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.  

  1. 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.
https://www.onemorepagepodcast.com/episode-19

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.

2018 Events

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
DateTimeLocationEvent
 Thu March 1 06.30pm NSW Writers’ CentreWriters’ Group Open Night, Keynote speaker
 Thu April 1203.30pmExplore & Develop ArtarmonAuthor visit
Thu April 1911.15 amChatswood LibraryPreschool Storytime
Sat June 30All dayNSW Writers’ CentreKids & YA festival
 Fri Aug 107amRyde Civic CentreCity of Ryde Prayer Breakfast
Sat Aug 11 2pmMad Hatters Bookshop, Manly, BrisbaneLily’s Balloon Launch
 Tue Aug 21 9amOrange Public SchoolBook Week Author visit
 Wed Aug 22 10.30 am Orange Christian SchoolBook Week Author visit
Thu Aug 239amCanowindra Public SchoolFestival of Reading
Thu Aug 235.30pmOrange City LibraryAdults Event:  In Conversation with Melanie Pearce
Fri Aug 2409.10Catherine Mcauley Catholic SchoolBook Week Author Visit
Sat Sep 13pmSydney launch
Sat Nov 109am-1pmBeecroft Uniting ChurchMarket Day

2017 Events

Date Time Location Event
 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,

Warrimoo

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

BOOK LAUNCH

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

2016 Events

Date Time Location Event
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.

2015 Events

 

Date Time Location Event
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.’

 Thanks Julieann!  I do agree with how perfectly Jemima has captured Ivy’s moods.  Awesome work Jemima!

CBCA Book of the Year Awards 2015!

Yesterday was a wonderful day.

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!

You can see the full CBCA Book of the Year, 2015 list here.

 

2014 Events

Date Time Location Event
Sat Nov 15 TBC Meet the Author Christmas Book Market
Sat Aug 30 & Sun Aug 31 All day Sydney Showground, Sydney Olympic Park Book Expo Australia
Tue Aug 19 1pm Toongabbie Christian School Book Week, visiting author
Sat June 30 All day NSW Writer’s Centre Attending Children’s and YA Literature Festival
Tue June 3 10.30am Abbotsleigh Guest author, Abbotsleigh Literary Festival
Sat May 17 & Sun May 18 All day Rex  Hotel, Canberra Discovering National Treasures

CBCA National Conference, Delegate

Sat March 29 9 am City Recital Hall MC, Flourishing Faith in Dangerous Places conference