Recently at the lovely book shop in Palmwoods, Little Booknook, Kay Nixon welcomed me for a reading and craft based on my new picture story, A Very Mapleton Christmas. The weather forecast was terrible. It had been raining and showery a lot, but I still packed the car the night before and ventured out early to set up.
With me came Bethlynn, 16 years old who plans to be an early childhood teacher. She was my right hand gal. On the way in the car, we talked about her work, love of kid’s books and different families she has encountered and connected with during the Covid 19 year.
Under the big red umbrellas we set up the crafts for the morning. Bright festive tablecloth with pine cones, pom poms, stencils and sparkly papers, paint, glue and so on. A touch of nature came along too with seed pods, banksia, twigs and a few cuddly puppets, the possum being the favourite.
The rain came down but it didn’t stop the fun and creative hands. We huddled under the umbrella to make and decorate. The ages of the children ranged from a toddler who was 19 months old with her father and others from 2-8 years.
With sunshine out, I took the opportunity to read A Very Mapleton Christmas, written by me and illustrated by the gifted Artist Jacqui A’Court who is from WA. Her soft watercolours and collages appealed the the children as they heard the story about the cheeky, naughty Pete the possum making mischief at the Lilyponds on Christmas Day. Most children love animal stories. This one has many favourite Australian animals – wombat, echidna, lorikeet, magpie goose and more.
Wherever you are for Christmas, I hope it’s safe and joyful with a touch of mayhem and mischief. May you celebrate with family and friends the good gifts of God that have blessed you this year. Love Marg.