Would you like to book me for a Book Week visit, author story time, special event speaker, writing workshop or a preschool visit? I am now taking bookings. Please get in touch via the Contact page on this website.
‘My kids love Gemma gets the jitters… and so do I. It teaches children it’s ok to be afraid, and highlights what courage looks like.’
Dr Justin Coulson, Parenting expert & Author of 9 Ways to a Resilient Child
‘Katrina Roe wowed audiences at the Snowy Mountains Readers & Writers festival. Her writing journey was inspirational to kids and adults alike.’
Jack Heath, Children’s and YA Author
‘Katrina’s ability to captivate and engage a class of preschoolers for over an hour is amazing.’
Helen Besestri, Snowy Moutains Readers & Writers Festival.
‘Our students thoroughly enjoyed Katrina’s presentation and even our youngest students were engaged the whole time. Katrina involved the girls by asking them questions and developed their understanding of issues presented in her books.’
Gwyn Bromhead, Junior School – Teacher Librarian, Tara Anglican School for Girls
‘You were amazing! The students were engaged and captivated by your fabulous stories. All the teachers present agreed it was a fabulous morning! Thank you and come again.’
Emma Cutmore, Kindergarten Teacher, Loquat Valley Anglican School
It’s always a nerve wracking wait after you release a new book. What will the reviews be like? My worst fear is not getting bad reviews, but getting no reviews at all. With so many books being released every month, it’s hard to get your book noticed at all.
It’s been a few months since Lily’s Balloon was officially released and finally some reviews have been emerging.
My favourite was this one, on Episode Nineteen of the kids book podcast, One More Page.
Nat Amoore’s review of Lily’s Balloon filled my heart with joy. Here are just some of the lovely things she said about my book.
“Lily’s Balloon would be my idea of the perfect bedtime story. It’s gentle and calming and has this melodic feel to it. The illustrations are poignant, but subtle with a light touch. It almost feels like a dream as you read through it and the way it ends I feel like the kid could go to sleep dreaming of where the balloon might go next.”
“I just want to hug every character in this book!”
“I really enjoyed this book because it’s concise and gentle and I can really imagine parents being happy to read this one over and over to their kids at bedtime. It feels like a snuggle up with your kid and doona kinda book.”
2. Author and reviewer, Dimity Powell included Lily’s Balloon in a selection of Stories for the Soul: Picture Books that Tug at the Heart Strings on the Boomerang Books Blog.
“This is a touching story of hope, disappointment, and learning how to let go, exquisitely illustrated by Helene Magisson. Magisson’s elegant drawings pulse with colour and form. Each page is a landscape of solid textures, interesting shapes and gentle movement. Mellow hues and generous white space allow the eyes to wander and discover more detail, like tiny ants crawling along a bending reed.
Lily’s Balloon is a lovely marriage of imagery and words that demonstrates how lives and situations may be inextricably connected and suggests to children that they are not alone when it comes to facing life’s many disappointments.”
3. The Children’s Book Council publication Reading Time was one of the first to review Lily’s Balloon.
“We share in a wave of Lily’s emotions, from excitement, disappointment, happiness and loss. Amongst it all, the reader delicately experiences anticipation and wonder on a balloon’s journey of interconnectedness woven throughout the story.
The illustrations so beautifully and gently invite readers to connect beyond the diverse and unique characters; encompassing other living creatures and nature’s world around us. It’s a powerful message for children and adults alike, with subtle yet strong illustrations that Helene Magisson has so perfectly presented.”
4. Lucinda Gifford from Children’s Literature website Buzz Words Books had this to say about Lily’s Balloon.
“This is a gentle, philosophical book which guides us towards looking beyond ourselves to see the bigger picture. Lily loses her balloon, but her spirits soar as she watches it drift out towards the clouds, ‘dancing on the wind’. The balloon’s journey raises the spirits of two other children, each unaware of the balloon’s overall ‘story’, of who it will encounter and what its future will be.
This is a perfect book for talking about how we are all connected, the deeper meaning of objects, and how our actions, and our journey, affect others.”
