Tania McCartney has done it again. This book, An Aussie Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Australian Kids by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling is bound to be a winner. Today the characters from the book join me to tell me a little about being a star.
Character Interview – meet Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda
Hi kids, so lovely to have you visit today! Congratulations on the release of An Aussie Year. How much fun was it to star in this book?
Ned: It was so cool! I never thought a kid from the bush would ever get this chance—but I’ve had lots of fun. Shooting the book all over Australia was awesome. I even got to ride in a helicopter!
Zoe: And we all got to go to Alice Springs for the Henley on Todd Regatta—that was my favourite part of all. Imagine doing boat races in the desert!
Lily: A boat race. On sand. Not a river or creek in sight!
I bet you’ve had a lot of fun—and you must have seen heaps of Australia during book production. What other parts of Australia did you love visiting?
Kirra: I’d never been to Tasmania before. We had to look for platypus and I found one! When we went for afternoon tea later that day, we met a Tassie devil. She was so funny—she began eating the table leg!
Matilda: That was scary.
Kirra: No it wasn’t. The crocodiles were scarier!
Matilda: It’s all right for you—I had to wear a crocodile suit! [Laughs]
Zoe: I really liked ice skating at Jindabyne. That was fun.
Ned: Taronga Zoo for me. Hands-down. I got to play soccer with a seal. How many kids can say they’ve played soccer with a seal?
You also took a tour through the months of the year. Which events did you love exploring the most?
Lily: Book Week! That’s in August. I love love love it. I love to read. I also loved being the one to do April Fool’s Day. They turned my milk blue!
Matilda: But you didn’t drink it.
Lily: Yes I did! It tasted blue.
Kirra: I loved visiting the Royal Easter Show in Sydney. We got to ride on the Ferris Wheel. That’s in April, too.
Ned: My favourite time of the year is December. School finishes and you get to swim every day over Christmastime. It gets a bit hot out West, though.
Zoe: I loved doing Easter. Mum and Ya Ya make tsoureki bread. It’s sweet and delicious. You make it into a plait and you stick red eggs in it.
What have your friends and family said about starring in your own book?
Matilda: They’re jealous!
Zoe: My brothers and sister are, too!
Ned: But they’re very proud of us. We worked hard!
You worked closely with author Tania McCartney and illustrator Tina Snerling during production of the book. What are they like?
Kirra: Stress-heads! [Laughs]
Zoe: They are not! They were just very, very busy. They’re nice. [Insert heart shape with hands here]
Matilda: I really liked them. They let us eat the lollies we used for August.
Ned: Tina’s very good at drawing. I like cartooning, so she showed me a few tips.
Lily: Tania liked my short stories. She said maybe one day we could do a book together!
Why do you think the Aussie childhood should be celebrated?
Ned: Because we’re really, really, really lucky. Like, really lucky. And we have ANZAC cookies.
Kirra: And lamingtons!
Zoe: And the best mixed lollies, ever. Freckles, cobbers, yellow snakes …
Lily: Because we have really cool children’s book authors and illustrators. Maybe I’ll write kids’ books one day …
Matilda: I like Australia because of my friends. I like how Kirra and Zoe and Ned and Lily are all different to me. I like that very much.
Zoe: Aw! [another heart shape with hands]
Ned: Tilly’s right. It’s called diversity. That really needs to be celebrated. I think An Aussie Year does that.
You’re real literary celebrities now. What’s after An Aussie Year?
Kirra: I’m going surfing!
Matilda: You’re funny, Kirra.
Zoe: Well, I want to be an actress—everyone knows that, so maybe I can star in the movie version of the book.
Lily: I’ll write the script!
Kirra: I’m directing!
Ned: You know—just between you and me, I did hear Tania and Tina talking about a spin-off series, featuring us …
Zoe: How cool would that be!?
Ned: But let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Let’s just hope kids and mums and dads and teachers like An Aussie Year, Version One.
Matilda: I hope they love it!
Lily: I’m absolutely certain they will—it stars us!
Visit the An Aussie Year website (www.anaussieyear.com.au) to meet all the characters from the book, see updates and behind-the-scenes work. There’s also some Fun Activities for kids.
Win! A Publisher’s Desk Opportunity
Love to write? Dream of fast-tracking your manuscript right to the publisher’s desk? Here’s your opportunity to have the publishers at Morris Publishing Australia take a peek at your work.
Check out the submission guidelines right here, then send the synopsis and the first ten pages of your manuscript to firstname.lastname@example.org. Regular response times apply; see the website for details. One submission will be chosen to be published as and eBook and considered for a printed copy.
An Aussie Year: Twelve Months in the Life of Australian Kids by Tania McCartney and Tina Snerling
(Oct 2013, EK Publishing, $19.99, hard cover, 9781921966248)
Ned, Lily, Zoe, Kirra and Matilda––three Aussie kids keen to take you on a journey through a year in the life of Australian children, from cultural celebrations to traditions and events, to our everyday way of life.
An Aussie Year is a picture book bursting with national pride. It is a snapshot of who we are as a nation, covering our melting-pot culture, lifestyle and traditions. Its pages feature trailing, meandering text, dates and gorgeous illustrations showing our five Aussie children at play, at school, at home, enjoying their homeland––from the tropical north to our rugged west.
Trailing through the seasons and idiosyncrasies endemic to each month of the year, this is Our Australian Childhood.
About the Creators
Tania McCartney is a book-obsessed author, editor, reviewer, photographer, traveller, mum of two and wife of one. She simply adores words and paper—and would ingest them if she could (though she’ll settle for a good coffee). She frequently flits around cyberspace but can also be seen visiting schools and libraries, running workshops, reading to kids or pushing tomes onto unsuspecting shoppers in bookshops. Tania lives in Canberra, but would like to live inside a book. http://www.taniamccartney.com
Tina Snerling is a designer, illustrator, artist, web designer, seamstress and mum. She adores Paris, fabric, design and paper. She lives a very illustrated life—one day she’s creating children’s books, the next she’s creating websites (in between the washing and school lunches!). She’s the type who has a notebook by her bed because most good ideas happen when you’re supposed to be sleeping. She lives in Brisbane with her two gorgeous poppets and one gorgeous husband.
An Aussie Year Virtual Tour Schedule
Join Ned, Zoe, Lily, Kirra and Matilda on this journey around the webosphere, from 21 October to 21 November. There will be reviews, sneak peeks, guest posts and lots of fabulous giveaways including some publishing opps! See the entire tour schedule right here http://taniamccartney.blogspot.com/2013/09/an-aussie-year-virtual-tour.html