Discussions on art and illustration books, children’s books and general muse.

Dyslexia Awareness Week
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Colour the town purple

Purple parade for Dyslexia awareness

Yesterday below Federation Square, a parade of happy supporters of Dyslexia Awareness Week walked the streets dressed in purple waving purple balloons. I decided dress in purple and support them. With family in tow, we missed the walk as our GSP took us somewhere bizarre! I am such a country girl! I did make it for all the other wonderful happenings. I listened with great interest to the thought- provoking interviews with adults and children who have struggled with sigmas of stupidity through misunderstanding and undiagnosed dyslexia.

I heard how important understanding and resources are to people who struggle with dyslexia and how using the Open Dyslexia font in Celia and Nonna was so needed. Jason Henham, CEO of SPELD Victoria (who provides help and guidance to people with dyslexia and other learning difficulties), thanked me for taking the initiative to include the dyslexic font in a “mainstream” book (Celia and Nonna). I asked him if he knew any mainstream publishers that had adopted the idea and was shocked to hear my book was the first! What a help this will be so so many kids and adults! Hopefully, this will set a president  other publishers will adopt. They are totally supportive of Celia and Nonna and I pray it makes a difference making this first initial step. I wish I could find the person who suggested it in the LinkedIn forum – I’d thank her!

More and more I’m discovering how much we can use our positions to pay it forward in unique ways.

It was wonderful to finally meet the lovely Heidi Gregory from the Melbourne support group. I handed her designs for a logo for them. They are a great support for parents in Melbourne and have an active and very informative Facebook group.They have a new home at Finbar Neighborhood House in Richmond.

Artplay Melbourne: patterns, textures and creative imagery

As a family we enjoyed the day in Melbourne. The event was held next to the community project, Artplay – GO – it is great! It is a collaborative project between artists and children; creative workshops, performances, exhibitions etc. Naturally I was drunk with pattern wine and had to take photos on my phone as we took a walk from the event through Artplay and around Southgate. I kinda wish I had taken my good camera now but I got a few good shots. Here is a taste:

Artplay Melbourne patterns textures and creative imagery

Artplay Melbourne patterns textures and creative imagery

 

Celia and Nonna. Picture books about grandparent and child.

Celia and Nonna. Picture book with Open Dyslexic font.

 

Better Than A Superhero. Picture book by Belinda Francis and Kayleen West. Wombat Books, Even Before Publishing.
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Children’s toys in Better Than A Superhero

This week Belinda Francis and I are celebrating the release of our book Better Than A Superhero. I have to say the the response to this new release has been pretty positive already. This is so encouraging as it is Belinda’s debut picture book. Belinda featured in the Queensland Times news with a rather flattering caption “Belinda is following in Ednid’s steps.” (referring to the author Enid Blyton.) Well I am sure Belinda is quite capable and I was honored to be asked to illustrate Better Than A Superhero. Belinda is also celebrating the birth of a gorgeous new bubby.

Better Than A Superhero. Picture book by Belinda Francis and Kayleen West. Wombat Books, Even Before Publishing.

Better Than A Superhero. New picture book by Belinda Francis and Kayleen West. Even Before Publishing.

When brainstorming the book I wanted to be as original as possible. There are so many book about Jesus even if not about this kind of friendship so I wanted the illustrations to be different. The story is talking to the reader about how awesome Jesus is and how we can have a best friend type relationship with him. Rather than have another religious looking Christian book I decided to make it fun and used the child and his toys as props. The child talks about Jesus using his toys to play-role the story. I hope it brings a smile to many children and helps draw them into a closer relationship with our superhero – Jesus.

Props used in Better Than A Superhero may be found in a child's room. Picture book by Belinda Francis and Kayleen West. Even Before Publishing

Props used in Better Than A Superhero may be found in a child’s room.

Buy picture the book

PiBoIlMo 2013 official participant and guest.
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Get 30 ideas for picture books and prizes!

PiBoIlMo 2013 official participant and guest.

PiBoIlMo 2013 official participant/guest.

Have you read this post yet? : “PiBoIdMo Publishing Deal” How one of may creative challenge ideas has become THIS published book!?