It’s been a busy time promoting Same in the media all across the country. In the past few weeks I’ve talked to 96five in Brissy, chatted with Outback Radio 2WEB, and appeared on ABC News 24 Weekend Breakfast with Matt and Miriam. It was my first time ever on national television so I was nervous for about 2 weeks before! This probably seemed a little ridiculous to my hubby, who used to read the news on Sky every day! I didn’t stuff up too badly, except the moment I said ‘maked’ instead of ‘made’. What was I thinking? I blame hanging out with 3 year old, who regularly says things like ‘I eated all my dinner’ and ‘I goed to the shops’. Since I said the word ‘maked’ on national television, I’ve discovered that I often used her 3 year old speech patterns, and have found myself eating ‘tussert’, wearing ‘tujamas’ and saying something is ‘tusgusting’!
Oct 7 was World Cerebral Palsy Day and I was excited to have a blog post on Huffington Post. This got a great response with a lot of traffic on the day. I went over to visit my brother Charlie at the end of the week and read the post aloud to him. I was a bit worried about what he’d think, but he really teared up at the end and I knew that he was proud of it.
For the next few weeks I’m visiting some schools and preschools with Same. If you would like me to visit your school or preschool, please get in touch through the contact page of this website.
I was so excited when my copy of The Book Curator magazine arrived in the mail earlier this month. It was one of the very first published reviews of Same, even before the launch.
The Book Curator is published by Apt School Resources who supply books to many Australian schools, particularly private and Christian schools. Rowena Beresford has become a friend of mine (through our shared love of children’s books) and I knew that she had a heart for Same from the start. But it was still a thrill to see this lovely feature and review. It was also a bit of a shock to realise that I now actually have three books out! How did that happen?
There was also a recent review by Julieann Wallace on Creative Kids Tales which you can read in full here, but I’ve copied just a little of it.
‘Katrina Roe has written a touching story for children up to the age of 7, that explores love, acceptance and finding common ground, showing that we can be different but the same. Her story is beautifully illustrated by Jemima Trappel, who has used colour to complement the feelings of Ivy, the mood of colour changing with Ivy’s journey through acceptance. Jemima has also captured Ivy’s anxiety with perfection in her portrayal of facial expressions, to the happiness of acceptance and finding something the same.
‘Same’ is a wonderful book to open discussion about differences between all types of people. It encourages children to find in what ways they are the same as someone who is physically different, or challenged, breaking through the barrier of fear that comes with the unknown when someone appears different.’
Thanks Julieann! I do agree with how perfectly Jemima has captured Ivy’s moods. Awesome work Jemima!
While awaiting the imminent birth of my third child (any day now) I decided to take a hike on the Bay Walk in Sydney’s Inner West. (My mum had called me the day before and mentioned that a long walk around Centennial Park had kicked off her labor with my sister forty-something years ago.) It was a glorious day, the sun was shining, my eight-year-old was charging ahead on her bike, my three-year-old resting contentedly in the pram and even though I am currently the size of a whale, I was very much enjoying getting some exercise and fresh air with the family.
So when a text arrived from my illustrator Leigh Hedstrom, with a link to the ‘just announced’ CBCA Book of the Year Notables list, I tried not to get too excited. It’s probably just a link relating to a mutual friend, I told myself, or perhaps one of Leigh’s books with another author…
So it was a wonderful and much unexpected surprise to see that our latest collaboration, Emily Eases her Wheezes had made the ‘Notables’ list in the Eve Pownall Award for Information Books, alongside 15 other beautiful new Australian books. It was also pleasing to hear that the CBCA President commented that the category was particularly strong this year. We were listed alongside books by the major publishers like Penguin, Walker Books and Allen & Unwin.
Congratulations to all the other authors who made the Shortlist and the Notables list.
As expected, many of Australia’s favourite authors and illustrators are there: Jackie French, Margaret Wild, Libby Gleeson, Alison Lester, Aaron Blabey, Freya Blackwood, Robert Ingpen and Stephen Michael King, but a special mention should go to new authors such as Clare Atkins and Lesley Gibbes – what an incredible achievement for them! Congrats!