Meet My Book: Jonathan! by Peter Carnavas & Amanda Francey

Today Peter Carnavas is here to share the news of his new picture book, Jonathan, which was released on February 1. Welcome Peter!


  1. Give us the details – title, publisher, illustrator, release date.


Written by Peter Carnavas

Illustrated by Amanda Francey

New Frontier Publishing – February 2014

 2. Why did you write the book?

I remember walking my dog and thinking about the sorts of books my children really enjoyed.  At the time, they were about three and five years old, and they loved simple, funny and playful stories, with little bits of repetitive suspense throughout the book.  I initially thought of two sibling characters that always tried to scare each other, then decided to keep it to one child character who tries to scare his family.  It’s one of the first stories I have written with my children’s tastes in mind.  They quite like it, so I hope other kids do, too.

 3. How long from idea to publication?

I had sent Jonathan! to my publisher quite a while ago, along with some other stories.  At the time, we decided to go ahead with another story and work on Jonathan! later, as it targeted a slightly younger audience, compared to my usual stories.  I’m glad we waited, as I met Amanda Francey the following year and she agreed to illustrate the book.  So it was probably over two years from idea to publication.

4. What was the hardest thing about writing it?

This is the first picture book I have written in rhyme, so that was a challenge.  I have always been reluctant to use rhyme, as I always felt it would be harder than it seemed.  I was right!

 5. Coolest thing about your book?

For kids, I think the coolest thing about the book is when Jonathan meets the thing that will help him REALLY scare his family.

For me, the coolest thing about the book was having another illustrator bring my ideas to life.

6. Something you learnt through writing the book?

I learnt that being an author is much easier than being an author/illustrator!

 7. What did you do celebrate the release?

The same thing I do whenever I celebrate anything – I had a nice cup of tea.

 8. And how will you promote the book?

We will launch the book in March, in Brisbane.  I believe Amanda has organised some costumes for the event, which will be loads of fun.  I’ll also be visiting lots of schools throughout the year, getting kids involved in the Jonathan! story and inspiring them to make their own books.

 9. What are you working on next?

I have illustrated an hilarious book called My Nanna is a Ninja, by Damon Young, which comes out very soon.  I’ve also just finished working on another book of my own, called Oliver and George, about a cheeky boy trying desperately to get his big bear friend’s nose out of a book.

10. Where we can find out more about you and your book?

You can visit my site or my publisher’s site


Thanks so much for visiting, Peter.

Jonathan! is available now in good bookstores.