IN THE SHOES OF… Apsara Baldovino

What's life like in someone else's shoes? This month, Deputy Editor Françoise Price invites debut picture book author Apsara Baldovino to tell us about her day.

Apsara Baldovino

I am currently on holiday in Spain to spend time with my in-laws at their holiday home in Alcossebre. It’s been a holiday I have been really looking forward to as my day job in brand partnerships has been all consuming this year, so I haven’t had the time to focus my energy towards what I love to do most – writing and creating.


The house is quiet. I can hear roosters singing their morning song. A dog barks and I can see the light peeking through the ornate wooden shutters. When on holiday, I notice more – I take in the sounds, the smells and details that are always there, begging to be noticed. Normally, I have a toddler who has wedged himself between us, so today feels different as he has chosen to snuggle with his Abeula.


My husband Yamandu and I walk into town and we feel the heat early. It’s a heat wave in Spain – and we can’t escape. We talk about how we should try and do more exercise while here, although I am not sure how much of that we will end up doing – especially if Sangria is involved. Our destination: the local churreria, to have delicious churros (spanish donuts sprinkled with sugar). What a treat.

A plate of churros


When we return home, my little boys are awake and are already in their swimmers playing with dinosaurs and superhero figurines. We play around and get them ready for their morning splash in the pool. The apartment complex pool is like a watering hole where the small community of apartment dwellers gather, chit chat and play marco polo.

The pool at the apartment complex


The family are enjoying swims in the pool and I am taking advantage of some quiet time, responding to emails from my publisher, HarperCollins, who have been sharing beautiful reviews of The Lucky Shack, which was released in July 2023. The illustrator of this story, Jennifer Falkner, shares a sweet email with me with a little activity she has put together for children, should I need it for any future school visits. I have also received an email from a renowned podcast in Australia, Reading with a Chance of Tacos. They would love to interview me for their podcast, so we try and work out suitable times which work across two timezones.

Aspara checking her emails

For lunch, my father-in-law, Carlos, has booked a special local restaurant called El Pinar. It’s beautiful, as the restaurant is surrounded by pines and is perched on top of a mountain, so the views of the sea are marvellous. The food is incredible – we had the pleasure of feasting on sea bass and prawn ceviche, blood sausage, croquettes, monkfish and creative desserts. After lunch, we take in the view at the Ermita de Santa Lucia.

A selection of dishes from lunch at El Pinar

Ermita de Santa Lucia

Siesta time in Spain – one of my favourite times in the day. We all take a nap, which feels delicious as the heat and food in our bellies lull us into a dreamy and restful sleep.



I brew up some earl grey tea with a little treat from Seville – an Ines Rosales Olive Oil Torta. The hint of aniseed and sesame is perfect as I sit myself down for some time to write. On the plane, words of a new story came to me, so I use this time to put my scribbles onto a page. It’s an idea for a concept book, perhaps a board book, I am not yet sure. It may develop further, or it may simply be a passage to bringing me back to thinking creatively again. A feeling I have not allowed space or time for in a long time.

An earl grey tea with the Ines Rosales Olive Oil Torta


As The Lucky Shack launched in July, it’s still very new and I am still navigating everything involved in being a debut author. I have been trying to manage the social media response which, to be honest, has taken me by surprise. I wasn’t expecting how responsive in the most kindest way the kidlit community has been and the wonderful reviews. So I take time to repost some lovely reviews or other beautiful moments where the community have shared love for this story.

The Lucky Shack, by Aspara Baldovino, illustrated by Jennifer Falkner

Images from Aspara's social media


My husband’s cousins arrive at the apartment with their kids and we share presents. I gift a signed copy of The Lucky Shack to their children, and they love the gift. Marissa is a teacher and is thinking of adapting the story to a children’s play, so we briefly chat about that. It's lovely to see the book travel all the way to Spain. We decide we are going to have a storytime session while we are here with all the kids, where I will read the story in English and my husband will translate it in Spanish.



We head to Peniscola, a seaside town which has a castle built by the Knights Templar during Moorish times. We all love wandering around small passageways past bars and restaurants, and find a little place overlooking the sea and order traditional Spanish tapas. It’s a beautiful night – one of those perfect nights with a gentle breeze. I still find it so strange that it feels like the night begins at 10pm. Flamenco guitarists play songs as our kids run around and we dance to the music.

A view at Pensicola

Aspara with her family


Finally we get home and it’s hot. We get the kids into bed and fall into a heap with the fan on. What a day!

*Header image: Ell Rose and Tita Berredo; 

all other images courtesy of Apsara Baldovino


Apsara Baldovino writes picture books with humour and heart and is the debut author of The Lucky Shack, out now from July 2023. Nature, the seasons, and the tiny wonders of our incredible world inspire her writing. Apsara's passion is to dream up memorable characters, experiment with perspectives and create books that will be treasured for years to come. She lives in Australia, by the sea with her family, and dreams of new ways to tell stories with endless cups of tea. To find out more, please check her Website or Instagram.


Françoise Price is Deputy Editor of Words & Pictures magazine. Contact


Ell Rose is the Illustration Features Editor of Words & Pictures.
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Tita Berredo is the Illustrator Coordinator of SCBWI British Isles and the Art Director of Words & Pictures. She has a Master's degree in Children's Literature and Illustration from Goldsmiths UOL and a background in marketing and publicity.
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