Welcome to the blog of the Tasmanian branch of the Children's Book Council of Australia!

Friday 13 March 2020

Golden Words

Monica Reeve, residing on the north west coast of Tasmania, is an enthusiastic early childhood and art teacher. Her latest endeavours as a children’s author and illustrator have also been inspirational for her students.

Writing a children’s book was something I had never planned to do, and would definitely not have been on my “bucket list”, even if I had one. I perceived authorship and illustrating to be a level well beyond my capabilities – a distinguished vocation reserved for super intelligent, literary creatives - not a 40 something, middle class, part time artist with sporadic moments of inspiration.

Immersing myself into early childhood and art teaching over the past 20 years, provided exposure to literally thousands of inspiring children’s books. During a conversation with an esteemed colleague at the commencement of a new school year, she posed a question – “why aren’t you writing children’s books?” I was flattered to think that she saw me as capable of such a task; however, without a clue as to where to begin, I simply shelved it as a nice idea.

Then it happened…

During the stillest hours one night I awoke with a start, reliving a close encounter with a huntsman spider from the evening before, I began to think of the rhythmic movement of all things creepy crawly in my night-time back yard. Within 2 hours of tapping away on my smart phone under the blankets (so as to not wake my other half), I’d written a manuscript! The next morning, I nervously shared the story with my family who encouragingly agreed there could be something in it.

Collage techniques in Bug Soup Beat © Monica Reeve
As an art teacher in a primary school, I had the perfect audience to test-run Bug Soup Beat along with the cut-paper illustrations I had begun to craft. The kids loved it, some clapped and one even told me to bow after I’d finished reading it. It was such an honour and inspiration to have my works accepted by those who I’ve spent my career aiming to inspire.

One lunch time, floating on a high of newly discovered creative potential, I was crossing the school yard, when a student ran up to me. Beaming from ear to ear she held out a hand folded bookish wad of paper, and it was then that I heard those golden words – “Mrs Reeve, I’ve started writing a book too”.

My second picture book, Pecking Order?, was launched in November 2019.

Bug Soup Beat (2019) and Pecking Order? (2019) Published through 40 South Publishing.
Illustration style - cut-paper collage (nothing digital!)
Monica Reeve
Tasmanian Artist, Author & Illustrator

Visit Pigment: Monicas’ online shop @ https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/PIGMENTmonicareeve
FB: Pigment – Monica Reeve @mydailydraw 
Instagram - pigment.monicareeve

1 comment:

  1. Monica it is wonderful to hear of local NW authors and illustrators thriving and creating in the challenging world of publishing. On behalf of CBCA Tasmania we wish you very success for your published books and the books waiting in your imagination to take form and shape.