Archive for January, 2012

Year of the Rabbit

Last week heralded in the Chinese New Year and with it came the end of a year I’d come to think of as my own: the Year of the Rabbit.

<sigh>

All good things must come to an end.

But let’s not be sad. The rabbits will live on in my mind, as well as between the covers of one small squishy book off hopping about the place. And what better way to mark the passing of such a special year than with a celebration of all things rabbit? Here’s a photo diary of all the wee bunnies I spied in the many places I travelled to over one very busy year…

Demon bunny! An amazing street art installation on the streets of New York:

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A literary bunny very close to my heart. I adored Winnie the Pooh growing up, with the stern fatherly rabbit. This is a display of the original toys owned by A.A.Milne’s son, held in the New York Public Library:

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New York pub bunny (not for the kiddies):

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An awesome graffiti mural in San Fran:

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I LOVE carousels. Don’t they make you feel ever young? This beachside San Fran one was clearly made for me:

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Let’s play spot the bunny (in the sugar made wonderland at Brisbane’s MoMA):

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Totoro! Ok, so technically he’s a Japanese forrest spirit, but he certainly looks rabbit-like. I found him in a funky bookstore in DUMBO, New York:

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A whole ocean of bunnies. A gorgeous print I discovered in a Sydney shop front by Kozyndan:

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Walking Hollywood Boulevard with the stars:

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A bunny with a bright idea (in Melbourne):

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A rabbit-like stone amongst the Living Desert Sculptures. Take a look at the fashion statement on the rabbit in front (it was cold up there and a passing poet gave me his coat):

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A Broken Hill bunny?

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Finally, the rarest of them all … bunny-caninus, so fast and dastardly I hardly caught him on film:

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I hope you all have a luck-filled and prosperous Year of the Dragon.

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Hoppy Australia Day

Squish Rabbit and I would like to wish all our downunder friends a very happy Australia Day. A day for barbecues in the sun. For picnics by the river. For frisbee and beers in the park. Or if you’re one Byron Bay friend of ours, apple dunking and three legged races.

Sound good? Well, all these were plans we had until the skies decided to bless Queensland once again with crazy weather. So instead we’ll be enjoying the rain from the safety of our home, while thinking of all those in the flood affected areas and hoping they stay safe.

We will, however, still celebrate our national day: instead with boardgames, well worn DVDs, an indoor barbie (sausages on the stove top – woo!) and still plenty of beer … it just wouldn’t be Australia Day without it.

Have a good one Australia!

How Not To Find My Blog (2011)

Google is a wonderful and strange thing. The term ‘to Google’ has long been a part of my vocabulary. In fact I probably use Google between 5-10 times a day. And although the search engine is pretty good at sending people where they need to go for information, it’s not always as accurate as it could be.

On this day last year I celebrated the year gone with my first ‘How Not To Find My Blog’ post, where I joyed in (and puzzled over) all the random search terms that have brought people to my blog. Inspired by a similar post over on Allen and Unwin’s blog I thought I’d mark another blogging year with a similar round up. So here is a guide of how not to find my blog using Google (even though some very disappointed people did)*:

Random Searches:

  • in the name of the dog dig (ok)
  • fatten up your face (really?)
  • “what kind of katherine are you” (the confused kind)
  • funny pancake (mmm … I do like pancakes)
  • gum boots pee (um, no. But I had plenty of gumboot mud at Woodford)
  • lessonful quotes (yup, I am full of those)
  • peanut exclamation (sounds delicious)
  • alcohol mind map (I don’t recommend this – it doesn’t make for sensible mind-mapping) 
  • pippa’s embarrassment (Julie – a new title, perhaps? There’s demand!)
  • aristotle poetics drama (this makes my blog appear more intelligent than it is)
Searches About Illustrating:
  • hot chocolate illustration (do I have an obsession with HC? Yes. Do I illustrate them? No)
  • a sketch of a rabbit held up (held up? With a gun? Who would do that to a little bunny..?)
Searches About Rabbits:
  • my dreams if i become a rabbit (would be AWESOME)
  • oil kathrines rabbits (now that’s just creepy)
  • rabbits travel through time (brilliant!)
  • squishing rabbits (so I can see how this brought them here, but I don’t condone this. At all)
  • angry rabbit (maybe a direct result of the above)
  • daddy cought a rabbit and thought it was a pup (well love, your daddy ain’t right)
  • rabbit by jk rowling (I’ve had LOTS of hits from this. Go JK!)
  • book where child eats a rabbit (ew…)
Bring on 2012. Bring on another year of random search terms. Google away my pretties!

