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

Friday 18 November 2022

“Turn the volume down and immerse ourselves in stories”

Christina Booth provides some important cues to help us all navigate a changing world with good stories providing a compass to guide us. Christina also shares a current collaboration to be published in 2023 – look out for Mother Earth and enjoy this special advanced ‘cover reveal’.

Haven’t the last few years been weird? We have gained incredible insight into our world and humanity, and at the same time, we have lived with great stress and anxiety. For many, the idea of putting pen to paper, fingers to keyboards seemed to be a good opportunity during restricted travel and socialisation. Yet how do we write? What do we write? What stories do we tell surrounded by a noisy world full of war, pandemics, shortages, political unrest and strife, and education disruptions?

As a creator, I have struggled to focus. How do we write about our world when we don’t really know what it will look like in two, five, ten years from now? Do we have people hugging and shaking hands, sharing an ice-cream, sitting close to each other? Will we go back to what we consider normal? Or will the world remain a different place, a place the children of today and babies who will read these stories in the next few years will consider the new normal? Will they recognise the world of pre-2020?

The good news is humans still hunger for stories. We long to see ourselves reflected on the pages of a book, on a screen, in an artwork. These are the things that normalise us. It allows for difference, acceptance, and equality. These are the things we continue to strive for and fight for as we face our brave new world. Themes that do not let us down: bravery, sacrifice, diversity, learning, adapting, overcoming, history, learning from the past just to name a few. These are the stories that carry through regardless of what the planet throws at us.

After the lull in kid lit publishing due to Covid, I am very happy to be back at the drawing board, illustrating books for two wonderful and much-loved authors. I wish I could share more with you, but I can say I am immersed in a book written by Libby Hathorn, called Mother Earth, due for release through Hachette in 2023. It is a breath of fresh air in my illustrating studio, as the book is a collection of poems, published as a fully illustrated picture book. Poems and stories of what we all hold dear, poems about the things we continue to work toward and celebrate as humanity, regardless of the negatives we feel immersed in. The cover is completed, and I can share an almost completed version of it with you (the designer is yet to do their magical touches).

© Christina Booth's cover design for Mother Earth,
 written by Libby Hathorn, to be published by Hachette Australia, 2023

I hope you can find your creative space and let it help quieten the noise the world is barking ferociously at us. In there, there is still peace, quiet, and reflection. We can turn the volume down and immerse ourselves in stories. Stories celebrating the good in our world, inspiring us to make it the best place it can be.

Christina Booth
Tasmanian author and illustrator

W: https://www.christinabooth.com/

FB: Christina Booth Books https://www.facebook.com/Christina-Booth-Books-113682115389375


  1. Fantastic Christina. Look forward to your new lease on life!

  2. Through the pandemic animals have continued to be a delight. I recently blogged about the lions escaping their enclosure. Since then news reports mention a lyre bird who is reminding zoo patrons of this event, by mimicking the siren and the evacuation announcement. In the last 18 months my terrier has had to have both eyes removed, but continues to play fetch, chase balls, go for beach walks and swims and generally acts as if nothing much in her life has changed...it's just always dark, but not always night. I think animals will continue to show us the way forward.