Children's book illustrated by Jacqui Selby reaches finals

Picture book: Children's author Joanne Karcz (left) with Farleigh Down's artist Jacqui Selby. Photo supplied
Picture book: Children's author Joanne Karcz (left) with Farleigh Down's artist Jacqui Selby. Photo supplied

A children’s book, illustrated by a young artist on a cattle property near Gundy, has reached the finals of an international book competition in the United States. 

“Dangar Island: birds, barrows, a ferry and me” is Jacqui Selby’s first venture into children’s book illustration.

The story, by Joanne Karcz ,is styled in the form of “a day in the life” tale about a boy living on Dangar Island which is a real place located on the Hawkesbury River near Sydney. 

Ms Selby, a 26-year-old graphic designer working from her family home at Farleigh Downs, took on the job without ever having seen the island. 

“I was relying on Google images,” she said.

Another challenge was learning how to create illustrations for children. 

“I had done a bit of drawing but because I’m not a painter, I figured out how to colour-in by using Photoshop,” Ms Selby said. 

The result was a water colour paint effect that impressed the judges behind the American Book Festival’s 2017 International Book Awards. 

Although the book did not win first prize, just being a finalist means it is entitled to carry the gold stickers of endorsement on its front cover that recognise its status as a competition finalist. 

“I learnt a lot,” Ms Selby said. “I’m glad I did it.”