My Recent Books

'Once a Creepy Crocodile'

Illustrated by Nina Rycroft and published by The Five Mile Press

with a sing-along CD by Rusty Berther

RRP $16.95   ...for children about 4-9 year olds

This story is in rhyme and has the same rhythm as Waltzing Matilda. I'm sure children and adults will love the words, the pictures and singing or playing it.

It should be available from stores, but if you find difficulty finding or ordering it, it can be purchased from The Book Depository website with free international delivery, and from other sites - but please support your local bookstore if you can.

Please follow this link to find out more about the book, how it was written and published, and to links for free music, drawings of the characters, true facts about the Australian wildlife featured, and news.

Creepy Croc

If you purchase a copy and leave a review anywhere, or create a performance and put it on YouTube, please let me know and I'll be delighted to send you a small gift.

'101 Things to Do Before You Grow Up'

It's published worldwide by Hinkler Books and sold by bookstores, some chain-stores and can be purchased on Amazon.

I contributed the 'Science' and the 'Survival' sections - others were written by George Ivanoff and Sofija Stefanovic.

"Everybody has to grow up one day. But before you do, make sure you have a whole lot of fun! Whether you’re young or just young at heart, you’ll find something to fire your imagination. Discover a world of new and not-so-new things to learn and do. With all sorts of practical and interesting activities ranging from making a scooter and learning to juggle, to building an electromagnet and extracting DNA in your own kitchen - there’s never an excuse to be bored!"

'Practical Calligraphy'

This book has also been published for children aged 9+, through to and including adults, by Hinkler Books and is available in stores worldwide and through online vendors.

All the stages in the created of this illustration are shown:

but the book also includes images of the work of many top scribes from around the world – including Donald Jackson, ‘The Queen’s Scribe’.

The publisher’s blurb reads:

'An informative and easy-to-follow guide to the beautiful art of lettering and handwriting. Follow the simple instructions to master classic alphabet scripts and learn how to modify and personalise these styles for an infinite range of stunning effects. Have fun designing letters and creating your own individual calligraphy styles.’

'Calligraphy for

Greetings Cards and Scrapbooking'

It's published by GMC Publications in the UK but sold worldwide. Children from about 9 years old up to and including adults will enjoy using the techniques for a wide variety of projects - not just cards and scrapbooks. It took nearly 2 years to write, illustrate and produce, with close to 300 pictures of different sizes - I hope it inspires all readers to be creative.

Here are a couple of reviews:

"Any beautiful craft book may awake the desire to create something special. A detailed how-to beginning with the basics may provide the confidence to do it. To find both the inspiration and the know-how in one book is irresistible. This is not only the most attractive calligraphy book I've seen, it is also the only one that has answered my dumb questions (why do the folds in my cards look so amateurish?), solved my recurrent problems (how can I kick-start a pen in which the ink has dried?) and even demonstrated how to rescue - stunningly - a piece of calligraphy whose spacing I've bungled.

The basic alphabets are not merely illustrated, they are explained. From step-by-step photos I've learned how to make those stylish flourishes at the end of words. How to choose pens, or make my own from bamboo or balsa wood, how to write on a curve, make engraved letters, pop-up letters - and even how to avoid postal damage to a delicate card. (Did you know that posted letters are usually sorted through rollers?) All this in a book whose every page is a small masterpiece of design on its own subtly patterned or colour-washed background.

A marvellous gift, but do buy two copies because you won't be able to bring yourself to give it away."

Anne Heazlewood - Tasmania.

I got this book from our library because I wanted to improve the look of my artist sketchbooks and journals. My handwriting is not great, and I wanted some of my special artist books to have a more professional look. I write poetry too and my paintings is my books for the poems are let down by less than perfect handwriting. This book is packed full of information and generous tips. Everything you need to know to get started, fully explained with lots of pictures and advice. It teaches you how to judge the size of your letters, and five scripts, along with ideas to individualise your work. How to do curvy writing, fit script in interesting formats, use gold leaf. The author's modern take on calligraphy is so suitable for contemporary uses, and is not too complicated and esoteric that you feel you can never learn enough to produce a good looking piece of work. My artwork is now enhanced by decent looking script instead of scribble!

This book should spark your imagination in whatever craft or art discipline you use. I liked the book so much I bought it and know I will refer to it often . Highly recommend.

Thanks, folks! - and yes, the publisher's designers really have done wonders to create a book that is far more beautiful than I could have imagined, with pale versions of some of the illustrations used as page backgrounds, and more.

The picture from it (below) shows how you can use calligraphy together with cut and sculpted paper to create designs. I'm sure it could be hung on the wall, or the technique used for other fun projects or a school assignment.

Support your local bookstore when you can, but it's available from these, too:

The Book Depository    Amazon UK     GMC - the publisher

If you buy a copy of this book and write a review on one of these or any other website, or in a magazine or newspaper and notify me, I will hand write and decorate a name for you in calligraphy, add a feature incorporating 23ct gold leaf and send it to you.

In the future, I'll add information on this site about the process of writing non-fiction books and what you can expect a publisher to ask you to do in addition to writing the words - I have over 320 emails from my editor in my inbox.

If you are interested in learning calligraphy, or you would like me to write something in calligraphy for you, please visit my website:

'Kangaroo's Visitor gets a Surprise'

What is this invention all the other animals are talking about? Koala decides to find out ... but will he ever be the same again?
What a surprise! What a laugh!

A picture book for children aged 2-8 that's been beautifully illustrated by Gail Breese.

This has been released in a number of versions, and all details can be found on it's own separate page

Kangaroo's Visitor

which contains links to true facts about the wildlife characters, a model to make, drawing instructions and more.