Welcome to #TheQuickSixInterview with Tabitha Page!

We are honoured to share in the release of this heartfelt story, told sensitively by author Tabitha Page, and illustrated tenderly by Anna Kulieshova. Dreambirds is an achingly touching tale of the difficult subject of loss of a parent, sent to readers as a gift from an angel. Coming from a personal place, Tabitha narrates her story through the heart of the child, sharing her grief but at the same time providing a warm, comforting hug to those who need it most. Paired with the softly painted imagery amidst a transcendent glow, Anna’s illustrations emanate with emotion. Dreambirds – reassuring young children with the reminder that our loved ones live on through our beautiful memories and nature’s treasures. Thank you x

Much love to you, Tabitha! 🙂

About the Author

Tabitha Page is an accomplished children’s book author and disability advocate who lives in Melbourne, Australia. She lives with Autoimmune disease / Chronic illness and other health challenges and aims to support, teach, uplift and advocate for other people who also live with illness and/or disability.

In 2021, Tabitha founded Forevability alongside the fabulous Amy Marley and together they have created a community of authors, illustrators, publishers and readers who live with, know others who live with or just want to support the chronic illness and disability community.

Five of Tabitha’s seven books feature characters with disability or illness. With these books, she aims to inspire and bring about more awareness and acceptance of those who are a little different from the majority, but no less important and special.

Caring for children with various illness and disabilities, living with her own Autoimmune disease and with her love for writing, Tabitha believes with her whole heart that she has found her purpose and feels so blessed to be able to share her words with other people, both big and small.

Please find Tabitha Page at her website: Tabitha Jean Page – Home and on Instagram and Facebook.

About the Illustrator

Anna Kulieshova is a 2D game artist and illustrator who lives in Kharkiv, Ukraine.

Having finished the Kharkiv Pedagogical Academy, she decided to explore new sides of herself and found out that drawing is her real passion. In 2019, her first illustrated book written by Tabitha Page, “Today I met the Sock Fairy” came into the world, followed by “I’m a Type One Kid”.

For their new book, “Dreambirds”, Anna has put all of her soul and empathy into creating illustrations in support of Ukrainian children who go through terrible loss due to the war. Even though her country is being constantly attacked, Anna stays in her front-line city and works as an artist putting all her passion and hopes into her work.

Anna believes that no matter what, you will always have your calling with you and it’s something that gives you strength and support even in the toughest times.

Please find Anna Kulieshova’s portfolio at ArtStation – Anna Kulieshova and on Instagram.

Dreambirds is available for purchase via email to tpagewriter@gmail.com.

WHO wrote, illustrated and published this book?

The book was written by me, Tabitha Page and has been illustrated by the wonderfully talented Anna Kulieshova. It is our third book together and Anna so kindly stepped in when my initial illustrator was unable to complete the book. Anna has done such an amazing job, and the book is exactly what I dreamed it to be. She has done this while battling life changing and difficult circumstances and I appreciate her work and time.   

WHAT is it about?   

Dreambirds is a book for children that deals with loss, specifically the loss of a parent, but it is also appropriate for a child going through any type of loss (due to death) of a loved one. The book follows the journey of a young girl who has lost her father. It follows her from his death, funeral and the time afterwards. The book shows the different (possible) viewpoints of different members of the family and shows the reader/child that every way of grieving is normal and is okay. The book also has a section which provides ideas on how to remember a lost loved one. The last pages are set aside for the child to draw, write or paste pictures of their loved one, as a memorial of sorts.

The blurb for the book

When a parent passes away, it is a difficult and confusing time, even more so for a child.

What happened?

Where did they go? Can they see me?

 Can they hear me? Do they miss me?

Although we may never know for certain, it is comforting to imagine that our loved ones continue to watch over us as we go about our lives.

“I have so many questions but for now, as we hold our angels safe in our hearts, I hope they will fly with the Dreambirds and watch over our sleep.”

What is your favourite part of this book?

My favourite part of the book would probably be the thought that our loved ones who have passed away are always around and keeping watch over us. I also love the thought that they can adopt a special bird in Heaven and fly down on it’s back to visit us. The images of the bird watching over our loved one while they watch over us, just warms my heart and is exactly the feeling I wanted the book to convey. Anna has done a perfect job of bring it to life.

WHEN did you begin writing this book?

I began writing this book during the initial stages of covid. It took me longer than my other books, due to the subject being a hard one for me.

When is its release / launch date?

June 2024. Pre-orders are open via email (tpagewriter@gmail.com)

WHERE did the inspiration for this book come from?

When my two youngest siblings were very small (preschool and early primary), our mother passed away suddenly, and it destroyed us all. Every person in our family reacted and grieved differently and that is totally normal. As the oldest child, I sat with my father and helped him to tell the two youngest that mum had died. It was one of the hardest things I have ever done, and I still recall their faces when we told them.

I wanted to create a story that shows (some) of the process and order of events after loss and to also show children that whatever their grief looks like, it’s totally normal and totally okay. I also wanted to give them ideas on how to remember their loved one and give them additional space to add their own memories.

I wanted to write the book that I wish had been around when my mother died. It took me a while to write, for obvious reasons, but I hope Anna and I have done the subject justice and that it will be a help to those children, who find themselves on this journey.

WHY is this book meaningful to you?

Please see above.

Why would its message resonate with readers?

So many children experience loss. It might be parents, siblings, grandparents, friends and when it first happens, it can be almost impossible to process for an adult, let alone a child. It is a confusing, scary time for us, so what must a child be feeling? Often adults are so caught in their own grief, that it can be difficult to see the grief of others. With the book, I would hope that it would help adults to understand how a child might be feeling, and how to help them, a starting point to help the child process their feelings. I would also hope that the children reading this book would be comforted by the thought that their loved one is still watching over them and that they are loved. I hope the ‘making memories’ section would also be a good way for them to begin remembering and processing not only the sad, but the good times.

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

I love it, I love everything about the illustrations Anna has created. The cover is warm and gentle, exactly what I was thinking when writing the book. My notes to Anna were that I wanted the Dreambird to be a cross between a swan and a hippogriff (massive HP fan) and she did an amazing job.

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

We have started promoting the book on my website, our FB pages, Insta and Twitter. We have some wonderful creators doing reviews and the trailer and cover reveal are on YouTube and social media pages.

You can find the book on my Facebook, Insta or Website and it is floating around other people’s pages also.

OTHER information or experiences you’d like to share?

I just hope that readers, especially children will find the book, illustration and story comforting and that it will help them feel less alone and more supported during their journey with loss and grief. I also hope that it will help those supporting the person, to be more compassionate and understanding. Grief is unique, hard and requires patience on everyone’s part. I hope this book will help foster this.

Thanks so much, Tabitha. You are inspiring! 🙂

#thequicksixinterview #dreambirds #grief #loss #love #picturebooks #justkidslit

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