I’ll will be blogging for PiBoIdMo (creative challenge of 30 picture book ideas in 30 days), but also decided to participate this year again. You can never have enough ideas–can you? Registration is on until November 7th – See PiBoIdMo registration HERE (registration now closed)

But wait there is more ! … no, not boring kitchen knives … a picture book giveaway! (*)

Anyone who commits by registering and comments on my blog or Tara’s (or both for multiple entry) can enter to win one of my 2013 titles, Without Me? or Adoptive Father.

The lucky winner will be drawn in the first week of December in time for Christmas gifts.

You can still follow PiBoIdMo if you’re not registered, but remember, those who register and complete the challenge are eligible for my competition and other PRIZES on PiBoIdMo!

So comment away and then go sign up. I’ll see you there!

My guest post can be found HERE!

(*)Note: Shipping prizes: Postage paid Australia only. Residents outside Australia will need to pay for shipping.

EASY TWEET to this post: Get 30 ideas for picture books and prizes! #PiBoIdMo

EASY TWEET to this success story post on PiBoIdMo: #Writers be encouraged. Success story  from late bloomer:http://buff.ly/1ciUVHQ

Radio interview YVFM with Author & Illustrator Kayleen West. Mission books.
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Book Giveaway for Children’s Book Week

Who likes free books? Who would like one of mine to celebrate Children’s Book Week?

It is easy……

1. If you are on Twitter follow me @ArtKayleenWest and tweet this click to tweet:
#childrensbookweek giveaway, Picture Book-Adoptive Father! RT for a chance to win!

2. Comment below and tell me why you would want to win a copy Adoptive Father.

3. Share my giveaway post on Facebook and invite others to enter, and if your friend wins, you will too! That is potentially dozens of chances with a couple of click.

You can have multiple chances by entering on Twitter, Facebook and here!!!

Told you it is easy. Now go for it!

At the heart of LOVE is adoption for one another. It's all about the HEART!

At the heart of LOVE is adoption for one another. It’s all about the HEART!

The moth and the sun - children's picture book review. Gary Bernard
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Book Review: THE MOTH AND THE SUN by Gary Bernard

The moth and the sun - children's picture book review. Gary Bernard

The moth and the sun - children's picture book review. Gary Bernard

The moth and the sun – Gary Bernard

Children’s Picture Book Review
Ages: 8-10

The Moth and the Sun, is a story in English, French and Spanish about a moth’s flight around Paris. As it flies, it struggles to realize its dream, while questioning and doubting itself.

Gary Bernard, the Philadelphia author and illustrator begins the book with an introductory fable that suggests the book may have magical power, unearthed and now passed on today.  The illustrations where created some 20 years ago and has an archival feel.

The book was created after Gary traveled different countries visiting classrooms and inviting children to write their own story to his illustrations. The author has put together a story based on these ideas. The story is deliberately left open-ended and the reader is invited to write their own ending; an educational and clever concept.

Illustrations and extras:

Gary’s black ink drawings are representational, but abstract in design.  I really liked them; however, they would definitely appeal to adults and older children more than the younger child. It may be different in Europe where they (appreciate) and are more familiar with the more arty picture books. The Moth And The Sun would be classified as one of those. I think Gary will have several adult buyers including appreciative teachers investing in this project.

Preliminary sketches from the illustrations are featured at the back of the book. This appealed to me and I assume would to teachers when used as teaching/writing tool (main intention I assume) but may be a little confusing when purchased as a story. The children may not understand why they are there or what they are for.

Quality and production:

It is evident by the quality of the draftsmanship and compositional design, Gary is a competent fine artist. If quality material is used, once in print, this book will be beautiful

I would suggest the background layer be varied to illuminate the Photoshop look and authenticate it more before printing. It was obvious to me that the book wasn’t real and the old pages looked the same throughout.

I received the review copy in PDF format so I cannot comment on publication quality of the printed version. On my iPad it require quite a bit of enlarging and shrinking to read and then view the related illustrations. I am not sure if I did in fact receive the final e-version though, as the book is a Kickstarter project.

