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'Mamie' by Tania McCartney - Book Launch

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by Belladonna (subscribe)
Loves going out and about in Canberra and writing about her adventures! Also addicted to coffee, high teas, escape rooms, and dressing up.
Meet award-winning author/illustrator, Tania McCartney

In 1918, Australian children were introduced to two loveable, adorable bush babies - Snugglepot and Cuddlepie. Their creator, May Gibbs, has since become one of Australia's most treasured illustrators, artists and children's authors.

In 2018, in celebration of 100 years of Snugglepot and Cuddlepie, the life of the extraordinary May Gibbs blooms to life in Mamie, a new picture book by award-winning author/illustrator Tania McCartney.

Mamie is a loosely biographical story about May Gibbs' life. "Mamie is the name May's family called her, and it was the perfect choice for my little character, whose story mimics many of the events and inclinations May experienced in her life," Tania tells me. "It's essentially a celebration of this extraordinary woman and all the glorious things she was. And there's fairies and a Scotty dog. What more could you need?"

Writing and illustrating Mamie was a long and winding journey for Tania. "In a gumnut shell, I've wanted to write about May Gibbs forever, but it's very difficult to do so—mainly due to branding and copyright issues," she says. But after many stops and starts and hurdles, Tania persisted with her beloved picture book.

Her determination paid off. Harper Collins Publishers is publishing Mamie this year as part of the Snugglepot and Cuddlepie 100th anniversary celebrations. And just as important, Tania's book has also now become an official May Gibbs product.

About Tania
Now based in the Canberra region, Tania's childhood was one of "coloured pencils, paper, staples, outdoor escapades, secret clubs, treehouses and a forest of books—is it any wonder I found myself doing this for a living?" Even though Tania loved children's books, her career as a writer/illustrator began with writing poetry and contemporary adult fiction ("all still in residence in the notorious bottom drawer!" she says), followed by freelance work for magazines, most of which she did when she was living in China between 2005-2009.

Then Tania had kids and she returned to her great love - children's books. Then in 2013, she took up the siren call of her childhood - illustrating.

Tania has now written 3 adult books and 29 children's books, with 8 books in production. She has also now illustrated seven picture books (most of them written by her) as well as two large scale maps in print with Hardie Grant Travel, with a spin-off puzzle out next June and a large format book to follow. And she also has a line of greeting cards with Nuovo Group.

"The reason I create books and the thing I enjoy most about it are one in the same," Tania says, "Engagement. Watching kids fall into the story and image. Eliciting a reaction. A realisation. A connection. Or just sheer enjoyment."

Tania loves children's picture books most of all. "I probably read as many picture books each day as the average pre-schooler, and I get just as much joy from them," she says. "Picture books are a sensory feast".

'Mamie' Book Launch
Tania's newest picture book, Mamie, is itself a feast for the senses. Tania will launch her book on Sunday, November 25 at the beautiful Carrick Hill Estate, Adelaide. Carrick Hill Estate is a grand historic property located at the foot of the Adelaide Hills in the suburb of Springfield. There will be a fanciful garden party on the Estate's Cypress Terrace (between the visitor entrance and the house) to celebrate the launch of Mamie.

Children are encouraged to come dressed as fairies, elves or gum nut/gum-blossom characters, and they will also have the opportunity to meet some beautiful bush fairy dolls, and even Mamie herself!

The garden party/book launch is a free family event. Starting at 11am, there will be book reading and signing, gorgeous crafts for children to create, and a very special botanical cupcake and gum-blossom lollipop for each fairy or elf in attendance. You will also have the chance to tour the brand new May Gibbs garden, wander the Story Book Trail, and view the final day of the May Gibbs and Australian Botanical Art exhibition in the estate's art gallery.

RSVP is essential as there are limited numbers for crafts and treats. You can RSVP here (leave a comment stating how many kids will be coming) or contact Tania here.

Tania's upcoming projects.
Tania has two exciting projects coming up. In April next year, the National Library of Australia will publish a book that she and Jackie French, one of Australia's most popular and awarded children's authors, worked on. And she is about to sign for an early, illustrated junior fiction series with HarperCollins Australia. "I've been working on it for some years now and I'm bananas excited!" Tania tells me. "It will be a whole other arena for me (and my body of work) and it's been a hoot to produce. You heard this here first!"

Tania McCartney

For more information about Tania, visit her blog. Tania's books are available in good bookstores Australia-wide and online. You can also purchase her books via her Etsy store here.

"There is nothing—NOTHING!—more rewarding than a child sitting wide-eyed through a book, then uttering that magical word: 'again'."
Tania McCartney

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Why? Enjoy a fanciful garden party and meet Tania as she launches her newest picture book, Mamie
When: Sunday November 25 at 11am
Phone: Carrick Hill Estate (08) 8433 1700
Where: 46 Carrick Hill Drive Springfield SA 5062
Cost: Free
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