14th April 2016
Written by Aleesah Darlison
Released: 15th April 2016
Book title: Zoo Ball
Author: Aleesah Darlison
Illustrated by: Australian Children
Published by: Wombat Books
Intended Audience: 3 - 6 years
Q. Tell us about yourself.
I’m a multi-published, award-winning Australian children’s author … and I love writing books!
Q. What is your book about?
My latest picture book is called Zoo Ball. It’s a fun, rhyming story about a boy named Ned who takes his big, bouncy ball to the zoo. Almost the moment he arrives, Ned loses the ball and then the chase (and the fun) begins as each animal at the zoo has a go playing with Ned’s ball.
Besides the story being really funny, the special thing about Zoo Ball is that it’s illustrated by twenty-three Australian school children.
Q. Who is your target audience for this book?
Children aged 3 – 6 years and their parents/carers/readers.
Q. What aspects did you find challenging about this book?
The text is rhyming and I don’t usually write rhyming picture books. Poetry is incredibly hard to pull off but the rhythm and the rhyme worked well in Zoo Ball.
Q. Why does your book offer the reader that differs from others covering similar subjects?
Zoo Ball is completely unique in that it’s illustrated by a rather large group of child illustrators, all of whom are very talented. The book offers variety on every page through these various illustrations and styles, and it’s also a fantastic book to read out aloud at home or in the classroom. Kids will get a real laugh out of it.
Q. How did the idea for this book come about?
The Wombat Books Illustration Challenge was established to provide aspiring young illustrators with the opportunity to be published in a professionally produced children’s book and gain an introduction into the world of illustrating. I was asked by the publisher at Wombat Books to write a picture book text for the competition.
Not long after my initial conversation with the publisher, the idea for a suitable story began to develop. The title Zoo Ball popped (or should I say, bounced) straight into my head and the narrative started pouring out, in rhyme. The story came easily and the concept worked well for having multiple illustrators as it provided a variety of animals and scenes and it was a funny story that would appeal to children.
Aleesah Darlison is an award-winning Australian children’s author. She has written over thirty books including picture books, early readers, chapter books and novels/series.
Her books include Zoo Ball, Awesome Animal Stories for Kids, the Netball Gems Series, the Unicorn Riders Series, the Totally Twins Series, Ash Rover: Keeper of the Phoenix, Little Good Wolf, Puggle’s Problem, Warambi, Little Meerkat, Spidery Iggy, Mama and Hug, and Stripes in the Forest: The Story of the Last Wild Thylacine.
Aleesah’s much-loved stories promote courage, understanding, anti-bullying, self-belief, friendship, and environmental themes. In 2015, she won the Environment Award for Children’s Literature (Non-Fiction).
Aleesah Darlison, with the cover page artist, school girl, Alyssa Teoh
Find out more about Aleesah Darlison:
Aleesah Darlison website: www.aleesahdarlison.com
Aleesah Darlison FB Page: www.facebook.com/AleesahDarlisonFanPage
Wombat Books website: www.wombatbooks.com.au