Fauna photo shoot - a peek inside!

Friday, 4 October 2019

When your new book undergoes a photo shoot, sweetie darling. 

Fauna is a bit shy. It needed a little tempting (delectable treats and sweet talk), but eventually poked its whiskery face out from the leaves ... and even allowed a page peek. AND a short video! 

Hope you enjoy this glimpse inside the covers - beautiful matte paper and production values to die for. Thank you, National Library of Australia.

Fauna: Australia's Most Curious Creatures is out November. You can buy online or where all good books are sold.

Learn more about the book here

I'll be installing a Fauna window at the National Library Bookshop early on Tuesday 5 November. Pop by and say hello! I can sign a copy of the book while you're there (and you can take a peek at the Story Time Australian Children's Literature Exhibition and enjoy a divine coffee at Bookplate - win win!).

COVER REVEAL! Fauna: Australia's Most Curious Creatures

Wednesday, 25 September 2019

I'm thrilled to reveal the cover for my upcoming book with the National Library of Australia - Fauna: Australia's Most Curious Creatures - a graphic design-style book featuring some of our most curious and marvellous and eye-popping creatures. Being Australian, it's easy to forget how unique and remarkable our animals are - and Fauna celebrates these creations, both present and past ... with plenty of ecological references, including conservation status.

The book is out 1 November, but if you live near the National Library, you might snaffle a book sooner from the bookshop, and you can also pre-order the book right here.

Also, if you live in Canberra or plan to visit, I'll be installing a Fauna window at the NLA bookshop soon - it will be in situ for November and perhaps longer, so do pop by for a look.

Here is some more info on the book... and if you scroll down, you may just see a peek at an internal page spread!

Ivy Bird Auction!

Saturday, 7 September 2019

In celebration of the release of Ivy Bird, my latest picture book with Jess Racklyeft (Windy Hollow Books), I’m auctioning two of the birds I crocheted to celebrate the book. All proceeds (less postage) will be donated to Bird Life Australia, an organisation dedicated to creating a bright future for Australian birds.

To partake, head to my INSTAGRAM account.  

Auction runs until Saturday 14 September, 5pm, Sydney time. Bids are in Australian dollars.

Each bird has a reserve of AU$50. Bidding must be in increments of $5. Smaller bids won’t apply.

To bid, leave a comment stating the bird you are bidding on and the bid price (e.g. PEDRO $55). Bid as many times as you like.

The last bids for both birds will win – please note that the bids MUST have been placed BEFORE the clock ticks over to 5pm.

Birds can only be posted within Australia.

Winners will find some little surprises in their package along with the birds.

Winners will be tagged straight after auction and will be private messaged for postal addresses. PLEASE NOTE: winners have 24 hours to respond to the message and to send payment before I offer to the next bidder. I will outline payment options in the private message.


COSSIMA THE CANARY is an actress and singer. She's stylish, sleek and has a magical voice. She can often be found in the world's finest jazz bars (where she's been likened to Edith Piaf), but she loves nothing more than singing along to an audio book. Her favourite book is Ivy Bird. Cossima measures 30cm from head to claws.

PEDRO THE PEACOCK may look showy, but he's humble and extremely intelligent. He likes to spend his time exploring and solving problems, and especially loves analysing the impact humans are having on climate change. At night, he simply adores wrapping his feathers around a good book. His favourite book is Ivy Bird.

Birds are handmade, with no removable parts.

Learn more about the book, Ivy Bird, right here

Hello, almost Spring! book production, events, Book Week, book gobbling, costumes, illustration, apps, everything!

Monday, 26 August 2019

Hello, peeps. How is your winter going? Cosy? Good. Perfect book-reading weather (though which weather is not perfect for book reading?).

It's been a heads-down time of late, so I'm coming up for air before diving back in again. I'm squirrelling away on Book 2 of my junior fiction series, Evie and Pog, before diving into my next NLA book with Stephanie Owen Reeder. Then it's on to Book 3 of Evie and Pog, which I hope to finish mid-January, and somewhere Christmas might be (I said might be) wedge in between!

I'm also resurfacing because this is my favourite time of year - so much happening, especially CBCA Book Week. There's a heap of glorious KidLit events happening, too. See my recent post on the opening of the Story Time Australian Children's Literature Exhibition right here.

I'm starting this post with Story Box Library. I have always loved what they do. I still remember when Nicole Brownlee started the site, and it continues to go from strength to strength. It was a joy and an honour to film with them at the National Library of Australia recently, where I recorded two story readings--one of them Mamie. (Will reveal the second one soon!)

I recently gifted a SBL subscription to my little great niece Lexi, so she can see her great aunt reading Mamie (of which she has a copy) and so she can enjoy the jam-packed line-up of story readings. I love that her mum and dad know how important books are for little ones. Anyhoo, I can't recommend SBL heartily enough--for both schools and home. What a treat to immerse in brilliant stories, read by a cornucopia of talent.

Here is my Mamie preview, below, or you can view it on the SBL site right here. We also filmed a little bonus video where I show original artwork and talk about the production process behind the book. You can see it, and my SBL Testimonial, right here.

Story Box Library videos

Friday, 23 August 2019

I recently filmed with the glorious peeps at Story Box Library. Here are the two Mamie videos and my SBL Testamonial. Another reading will be popping up in a wee while! Stay tuned.

You can follow SBL on Instagram by clicking the poster below, and here they are on Facebook!


