Festive in February: Judy Martin and Roza Mac finished their book two months into the year, have published it, and are selling copies. Photo: SUPPLIED

Charities boosted by Christmas book collab

May 2, 2021 BY

A RETIRED primary teacher and secondary school student have teamed up to produce a children’s storybook which explores the pandemic’s impact on productivity at the North Pole.

Lexton’s Judy Martin wrote poem, Santa’s COVID Christmas last year. It has been adapted into a book with illustrations from 14-year-old artist and Ballarat High School year 8 student, Roza Mac, who has been experimenting with drawing since the age of four.

The duo has decided to sell the publication to raise funds for local charitable causes.

“Roza has offered the book to her school to raise money for the performing arts program,” Martin said.

“She is a quiet and very humble young lass and comes from a lovely family who help her to keep her feet on the ground and reach for the stars. It’s important for anyone of that age to follow a passion and be open to opportunities that come along.

“She accepted the challenge to illustrate the book, not realising how much work it would be, but took it on board and has done an amazing job.”

Santa’s COVID Christmas’s 19 pages of visuals were illustrated in the last two weeks of the summer school holidays and into February.

Martin said the story has been well received since, with many purchasing it as a reminder of the challenging height of the COVID-19 crisis.

“I am beginning to realise the importance of it as a keepsake of the year we went through, but also a way of sharing what the pandemic was about with future generations in a nice, non-threatening manner,” she said.

“Roza’s interpretation of the various parts of the poem are impressive, and bound to entertain the readers. She has done an amazing job and has really made the story in the poem come to life.

“It’s been exciting to work together on this project. I congratulate Roza on publishing her first book and look forward to watching her career develop.  She has an extremely bright future as an illustrator.”

Martin and Mac have supported CareFlight already, donating $210 from proceeds. The pair are also supporting Ballarat Regional Integrated Cancer Centre, Ballarat and District Suicide Prevention Network, Clean Up Australia, Child and Family Services, Kiwanis Heathcote, and the Rotary Club of Wendouree Breakfast.

The SoupBus, Epilepsy Foundation, Seeing Eye Dogs Australia, Beaufort Historical Society, Beaufort and Skipton Health Service Foundation, the Remembering Annabelle Appeal, and schools, preschools and childcare facilities in the Pyrenees and Ballarat districts will also benefit.

If you would like to purchase the book, it costs $15, with $7 of that going to charity, and $8 covering production including illustrations and printing.

Contact Judy Martin on 0407 843 784 for a copy.