Designer puts pen to paper

Designer puts pen to paper

Alocal graphic designer has turned the page on an exciting new chapter, having had her first illustrated children’s book published.

Mount Gambier’s Bianca Richardson illustrated ‘Banjo Frog’s Concert Spectacular’ alongside author and teacher Kristin Martin for the Foundation for Rabbit-Free Australia (RFA).

The picture book, published by Wakefield Press, aims to help educate children from ages 4-9-years old on caring for both bush plants and animals.

Mrs Richardson said the book sends a conservation message about how wild rabbits cause destruction to the Australian landscape.

“I am very proud of it. It is satisfying to deliver something with such an important message behind it but to also make it appealing to children and hopefully grown-ups too,” she said.

“Kristin and I were able to work together closely throughout the whole process which I have since learnt is quite unusual for an author and illustrator to do while working through a publisher so this was a really special experience.

“I have been drawing for as long as I can remember, I have been wanting to get into this field for years so this is awesome.

“Just to see my name printed on the front cover is bananas.”

Mrs Richardson dedicated the book to her two children Ana, 10 and Oscar, 4, both of whom took it for show and tell to kindergarten and school respectively.

“I was able to sneakily put my kids in the illustrations which was fun for me,” she said.

“They have a lot of pride in the book too like they’re so happy and proud and just having themselves in there too adds to that.”

Mrs Richardson recently visited Rapid Bay where the book was based and received a warm reception from the school children who had influenced certain illustrations.

“The landscape is so unique to them, like the big rolling hills and the ocean,” she said.

“I went on a field trip last year and spent a couple of days going around Deep Creek Conservation area and the Fleurieu including visiting revegetation sites where the school children had planted new seedlings.

“They had their own colour coded pegs on the plants, so in the book I included these tiny yellow and red pegs which mean different things like ‘needs water’.

“Even though it is set in Rapid Bay, this book and its message is still applicable to most areas.”

Mrs Richardson and Ms Martin also held a sold out book launch at Hamra Centre Library in West Torrens, Adelaide which was attended by over 100 people.

The new children’s illustrator is currently working on the second book of the series which will be based in a different location and released around the same time next year.

“We are creating different stories for different areas.

The landscapes vary along with the flora and fauna so there are different animals and plants for this next story,” she said.

“The message is still about the destruction caused by wild rabbits but will be more localised to that area.”

Mrs Richardson and Ms Martin will launch Banjo Frog’s Concert Spectacular at the Mount Gambier Library on Sunday at 11am.

The family friendly event will include an interactive book reading, followed by a craft activity making animal finger puppets and the book will be available for sale and 

With bookings already filling fast, contact the Mount Gambier Library on 8721 2540 or book online at under ‘Programs and Events’.

Banjo Frog’s Concert Spectacular can be purchased online or in store locally at Collins Booksellers.

“I do not believe there is a huge amount of local authors or illustrators so it is great to have Collins Booksellers support all those people and show that we can still do cool things based in the country,” Mrs Richardson said.

“I want everyone to realise they can do anything they try.

“Hopefully from now I will be doing illustrator workshops at some schools because I just like encouraging people and of course illustrating more books.

“I have been fortunate to have had a lot of people encouraging me along the way.

I have heaps of mentors and supportive people in my life so it is good to then pass that on.”

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