Dim's Favourites: The Duck and The Darklings

Of all the years I reviewed Kids' Lit for Boomerang Books, occasionally a gem was unearthed. A gem that shone so fiercely I barely knew how to describe its beauty. Here is one of those enigmatic gems whose sparkle continues to dazzle.

From beneath a mountain of brightly coloured picture books all screaming for review, I spied the oddly unassuming cover of The Duck and the Darklings. Odd because apart from Peterboy’s candle-hat, there was little that was not sombre looking about this picture book. Even the title sounded desolate, quirky. Surely though something fantastical had to be dwelling between those black covers because this was the new creation of two of Australia’s most revered story tellers, Glenda Millard and Stephen Michael King.

The Duck and the Darklings is less of a blasé five minute read and more of a whimsical journey of despair, discovery, renewal and hope. It opens bleakly in the land of Dark and is about a small child named, Peterboy and his Grandpa, who share ev…

Goodness Me - It's Virtual Dimity!

Last time I checked, the world is still spinning. It's just some days, it feels like everything is a little off centre, topsy-turvy even. Life can be like that; like an out-of-control fun park ride that threatens to make you a bit sick. But it can also be the opportunity to make the most out of a new experience. It just depends on how you look at it, doesn't it?

In recent times, we've all been forced to look at things a bit differently, including we authors. For the time being, we are not able to reach out and share with you all in person via school visits and festivals but of course that doesn't mean we want to stop sharing! So, like many of my clever colleagues, I have made a few life changes and adaptations in an effort to remain accessible and available for you.
I've revamped my YouTube channel which was already chock-a-block full of book launches, book trailers, behind-the-scene sneek peeks, author-life shares and more. Here, take a look...

Now you will find …

Especially For You: Attention Teachers Librarians & Home schoolers!

When I was a few decades younger, I dreamed of being a librarian, such was my love of books. To be the custodian of so many fictional worlds was an honor I wanted to live. To be on the safe side, I also practiced teaching as a youngster. I mean what better way to share my love for stories than with roomfuls of attentive stuffed toy animals, aka my students.

Needless to say, neither of these occupations really took off.  Seems being the creator rather than the curator was my destiny. Ironically, one of the best things about being a children's author is being allowed to produce detailed teachers' notes and additional activities supporting your book that enhance and enrich the reading experience.

All of my picture books include detailed Teachers' Notes annexed to Australian Curriculum links as well as accompanying worksheets and activities that focus on a range of fun things to make and do and even eat! They are all on my website. They are generally included on the publisher…

Review: Forever Or A Day

What is the one thing we never seem to have enough, want more of but use the worst? Time. Of course. The supreme paradox.

Sarah Jacoby presents the infinite conflicts of time, its beauty, its mystic, its individual universal completeness with poetic tenderness and simplicity.

Forever or a Day opens not bleakly but cloaked in somber hues representing night, perhaps the beginning of time. Pinpricks of starlight dissolve into a flood of new day colour, awakening one small boy and the reader's immediate curiosity. 'If you look closely you can see it. ...almost touch it.' See what? What is there to hold? As dawn brightens into morning, the boy breakfasts, attempts to dress himself. He is joyously absorbed in his family's morning routines, blissfully unaware of what is passing him by.

But today is a special day, marked by a special occasion for the boy and his family; a train ride through the countryside, to visit his grandparents who live by the sea. Leaving his city home f…


The world is undoubtedly in a state of upset and turmoil. Worry besets fear, besets panic, besets much more than just a corruption of health and well being. Whilst books cannot provide the whole cure or even offer all the solutions, they can help to 'restore resilience, uplift and reconnect humanity'.

It's heartening to see so many people including booksellers, both the bricks and mortar and online kinds and publishers, rally to not only preserve their own business models and staff welfare but more saliently, their customers' best interests by offering incentives to help people decide how best to spend their dwindling pay packets.

I normally abhor catch phrases, but it really does feel like we're all in this together, more than ever before in my time on this planet in any case.

So I'm more than pleased to see that my publisher, EK Books and their parent company, Exisle Publishing are offering...


Book Bites: Easter Basket Goodies

Get out your Easter bonnets and fluff up your cotton tails; it’s time to hit the Easter Egg trail again. While Easter, like Christmas, holds different significances for different people, one thing remains true. It is a time for gathering together around loved ones, celebrating new life and continued hopes for joy and peace. Sharing the pleasure of reading together is an excellent extension of this notion, one I whole heartedly encourage you to do this Easter (with appropriate sanitation procedures in place of course!). This clutch of Easter inspired board and picture books are guaranteed to make snuggle times as sweet as any chocolate egg. Enjoy and Happy Easter!

Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt
I admit I love a bit of glittery foil bling at Easter time. Little Bilby’s Aussie Easter Egg Hunt features sufficient sparkle and bling to make it a tactile and visual feast. Mes’ eggcellent Australian fauna infused picture book inspires interactive story time sessions encouraging youngste…

Review: And The Ocean Was Our Sky

There’s no question, Patrick Ness's narrative is one hundred per cent magnetic. I was drawn in from Bathsheba's first words so cleverly echoing another unforgettable classic, Moby Dick.

And The Ocean Was Our Sky is a magnificent example of fusing an acknowledged convention, as defined by classic tales of the past, with an equally formidable retelling. This time around, it is the whales, or rather one spirited conflicted whale, Bathsheba that voices this unique saga.

The prose is easy to read, the premise made apparent through Bathsheba's descriptions and internal thoughts, opinions she is reluctant to share because they describe a differing of beliefs.

This tale of two worlds continually at conflict, warring and waging revenge is as old as the seas, yet this time we are experiencing the hunt from a dramatically different point of view, from the gigantic eyes of the masters of the oceans, the whales.

In their world, ours is literally upside, in an abyss that is both desp…