Albino children in Tanzania will soon receive Adoptive Father via Forget Me Not Ministries.
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Gifts for albino children in Tanzania

How a childhood dream is now a special gift to albino children!

Rejection at 16…

At 16 I made my first picture book. I carefully hand bound the book covering it with flocked suede fabric. It was a bumpy ride publishing my first picture book.

Eager to illustrate stories, I marched my little picture book into my very first publishing interview at Penguin books almost 3 decades ago. The commissioning editor encouraged me to keep at it, but rejected my book. Looking at my little picture book today, I completely understand the rejection.

But God knew my heart…

In 2013, I finally publish my first picture book, Adoptive Father. At 16 I had a desire to publish and a desire to share a story but as a Christian, God showed me so much more! He gave me an impression that this book would be the beginning of something much bigger. I had been given a vision of great need, of broken hearts, and lost children who needed to find their way to their Heavenly Father. Also that faith was simple; it was all about the size of our hearts and not religiosity.

He told showed me the BIG picture…

Adoptive Father was an International agenda on God’s calendar. It was my assignment to spread the message of the story God gave me as far and wide as I could and witness how obedience produces His fruit. But I didn’t need to lead. I just needed to follow and be obedient to what He showed me and His timing. What overwhelms me with joy is the feedback that verifies the will of God on this book. The impact it is having on children worldwide has me regularly weeping happy tears — literally!

And did all the hard work for me…

I have limited resources and time so it is also fortunate that I have a manager, Jesus, who takes care of that and most other parts of publishing and distributing His book. It has been distributed to children in several countries now and the list grows. Children all over the world desperately need to know how valuable they are, how to everyone should care for one another, and how love we ALL are by our Heavenly Father. So, when the world around them tells some that they are any less, this book tells them the truth.

I cried with gratitude…

To know that I have been invited into something that is so impacting and in some way empowers children to grow in love, is a bigger reward than anything the world can offer and often makes me weep with gratitude. I also know what God anoints will be incredible and miraculous!

Look, look— look where a dream can travel!

There’s a lot happening behind the scenes in my studio office—it’s incredibly exciting! I can share this part now:

Tanie and Jacqueline Guy lead Forget Me Not Ministries in the United States and have embraced Adoptive Father as an important part of their missionary outreach. Their primary role is to be missionaries to missionaries and they are eager to transport these particular books to children within their reach. One of their missionaries, Claire, is caring for albino orphans in Tanzania!

The not so black but cherished albino child…

These precious children have more challenges than you can imagine! They live with the very real threat of abduction and horrific child sacrifice! Claire is protecting them and provide for their mental and ongoing physical health needs. These children have an incredible need to feel acceptance and the love of God. Can you imagine how they must feel about themselves knowing that other people think it is acceptable to use them as lucky charm slaughter? This murder is unimaginable! I am working with Jacqueline and Claire to get a shipments of the books to these children and as the numbers in Claire’s outreach grows. Then I will be working with this ministry to get books to children in the Ukraine. If support continues, we will work together as the needs arise in whatever country presents itself.

 

Albino children in Tanzania will soon receive Adoptive Father via Forget Me Not Ministries.

Albino children in Tanzania will soon receive Adoptive Father via Forget Me Not Ministries.

When I painted this spread in the book  I didn’t have albino children in mind, but am sure the error in God’s mind. This image raced into my head when Jacklin mentioned the albino children. Immediately I thought how this would speak acceptance to albinos. I got goosebumps when I realised how white God’s hand is painting that little girl. She may not be representative of a child in Tanzania, however Jacqueline agreed that this image is sure to speak to them.Even the words on the page are relevant.

Albino children in Tanzania will soon receive Adoptive Father via Forget Me Not Ministries.

Albino children in Tanzania will soon receive Adoptive Father via Forget Me Not Ministries.

Additional news is… with assistance from a ministry in Puerto Ricco we have translated Adoptive Father into Spanish. I am preparing the book for an e-version and possibilities of hard or soft copies for distribution. I am also in correspondence with a ministry in Bolivia with a possibility of creating a Latin American Spanish translation and distribution there.

