GROWING up mustering cattle in North Queensland was the inspiration for a new children’s book authored and illustrated by Pentland husband and wife team Jet and Katie Jones.
“Not Far to Go Now” tells the tale of a cattle muster through the eyes of a child and includes beautiful artwork of the unique Aussie outback.
The couple, who have three small children of their own, decided to write the book to give an insight into growing up in the bush.
“We noticed there was not really anything around for little kids about rural Australia,” Mr Jones said.
“I loved mustering as a kid – still do – and see how my own children love mustering, working cattle, and general station work.
“I wanted to show our culture from our point of view: a culture that people from many background have embraced, a culture that gives kids a sense of achievement and importance, while still letting them be kids.”
For Mr Jones, who has written poetry and song lyrics, it was his first foray into children’s writing.
He said he was working at a station near Bowen on the foot of the Normanby Range when Katie asked if he could write for the book.
“We were near the yards with a mixed mob, with some mickeys and bullocks, as well as breeders,” he said.
“A good old cow, who’d walked along steady with her calf, gave me the inspiration for the first line.”
Artist wife Katie, who is originally from Canada, immigrated to Australia in 2010 and immediately found inspiration for her work.
“There’s something about the Australian Outback,” she said.
“There’s nowhere else in the world quite like it.
“My style of art perfectly lends itself to this landscape and people.
“When I got married to Jet, my Australian friends in Sydney and Brisbane were impressed that I had married a ‘real’ Australian. They didn’t know those existed any longer.
“We wanted this book to be something country kids could relate to and something city kids can look at and wish they were out here.”
The couple launched the book, in conjunction with an art exhibition of the book’s illustrations at the World Theatre in Charters Towers on Saturday.
Books can still be purchased from the venue and from online retailers, with the exhibition showing until April 4.