Having worked and worked on the text, the search is now on to find someone who is simpatico with the mountain ash forests of the Dandenongs, 1930s horticultural practice and lyrebirds.
The search today took me to visit Ann James and Ann Haddon at Books Illustrated. As the books
piled up on the table and we examined the artwork, it became apparent that Australian children's book illustrators are amazingly talented and in demand and whoever we choose will put our book in a queue!
Books Illustrated is an Aladdin's Cave of glorious books and prints. The two Ann's are patient beyond belief, soothing the excited author and publisher with tea, biscuits and vegetable muffins.
We are inching closer to a decision. For any of you launching into a search of this kind, a marvellous starting place is The Style File.
And finally - I have to include a picture of the garden at the back of the old house that is Books Illustrated. It's a testament as to how many fruit trees you can squeeze into a small space. The dappled light, the sparking spider webs, the purity of the reds and oranges in the fruits and flowers ... all this I want in the illustrations of my story about a lyrebird called James.