Friday, October 22, 2010

Pond Magic Book Launch

There are days in life which stand out as being perfect. Days when you are surrounded by family, friends, children and laughter. Days when the sun is shining, the birds are singing and your heart is full.

The launch of my book Pond Magic was just such a day.

After months of planning, weeks of praying for the rains to lift and many many lists to check and tick off, the magic launch day of Pond Magic in the grounds of the beautiful Marks and Gardner Gallery arrived. And, just like the little pink and black book we were celebrating, it was perfect.

Two of my best friends from high school had flown over from New Zealand to help. We spent the day before in the kitchen making fifty 'Frog in a Pond' jellies to hand out to each child when they had their book signed.

The rainbow of colours sparkle as Frogs swim in their individual Ponds.

Guests were asked to wear something 'French' , Froggie' or 'Fairytale' with awards for adults and children alike.

To get everyone in the mood as they arrived, my daughter Daniela greeted visitors to the gallery with a glass of  French 'Sparkling', coincidentally called 'Lily Pad Pink' (like the main character, Lily Padd) and generously donated by the Arrogant Frog winery. She was even accompanied by the Arrogant Frog himself, who was just as amazed at the serendipity of the coincidence.

Here, please take one yourself....

But the star of the day was Lily Padd in her party dress.
who enjoyed her prime position in the gallery as the main character of Pond Magic.

 And because it was a French themed day and to suit the gorgeous pink and black cover of the book, I dressed up for the occasion.

Even Pond Magic wore roses; French of course.

But I wasn't the only one dressed 'French'.

Visitors went through the gallery and collected on the cafe veranda as French music played.

My aim for the day was to celebrate with my family and friends, allow others to get to know me better and 'shout out' to the world about Pond Magic.

So as you read this, or if you were there on the day, you will discover I am a mixture of fun, flamboyance, creative spirit and international flair. I wanted my guests to experience games, activities, music, fun, a taste of France, competitions, prizes, a chance to be involved, a family outing, theatre, speeches and of course a reading of Pond Magic.

This was going to be a day to remember...

As more people arrived the crowd spilled out into the garden. The weather was brilliant; the best we had had in two months. It was almost hot.

The craft table was a popular first choice with the kids as they painted, glued and cut out their
 'Fly Catching Frog',
ably helped by my friend Brigitta.

A party whistle was the frog's tongue

Here are some frogs sticking their tongues out.

Then it was off to the Frog on a Lily Pad Pond game.
My son was in charge of this one.
Strangely there were lots of girls lining up.

Throwing the frog.
If it lands on a lily pad the prize is... you guessed it - a chocolate frog.

Many of you will know how blessed I am to have a talented sister, Nadia Sunde.
She entertained the kids with songs from her international award winning album, Homespun.

And I couldn't help but join in dancing.

Then we decided the Best Costume award
The adults loved it too, especially the burping competition.

A friend of mine wrote me an email a few days after the launch and this is what she had to say:

"Just wanted to let you know what a delightful afternoon your book launch was! There was the most wonderful magical feeling in the air! I almost expected to see little bunny rabbits hopping over the grass, and little fairies poking their heads around the trees."

Maybe this is what she meant...

And just so the adults didn't feel left out
I gave away a bottle of 'Ribbit Red', by the Arrogant Frog
to the winner of the best adult costume.

There were representatives from all of the themes of Pond Magic: frog, magic, fairytale and French.
And the winner had to be Jean-Marc, who is not only half French, but also a Doctor of Herpetology at our local university. And guess what his research specialisation is? That's right - frogs!!! True.

No, I'd never met him before, but like the story of the Arrogant Frog winery, serendipity follows me around. And of course the garlic around the neck was a nice touch.

And so the crowd gathered.

Some 270 plus according to the raffle tickets we had given out.
Perhaps they were waiting to see whether they'd won,
but now the official part of the day would begin:

The launch of Pond Magic by the lovely Narelle Oliver,
award winning author/illustrator and all round beautiful person.
She joined in the magic of the day with a magnificent witch's hat.

