10 Yellow Bananas cyber launch

10 Yellow Bananas Launch




Watch you don’t knock your head on the book’s front cover as you enter my cyber launch of 10 Yellow Bananas. 


Keep coming in – there’s room for everyone. 


Dee Texidor and I are so excited that you could make this cyber launch of our lovely new book, 10 Yellow Bananas.  Isn’t the front cover just gorgeous? I knew it would have appeal/a peel (pardon the pun). Dee is such a talented illustrator. 

Anyway, I was a little worried that I wasn’t going to make the launch myself as I was busy this morning doing last minute preparations for you all. 

And  our white cat decided to do my hair this morning, but it was a disaster, as you can see. 


After having to redo my hair, I then dashed off to the delicatessen. 


 Then I had to go to the green grocer for – yes, you guessed it – bananas, and other fruit. 

Well, grab a party hat, have a bite to eat, and mingle for a little bit before the speeches get under way. There’s banana cake, banana ice blocks, and fruit salad (with bananas, pears, apples, cherries, pineapple, kiwi fruit, grapes, watermelon and berries).  Actually, it is all  the fruit that appear in our new book.  And I almost forgot – the lemon tarts (gluten free for me), plus some other lovely nibblies. Go enjoy, and I’ll gather you all round very shortly. 

Anyone for champagne or a glass of fresh fruit juice, or a banana ice block?   

See full size imageLast call 

                It is now  time for very short speeches.                  


To officially launch 10 Yellow Bananas, I will read a lovely description written by Dr Virginia Lowe from http://www.createakidsbook.com.au

“This charming reverse counting rhyme of the teddy bears that are stolen by ten bananas goes hilariously down the number chain, through all the types of fruit.  The bears belong to ‘nine sleepy pears’ who are followed by lemons, apples, watermelons and the rest – right down to one small berry.  The ridiculous procession proceeds down the street, risking life and limb as they chase the bananas, until stopped by what could have been a dreadful calamity.” – Dr Virginia Lowe  

They waddle with the cherries 

And the rest behind the pears 

Who are chasing the bananas 

        That took their teddy bears            

So a little about me and how 10 Yellow Bananas came about? 

Well, I was born in Melbourne but have been living with my humorous husband in sunny Brisbane for the last twenty or so years.  I have had a variety of careers and occupations from tossing chips, cleaning toilets, labouring, fitness leader to lecturing. I am an experienced kindergarten, primary and TAFE teacher as well as an experienced PR/secretary and sales consultant,. But it is the field of writing that I love. 

I have always loved drawing, arts and crafts; winning my first drawing competition in grade 6 for designing a sausage sizzle poster. 

My love of writing began with a gorilla named Lulu.  As part of a drama assignment I had to write and ‘perform’ a poem, or piece about an animal, as selected by a ‘lucky dip’. My animal was the gorilla and so I penned my first poem, Lulu, the gorgeous gorilla

Well, that was about 26 or so years ago now (yes, I know I only look about 28 years old now. And yes, with the lights out – snigger, snigger).  And I pretty much have been writing ever since. 

10 Yellow Bananas is technically my fourth published book (the original published in 2006) and is the second book published by Little Steps Publishing, Division of New Frontier.  Dee has illustrated both books published with Little Steps. However, 10 Yellow Bananas has undergone a serious transformation since it was first penned around 15 or so years ago whilst I was at work as an office manager.  I was literally sitting at my desk answering the phones when verses started tumbling into my head. 

The poem in its raw form then sat deflated for a number of years at the bottom of my story ideas box. When I started nearing mid 40s (yikes, where did the time go?) I felt it was time it was resurrected.  The poem coughed and spluttered upon seeing light of day since it had been squashed by a heavy folder of other ideas for all those years. It did look very pale. 

After, what was probably close to a 100 rewrites, I successfully published it myself in 2006 with the assistance of a student graphic designer. By successful, I mean I well and truly recouped my expenses and proved there was appeal (a peel – pardon, the pun) for this quirky book. But as I was growing as a writer/poet I felt confident to take it to th next level – ie. give it commercial appeal (or a peel – yes, I know I’m  overdoing it now). 

