After publishing Garry Powell’s Learning Language through Movement book in 2022, I asked him to send me some of his other work. He sent me a couple of books, but Outdoor Education at School really stood out to me.
Originally published in 1987 (!), Outdoor Education at School contains sets of practical activities and problem-solving lessons for primary school students. Designed to be done completely within the school grounds and with minimal amount of equipment.
We arranged contracts with Garry and as I sat down to put the book into production, I wondered how we were going to do the illustrations for this book.
In the imprint page of the book, it acknowledged Cathy Larsen as illustrator. After a quick google search, I found her and still working as an illustrator.
I called and asked if she remembered the book. She did but didn’t even have a copy of it to hand. We chatted for quite awhile about books and the industry. I told her plan to republish the book and she kindly gave me permission on the spot to reuse all the illustrations from the original book if I could make them work.
So, I took the only copy of the book down to Officeworks and the university student who works there was tasked with cutting of the book binding and scanning in all the images.
A bit of tweaking and testing and the illustrations came up beautifully.
We dropped in all the original illustrations untouched.
The book content was completely updated throughout by the author Garry.
When we were stuck on the cover design, I reached out to the illustrator again, and asked her for permission to use the illustrations on the cover too. Tess McCabe, our cover designer, did a wonderful job of giving this book a retro feel to honour the beautiful illustrations throughout.
What a project. It looks amazing. We are so proud of it.
And yes, the university student from Officeworks got a copy of the book too. He loved being part of the project and printed out several test pages of images throughout the process for me!