Showing posts from February, 2022

Review: Go Home, Cat!

Several years ago a pernickety cat climbed upon a roof and flatly refused to come down. Nicholas, the cat’s closest ally, employed every measure he could think of to coax his fearless or perhaps fearful feline companion down before rain set in and night fell. I loved , Come Down, Cat! for a myriad of reasons. Its perfect simplicity and the way it presented perception and friendship were beautifully reinforced with Lucia Masciullo’s whimsical, folks-tale-feel illustrations. Especially that roof which spoke of Europe to me and reminded me of the days I spent contemplating the views from atop a terracotta tiled roof in the Old Town of Antibes. Joy of joys, I have returned! Thanks to the latest Cat creation by Sonya Hartnett and Lucia Masciullo. This time Nicholas’ fortunes have turned and he decides to spend a fortuitous find (a shiny marvellous cat coin) on liquorice treats in town. Like me, Nicholas thinks liquorice is better than anything. He directs Cat to stay at home while d

Review: Where The Heart Is

How far would you go for love? If you’re a Magellanic penguin who has imprinted on a kind old man, the answer could be thousands of miles. Where The Heart Is is a gentle tale of findings and belongings inspired by the real life story of Dindim, the tiny oil-stricken penguin found by Joao Pereira de Souza off the coast of Brazil in 2011. This rendition follows the facts closely beginning with Dindim’s salvation by Joao who cleans, feeds and nurtures him back to good health. As a tremendous show of gratitude, Dindim decides to stay and even after being relocated to an island offshore, promptly heads back to Joao’s beachside dwelling for a touching reunion. It is not until Dindim undergoes his first moult and dons his adult plumage that he suddenly decides to leave. In real life, no one knows for sure where this dapper little seabird goes but in Gold’s version, he makes the arduous sea journey back to coastal Patagonia, the breeding grounds of his fellow penguins. Life in the colony is f

This Is My Dad - Book Party!

As pedestrian as it may sound, I love picture books. The reasons are sometimes obscure and indefinable but so plentiful that the urge to enjoy them, share them and create them drives my writing goals more feverishly than any other. I know I’m not alone in that regard. The genesis of any story, that almost intangible spark that propels a life and personality and purpose into existence, that compels a fictional character to share their experiences, joys and pain with strangers, is what story telling is really all about for me. It’s like sharing your marriage proposal with strangers: everyone’s is different, unique and oddly alluring even if you don’t know the couple! And I am delighted to have another one to share – a backstory that is, not a wedding proposal (I wish). In just a handful of weeks, my latest picture book, This Is My Dad , will grace bookshop shelves and online stores across the planet. This is the sort of quiet joy that buoys an author’s spirits. Why? Because it is be

Review: The Tale Of The Tiny Man

This strange moving tale is a poignant ode to fidelity and the simplicity of true friendship. Its appeal relies on powerfully defined characters, the main one being a tiny man in lieu of a child which means adults sharing this story with younger readers will enjoy its relatability as much as children. The tiny man is a petite loner who is unspeakably lonely. His solitude is treated with distain and intolerance by other people. Even mean-hearted dogs growl at him. He has no one and thus feels like no one. Others' inexplicable acts of indifference and cruelty bewilder and sadden him; he is a kind man after all and wants nothing more than a friend. So one day, he advertises for one via a note pinned to a tree. Then he waits. And waits. And waits. Finally a friend arrives but they are not who he expects.  This new companion has a cold nose and a delightful sense of play. His appetite is voracious and he is quick to take advantage of the tiny man's hospitality and warm bedroom yet a


This week’s whopper book list features some of the most favoured and favourite Aussie characters of all time: our wildlife. Look them up in your bookshop or library for some full Australiana immersion . Babies At The Billabong by Maura Finn and Cate James Stunning textural illustrations illuminate one little girl’s late afternoon rambles around a billabong where she spies a bush load of Aussie animal babies. Nomenclature and rhyming singalong verse makes this a sweet read for 3 – 5 year-olds. Affirm Press August 2021 9781922419408 By The Billabong by Maura Finn and Cate James This is the precursor to ‘ Babies …’ and sports just as many gumnuts and superb imagery. A fun and frolicsome exploration of collective nouns that makes a gorgeous bedtime read. Affirm Press April 2020 9781925972474 Dry to Dry: The Seasons of Kakadu by Pamela Freeman and Liz Anelli Anelli’s mixed media artwork and Freeman’s elegant yet fact-driven narrative informs and entices readers to look