Spanish translation for Christian picture book, Adoptive Father.

Spanish translation for Christian picture book, Adoptive Father.

Want to be involved?

Jacqueline has given permission to share this letter in the hope that it will speak to you. Please read the letter that explains the situation of these will be no children and their situation in more detail. If you can help cover the costs of shipping and printing please contact Jacqueline or myself. At present donations from either side can be arranged to help distribute these books. Jacqueline’s email is in the letter and mine is available fire my contact page on my website.

Download: Adoptive Father Thank You Letter

Little did my 16-year-old self, know what lie ahead for her first picture book! That it would reach to the ends of the earth and bring a smile to many a child living with incredible challenges. I feel so blessed to be using my life to help in this way, as I’m sure anyone else who comes alongside me in this journey feels also.

Thank God for the creation of story and illustration!

Lucky 13 Contemporary Exhibition of Children's' book illustrators. Hill of Content Bookshop Melbourne.Kim fleming, Vince Agostino, Kayleen West, Annie White, Ben Wood, Karen Erasmus, Sara Acton, Adam Carruthers, Mandy Foot, Rhiannon Mowat, Mitch Vane, Shane McGowan, Nicky Johnston
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Contemporary Children’s Book Artists Melbourne Display

Children’s Book Illustration Exhibition

I will be joining the following illustrators in a display in July at the Hill of Content Bookshop where we will have our books and illustrations on display and for sale for 2 weeks only.

Illustrators: Kim fleming, Vince Agostino, Kayleen West, Annie White, Ben Wood, Karen Erasmus, Sara Acton, Adam Carruthers, Mandy Foot, Rhiannon Mowat, Mitch Vane, Shane McGowan, Nicky Johnston

Where?

Illustrators Australia’s Children’s Illustration Display
Hill of Content Bookshop, 86 Bourke Street Melbourne Victoria
Phone: 03 9662 9472
Monday 30th June for 2 weeks for the school holiday period.

Australian Society of Authors Professional Development Program cover 2014. Painted in watercolour.
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Happy New Year – what a year it was!

I almost felt overwhelmed at the thought of my first post for 2014. I have so much news. So much has happened over the last few weeks so I will try to be brief…

ASA PROGRAM COVER
The Australian Society of Authors selected me to illustrate the 2014 Professional Development Program cover for 2014. What an honor! Over 7000 copies went out with my illustration on the front! I was very excited to have this exposure for my work and get paid for it.

The Australian Society of Authors have been so wonderful. They have featured my illustration on their home page, Facebook banner, and featured it in the newsletter. I am so appreciative – I really am!

Australian Society of Authors Professional Development Program cover 2014. Painted in watercolour.

Australian Society of Authors Professional Development Program cover 2014. Painted in watercolour.

LIVE WIRES PROGRAM
I was invited to entertain the kids at the Concern Australia’s Live Wires Program publishing event in December and it was the best fun. The kids and made a book during the year and was launching it that day. I was invited as the guest author. I read to the kids and as they play-role my book Without Me? (they had been reading an advanced copy) and we played squiggles drawing. They certainly put me through my paces with the most elaborate squiggles. I had to think on my feet!

Entertaining the children at Concern Australia LiveWires Program publishing event.

Entertaining the children at Concern Australia LiveWires Program publishing event.

BOOK LAUNCHED
Without Me? was launched in December also and there were were great too. I am discovering that the fun is not just in writing and illustrating. Best of all, playing with the kids is a real delight. They are always so engaged. This part of what I do tickles my heart bone…if I had one. Bookaburra was very enthusiastic to be at a book event and I was sure to give my special guest a big hug.

Book launch day for picture book, Without Me? Bookaburra and Kayleen West

Book launch day for picture book, Without Me? Bookaburra and Kayleen West

Family themed showbags for book launch - Without Me?

Family themed showbags for book launch – Without Me?

BOOK PUPPET
As well as the obvious preparations for Christmas in December I was also busy sewing my Without me? charter. I am not a seamstress in the least but I had a go. I think he could do with his eye lashes trimmed though.

Hand made author book character puppet - Without Me?

Hand made book character puppet for Without Me?

