterly divine, but still…

From the beginning of the event, the mood at Readings Hawthorn was spirited and amiable, as people mingled and nibbled on the gorgeous, handmade Christmas-themed cupcakes and shortbread bikkies.
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Miss 5 enjoying a cupcake.

Miss 5 enjoying a cupcake.

Then came the speeches. Launching the book was author and friend to Jane Godwin, Davina Bell. With the already jovial atmosphere present, Davina’s speech set off even more warm and fuzzies with her beautifully heartfelt words about what the story, and her own little Christmassy moments, meant to her. She was also engaging and funny; a perfect combination.

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Jane’s emotional presentation stole the crowd’s hearts from the get-go. She, too, spoke about the meaning behind the story – that a ‘wish’ signifies more of a statement or fear of loss, and her intention is for readers to understand that this time of year is, and should be, one of gratitude. She proceeded with some special thank-you’s; fitting, considering the nature of the book.

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Anna relayed the loving message by expressing her own fond feelings at Christmas time. She quoted a couple of lines from the book – “Ruby looked up, and the whole world was sparkling. She heard the paper wishes rustle in the warm, night-time breeze.” She reminisced about listening to cicadas and enjoying the tree, and complimented Jane’s words for making her heart glow.

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A story and question time by Jane gave the children in the audience opportunities to share their own special wishes, and the event concluded with book signing and a valuable, brief moment to converse with the extraordinary pair.
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So, a successful book launch! Jane Godwin and Anna Walker truly are champions in their field. Together they have created five sublime picture books, but today, they masterfully worked the crowd! There was so much love and warmth in the air that it felt like everyone’s Christmases had come at once.

What Do You Wish For? available for purchase here.

More photos:

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Written and photographed by Romi Sharp.
© My Little Story Corner 2015.
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Visiting Mr Huff and his creator, Anna Walker.

Just like her picture books, Anna Walker is sweet, gentle and thoughtful, and as well as being down-to-earth, she’s also exceptionally gifted. Meeting her at her Mr Huff Exhibition at the gallery in Melbourne’s CBD was like a dream becoming reality. Her books are well-loved and highly treasured in our household, and for so long I have longed to make contact but didn’t have the courage.

  
But now I’ve done it! Face-to-face! I felt like a brave little chicken being swept away with the excitement in the city!
Anna was simply delightful. She answered all my questions generously and politely, even the silly ones! And her work, well, you think it’s enchanting in the books? Yes. But even more so to view up close and personal! Just sublime. The amount of detail with individually cut and pasted floorboards, leaves, tiny characters all with their very unique personalities. The level of skill in her intricate watercolour paintings, etches and sketches, and miniature models is simply extraordinary.   

   
   
  
Backtrack a bit… This was the second attempt at making the trip into the city, but as it turned out, the weather was (slightly) better, and we (Miss 5 and I) had time to prepare a little gift for the talented author / illustrator (one of our faves), just to show how much we love her. With some prior planning, (and a little bit of help from me), Miss 5 drew and painted her favourite Anna Walker characters in what we thought turned out to be quite a whimsical piece.

  
The teacher in me was happy to see her drawing on her knowledge of various Walker tales and creating an innovative pictorial story. “Alfie is searching for Sharkie and he’s shouting so loud that he’s blowing Peggy away with the wind from his mouth!” (Can you spot Sharkie?!)
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But did Anna Walker like it? She certainly seemed impressed and complimented Miss 5 on her artistic skills.:)
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So, for a glorious half hour or so, we had Anna Walker and her magical ‘Mr Huff’ world all to ourselves (pretty much), feeling absolutely enchanted by her brilliant words and images. Wow! An experience to remember!  

Inside Scoop!

 Anna is currently working on a new story about a little girl on a ‘flowery’ kind of adventure! It sounds absolutely magical. Only to be released in two to three years, though. But her new ‘What Do You Wish For?’ Christmas book with Jane Godwin will be out soon! Yay!  

See more of Anna Walker and her books on her website.

Buy Mr Huff here (affiliate link).

Written and photographed by Romi Sharp, 2015.