* As irony would have it, me blogging about these search terms now actually makes it MORE likely someone will find my blog using them…

Little Cupcake Reads Squish

I had to post this. It is so gosh darn adorable. So incredibly sweet and giggle-worthy. And not just because this little munchkin is reading my book. Ok maybe it helps, but it’s pretty cute never-the-less. Even more so because she’s reading it backwards…

Here’s what Cupcake (her online pseudonym) says:

“thought he was playing…he kicked his little legs”
“big tantrum – argghhhh!”
“they broke all the rules!”
“passed him by” (then sings it again – so sweet)

My favourite part is when she makes the squishing sound when Squish nearly gets stepped on. If only she could accompany me for all my readings – what great sound effects and emotional range! Hop on over to the LibLaura5 blog to see the original post, where this little cutie names Squish Rabbit as her favourite book of 2011 (doesn’t that make it all worth it?).

Squish has also made it onto a few other nice recommendation lists for books that came out in 2011. The wonderfully talented Chris Bongers did a fun round-up over on her blog about which books to buy for loved ones over Christmas. Where The Best Books Are also did a lovely summary post called ‘A Few of my Favourite Things’ and I love the way they capture Squish’s experience of the world:

One day he was bending over to marvel at a tiny red flower and a scaly-legged giant stepped on him. Being wee, his body bounces back. But his heart? Well, the hurt of being overlooked doesn’t go away.
Squish sends carrots and tiny rabbit hugs in thanks for all the amazing support.

Merry Squishy Christmas

Look what arrived in the mail:

My very own Squish Rabbit Christmas cards! This was a delightful gift from my US publisher, Viking. It turns out they select one book from their list each year to turn into a Christmas card, so they can send it out to all their contacts. They left it as a surprise that they’d chosen my book, so I only found out when a big box of cards arrived on my doorstep. I’m absolutely thrilled, as is Squish. It is, after all, this little rabbit’s very first Christmas.

Among my many treasured Chrissy presents I got some amazing bookish gifts this year. A favourite is the first volume of Neil Gaiman’s Sandman comic, which I’m a little addicted to and nearly through already. I also adore my new copy of Tim Burton’s deliciously dark and playful The Melancholy Death of Oyster Boy. The two combined have re-jigged my desire to start developing up an idea I have for a strange / sweet / melancholy kind of graphic novel. But more on that another time…

I have just arrived back from Woodford, the amazing folk festival held on the Sunshine Coast each year, where I called in the new year. I dug up this photo from last year’s festival, where I got a henna tattoo to celebrate the year of the rabbit.

2011 has thoroughly spoiled me, with my first book out, two publishers I adore, overwhelmingly lovely reviews and so much support from YOU dear readers. Thank you. If this year to come is even half as good as the one just passed then I can count myself blessed. A big Happy New Year to you all and bring on 2012!


About this Blog…

A blog of ramblings about the world of writing and illustrating for children, by an author / illustrator who might just have a thing for rabbits.

Katherine's picture books, 'Squish Rabbit' and 'Brave Squish Rabbit', are out with Viking (Penguin, US) and UQP (Australia). Please e-mail if you would like her to blog about something in particular.

All text & images  Katherine Battersby

Released Sept 2012:

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