In 2008 I started ‘a type of mentorship’ with Dr Virginia Lowe (http://www.createakidsbook.com.au) through a RADF grant (Regional Arts Development Grant). Working with Dr Lowe and her husband, John has been a great learning curve in dissecting each verse  objectively, as well as honing rhyme and rhythm. This also involved another 100 or so rewrites. I was exhausted yet thankful when Dr Lowe finally announced 10 Yellow Bananas was at a publishable/recommendatory letter standard. Whew! So thanks Virginia and John for your assistance and patience in studying every rewrite. 

I then submitted the final manuscript to Little Steps Publishing and  they were happy to take on this new version.  Little Steps had just published my third book, Bubble Gum Trouble  so I knew that they were  a great company to work with. 

So at this point, I’d  like to thank Peter Whitfield and Ron Proft at Little Steps and New Frontier Publishing for your professionalism, approachability, guidance, patience, understanding, and encouragement. You have both been very accommodating whilst maintaining professional quality and integrity in the book’s finished product. Also thanks Ron for designing my new Miss Helen Books logo. as well as for the book’s layout. 


Also thanks to Terri and Ann at Little Steps for your professionalism and support. http://www.littlesteps.com.au/  and http://www.newfrontier.com.au/ 

Also a huge thank you to my husband, Micheal. Thanks babe for your support, and for listening to all my rewrites. And thanks to my sister, Fiona for also listening to my rewrites. We both dropped quite a few aspirin together. Thanks Mum and Dad for having me, and always encouraging me to be the best that is in me. And thanks to my wonderful friends for all your support, and always being the first to buy my new books. 

Now, a big, big thank you to the talented Dee Texidor.  Everyone claps 

Dee, it has again been a pleasure working with you. You are great to work with, and you have also been great in accommodating some of my ideas, without, hopefully cramming your artistic creativity. 

Dee takes centre stage 

Cheers, and thanks Helen for your amazing patience. I really enjoyed working on the fruit characters. 

After reading 10 Yellow Bananas I knew that  this would be fun.  Images popped into my head and I initially scribbled them down in a thumbnail.. Most of my art comes from somewhere inside my head. I’m not a realist, more of an imaginary illustrator. 

I started off by drawing each fruit character individually, running, rolling, walking, right direction, etc. to assist the flow of the story. 

Here are a couple of the layouts for the book. Dee first holds up p.9’s layout; then page 16. 



So how did I get started as an illustrator?  Whilst working as a graphic designer I made contacts and did some pro bono work, as well as in-house illustration.  And it just went from there.  I just love it. 

And just a little more about me. 

My earliest memory … getting stitches on my forehead after a wonder woman leap attempt into a kiddie pool  

At school I was … rubbish at sport so hid in a world of art   

When I was a child I wanted to be … a hairdresser 

I relax by    … reading, illustrating, watching movies 

It’s not fashionable but … I love wearing trackie pants and fluffy bed socks in winter 

If only I could complete …. all the ideas in my head and learn Spanish   

In the movie of my life I’d be played by … a smurfette 

I’m always being asked … How did you draw that and how long did it take? 

I’m always being told …Geez you’re short 

Dee signals that’s the end of her speech, and everyone claps. 

Me again. 

Thanks Dee, and I’m so glad you decided not to become a hair dresser. 

And if you’d like to visit my website for information on all my books, please go to: 


And for more information about Dee, please go to her website: http://www.deetexidor.com 

Freelance Illustration & Design  ph: 02 6657 1676    mob:  0417 859 105 


Just thought I’d mention where you can buy 10 Yellow Bananas.


Click on:   

http://www.redhen.com.au (type in HELEN ROSS) 

or order at booktopia  http://booktopia.com.au 


10 Yellow Bananas          ISBN: 978-1-9210428-9-8
Pub. by Little Steps Official release 2010 

Bubble Gum Trouble       ISBN: 978-1-9210429-9-7
Pub. by Little Steps 2009 

Santa is in Our Chimney ISBN: 0-9775135-1-3
Pub. by Helen Ross 2006

Ten Yellow Bananas (Original Version) Pub. 
Pub. by Helen Ross 2006
                                      ISBN: 0-9775135-0-5

For Bubble Gum Trouble & 10 Yellow Bananas
Contact Dennis Jones & Associates

All Miss Helen Books can also be ordered through http://www.misshelenbooks.com or Fax Orders:  07 3341 6363  (Miss Helen Books) or through Seek Media.