NEW PICTURE BOOK FOR 2014
Just as I was launching my new book Without Me? I was also secretly finishing off another book for this year. I will be publishing a new picture book called Better than a Superhero, written by debut author Belinda Francis and published by Even Before Publishing ( a subsidiary of Wombat Books) I am very excited about the illustrations in this book. It was super-fun to illustrate. This time the illustrations were watercolour. Each book (so far) has been illustrated in a different media to the others. I will sign any pre-orders of this new book ordered here before mailing.

Better than a superhero- children's books about Jesus

Better than a superhero- children’s books about Jesus

ILLUMINATION BOOK AWARD WIN
I was thrilled to receive news this week that I had won the Bronze medal for my picture book Adoptive Father in the Illumination Book Awards. This has been so encouraging. To first be a finalist for the Caleb Award late last year and then to pick up a medal this year for my first book is astounding. I feel very blessed that this book is so well received and being a new writer off to such a wonderful start. Someone said to me, “You are now an award winning author.” How cool is that!?
Better still, late last year Adoptive Father was also shipped into yet another territory – Cambodia!

At the heart of LOVE is adoption for one another. It's all about the HEART! Adoptive Father picture book shortlisted - Caleb Awards for faith inspired writing. Bronze Medal Winner - Illumination Book Awards for picture Book

At the heart of LOVE is adoption for one another. It’s all about the HEART! Adoptive Father picture book shortlisted – Caleb Awards for faith inspired writing. Bronze Medal Winner – Illumination Book Awards for picture Book

MORE CREATIVE CHALLENGES
My next post will be a 25 week illustration challenge. Why don’t you join me – kids included? You can view all posts so far for the 52 week challenge here

52 week illustration challenge. Gift card Challenge #illo52weeks

Gift card Challenge and #illo52weeks (52 week illustration challenge.)

Without Me? book launch at the Mt Evelyn Community Reading Room on 12th December
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Book Launch of Without Me And Reading Event With Bookaburra!

I am so excited to officially launch my new book Without Me?
If you are anywhere in the and please come along and bring some kiddies for the free activities. We are excited to have Bookaburra there too! He is big fan of storytelling.

Without Me? book launch at the Mt Evelyn Community Reading Room on 12th December

Without Me? book launch at the Mt Evelyn Community Reading Room (CLICK IMAGE TO ENLARGE)

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!

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

 

Adoptive Father at the MTC Leadership Conference
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Picture Book – Adoptive Father

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 colourfully illustrated book Adoptive Father emphasis God’s love for us, how children can love one another in simple ways: sharing, empathy, helping others, and inclusion–and the importance of having a big heart. Each page move us closer to God and each other. Its touching message will reassure any child who has ever felt abandoned, unloved or rejected.  It will especially speak to anyone without a father, who is adopted, or has felt rejected by their carers in any way.

Adoptive Father
32 page hardcover children’s picture book
Written & Illustrated by Kayleen West
Publisher: Etrinity Publishing
ISBN: 979-0-9872002-0-4

$19.95
More information about the gift a book project: http://www.adoptivefather.org/

Proceeds go to gifting children Internationally with this book!
BUY ADOPTIVE FATHER

Free Kids Activities:

Search and find game & Answers

Jesus loves me mobile

Colouring-in pages (coming soon)

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Picture Book – Without Me

WITHOUT ME
32 page hardcover children’s picture book
Written & Illustrated by Kayleen West
Publisher: Wombat Books

Click here to order your copy

RELEASE  OCT 2013
ISBN: 978-1-921632-53-2
32 page picture book. 200x240mm Landscape

Description:
Without Me is a light-hearted story about a runaway child, who wants to leave home, but before he can, he worries about those he will leave behind. As he reflects on the impact of his departure he realises ultimately where he belongs.

“A fun and engaging story that helps children explore how emotions can influence decisions.  Kayleen’s playful illustrations bring the story to life…and even add another story of their own!  This is a great resource for both parents and teachers to help prepare children for life’s tricky moments.”

– Natasha LeBrocq –  Student Welfare Officer

Teachers Notes: Notes & lesson plan Prep-Gr6

Kids Fun Activities:

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