Today, it is with great pleasure that I introduce you to Yvonne Mes and her delightful new picture book Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt.
About Yvonne Mes
Yvonne Mes is a children’s author and illustrator from Brisbane. Her latest picture book is Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt. Other picture books by Yvonne are Oliver’s Grumbles (Yellow Brick Books) and Meet Sidney Nolan (Penguin Random House).
Yvonne coordinates Brisbane based writers’ group, Write Links, reviews children’s book for KBR (Kids’ Book Review) and runs No Nonsense Critiques. She buys more books than she can read, comes up with more ideas than she can write or illustrate and has more children than she can manage. But she does try very hard, and best of all, she is NEVER bored.
About Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt
Near bush and scrub and oceanfront, they tiptoe on their Easter hunt . . .
A group of baby bilbies are on an Easter egg hunt. They find all kinds of eggs – a kookaburra’s egg, a turtle’s egg, a cassowary’s egg – before the little bilbies finally find what they’ve been looking for: Easter eggs to share with all their friends.
This colourfully illustrated picture book showcases the diversity of Australia’s egg-laying animals. Each spread reveals an egg in its natural environment and asks the question ‘Whose egg could this be?’. After turning the page, the egg is matched with the animal it belongs to.
Why I like this book
Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt, gorgeously illustrated by Jody Pratt, is a fun story that is sure to delight young children as they go on an Easter egg hunt with Little Bilby, finding eggs that belong to others before they find the eggs that they can share.
If they are not already drawn in by the sparkles on the front cover, children will love the rhythm and rhyme and join in with the repetitive text as they seek and find eggs belonging to Aussie egg-laying animals, kookaburra, turtle and cassowary. Everyone joins in the search until they find eggs for sharing everywhere. On the final page, in both hardback and ebook versions but not in the board book, children are invited to find ten eggs that are hidden in the garden.
Children will not only have fun reading or listening to this delightful story, they’ll be encouraged to use the rhymes and repetitions when making their own Easter egg hunts. If, like me, you couldn’t wait to get to the store to purchase a hard copy (which I recommend for little ones), I was able to purchase an ebook here. Perfect, perhaps, when bookstores and libraries are closed, and you want a new book to share at Easter.
Now, let’s meet Yvonne.
Welcome to readilearn, Yvonne, we are looking forward to getting to know you better.
Thanks for inviting me.
Yvonne, when did you know you wanted to be a writer?
As a child, I loved reading and coming up with stories, but I never understood that being a writer was an option for me as a future grown-up. I thought writers and illustrators were rare and magical beings like unicorns, wonderful, but not something I could aspire to. It wasn’t until what seems like a few lifetimes later that I realised becoming a writer was an option for me.
Where do you write? Do you like to be by yourself in the quiet, or do you like to write in a noisy space?
I like the creative white noise of a cafe, or silence at home.
What do you use to write – pencil and paper or computer?
A bit of both. I have many notebooks, but I also write notes on my mobile phone, use brainstorming apps on my tablet and use these to write first drafts and rough plots. But from that point on, most of it happens on the computer.
When do you write?
Mostly when the kids are in school! So between 9am and 2pm.
When do you get your ideas?
All the time! From reading fiction and non-fiction, books, magazines, making art, listening to kids, watching the news, driving around, dreaming and more!
Do you think of the story in your head before you write it?
I do a lot of ruminating and coming up with ideas during times where I am forced to slow down, such as when driving, or having a massage, having a shower or a walk. After that, I write those thoughts down, then go back to crystallising my thoughts during those slow-down times … and rinse and repeat.
What gave you the idea for Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt?
I had been working for a while on a story about young children and their discoveries of and wonder about different eggs and what native Australian animals they belong to. It lived as a rough draft for over a year on my computer until Hachette wondered if I had an Easter themed story and that question was the catalyst to change it into the story it is today.
What do you like best about Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt?
It is so pretty, the illustrations are gorgeous, AND there is glitter!
Do you like the way Jody Pratt has illustrated your story?
Love, love, love the illustrations! Jody has done a fantastic job at making the characters look cute and full of life, while still recognisable as native animals.
How did you feel when you wrote Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt?
Ha! I was inspired by how excited children are when they spot an egg in the wild as well as the excitement of contemplating what might be in there and how it will look, so that was a lovely feeling, I remember those thoughts when I was a child. BUT, there was plenty of feelings of frustration as I tried to fit it in iambic meter, writing a simple story is never as simple as it seems!
How do you hope readers will feel?
Inquisitive and curious and wanting to read it again and again.
How would you like teachers to present Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt to children?
With my background as an early childhood professional, I deliberately packed in lots for early childhood teachers to work with. I added a sprinkling of adjectives to describe the eggs, included positional language such as high/low near/far over/under, onomatopoeia, Australian native animals and of course the science aspect of matching animals with their eggs.
Jody has also designed a couple of colour in sheets, which are free to download from:
Thank you, Yvonne. It was a pleasure to have you here to discuss your beautiful new picture book, Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt, released just in time for Easter.
Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt is available from all online bookshops, independent bookshops and major retailers.
All Yvonne’s books are available from Booktopia:
Find out more about Yvonne Mes
On her website www.yvonnemes.com
Or connect with her on Social Media
Or contact her via email
This interview is now available free, in a ready-to-print format, in Literacy Resources Author Spotlight Author Spotlight – Yvonne Mes, along with interviews with other authors. The information may be displayed in your classroom or included in a class book about authors and illustrators.
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