Narelle's passion for Pond Magic and her belief in me gave me the confidence to submit to Penguin Australia.
I am so very grateful for her support and friendship.

"I'd like to thank my husband, Rob, my children, family and friends
for all your support, Nadia for your songs and entertainment and for being my Pond Magic reader, Mary and Janene at Marks and Gardner Gallery for creating such a magical place, my publishers at Penguin Australia who made editing such a joy and my sponsors: The Arrogant Frog , The Pampered Princess, The Arts Centre GC and Homespun Music."

And after I read a few pages from Pond Magic
I thought I heard a school bus

and then there was a LOUD BU...UUURP !!!....

It's the Pond Magic Skit!!!

It's green-faced Lily Padd and Maureen, followed by the French exchange student, Rainier.

'Do you think anyone heard?' asks Lily.

'What do you think? It was like a jumbo landing on the bus roof,' says Maureen. 'You really have to cut back on the garlic. You're starting to look as green as a frog!'

'But I hate garlic!'

'Why are you wearing my clothes?' Lily asks Rainier.

'Er, your mother said it is all right to lend your pullover.'
'It's 'borrow', says Lily. 'And...we call it a jumper in Australia.'

Rainier tries to kiss Maureen's hand hello, 'Bonjour, I am Rainier.'
 But Lily butts in,
'You're in Australia now, Romeo. We don't kiss. Get it?'
'Speak for yourself,' says Maureen, disappointed.

 'So Rainier, tell me about France,' says Maureen. 'Is your town romantic?'
'Yeah, if you like garlic bread,' says Lily.

'I live in the south with my grandmother,' says Rainier. 'She has a vineyard called the Arrogant Frog.'

'Really?' says Maureen. 'I already know another arrogant frog.' She looks at Lily in disgust.

A big thank you to my actors:
Daniela as Lily Padd
Dale as Maureen O'Leary
Riley as Rainier le Dauphin

And the crowd went wild!

The Arrogant Frog calls out the winner of the raffle.

The raffle first prize is drawn.
Family pass to 'Beauty and the Beast' at the Arts Centre.
2nd Prizes - Bottle of 'Lily Pad Pink' French 'Sparkling',
 Gift Certificates to Pampered Princess and Homespun CD by Nadia Sunde

Meanwhile, some people are not listening...

others are reading


Or lining up to get their book signed.

And this was the first time I would meet readers eager to hop into Pond Magic.

They were a bit nervous, and so was I.
The Frog in a Pond jellies helped break the ice.

And this little girl at 7 years of age is an avid reader of Aussie Chomps.

And these soon will be.

My writing friend, Marion.

With my friend, Sheryl

With my besties, Rosalia, Elesia (my personal assistant on the day) and Brigitta

That jelly was yum!

Thanks for coming.
Au revoir!


Dee White said...

What a lovely post, Angela,

So pleased that your special day went well. Looks like everyone had a fantastic time:)

Congratulations on your new book baby. Pond Magic is definitely something to be proud of.


Angela Sunde. said...

Thanks, Dee. It took me so long to post so many photos. I have to try a faster system than what I have.

Anonymous said...

Zoot Alors! You 'ad a magnificent day, mon ami! Congratulations! Vive le Pond Magic!

Marion said...

What a wonderful and special blog! Like the photo of Starla engrossed in the book, she finished it that night and said it sounded strangely familiar. I reminded her she heard the first draft when we were reading our stories for Fan-tas-tic-al Tales and the penny dropped! She loved the story. Hey I think I still have the video I did of you reading the story and I have only just worked out how to put it on an emailable format. If I have time I may try to send it but if I remember it was 20 minutes long! We'll see what happens.

Belka said...

Hi Angela,
What a delight. Congratulations! I shall enjoy following Pond Magic on her tour. See you on my site Friday.
All the best
Mabel K

Angela Sunde. said...

Bren, merci beaucoup!It was as perfect as day as you can imagine.

Marion, yes I remember reading it aloud to the group. It seems so long ago. Starla was only little.

Looking forward to visiting on Friday, Mabel.