Kingdom Collection – the Inspiration and Journey behind the Book

It’s magical to have a children’s book develop and grow from an idea to the finished product. Coming soon is the Kingdom of Rooms, a poetry book for children who love to collect things. Growing up in Brisbane, I had a few collections that kept me interested and curious – stamps, owls and elephants, not the big beasts of course! I loved to see my collection of animals grow and whenever my Mum received a letter in the mail, I soaked off the postage stamp. I always loved the colourful stamps the most. And my little owl collection started with three and grew to twenty-three.

Kingdom of Rooms is about 9 rooms in a Royal palace that are home to different collections. Written by me, Marg Gibbs and featuring my creative friend and Mum to three young daughters, Jenny Catalano, this new book brings excitement to a child’s world. In each room, painted by the skilful Margeaux Davis, the mystery comes alive with a collection of bird’s feathers, dolls, shields, toy soldiers, bugs and more. Today’s child might own a lego collection of pirate ships or miniature cars, trains or pet rocks.

Because I love writing and reading poetry, I asked Jenny, a children’s writer/ artist if she wanted to contribute some poems to a themed anthology. Jenny loves family, history and the past, so I suggested a few specific topics and she delivered promptly. I searched the internet for Palace rooms, interiors and furnishings. There was more sites on castles, however, after looking at Buckingham Palace, Danish Palaces and Scottish ones, it seemed a fun thing to do, create different rooms and write the poems for that room so that children could see more clearly inside the residence.


The writing stage came easy. In the Nursery Room, I had to have dolls, teddy bears and toys. Margeaux painted me a rocking horse and on each of her beautiful art pieces, she hid a small mouse for children to find.

“Tick tock nursery clock,

Alice and Helen are asleep

Tick tock nursery clock

The mouse comes out for a peep.”

Jenny wrote a poem called Model Train for the Nursery Room and used WHOOSH! to convey the speed and pitch black into the tunnel entrance.

Her Shield poems are fun to read aloud and her girls, Regina and Carmela took part in a dramatic role play out at Bli Bli Castle for Legionnaire’s Statues and Make Shift Shield. Marg also had fun to engage children with her poem, A Bottle of Bugs set in the Banquet Hall. Dressing up is always fun especially if there are costumes and ready made shield and helmets with swords too. Inspiration for these poems comes from history books, movies and real life collections that people have at home.

The illustrator’s journey comes from imagination and research as Margeaux used her own son’s idea on the cover. There’s a Throne Room and Bird Room plus more to appeal to the child and parent/ carer.





This creative collaboration involved hard work, responsible communication and rapport, co-operation and at the end of the day a motivation to engage young minds.

Kingdom of Rooms fits in nicely with the School curriculum of year 2 with its poems and stories, portraits and visual arts. I hope you love it as much as we loved doing it.

A Royal wave and best wishes, from Marg and Jenny. Thanks Regina (short hair) and Carmella (long hair) for your support, co-operation and love. Stay tune for the next blog on the Author’s favourite historical picture books for children.







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Alison Stegert
February 6, 2021 at 2:31 am

Looks Fab! Another thing to eagerly look forward to!

Well done!!

February 6, 2021 at 2:45 am

Looking forward to this book. I love poetry. I loved dolls and still do, I have a small collection of porcelain ones.

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February 7, 2021 at 7:15 am

Hi Joy, I remember as a child growing up next door to your place, your fond love of dolls.

    February 8, 2021 at 3:02 am

    I still have one named Helen and my 63 year old teddy bear.

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February 8, 2021 at 11:27 am

Wow! I would love a photo of that ragged old teddy. What fond memories.

Margeaux Davis
February 11, 2021 at 12:09 am

I can’t wait to see it all come together and in print Marg. Was a delight to work with you again.

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February 11, 2021 at 12:18 pm

And you, too, Margeaux. We learn a lot about the creative process together. I appreciate your beautiful art.

M.J. Gibbs
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