Details are registered with ALL the major library & book suppliers: 

(Peter Pal, James Bennett P/L, The Book House, Seek Media, Dennis Jones & Associates, Phoenix Library Services, ALS, etc.) 

OR Fax Orders:  07 3341 6363 (Miss Helen Books)


Any order queries please direct to: helen@helenross.com.au  or through Dennis Jones (for 10 Yellow Bananas and Bubble Gum Trouble).

Fax Orders:  07 3341 6363 (Miss Helen Books)


Well, that’s about it. Please stay around for as long as you like. And again, thank you all so much for coming and celebrating with me and Dee (wow that rhymed).

And please leave a comment before you go.

And if you’d like to check out my other books please visit my website: http://www.misshelenbooks.com  Fax Orders:  07 3341 6363 (Miss Helen Books)

Everyone claps then rushes forward to get a signed copy. Luckily Helen and Dee have a pen ready.  Ker-ching goes the cash register.  Ker-ching!  Ker-ching!  Ker-ching!


30 Responses to "10 Yellow Bananas Launch"

Mmm, I’ll have a slice of banana cake and a glass of champagne please. Congratulations Helen and happy ’10 Yellow Bananas’ launch!

Thanks Katrina. Hope you enjoyed the banana cake.

Congratulations on a successful launch!

Hi Brian, thanks for dropping by.

Great idea Helen! I’ve particularly enjoyed the lolly bananas. And thanks for your nice words – John appreciates too. it was fun working wiht you.
[we’re wondering about making an ‘Accolades’ page one the web – this would definitely go on!
Well done, Virginia

Hi Virginia and John. Thanks again for all your wonderful assistance, and glad you were able to drop by and enjoy the celebrations.

Congratulations! What a fun launch! Very vibrant and a-peeling-ing.

Hi Joanne. Glad you enjoyed the launch and found it a-peeling-ing. Thanks for celebrating with me.

I had a wonderful time at your launch. I also suspect I had one too many bananas! (we were allowed to eat them weren’t we?). Dee’s illustrations are so quirky and the rhymes are fun. Oh I wish I could rhyme! Congratulations.

Thanks Sandy for dropping in. Yes, you were allowed to eat the bananas. I love quirky and Dee did a great job.

Congratulations, Helen. ’10 Yellow Bananas’ looks gorgeous.

Hi Linda. Yes, Dee did lovely work with the illustrations, and Ron Proft from Little Steps and New Frontier did a great job with the layout.

Thank you so much for providing low cal champers and banana cake and I hope Miss Helen Books and 10 Yellow Bananas are great successes!

Hi Bren. Thanks for coming. I tried to appeal (a peel) to different people’s food preferences.

Congratulations on the launch of your book, Helen. I really enjoyed the banana smoothie.

Hi Angela. Glad you enjoyed the smoothie. Thanks for coming.

Congratulations, Helen! Happy to say, ’10 Yellow Bananas’ will no doubt be a favourite with my Grandsons.

Hi Carol, thanks for dropping by.

Hi, Helen. Congratulations on the launch of ‘Ten Yellow Bananas’. Joanna :))

Hi Joanna. Thanks for dropping by.

Congratulations on the launch Helen. It was lovely. I ate ten yellow bananas – I hope that doesn’t leave you short 😦
Lynn 🙂

Hi Lynn. Thanks for celebrating with me. Hope you don’t feel too sick after eating all those bananas.

Hi Helen, Congratulations on 10 Yellow Bananas and your successful launch! What a great idea. Best wishes, Aleesah.

Hi Aleesah, thanks for dropping in. I first got the idea on holding cyber launches from author, Sally Murphy, but I tried to add my own touches.

Hi Helen! Congratulations on the launch of ’10 Yellow Bananas’. I went to go order it at my local bookshop but it was already there on the shelf! How good is that. My five year old is learning to read and loves numbers so he’s absolutely relishing your book, the bright illustrations, and the countdown as they chase the bananas. Well done, all your re-writes were definitely worth it. Good luck with it all. take care. Neridah x

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