02 August 2012

What Wattle?

Years back, Daniel Pinkwater had an essay about listening to a slow-speaking public radio announcer (obviously Robert J. Lurtsema) announce an upcoming musical commission by “Dan…iel……Pink…”

And Pinkwater had a second of worry about some commitment he’d forgotten before hearing the announcer conclude, “…ham.”

I had somewhat the same feeling when I read that antipodean artist Ben Wood has a new picture book coming out with John Bell.

A while back I drafted Ben to illustrate a story for Oziana magazine, and enthusiastically shared news of his Oztober events last year. But I didn’t remember the Wattle Tree picture book. In fact, I wasn’t even sure what a wattle tree is.

I’ve since learned that a wattle tree is one of a number of types of acacia growing in Australia.

And Ben created The Wattle Tree with another John Bell, who also goes by John Gascoigne. Hachette’s page for the book says, “A former nanny, he has decided to return to higher education and is currently studying to complete BA at Sydney University.”

Ben is using his blog to document how the two of them created The Wattle Tree, starting with the sketchbook drawing that inspired it all.


Gail Gauthier said...

So, John, I see you didn't get hordes of people commenting about how they remembered Robert J. Lurtsema. I do. In fact, I was just thinking about him today. Seriously.

J. L. Bell said...

I assume Lurtsema fans are just taking their time coming up with what they want to say.