Peter has written and collaboratively illustrated eight children’s stories so far. The most recent are the Josh the Robot series of four books produced with assistance from Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF) grants from the Sunshine Coast Regional Council and an Arts Queensland Professional Development grant. A fifth book in the Josh series is due out in September 2014.
Click on a book cover below to read a synopsis and excerpt
The extraordinary thing about these books is that Peter not only created the characters and wrote all the texts using facilitated communication, but also drew and coloured all of the stunning illustrations in collaboration with his graphic designers, Mitch Palmer (who worked on the first four Josh books) and his new designer, Alex Sweet.
“I use Facilitated Communication to write my stories down,” says Peter. “I tap out my words with a communication board that has the same layout as a computer keyboard, and my facilitator writes my words down. The stories are ‘facilitated’ and recorded by good friends, family or workers that I have with me at the time the stories flow. There are many different hands that I hold, and these people help me in other areas of my life too.”
The messages in these books are simple but clear and ideal for younger readers in the kindergarten and lower Primary age range. The books are big, bold and beautiful with their colourful, eye-catching illustrations and are always delighting and captivating young readers.
“My children’s stories are some of the results of my journey of self-discovery,” says Peter.
• read more about the new Josh book – Josh Goes to the Library
• Read about the Josh book launch in 2011 and
• click on a book cover above to read a synopsis and excerpts
Don’t wait to let your kids get to know Josh and his friends Crocodile, Duck, Gremlin and Bear as they learn to live together and deal with new arrivals and unexpected outdoor adventures!
Many people ask me if I’ve drawn the pictures and done the colouring on them. The answers to these questions are ‘yes’ … and ‘no’.
I have visual problems that prevent me from seeing drawings that are too small. So I draw very big pictures that relate to the text I’ve typed. These original line drawings were then scanned onto the computer and then the Graphic Designer helped me to work on the images to be used for the illustrations. From a catalogue of all my images, I pointed to the ones I wanted to use. The designer also compiled a catalogue of textures and images to use for fills and backgrounds for me to choose from. Then, because I lack the gross motor skills required for the computer, the designer helped me colour it in and put it all together. I chose the colours and fills for each image and the positioning of each on the pages, and the designer put in the backgrounds.
So, ‘yes’, I do the drawings, and ‘yes’ I choose the images and my friend helps me with the last leg of the journey.
This professional collaboration results in the works you see now.
I hope you have as much fun reading and experiencing these stories as I have had writing and illustrating them.
Peter’s professional development has been greatly enhanced by working closely with the designer and the printer on this project, to see his dreams and hard work come to fruition.
Josh the Robot series – General Information
Reading Level: 3–6 years (pre to beginning readers)