18th September 2016
Jack and Mia
Written by Robert Vescio
Released: 1 October 2016
Book title: Jack and Mia
Author: Robert Vescio
Illustrator: Claire Richards
Published by: Wombat Books
RRP: (HB) $24.99
Intended Audience: up to 7 years
ISBN: (HB) 9781925139730
Tell us about yourself
I’m a published children’s author. My picture books include, Barnaby and the Lost Treasure of Bunnyville (Big Sky Publishing), Marlo Can Fly (Wombat Books) listed on the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge, No Matter Who We’re With (IP Kidz) and I have more picture books due for release in 2016 and 2017.
Many of my short stories have been published in anthologies such as Packed Lunch, Short and Twisted, Charms Vol 1 and The School Magazine NSW.
I’ve won awards for my children’s writing including First Place in the 2012 Marshall Allan Hill Children’s Writing Competition and Highly Commended in the 2011 Marshall Allan Hill Children’s Writing Competition.
I am a Books in Homes Role Model and I enjoy visiting schools. My aim is to enthuse and inspire children to read and write and leave them bursting with imaginative ideas.
What is your book about?
Jack and Mia celebrates the power of childhood friendships and the strength of coping with separation.
Jack and Mia are best friends. They do everything together. Until Mia’s family move overseas and Jack is left all alone. Jack mopes around and Mia no longer wants to play. Then, one day, Jack is pleasantly surprised and his friendship with Mia is rekindled. Soon, Jack and Mia prove that distance is no barrier to their friendship.
The story deals with loneliness, acceptance and the separation of close friends.
Who is your target audience for this book?
Up to 7 years. Jack and Mia is a warm and entertaining tale about the power of a child’s imagination and to keep a friendship long and strong, regardless of distance.
What aspects did you enjoy most about this book?
It was great working together with Claire Richards on this project. I am a big fan of her work. I really loved seeing Claire share her sketches as the book progressed. Her work is amazing and I was blown away with the end result.
What does your book offer the reader that differs from others covering similar subjects?
Unlike other picture books about this subject, Jack and Mia illustrates how today kids are finding it easier to keep in touch with friends and loved ones who live far away. Today, technology is changing the way we stay connected. Everything you need is in the palm of your hands i.e social networking, web-caming, email, skype and face-timing. In the story, Mia uses skype to communicate with Jack. They are able to communicate via the internet and keep their friendship strong.
How did the idea for this book come about?
Growing up, I had friends that moved half the world away - common for working parents and military families – and the only way to connect with them was to write or call.
Jack and Mia is a story that will resonate with children who are about to move or have moved and miss their friends.
Find out more about Robert Vescio
Robert Vescio website: www.robertvescio.com
Robert Vescio FB page: www.facebook.com/RobertVescioAuthor
Wombat Books: www.wombatbooks.com.au/jack-and-mia
There’s something you should know about me and that is I like to talk about my books, but I don’t enjoy talking about myself … well, let’s see how long that lasts.
I started writing children’s stories about five years ago but I’ve always enjoyed writing, even way back in high school.
I received a number of Literacy Awards in English for story and poem writing and many of my works were published in the school’s yearbooks. I was also actively involved in the production of the school’s newspaper and school magazine. But since leaving high school, I never believed in myself enough to actually continue writing.
I worked in the publishing industry for over 12 years and for eight of those years I was a Photo Editor working on a number of photographic Magazines. I enjoyed sourcing photographic material from world-renowned photographers the ilks of Greg Gorman, Mario Testino, Annie Leibovitz and Jean-Baptiste Mondino just to name a few.
But it wasn’t until I left fulltime work in 2007, to become a stay-at-home dad, that I began to take writing more seriously. I had a great excuse to spend hours in the children’s section of bookstores. The love of reading books made it all the more easier for me to delve into the world of picture book writing. Also, having my own children helped as well. All I had to do was to observe them and the ideas started rolling in.
I enjoy writing stories and sharing my passion with children of all ages. All I want is for my stories to be read, like all aspiring and emerging writers, and to inspire and educate children. If I can change one child through my writing, then I’ve fulfilled my calling.
I’m a BIG kid at heart and a HUGE fan of Disney. I live in Sydney and enjoy spending time with my children who are an endless source of humour and inspiration.