Little Dog and the Christmas Wish – Myer Windows – Christmas 2015
Yesterday was the moment, when almost a year of keeping wonderful secrets, was revealed with the launch of the 2015 Myer Windows and I am honoured that this year, ‘Little Dog and the Christmas Wish’ was chosen as the theme for the iconic Myer Windows on their 60th Anniversary.
All books are precious and for an author to see their words first appearing visually with beautiful illustrations, is always a remarkable and special experience. For a book to go a step further and be honoured in this way goes beyond my wildest expectations as an author, who quite simply, set out to write special picture books, the kind children hopefully cherish and remember into their adult lives.
Yesterday wasn’t a book launch (we had that on October 25th last year in the Block Arcade), this was a Myer Window 60th Anniversary Unveiling and there were no guidelines to refer to regarding our role on the day. Neither Maryann Ballantyne, Publisher; Robin Cowcher, Illustrator, or myself asked anyone to come along, it was an open event, but those who did attend, including ourselves, were treated with a spectacular surprise.
So yesterday morning I got dressed up and caught the bus into the city, entering Myer via the back entrance, passing the make-up, perfume etc. on my way through. When I exited the front door on to Bourke Street, I found myself in terrifying, unknown territory. The Mall was lined with security guards, media set ups, cameras and stage sets – so I sneaked quietly down Royal Arcade and treated myself to the same visions of Christmas I experienced in 2008 when I first started writing Little Dog and the Christmas Wish.
Maryann, Robin and I had organised a quiet lunch at The Hopetoun Tearooms before the event, a time to reflect on the whirlwind of the last year. An unexpected surprise was that we were joined by the owners of Block Arcade and we chatted and reminisced as we sat right where I first started writing the story on, 7th November 2008. I was blown away to find that Stage One had also captured that moment by including a figurine of myself as part of the Myer Windows. Humbling beyond belief (I really lost it at that point and I think it was on national television.)
All ‘dream-come-true’ moments which I’ll treasure forever, supported by my beautiful family and friends and seemingly a good chunk of Melbourne. I would like to thank Maryann Ballantyne and Andrew Kelly, of Black Dog Books (now part of Walker Books Australia) for asking me to write a nostalgic Christmas story, to Robin Cowcher for doing the most superb job of her first picture book; to John, Connie and every single person at Stage 1 who imagined, created and paid incredible attention to every small detail of my story; to Myer Melbourne and Myer Brisbane for choosing a story which grew and blossomed in my mind, and to my darling parents who I know were looking down on me, for giving me the kinds of Christmases, worth remembering.