So last week was one of the loveliest I remember in a very long time. My publisher, Walker Books Australia, took me on tour with Lily the Elf, my new children’s book series, and spoilt me absolutely rotten all week long! We went to schools, bookshops and libraries all over Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane. I even did my first studio radio interview! And though I don’t know when I’ve ever been so exhausted, I loved every single minute.
You just would not believe how creative, curious and clever Australian primary school children are! Look at all these gorgeous hands up (they are giving me utterly fabulous ideas for ways a tiny elf might make use of a matchbox).
Here someone has clearly had a truly fantastic idea about what an elf might do with a clothes peg. I wish I could remember which it was – I heard so many excellent ones.
I don’t think my smile is usually quite this big. It tells you everything about the kind of week I was having.
The welcomes I received were just amazing. Look at this beautiful display…
And these wonderful colour-ins of Lily! (I was allowed to give out prizes for some of these but I’m very glad I didn’t have to judge. There were so many completely fabulous ones, I wouldn’t have known where to start.)
This was one of the most amazing things of all. Lily the Elf cupcakes!! It was part of a perfect morning tea for a whole class of beautiful children. (And yes, there was one for me and yes, it was delicious!)
I signed approximately a zillion books (I dread to think what my signature looked like by Friday!)
And I received such beautiful, thoughtful, and completely unexpected gifts!
You can see two particularly special gifts I received below.
They were handed to me very quietly by two people who must have known how much I love and treasure small things. I don’t know their names, but just in case either of them sees this, thank you again for being brave and coming up to give me such special presents. I am keeping them on my writing desk to remind me of exactly the kind of people I want to write more stories for.
A big, giant thank-you-for-having-me to Strathcona Baptist Grammar School, Genazzano FCJ College, Shelford Girls’ Grammar, Korowa Anglican Girls’ School, Camberwell Girls’ Grammar School, Presbyterian Ladies’ College, Roseville College, Ravenswood Junior School, Pennant Hills Public School, Arden Anglican College, St Aidans, West End State School, Ashgrove State School, Kogarah Library, Kinderling Kids Radio, Dymocks Camberwell, Lindfield Books, Berkelouw Balgowlah, my gorgeous, spoils-me-absolutely-rotten publisher Walker Books Australia, and especially Steve Spargo and Claire Smith who looked after me every single minute of my tour and are utter, utter gems.