Author French,Jackie

Illustrator Whatley,Bruce

Item Code 8683061

Product Type Book

Format Hardback

ISBN 9781760976088


  • Description
  • Details
  • About Author
  • About Illustrator

The war carried the Spanish flu across the world. Faces grew masks. Shops and schools wore signs that said, ‘Closed’. Families nursing the sick drew their curtains together to say their house was quarantined . . . 
From the award-winning creators of Flood, Fire, Cyclone and Drought, comes this powerful story of humanity prevailing during a pandemic.

Genre: Family & Home Stories, Historical Fiction Subject: Picture Books Reading Level: Foundation, Lower Primary School Year: Foundation, Year 1, Year 2 Ages: 3 to 7 Page Count: 24
Jackie French

Where are you from?

I’m a writer, dinosaur wrestler and wombat tamer from the Araluen Valley NSW.

Where did you go to school?
I went to three schools, only one of which burnt down. (This was not my fault).

What is your favourite book/food/colour?  
My favourite book is 'lots'.
My favourite food is 'lots' too, specially iced watermelon and mangoes.
My favourite colour is purple, except if it's cheese or grass or wombats.

How do you think up ideas?
I buy my ideas 5 kg at a time from a small shop at the end of the mall that pretends to sell mobile phones. They have a sale every third Tuesday. Tell them Jackie sent you and they'll give you 10% discount.

Do you have a special place where you write?
I write everywhere and anytime, except it doesn't get written down when I am in the bath and no-one can read the notes made on scraps of paper. The legible bits are written at my desk, but need someone to correct the spelling and typos.

What is the best thing about being a writer?
The great thing about being a writer is that you can talk to any famous person in the past and ride an elephant at the same time. Creating ideas needs practise, just like being a football player: the more you train, the better you are. The next great thing about being a writer is that you get paid to daydream.

Website/blog details
Website (includes wombats)
Jackie French is also the 2014–15 Australian Children's Laureate
Bruce Whatley

Where were you born? Where do you live now?

South Wales UK. Currently in Bundanoon NSW.

Where did you go to school?
Eyre High School Whyalla SA
Newbridge Grammar South Wales UK

Did you have a nickname?
Fortunately no.

What were you like in school?
Naive! Pretty happy kid.

What is the naughtiest thing you did?
Fight. Always seemed to get in fights standing up to bullies. Didn’t win much.

What was your favourite book growing up?
Rupert Bear but grew up on comics.

Who is your favourite children’s author?
Chris van Allsburg — author/illustrator.

What is your favourite food/colour/movie?
Anything Italian. Used to be yellow but now turquoise. Ice Age.

Who inspired you to illustrate?
Combination of other illustrators — Norman Rockwell, Maxfield Parrish, Howard Pyle.

How did you get started?
Drew from an early age. Went to Art College then worked as an art director and illustrator in the advertising industry in London and Sydney. Picture books came later which in hindsight is a much better fit for me.

How old were you?
21 when I first worked in advertising but 38 when my first children’s book came out.

Why did you want to be an illustrator?
It was a natural development in that I have always had an ability to draw. As a bricklayer I’d make a good illustrator! Its what I do.

How do you think up ideas?
Ideas can come from anywhere. If you are lucky, you wake up in the morning with one. Most of my ideas come from my family; things that we say or do. It is possible to 'manufacture' an idea but the best come from inspiration.

Do you have a special place where you illustrate?
I’ve been a bit nomadic for the last two years and have been taking my work on the road. I miss not having a permanent studio with a big drawing board and my favourite things around me. Recently I have worked on kitchen tables, desks in hotels, on portable drawing boards and on my lap.

What is the best thing about being an illustrator?
Being able to create new worlds and extend narratives. And to always find new techniques to do so.

Have you had any funny or embarrassing moment as an illustrator?
After seeing the cover of a foreign edition of one of my books I wrote to the publisher saying it was outrageous they got somebody else to do the cover illustration and that it was the worst cover I’d ever seen. Turned out I did it a year previously in a rush overnight. I didn’t recognise it because they flipped it, which accentuated my bad drawing and changed the colour of the background. Very embarrassing.

What do you do when you are not illustrating?
Write so I can illustrate. And sail when I can.

What would you have chosen to be if you were not an illustrator?
Brain surgeon but I couldn’t pronounce any of those long words!

Which famous person from the past would you like to talk to?
Rembrandt, the master painter.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about yourself?
Work a lot with my wife Rosie Smith who has been the source of many of our ideas. Also started to illustrate with my son Ben using CGI 3D programs.

Website/blog details

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