“I only want to live in peace and plant potatoes and dream”

“I only want to live in peace and plant potatoes and dream” – Moomin (Tove Jansson)

A good children’s book has the power to sum up exactly how we’re feeling, or even who we are in just a few, simple words. This line from Tove Jansson’s Moomin books is my favourite ‘one liner’. I don’t actually dream of planting potatoes (if there is an opposite to having a green thumb, I have it), but it’s the sentiment.

As a child, I loved Moomin’s grumpy outburst for the humour and the random charm that Tove Jansson always executed so well in her storytelling. Now, I empathise with Moomin’s familiar longing to live in peace, enjoy the simple things and dream, far away from the pressures of real life!

I plan to use this blog to share my love for illustration and children’s books, influenced by my profession in museum work. I am mainly looking at new ways of interpretation and communication within the museum sector and this is much the same as what I look for in a good children’s book. A good book is all about the successful interpretation of an idea and how well a story is communicated through both language and illustration.

I live in Perth, Western Australia where I work for a local museum, but I am originally from Belfast, Northern Ireland. I studied Fine Art at University which ultimately revealed to me that I wanted to spend my free time illustrating for fun, rather than depicting the great miseries of life through indecipherable paintings. I still have a love for Fine Art and am so grateful for the time I spent exploring art history and developing my own practice, but I keep my work mainly to myself these days. The beauty of working in museums is that I can be surrounded by fabulous works of art every day!

Moving to the other side of the world two years ago was certainly a big transition to go from de-icing the car each morning in the UK, to burning my hands on the steering wheel in Australia as it’s already 35°C at 8am!

When my husband and I first arrived in Perth after a few weeks of travelling on the way, we both had just one suitcase each from which to start our new lives. A year later upon moving house, that same suitcase was too small to transport all the children’s books I had acquired over just one year! It’s an obsession, but a healthy one as I’m sure anyone who would be interested enough to read this would certainly understand!

“She is too fond of books, and it has turned her brain.” – Louisa May Alcott.

Children’s books have always brought me so much joy and I hope that some day I will finally get my act together and see my first book published! For now, I am happy with illustrating for the pure joy of it (as well as my wonderful commissions).

I’ll be using this blog to post book reviews and discuss current topics in the children’s book world, and maybe even some exhibition reviews. If you are a parent, teacher, educator or someone who works with children or has an interest in children’s books, illustration or museums, I’d love for you to follow along.

Do you have a favourite children’s book ‘one liner’? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments or on Instagram.


Moomin image: ©️Moomin

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