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

Sunday 3 March 2019

One Careless Night

This week’s blog describes a prelaunch of Christina Booth’s new book on the thylacine, One Careless Night, which was held at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery in the Main Gallery on Sunday February 17 at 1 pm
This was a free event, pre-booking was required through trybooking, presented by TMAG and Black Dog books and a limited print run of pre-release copies of the book was only available on this occasion, prior to the actual publication date of June 1. This was a part of the museum’s Discovery Day event. https://www.walkerbooks.com.au/Books/One-Careless-Night-9781925381856

The title refers to the journey of the last thylacine in captivity. The author’s note at the end of the story explains:
The last thylacine in captivity ‘…died one freezing night at the Hobart Zoo because her keeper left her out of her shelter.’ This occurred on ‘… 7 September 1936. This is now the date of National Threatened Species Day in Australia.’

A slideshow of the picture book with images and music, composed by Thieron Booth, Christina’s son, ran for about 20 minutes before the event actually started, which allowed the diverse audience to settle into the serious mood that Christina’s wonderful story brought with it. She was ably assisted throughout the proceedings by husband Michael.
Maryann Ballantyne of Black Dog books (Walker imprint) introduced Donna Rawlins, Christina’s art director on this project, who officially pre-launched the book. They celebrate 15 years association with Christina Booth from the first showing of her portfolio to them. Donna Rawlins is a very experienced illustrator and author, who greatly admires this book, which Christina has been writing and illustrating since 2006, wanting to show the world not just the thylacine but also other native animals.
Donna stated: “This is a story bigger than any of us can afford to ignore”.
One of the saddest facts behind this true story is that between 1901 and 1936 there were activists who sought to protect the thylacine. Zoos worldwide wanted specimens for their collections. Permission for this to happen was given on July 10th 1936, 39 days before the death of the last thylacine in captivity.
Christina presented One Careless Night, reading the whole story aloud from the screen so that we could all share illustrations and words better together, and the atmosphere of loss created by the soundtrack. She acknowledged the great assistance she has received from TMAG in her research into this amazing native creature
This was followed by a drawing activity, where Christina demonstrated how to draw the thylacine, providing sheets with instructions and blank sheets on a clipboard with 6B pencils in order for members of the audience to draw their own. During this hands-on demonstration she discussed the mystery of the thylacine, how as a child she was told that if she ever met a thylacine, she should hold onto its tail - it can’t turn around then as it has a partially fused spine so the spine doesn’t break when it bites down on its prey. The thylacine also hunts in early morning and late evening and so falls into the category of animals that are called ‘crepuscular’. Her illustrations are drawn on the computer, but she uses the same techniques as when drawing on paper. 

To see more examples of her work see: https://www.christinabooth.com/books.html
About her ideas see link to CBCA blog post from October 2018

Image from Newsletter Volume 5 Issue 5 (December 2018) (NCACL)

Christine Donnelly
Assistant Social Media Coordinator, CBCA Tasmania.

1 comment:

  1. Congratulations Christina and Donna on such a successful launch of your new book. The accompanying multimedia presentation must have been enjoyable with opportunities for participants to respond and develop a deeper understanding of the urgency to protect our endangered and threatened species throughout our world. The story is a cautionary tale with a powerful message that demands a response before it is too late!