Monday, November 18, 2013

Bailey Beats the Blah Blog Tour

A must have for every classroom library, Bailey Beats the Blah is an empowering mental health picture book for children 4-8 years, spring-boarding emotional awareness and action plans to help lift a child’s mood.
Aligned with the Kids Matter program on the National Education Curriculum and supported by counselling service, Kids Helpline, Bailey Beats the Blah features self-esteem and resilience skills for children, families, teachers, parents and counsellors.

What's more, 5% of book proceeds will be donated to Kids Helpline - 24/7 support and counselling for young people - now that's a win/win!

WIN a copy! - details below.

ISBN: 9780987274045 - Digital Future Press
Bailey Beats the Blah is available from Amazon.
by author Karen Tyrrell - illustrated by Aaron Pocock

Bailey hates his new school. His tummy aches. He has no friends.
His dog Fuzzy slobbers all over him. BLAH!
How can Bailey change his BLAH to HA-HA-HA?

This is the final stop in the Bailey Beats the Blah blog tour and after a whirlwind schedule, author Karen Tyrrell has popped in to Under the Apple Tree to answer four quick questions on the process she undertook for commissioning talented illustrator, Aaron Pocock, for her first children's picture book, Bailey Beats the Blah

Hi Karen and welcome, 
As this was your first experience working with an illustrator, how did you and Aaron first initiate the illustrative process for Bailey Beats the Blah?

Hi Angela, I sent Aaron the manuscript for Bailey Beats the Blah with detailed suggestions for his drawings, plus the characters' emotions and details that weren’t in the text.

This must have been an interesting and exciting creative process for you as a writer. Can you describe the development of each picture?

Aaron created a sketch for each page. I later checked these, making suggestions of what extra details I wanted added, concentrating on the emotional and body language.  Aaron added these more details until I was satisfied with the black inks. Then Aaron added vibrant colours. Aaron sent these back for final tweaking and approval.

I love the samples you've shared with us below. Aaron's characters are full of emotion and movement. I can just imagine the dog Fuzzy's confusion and Bailey's annoyance at all his slobber. Wonderful!
At what stage did you know the pictures were ready for publishing? It must be difficult to determine this.

When the illustrations could not be improved any more, Aaron added his own unique personality and humour to the illustrations: the mouse marching with a school bag on his back; a crow clutching onto the bus stop sign.

Yes, great illustrators like Aaron are so adept at adding a sub-plot through these little additions. It all adds more for the readers to enjoy.

Finally, Karen, how did you and Anthony Puttee, the cover designer, develop the cover for Bailey Beats the Blah?

I requested Aaron illustrate a specific cover picture of a miserable Bailey with doting, loveable Fuzzy the dog. Anthony of Book Cover Café transformed this pic into a cover design, adding eye-catching colourful fonts, a purple background and ground shadows.
Anthony finally added the words BLAH in a unique red font.

Fabulous! The cover is definitely eye-catching. Thanks for stopping in, Karen, and congratulations on the release of Bailey Beats the Blah.

WIN:  Copies of BaileyBeats the Blah, a signed Bailey artwork by illustrator Aaron Pocock and a picture book assessment with chief editor at Book Cover Café.
Simply leave a comment on any of the 16 hops on the Bailey Beats the Blah tour  (see below) Nov 3rd -18th. The more comments you leave the MORE chances to WIN.
WINNERS announced on Nov 20th at www.

Karen Tyrrell is a Brisbane award-winning author of three mental health books for adults and children, an experienced senior teacher, accredited speaker and dynamic creative writing and Resilience Training workshop presenter.

Download FREE children's activities and FREE teacher notes from

Bailey Blog Tour & Book Giveaway


Karen Tyrrell said...

WOW Angela,
What a lovely surprise to wake up to on a Monday morning!
Thanks for the fabulous rap you've given Bailey Beats the Blah ... and to the illustrative process with Aaron Pocock.
I invite your readers to pop *Under The Apple Tree to win copies, a picture book assessment PLUS a signed original of Aaron's talented work... Karen :)

Dee White said...

Great post, Angela, Karen and Aaron:)

I love Aaron's illustrations - they are so emotive and full of life and movement.

Congratulations Karen and Aaron your new book.


Angela Sunde. said...

You're welcome, Karen,
I'm so pleased to have been able to slip in as the last stop on the tour. I think you might deserve a rest after all the celebrations!

Alison Reynolds said...

Thank you for yet another brilliant post about illustration, Angela.
Congratulations Karen and Aaron. I love the expression and contained movement of the dog.

Angela Sunde. said...

Thanks, Dimity,
Isn't it a gorgeous book? I also hope to invite Aaron here one day Under The AppleTree to find out what other works are in the pipeline.

Angela Sunde. said...

You're welcome, Alison. It was interesting to find out the details behind privately commissioned illustrations for a picture book.

Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Dee,
Thanks Dee for popping over to check Aaron's illustrations. Aaron won me over after his very first sample of Bailey's character and the range of emotions he could express.. Karen :)

Dale said...

Sound a great book and love the expressive illustrations.

Angela Sunde. said...

Whoops, I meant Dee, not Dimity.

Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks Alison,
for checking out Aaron's brilliant work.
YES, I love fuzzy the dog too.
Very restrained on the cover.
But very exuberant on the other pages with his slobbering and extreme reactions.
... Karen :)

Angela Sunde. said...

Hi Dale, Aaron certainly did capture Bailey's expressions well - and the dog's too!

Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks Dale,
for popping over to Check out Bailey and his friends portrayed by Aaron Pocock master illustrator ... Karen :)

Unknown said...

I really enjoyed this one. It was interesting to hear about the illustration side of the project as well as seeing a few of them and the impact colour brings to the page. Great read! :) #pbkassess

Karen Tyrrell said...

Hi Stacey,
Thanks for popping over to check on how Aaron's expressive illustrations were created for Bailey Beats the Blah... Karen :)

Kaz Delaney said...

Great questions Angela - you always bring something special to the discussion.

Karen, congrats again on the launch of this wonderful book - and congratulations to Aaron as well. Seems like a perfect collaboration.

Lovely, lovely...

Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks Kaz,
For dropping by with your kind support. Thanks for your words: "Lovely lovely"... you brought a BIG smile to my face.
Your friend Leah bought a copy for her grandson and gave me fabulous feedback ... Karen :)

Angela Sunde. said...

Hi Stacey, Thanks for popping in. My blog focuses on children's picture book illustration and there are many more in depth interviews with illustrators where they share their process and even some of their earliest rough sketches. It's very interesting! Feel free to browse through older posts.

Angela Sunde. said...

Hi Kaz!
Great to see you here and thank you. Illustration has always fascinated me.

Teena said...

Thanks for the insight into the illustration process for Bailey Beats the Blah...
Congratulations, Karen and Aaron on a successful creative collaboration. The pictures are a delight and I'm sure kids will relate to Bailey.

Karen Tyrrell said...

Thanks everyone,
for supporting Bailey Beats the Blah 5 STAR Mental Health book for KIDS
Announcing WINNERS! *Bailey Beats the Blah #Bookgiveaways
Available on Amazon eBook & print
Download FREE teacher notes FREE children's activities on
Karen :)