Thanks to everyone who has shown their love and support for this book. Charlie and I are delighted with all the kindness and interest shown to us after winning the Australian Picture Book Category of the Forevability Awards. These awards celebrate positive portrayals of disability, mental illness and chronic illness in children’s books. You can read more here in local publisher Region Riverina or watch this Seven News story here.
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
‘Our students loved meeting Katrina Roe and enjoyed learning about her writing and storytelling. The children especially loved her book Lily’s Balloon as it had the beautiful message that your own loss could be someone else’s gain. There will be a little waitlist for her books as we have already had quite a number of students asking to borrow her books from the Library!’Maren de Rijk, Junior School Librarian, Arden Anglican School
‘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
|Sat Feb 2||10 am – 1pm||Prepare ELC||Prepare ELC Open Day|
|Sat Mar 23||9am – 1pm||Beecroft Uniting Church||State Election Market Day|
|Sat Mar 30||2pm||SMBC||Sydney Children’s Omega Writer’s Gathering|
|Sat Jun 15||9am-1pm||Newington Marketplace||Pop-up Markets|
|Wed Aug 21||10am||St Stephen’s Preschool, Normanhurst||Book Week Author visit|
|Wed Aug 21||1pm-3pm||Christ Church Preschool, Gladesville||Book Week Author visit|
|Thu Aug 22||10am||Creative Learning Preschool||Book Week Author visit|
|Thu Aug 22||1pm-3pm||Christ Church Preschool, Gladesville||Book Week Author visit|
|Fri Aug 23||All day||Southern Highlands Christian School||Book Week Guest Author|
|Wed Sept 11||8.30am||Arden Anglican School||Guest author|
|Sat Sept 14||9am – 1pm||Beecroft Uniting Church||Spring Market Day|
|Sat Sept 14||3pm – 8pm||Eastwood Heights Public School||Fireworks Fundraiser|
|Sept 28-29||All day||Brisbane||Wombat Books Professional Development Conference|
|Oct 12-13||All day||Edmund Rice Retreat and Conference Centre, Mulgoa||Omega Writer’s Conference& Caleb Awards|
|Nov 16||10am||Melrose Park Public School||Melrose Park PS Market Day & Fete|
|Nov 27||5.30pm||The Governor Hotel, NorthRyde||Ryde District Mums Twilight Market|
|Dec 15||6pm||Thornleigh||Thornleigh Carols & Markets|
First reviews of Lily’s Balloon
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.”
To listen to the full review and the rest of the One More Page Podcast, follow the link below.
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.”
You can read the full review on the Boomerang Books blog.
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.”
Read Sonia Bestulic’s full review here.
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.”
Here’s the link to the Buzz Words review.
It lifts my heart to read and hear how warmly Lily’s Balloon is being received by readers big and small.
|Thu March 1||06.30pm||NSW Writers’ Centre||Writers’ Group Open Night, Keynote speaker|
|Thu April 12||03.30pm||Explore & Develop Artarmon||Author visit|
|Thu April 19||11.15 am||Chatswood Library||Preschool Storytime|
|Sat June 30||All day||NSW Writers’ Centre||Kids & YA festival|
|Fri Aug 10||7am||Ryde Civic Centre||City of Ryde Prayer Breakfast|
|Sat Aug 11||2pm||Mad Hatters Bookshop, Manly, Brisbane||Lily’s Balloon Launch|
|Tue Aug 21||9am||Orange Public School||Book Week Author visit|
|Wed Aug 22||10.30 am||Orange Christian School||Book Week Author visit|
|Wed Aug 22||1pm||Molong Public School||Book Week Author Visit|
|Thu Aug 23||9am||Canowindra Public School||Festival of Reading|
|Thu Aug 23||5.30pm||Orange City Library||Adults Event: In Conversation with Melanie Pearce|
|Fri Aug 24||09.10||Catherine Mcauley Catholic School||Book Week Author Visit|
|Sat Sep 1||3pm||Sydney launch|
|Sat Nov 10||9am-1pm||Beecroft Uniting Church||Market Day|
|Sat Dec 1||5pm||Roseville Lawn Tennis Club||Christmas Market|
|Tue Dec 4||5.30pm||Governor Hotel||Ryde District Mums Twilight Christmas Market|
|Sun Dec 16||Headen Park, Sinclair Ave, Thornleigh||Thornleigh Community Carols and Night Market|
|Sun March 12||12 pm||Jindabyne||Snowy Mountains Readers Writers Children’s Festival|
|Mon Aug 21||1030||Trinity Early Learning Centre||Book Week author visit|
|Tue Aug 22||0930||St Lucy’s at St Joseph’s, Narrabeen||Book Week author visit|
|Tue Aug 22||1200||Pacific Hills Christian School, Dural||Book Week author visit|
|Wed Aug 23||0845||Barker College Prep, Hornsby||Book Week author visit|
|Thu Aug 24||900||
Wycliffe Christian School,
|Book Week author visit|
|Fri Aug 25||The Anglican School, Googong||Book Week author visit|
|Fri Aug 25||Arawang Primary School, Waramanga, ACT||Book Week author visit|
|Sat Sept 9||3pm||Boronia Park Uniting church Hall||
Gemma gets the Jitters!
