On this day of friendship (May 8), it’s the perfect time to celebrate this Festival of Fish with a story where kindness takes centre-stage in the effort to delight a seemingly downcast mate. This increasingly talked about, misunderstood creature of the deep – the blobfish – features in this upbeat and energetic rhyming tale that welcomes difference and embraces uniqueness no matter who you are in the wide ocean. Gloriously lyrical text by zoologist and author, Julie Murphy, combined with utterly bright and charming illustrations by Rachel Tribout, effortlessly lift the spirits of any reader cheering on this flippy-floppy blobfish, just to see a smile. With fascinating facts and a most fascinating lenticular lens front cover, Cheer Up, Blobfish! is bound to turn any frown upside down!

Thanks for sharing your fin-tastic story with us, Julie! 🙂

About the Author

Julie Murphy is a former zoologist and zookeeper who writes about animals and the environment.

Her 20+ fiction and nonfiction picture books for children have been published in Australia and the USA, recognised for awards, and translated into Simplified Chinese, Korean and Danish.

Julie Murphy can be found at her website: www.juliemurphybooks.com

and on Facebook and Instagram.

About the Illustrator

Rachel Tribout‘s love of storytelling and illustration started in her youth in the French countryside, it’s taken her on adventures across the globe and landed her in Australia.

Rachel uses traditional and digital mediums and works with corporations, design studios and agencies to bring their creative visions to life. You’ll find her work in picture and chapter books, public art installations, brand collaterals, magazines and on all kinds of commercial and cultural projects.

Explore Rachel’s portfolio and follow her at her website: Rachel Tribout and on Facebook and Instagram.

Cheer Up, Blobfish! can be purchased via the Affirm Press website.

WHO wrote, illustrated and published this book?

Cheer Up, Blobfish! is written by Julie Murphy, illustrated by Rachel Tribout and published by Affirm Press.

WHAT is it about?

It’s the Festival of Fish – the biggest party of the year! Everyone seems to be having a great time … except for Blobfish. The clownfish tells some funny gags, the sawfish does magic tricks and the dolphin swims loop-the-loops, but no-one can make Blobfish happy.
Or can they?
Featuring energetic rhyme, joyful illustrations and some fascinating blobfish facts, Cheer Up, Blobfish! is a celebration of difference that stars one VERY misunderstood sea creature.

What is your favourite part of this book?

I love Rachel’s vibrant illustrations and the story’s surprise ending (based on STEM-related fact).

WHEN did you begin writing this book?

The earliest draft was written in 2015!

When is its release / launch date?

Cheer Up, Blobfish! swims into the world on 30 April, 2024.

WHERE did the inspiration for this book come from?

I was visiting Melbourne Museum with my family when I saw a blobfish specimen in a jar. It looked so unusual – more like a pudding than a fish! I was fascinated, and as I moved on to look at other items around the gallery, I kept hearing other people reacting to it too. It got me thinking … maybe a blobfish would make an interesting picture book character.

WHY is this book meaningful to you?

I try in all my books to entertain and inform while also inspiring readers to love reading, learning and the natural world. In Cheer Up, Blobfish! I have also thrown a bit of humour into the mix, which is a new achievement for me. Rachel’s artwork also has many funny elements in it, which I think children will love as much as I do.

Why would its message resonate with readers?

The subtle take-away from this book is to be wary about making assumptions about others – looks can be deceiving! Blobfish is quite a misunderstood character, which I think will resonate with young readers. Who hasn’t felt misunderstood at one time or another?

HOW do you feel about the illustrations / cover design? How do they convey the feeling or mood you envisioned?

The joy, movement, colours and characters in Rachel Tribout’s illustrations are perfect for a Festival of Fish, which is where this story takes place. The cover design is quite something too – I’ve never seen a picture book like this before! The blobfish on the cover is made from something called a lenticular display, which makes the character’s appearance change depending on the angle from which it is viewed. This clever design feature (chosen by the publishing team) adds another element to the story, which will be explained once you read the book. And it’s eye-catching too!

Image by Rachel Tribout

How have you promoted this book and how can we find it?

I am promoting this book online through social media and interviews with wonderful industry bloggers (thank you, JWFK!). I am also signing books at local bookshops and doing several reading events at libraries.

You’ll find Cheer Up, Blobfish! in bookshops and online. If you need somewhere to start, the Affirm Press book page has a list of links to buy from here.

To connect with me:

Author site: https://juliemurphybooks.com/

Bluesky: https://bsky.app/profile/juliekidsbooks.bsky.social

Twitter/X: https://twitter.com/juliekidsbooks?lang=en

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/juliemurphybooks

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/157536.Julie_Murphy

Thanks so much, Julie, for sharing your most adorable, whimsical and fascinating world of Blobfish! 🙂

Join Julie Murphy at her Storytime Event at Pictures & Pages, Coburg on Saturday May 11!

Details here.

AND at the Festival of Fish event on Saturday May 19 at the Eltham Bookshop!

(Scan the QR code)

#thequicksixinterview #cheerupblobfish #science #marinelife #celebratingdifferences #picturebooks #justkidslit

Thanks to Affirm Press for providing a complementary copy of this book.

2 thoughts to “The Quick Six Interview with Julie Murphy on Cheer Up, Blobfish!

  • Florence Cherry

    I really enjoyed ! Julie’s passion for blending educational content with engaging storytelling shines through in her discussion of the book’s creation. The innovative lenticular lens cover design adds a playful touch that seems to perfectly capture the spirit of the book. This interview definitely makes me eager to check out the book for myself!

    • justwriteforkids

      Thank you for your kind comments on Julie’s interview and Cheer Up, Blobfish! It most definitely is highly entertaining, endearing and educational, all at the same time! 🙂


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