Kieran Price is a concreter who writes and illustrates children's books
Kieran Price is a concreter who writes and illustrates children's books Jann Houley

Concreter by day, children's author by night

GRACEMERE concreter Kieran Price isn't what you picture when you think children's book writer and illustrator.

But the 35-year-old father of four's watercolour creations are quickly earning a place in the heart's of children across the state and even overseas.

With no artistic training, the doting dad took it upon himself a couple of years ago to create his children a unique story time book after a discussion about the moon.

"I was sitting at home with the kids and they asked what the moon was made of," Mr Price said.

"My youngest daughter said it was made of cheese.

"We had a bit of a giggle and I didn't think too much of it at the time."

Armed with a wicked sense of humour and a love for the outback, Mr Price's creative imagination quickly came to life.

Inspiration came from his wife Jess' family's cattle farm between Dingo and Westwood, where the young family spends a lot of time with the animals.

He was working at Blackwater at the time and one night began sketching pictures of mice.

From there, every night he would do a little more, and six months later Fly Me To The Moon was created.

Mr Price then went on to create Outback Olympics and is now working on Kung Fu Chicken.

His uncle and his father, the latter of which writes and publishes a rugby league magazine once a month, encouraged him to publish his creations.

"I only printed a couple of Outback Olympics to see what it would look like and then last year in November I printed 500 copies of Fly Me To The Moon," Mr Price said.

There are now only 120 of those books left, with orders coming in from schools across the Central Queensland and Whitsundays regions, from Western Australia and New South Wales and even to a little girl in Kilkenny, Ireland.

"The response has been really good," he said.

"I haven't had time to set a website up yet but a mate of mine bought 40 for the school in Cloncurry, St Peter's school in Allenstown bought 40 and 10 went to Kilkenny," he said.

"A teacher from the school I went to at Prosperine was also interested.

"It's hard to juggle concreting and the kids and everything but I'm hoping I have time over Easter to get the website up and going.

"I enjoy doing it and the kids love it."

When he read Fly Me To The Moon to his children, their reactions delighted him.

"They had a good laugh," he said.

"There's a couple of funny characters and they really get a giggle out of it.

"My daughter's teacher at St Paul's in Gracemere asked if they could turn my book into a school play.

"I went to the school assembly and they did a play on Fly Me To The Moon as well as Outback Olympics."

Seeing his work come to life not only in print but on a school stage has made all the late nights sketching while at work worth it.

"It feels really good," he said.

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