Story Time Australian Children's Literature Exhibition opening event

Thursday, 22 August 2019

That's me there, above, barely able to contain myself. Can you see I'm ready to burst? Because I was peeping like a chick while this photo was being taken. I'm about to walk into Wonderland. And I'm about to fall in love all over again with children's books, if that's at all possible. I'm not even sure it is, but perhaps it's true that love can ceaselessly expand.

The Story Time: Australian Children's Literature Exhibition opening was held at the National Library of Australia last night, and what a breathtaking event. The exhibition is so exquisite and so comprehensive, it's hard to give a full outline, so here is a peek at the event and the treasures held in the exhibit. Needless to say, from the very first children's book printed in Australia (A Mother's Offering to Her Children) to  Chinese versions of the 13-Storey Treehouse, this is pure children's literature heaven.

Created in partnership by the National Centre for Australian Children's Literature and the National Library, and curated by Grace Blakeley-Carroll, this is truly something you cannot miss.

Let's open the front cover!

The Ivy Bird BIRD CREW!

Tuesday, 20 August 2019

Finally, I have Ivy Bird in my clutches! Copies arrived this morning and I've been peeping like a chick over the divine production values--beautiful paper, stunning colour. Very happy! And to celebrate their arrival, of course, I had to have a photo shoot.

Introducing the Ivy Bird Bird Crew. I've spent the last couple of months hooking these darlings, with mountains of yarn and stuffing for plump tummies and thighs. Some of these birds will soon be flying the nest ... one will be given away on Kids' Book Review, along with a copy of the book (signed by moi!). 

bird costume ideas for little ones - celebrating Ivy Bird

Thursday, 15 August 2019

In just two weeks, Ivy Bird will take flight! Release date is 1 September, and in celebration, here are some fabulous dress-up ideas for the little chicks in your life. Or the big chicks. {Watercolour images from the book by Jess Racklyeft.}

Ivy Bird loves to play dress-ups. From warbling in the early morning light like a magpie to donning her owl hat to hoot in the dark at bedtime, she takes great delight in mimicking her bird friends. It might be a very special red robin outfit, a peacock tail of leaves and flowers in the garden, or a rainbow lorikeet cape to help her fly with her feathered friends.

It's time to play dress-ups!

a kids' year series - An Aussie Year and A Kiwi Year in paperback

Monday, 12 August 2019



Just look at these stunning new covers for An Aussie Year and A Kiwi Year, designed by the amazing Tina Snerling - for the paperback versions of each book. Love!

Both books will be released 21 October, in Australia and New Zealand, with EK Books. If you'd like to pre-order, just click An Aussie Year or A Kiwi Year and you'll be taken directly to each one.

Click the covers above for more on each book, and below is a peek at all nine books in one spot! Click on the GIF to buy/pre-order.


The Helper Monkeys story in Funny Bones anthology

Thursday, 8 August 2019



I'm absolutely delighted to have a story in this superb (and funny!) anthology, edited by Kate and Jol Temple, and Oliver Phommavanh, featuring over 100 stories from children's authors, illustrators and comedians all over Australia. I mean, it's over 700 pages thick! And very, very best of all, the royalties from sales go to War Child Australia.

War Child is an international relief and development agency dedicated to providing immediate, effective and sustainable aid to children affected by war. War Child was formed in 1993 in response to conflict in the former Yugoslavia, and has since expanded its work to conflicts worldwide. War Child Australia is an all-volunteer organisation that was established in July 2002. Since that time, War Child Australia has been committed to providing aid to young victims of war all around the world.

For more about the book, click the cover above.

My story, The Helper Monkeys, has its own official Twitter account (as featured in the story). So if you, yourself, are one day interested in getting your own Helper Monkeys (I take no responsibility for what might happen if you do), you will need to follow the account, pronto.


I hope you snaffle a copy or twenty of this wonderful book. Perfect stocking stuffer for Christmas! and for such a worthwhile cause.


Wednesday, 10 July 2019


I'm absolutely delighted to reveal the cover for Ivy Bird, my next book with the illustrious Jess Racklyeft - about a little girl and her obsession with the beauty of birds. Ideal for early childhood, the book also features some wonderful, accessible bird facts.

I really love this book, and Jess's illos melt my heart. You can PRE-ORDER Ivy Bird, and look out for its appearance on shelves this September, thanks to Windy Hollow Books. An internal page peek, below!

a wintry warmer and book peeks

Monday, 1 July 2019

I don't know about you, but I'm shivering in my ugg boots this early morning as I type up this blog post, warmed by a hot water with lemon and a little blow heater at my feet. Yesterday I clicked send on a final draft for my large format picture book for Hardie Grant Travel. My divine editor will be working her magic these coming weeks. Not much rest, though, as today I'm diving back into my junior fiction series, Evie and Pog (and will be underwater again for quite a while), so I wanted to say hi and send some pretty pictures and a few little happenings before I disappear again.

The first and most important thing I want to tell you is that I've rediscovered gypsophila. I remember wearing a baby's breath crown at my Debut ahem-years-ago (Debut? yes, that's how old I am) and I think the '80s ruined this flower (along with any form of dress sense and style, and let's not even mention the hair). But just look at this blossomy cloud, en masse, above. Is it not beautiful? So, I declare gypsophila so very much back, baby. I'm sure those little white buds have their own light source.
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