EMPOWERING CHILDREN THROUGH STORY
The Child Writes titles fly with Jetstar as a regular in their inflight entertainment offering. Boogie Books is the largest publisher of children’s books by children in the world, with the titles all available via Amazon. Additionally, Emma ensures the authors donate copies of their books to places where children are in crisis – and to date, books have landed with Ronald McDonald House, children’s wards in hospitals in the authors home towns and in the capital cities, as well as the National Library of Australia, and state libraries in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.
Believing everyone has the right to see their words in print has become a slight obsession for Emma. This has inspired her latest publishing project - the 'how to' guide for inspiring writers. Child Writes: Creating a Children's Picture book is Child's Play, was published in May 2012 and it won a GOLD Best Non-Fiction Adult eBook at the 2012 IPPY Awards. Emma was a finalist in the 2014 Condamine Alliance Awards for Outstanding Contribution to Cultural Heritage and a Finalist in the 2012 QRRRWN Strong Leadership Awards.
Her latest children's picture book, Imagine, illustrated by Ester De Boer has just won a GOLD Best Children's Illustrated eBook at the 2015 IPPY Awards in New York, USA and one of the illustrations 'Lyrebird' was selected for exhibition in the Book Illustrated Gallery, for the Asian Festival for Children's Content in Singapore.
She is a regular on ABC South East Queensland, with a monthly book review with Belinda Sanders and often, happily, fulfills the role as guest judge for painting competitions and book week festivals – whatever she is asked to do!
Having studied a Bachelor of Arts majoring in Illustration at University, Mary-Kate has come to understand and greatly value the process of communicating ideas clearly and effectively to an audience through her arts practice. Her professional arts career started many years ago as a TV production designer, however the mediums she has worked in more recently include: book illustration, public art (murals, mosaic and sculptural pieces), videography, traditional painting, and graphic design. Her passion is Visual Communication - where the illustration of ideas and text is a two way process. With book illustration, she sees author and audience feedback as especially important in ensuring imagery is effectively interpreting, complementing and enhancing the written word.
Mary-Kate’s great love is her 3 children and her extended family. She has been a stay at home mum for her children for the majority of their childhoods, working only part time as an illustrator/artist, and as a volunteer for various organisations. She is passionate about the importance of motherhood and the wonderful privilege it is to raise children. Mary-Kate and Emma have been friends for a number of years now. They are both passionate about the importance of parents being fully present in the lives of their children, of their responsibility to nurture their children's imaginations and creativity, and of laying the foundations for a life long love of literature. They have also volunteered together for many years in raising awareness for NAPCAN (National Assn. for the Prevention of Child Abuse and Neglect).
Being involved in the “Where is the True Ewe?” project, has been somewhat of a therapeutic journey for Mary-Kate. It has involved the confronting and reconciling loss of identity, the gritty reality of surviving the pressures of modern motherhood, and of celebrating the highs and lows of raising children. Her approach to illustrating the story is with honesty, optimism, and acceptance that no family is perfect! Having had her own marriage fail, Mary-Kate laments her inability to have replicated her own great childhood (and the beauty of the unity of the little family presented at the end of the book) for her own children. She dedicates her contribution to “Where is the True Ewe?” to her own wonderful parents Brian & Elin Thomson who will celebrate their 50th Wedding Anniversary this year. Her parents are greatly admired by their 6 children, and 16 grandchildren.