The official launch for the children’s book ‘Jethro’s Volcano,’ written by Bill Meiklejohn and illustrated by Mieke Boerema, was held at Willyabrup Dreaming Pottery and Gallery, on November 25th.
The short novel is a story of a growing volcano, a boy (Jethro), his skateboard, ice cream and the power of the earth.
Meiklejohn first wrote the story 25 years ago for his three children Rowan, Calum and Ella.
The original pen and ink illustrations, by local artist Mieke, capture the mood and unique characters.
Over 200 guests attended the launch party, which featured an author reading and music by Josh Fergus, with an original song written for Jethro and his volcano.
Flor Marché sponsored the event, providing a celebratory wine to guests as they arrived at the garden party.
A volcano sculpture set the scene for the story, and added a theatrical element to the official launch of the book in an eruption of red streamers and rose petal ‘lava’, which was soon embraced by the younger guests in attendance.
“This story has spent 25 years locked in a filing cabinet alongside insurance policies and tax returns, it has proved itself,” Meiklejohn told the crowd.
“Remove your footings and feel the earth,” was the message.
Full of Australian humour and original ideas, the childrens story should appeal to a range of ages.
Boerema used Margaret River locals to model for the illustrations.
“Basing the characters on real people helps give them personality and then readers believe they can exist,” Boerema explained.
“It was a challenging process to match the images on my page with the images created by the words. With time I began to understand the story, its characters and quirks.
“Only then could they flow on to the page as they were meant to be.”
Jethro’s Volcano can be found at WIllyabrup Dreaming Pottery, Margaret River Bookshop and online at www.artwithmieke.com
All photos courtesy Lauren Trickett Photography