About the author/illustrator:

This is Gary’s third children’s book. His other books “Pemba Sherpa” and “Ollie and Tugg”  both published by Odyssey Books are available online on Amazon

To support his Kickstarter project (almost half way to target as I write) and get a copy go to the project here: http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/658699367/the-moth-and-the-sun

Printer's press sheet proofs. Children's picture books.
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How Picture Books Are Made – Printing Process.

How Picture Books Are Made

Have you ever seen inside a large press and seen how picture books are made? Me neither, so I asked the printer to send me some images, and she did! How cool is that!?

It was printed in a large press in Singapore. You can see a few of the printing stages of a picture book here.

Printing process of a picture book. Adoptive Father

Printing process of a picture book

And here are the proofs I received off the press. I had to check these. The first proofs needed some adjustment, but the second lot where perfect!

Printer's press sheet proofs. Children's picture books.

Printer’s press sheet proofs. Children’s picture books.

Picture books (advanced copies arrive)

Picture books (advanced copies arrive)

 

Free kids craft activity. Colour in and make a moving puppy.
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FREE craft activity- Make A Without Me Split Pin Puppy

The puppy in the picture book Without Me is very cute and so I had to make this split pin puppy for the kids.

Download, print and colour this activity for children on an A4 paper or card. Either use split pins for moving joints, or glue the pieces together.
Kids, you can share your creations by emailing me a photo. I may will even post it on here!

I love to see the children who enjoy the activities I make. Enjoy.

Free kids craft activity. Colour in and make a moving puppy.

Free kids craft activity. Colour in and make a moving puppy.

DOWNLOAD PDF- free-coloring-craft-for-kids-split-pin-puppy

Radio interview YVFM with Author & Illustrator Kayleen West. Mission books.
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Author Interview: Have a Little Faith Yarra Valley FM 99.1

Adoptive Father on Have a Little Faith Yarra Valley FM 99.1

I was invited for an interview by Greg Carrick, Have a Little Faith  Yarra Valley FM 99.1 to talk about Adoptive Father. Listen on  Youtube. No video (just a picture of me holding the book) but most of the entire interview.

This is a good indication on what motivated me to publish Adoptive Father, and begun the amazing journey of children’s books and happy child readers.

 

Adoptive Father picture book shortlisted - Caleb Awards for faith inspired writing.
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Shortlisted For The Caleb Award – Adoptive Father Picture Book

This month, my picture book Adoptive Father was shortlisted for the Caleb Awards, for faith-inspired writing. I know, I know, I am a bit slow with the news–busy girl remember? I was excited though!

Adoptive Father picture book shortlisted - Caleb Awards for faith inspired writing.

Adoptive Father picture book shortlisted – Caleb Awards for faith inspired writing.

The finalists have been announced. The Reviewers’ Choice and Booksellers’ Choice awards have not been finalised but will be announced at the gala CALEB Dinner on Friday 11 October 2013 at Riverglenn, Indooroopilly.

A BIG warm congratulations to all the finalists:

Fiction
A New Resolution, Rose Dee
Contagious Hope, Debbie Roome
Henry’s Run, Amanda Deed
The Greenfield Legacy, Deed, Vince, Resce, Dee

Non-fiction
Youth Ministry on the Front Foot, Zachary Veron (ed)
The Heart of Marriage, Michael Hill
Teen Sex by the Book, Dr Patricia Weerakoon
Hardwired to Christ, Graeme Schultz

Biography
Soul Friend, Jo-Anne Berthelsen
Adventure with a Glass Eye, Julie Anita Raymond
William Booth and his Salvation Army, David Malcolm Bennett
Down Humdrum Street, Peter Clyburn

Poetry
Taking Flight, Janette Fernando
Gestures of Love, Andrew Lansdown

Children
Wonderfully Madison, Penny Reeve
Marty’s Nut-Free Party, Katrina Roe
More than a Mouse, Penny Reeve
Attack at Shark Bay, Denis W Shuker

Boom Prize
Ellie’s Dream, Jada Rolston
Galloping Friends, Hannah Austin

Unpublished Manuscript
Adele Jones – Integrate
Elizabeth Greentree – Sally Hunt vs God
Elizabeth Klein – Ice Breath of the Earth
Janice Gillgren – It Wriggles and It Giggles
Jenny Glazebrook – Where the Heart Lies
Linda Truss – History Changers