Ten Tiny Things About Ten Tiny Things

It’s a book!

Usually at this point, I would say ‘shiny new book’, but this book isn’t actually shiny, at least outside my mind. Perhaps I might call it a ‘matt new book’, in a nod to the illustration style and the paper stock, which are very distinctive.8213a-9781921888946_tentinythings_rgb

In any case, it’s a new picture book, publishing August 1st and launching very soon. And in the spirit of things, here are Ten Tiny Things about it:

1. The Blurb
It was a red thing. It was a sparkly thing.
It was a tiny, tiny thing

Tessa and Zachary have a machine that is swift and splendiferous. Every day it carries them from here to there and back again in cool calm comfort. But one morning, the machine breaks down. Tessa and Zachary are forced to venture into the world beyond its metal walls – a place of secret somethings and hidden happenings. Getting from here to there may never be the same …

2. The Illustrator
Ten Tiny Things is illustrated by the hugely talented Kyle Hughes-Odgers, an artist who works in many different mediums. Kyle is known locally and internationally as the street artist ‘Creepy’, renowned for his large scale murals and wall paintings. Ten Tiny Things is his first picture book; I suspect it won’t be his last.

3. The Inspiration
The idea for this book came from a game I used to play with my daughter (and sometimes still do) while out walking. When she was little, I would point things out, as I’m sure all parents do: Oh, look at that shiny thing. Look, someone wrote their name on the footpath. Is that a bird’s nest up there? And somewhere along the way it became a game, which we cleverly entitled, “Things We Would Never Have Seen If We Had Been Driving”. The first person to reach ten interesting ‘non-driving-seeable’ things was the winner. Of course, we would often become so interested in the things we were noticing that we would lose count or forget to declare a winner anyway.

4. The Launch
I haven’t launched a book since my very first novel. Somehow when it comes to deciding for or against razzamatazz, I tend to fall on the side of letting things slip quietly into the world. Or perhaps I’m just lazy …

But this is a Fremantle Press book, with a local illustrator, and with its inspiration coming from the streets all around us, so we just had to do a launch. And you’re all welcome! Here are the details:

To be launched by Frané Lessac.

When: 6pm Thursday 26 July 2012
Where: The Place, The State Library of WA

RSVP by 23 July: admin@fremantlepress.com.au/9430 6331

This is a free, family-friendly event.

Books will be for sale and you’ll also be able to see a display of the original artwork (on woodblocks!) as well as early sketches and notes showing the development process.

5. The Reviews
There is only one so far, but it’s a cracker. Here’s an excerpt:

I love everything about this book – the theme, the alliterative and well-sculpted language, and the colour scheme used in the illustrations as well as the innovative illustrative style. The visual and verbal texts work extremely well together … The theme is also important and one to be shared with a variety of ages … Highly recommended.
– Liz Derouet, Magpies

6. The Technically-Not-a-Review, But Still …
I did say there was only one review, but perhaps this is another. Very different, but equally awesome, from Catherine Carvell in Singapore, who writes:

Just got home from walking Thomas to school. We normally drive. Thomas grumbled about sore legs until I suggested Meg McKinlay’s clever game. ‘Let’s look for things that we wouldn’t have seen if we were driving.’ We found plenty. And Thomas wants to walk again tomorrow. Thanks Meg 🙂

That one made my heart sing just a little.

7. The Blog
Kyle and I have started a blog where we are recording our own sightings of Tiny Things in the wild, and encouraging others to do the same. We are particularly keen to have children involved, and welcome all contributions – photos, drawings, anything – and comments. We would love to have you stop by the Ten Tiny Things Blog – a place for secret somethings and hidden happenings.

8. The Art Workshops
Running over the school holidays at The Place in the State Library. There’s only one session remaining (tomorrow!), but if you miss out, you can always run your own!

Art Workshops @ The Place
10, 12 & 17 July 10:30am and 1:30pm (all ages)
Based on the book Ten Tiny Things by Meg McKinlay and Kyle Hughes-Odgers. Numbers are limited, bookings essential – Ph: 9427 3111

* Children must be accompanied by an adult

All activities are free!

9. The Talking Heads
Kyle and I have been doing all sorts of interviews lately – for places such as We Love Perth website and the West Australian newspaper. Keep your eyes open for our smiling (and/or artistically moody-looking) faces there in the coming weeks.

I’ll also be out and about during August – travelling hither and yon for Children’s Book Week and Country Book Week across the whole of the month. And Kyle and I will feature together at the Koorliny Arts Centre on 15 August, talking about things like the evolution of the book – text and image; the author/illustrator relationship; our individual creative processes; paths to publication and much more, with plenty of time for general Q&A.

10. The End
What? You want more tiny things? Try going for a walk – there are bits and pieces lurking everywhere. For example, here’s something I found lurking on a neighbourhood rooftop just this morning.

Now go and find your own. Do I have to do everything around here?

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