|Fri Dec 1||4pm||St John’s Gordon||Twilight Christmas Market|
|Sat Dec 9||7pm||Blacktown Carols in the Park||Carols MC with Duncan from Hope breakfast|
|Sat Dec 16||9am||Beecroft Uniting Church||Christmas Market|
|Fri Sept 16||10.30AM||Parramatta Library||Author story time|
|Thur Sept 8||9 AM||Cowan Public School||Cowan/Brooklyn Children’s Writers’ Festival|
|Fri Aug 26||10 AM||Loquat Valley Anglican School||BOOK WEEK Author visit|
|Tue Aug 23||1 PM||Tara ELC and Junior School||BOOK WEEK Author visit|
|Mon Aug 22||10 am||St Lucy’s School, Wahroonga||BOOK WEEK Author Visit|
|Tue Aug 16||10.30AM||Christ Church Gladesville Preschool||Author visit|
|Fri July 8||9 AM||Queenstown Public School, NZ||Author visit|
|Tue Jun 21||10AM||Recharge for Mothers of Preschoolers, Epping Church of Christ||Guest speaker|
|Tue Jun 14||10 AM||Macquarie Chapel, Playtime||Author story time|
|Thur Jun 9||10 AM||Macquarie Chapel, Playtime||Guest speaker|
|Fri May 27||10 AM||Livvi’s Place, Ryde||Author story time|
|Fri May 20 – Sat May 21||The Menzies, Sydney||CBCA National Conference, Delegate|
|Mon May 16||10 AM||Livvi’s Place, Five Dock||Author story time|
|Tue May 3||10AM||Explore & Develop, North Ryde||Author visit|
|Tue Apr 5||10AM||Explore & Develop, Macquarie Park||Author visit|
|Fri Apr 1||11AM||Griffith Library||Storytime|
|Thu Mar 31||10AM||Coleambally Preschool||Author visit|
|Wed Mar 30||9.30AM||Darlington Point Public School||Author visit and library opening|
|Tue Mar 29||Yenda Public School||Author visit|
|Sun Mar 6||7.45 am||Reef Restaurant, The Haven, Terrigal||Soroptimist International, Central Coast Branch,IWD Breakfast, Guest speaker|
|Sat Jan 23||11 am||Balmain Public Library||Author Storytime|
|Sat Jan 16||11 am||Leichhardt Public Library||Author Storytime|
‘Same’ in the media
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.
|Thur Dec 3||10.30am||Mosman Library||Author Storytime|
|Wed Dec 2||11 am||Gladesville Library||Author Storytime|
|Thur Nov 26||10 am||Trinity Early Learning Centre||Author visit|
|Thur Nov 19||9 am||Covenant Christian School||Christmas Markets|
|Thur Nov 5||9 am||Belmore North Public School||Author/illustrator visit|
|Sat Oct 31||TBC||Trinity Early Learning Centre||Open Day|
|Mon Oct 26||9.45am||St John’s Preschool, Ashfield||Guest Author|
|Mon Oct 19 & Thur Oct 22||9.30 am||St Dunstan’s Preschool, Eastwood||Guest Author|
|Sun Sept 13||12-2pm||NSW Writer’s Centre, Rozelle||CBCA Big Book Day Out|
|Thu Sept 7||9.30am||KU Chatswood West||Guest author, celebrating 120 years of KU|
|Mon Sept 7||9.30am||KU Chatswood West||Guest author, celebrating 120 years of KU|
|Fri Sept 4||1pm||Toongabbie Christian School||Guest author, Book Week|
|Mon Aug 24||All day||Boronia Park Public School||Guest author, Book Week|
|Sat Aug 22||3 PM||Ryde Presbyterian Church Hall||Launch of Same|
|Sat Feb 21||3.30 PM||South Curl Curl SLSC||Launch of Emily Eases Her Wheezes|
First Reviews of Same
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.’