This one’s for you, Auntie Carol!

ImageThe predilection for creative writing runs in the genes. Really, my Auntie Carol should be a famous author. However, she happily cheers me on in all my writing and academic endeavours, for which I am so grateful. Today, I am reviewing this one for her because I know she’d love it!

The Runaway Hug is sweet and imaginative. It follows the story of a little girl, Lucy, and the adventure of her hug. When she accidentally gives away the hug she’s promised to return to Mummy, she must chase it down. Written by Nick Bland (who also wrote the award winning The Wrong Book — a favourite of mine), and illustrated by the delightful and whimsical Freya Blackwood, this one is satisfying. I don’t know if illustrations can be described as ‘lilting’, but somehow this seems an appropriate description here.

The story pangs at the nostalgic heartstrings for this Mummy. Did I mention this book was short-listed for The Children’s Book Council of Australia? It’s easy to see why. Buy it at:

Silly learning fun for baby.

ImageThis book cover is pretty much self-explanatory. Jeanette Rowe’s Whose bottom? is a flap book suitable for children ages 0-3. The flaps cover the front of the animal, leaving only the cute little animal tushies exposed. The words are rhythmically repetitive (always appreciated by my little one), and the flaps are able to be gripped by tiny little hands. The ending is not necessarily surprising, but is the cutest tushy of all!

Go give it a squiz at:



Indestructible books for babies? Yes, they exist. And I LOVE them…

ImageBoy do I love this concept! Board books have a place in my heart, but I still enjoy that special feeling of turning a paper page. I don’t know, it’s all earthy and whatnot. Having a 9-month-old means eventually, everything will go in the mouth. This means traditional paper is out of the question which is a bummer. I think illustrations look best on what was once a crisp white page (and before that a happy, healthy tree…woops…). Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to publish a board book! But I’m so excited about the novel aspect of these indestructibles.

The book my son and I have is called Baby Faces by Amy Pixton and Kate Merritt. The best bit? My boy loves them too! I usually read this book through twice to him.

The pages are just slightly thicker than a standard page, but still very bendy and page-like, and nowhere near as cardboardy as a board book. I don’t know, texture is kind of an added layer when you’re reading a book, wouldn’t you say? Marshall McLuhan and all that? Amiright?

Here’s the link in case you are interested:


Who am I?


In a nutshell, I am a new(ish) mummy of a 9-month-old, I tutor in the Creative Writing Dept. at the University of Canberra and, finally, I am smitten with all things picture book. Which is why I am examining them for my Ph.D.

I am a practice-led researcher. This means that I enjoy the craft as well as the analysis. I write to learn and I learn to write. It’s a beautiful marriage, really.

So… what am I doing here? What are you doing here? Hopefully, you will be reading reviews on the books I am reading to my little guy, though I imagine I will also update on a few tangential-but-still-related issues.

Oh, by the way, you may be wondering why there is a cover of a Libby Gleeson book at the top of this post. The pics up there are images of the three main elements that have inspired me to do what I do. My son is always at the top. Next, Libby Gleeson’s I Am Thomas is so brilliantly written that I’ve become an embarrassing fan-girl. When I first came across it, my world expanded. As an aside, I am going to try to meet her later this year at a CBCA conference — that or drool in awe at her. We’ll see which one.

Of course, the last image is of the UC logo. I work and learn at the University of Canberra. It’s always been a kind and generous institution, and I thought I’d give it a shout out… I love the people with and for whom I work.