Wombat Books Blog

Wombat Books blog is the place to keep up to date with all the goings-on in the world of Aussie kid's books.

Meet the Australian Girls ...

Are you wishing to submit for the Australian Girl early-reader series? Get to know the characters here:


amyHi, I’m Amy from Adelaide!

I love sport especially netball, soccer and football. But when I grow up I’m going to be an actress. I think that would be so cool! 

We live too far away from the country and too far away from the city—we’re stuck in the suburbs. Well, I guess the park is something. There are netball courts, and goals for soccer and football there. Oh, and I’m part of the junior netball team! We’re called the Pink Galahs. I practise all the time, so that one day I’ll be really good. I like to practise everything I do over and over again till it’s perfect. 

I also have A LOT of family from here in Australia, India, Netherlands and Fiji—cousins galore! I love to hear all their different stories, but I most enjoy hearing the Dreaming stories my Grandmother tells that she learned from our ancestors.


JasmineUm, hello! My name is Jasmine, except my friends call me Jas.

I live in Sydney, but my friends live ages away from me. That’s ok, though, because we email each other all the time. Sometimes we get to visit each other which is really exciting!

I play the violin and love all sorts of music. On television from time to time they show concerts, but I’d like to see one live. My favourite food is Singaporean noodles (my gran makes the best). She learned how to make them from her grandmother too!

Another thing I like to do is read. I would read an entire library if I could! My favourite books are ones that have a mystery, (maybe I’ll be a detective when I’m older!) and ones that make me laugh. I have lots of books in my bedroom.


emilyG’day! My name’s Emily and I’m gunna be a Jillaroo someday.

My favourite animals are horses, wombats, dogs, cats, wallabies and… well, I guess I love ALL animals! Except maybe snakes. Urgh! 

All my friends live ages away from me, and there aren’t many kids on the station my age. They’re either too old or too little. So, anyway I get to stay at my friends’ houses on the holidays, and sometimes they come to my house. We also keep in contact on email and with letters. They tell me all the adventures they’ve been having, and I tell them all the adventures I have. I love adventures! They are sneaky things… you have to go out and find them! 


Matilda previewHello, everyone! I’m Matilda.

I have lived all over the place, but at the moment I split my time between boarding school and my aunt and uncle’s cattle station (my parents are away overseas again). I am learning fast that there is a different kind of fun to be had in both places and I think it’s great.

I love history! Aussie history is the best—it stretches back so far. Oh, I especially love the adventures the explorers went on across Australia—or looking for gold! That would be the best!

I also love clothes and dressing up. I love pretending to be someone else. 


Bronte in sarong previewI’m Bronte and I love the beach!

Splish-splashing in waves, surfing and making sandcastles are just a few of my favourite things. I get to spend a lot of the time at the beach as we live so close! My friends love going to beach with me when they visit (but they’re not as good at surfing as I am).

I also enjoy visiting Nonna, as she teaches me how to make pasta from dough. Spaghetti meat balls is my favourite (but it’s very messy when I eat it). I like all sorts of food, though: tacos, noodles, pizza, dumplings, and much more. I want to be able to cook just as well as Nonna when I grow up.


Wombat Books is taking submissions now. For more information click here.

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An interview with Claudia Bouma

An interview with Claudia Bouma

My name is Claudia Bouma and I grew up in the Netherlands with my twin brother and older sister. I came to Australia 15 years ago to do youth work with Youth With A Mission in Townsville, QLD, and met my husband Chris. I now live in country Victoria with my husband and four children.

Question 1: What was your first book published?

I had my first children’s book published in August 2013. Part of the Australian Girl series, Amy and the Wilpena Flood, is the second book in this exciting series aimed at girls aged 8-10. It was my dream to combine my love for travelling (I’m a travel writer) with Australian history and decent moral values. From the feedback I’ve received so far it seems I succeeded. I’ve already been asked when I’ll write the next one which is a wonderful encouragement.

Question 2: What is your favourite part about being an author?

Originally I’m a travel writer so writing a book for children was a challenge. This is one of the things I love about writing; there are always new avenues to discover and explore. Moreover, learning never stops and there’s so much to learn from others in the industry who have been around longer. 

Question 3: What is the hardest part about being an author?

The hardest part about being an author is self-doubt. Confidence is everything when you’re writing a story. To believe in yourself is crucial because if you don’t, the words simply don’t come – at least not for me.  And it’s okay to make mistakes; the most important thing is to learn from them.

Question 4: What do you consider your biggest achievement?

My biggest achievement is starting and finishing my first-ever fiction novel, Free At Last, which will hopefully be published in the not so distant future. It is a very personal book, so it will be quite scary to have it read by others. 

Question 5: What book are you reading right now?

Right now I’m reading Dee Henderson’s latest fiction book, Unspoken, as she is one of my favourite authors. I love the combination of suspense, romance and Christian content. Last year I started reading Australian Christian fiction and I’ve enjoyed books by Paula Vince, Rose Dee, Amanda Deed and Skye Wieland. 


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It's Not Easy Being Green

It's Not Easy Being Green

The third book in the Australian Girl series, Annabelle and the Missing Turtles has just been released and you can win a copy!

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The third novel in the Australian Girl series, Annabelle and the Missing Turtles by multi-published children’s author, Rose Inserra, is set for release on 1 November 2013. The series follows the adventures of five main characters racing against time to save the already endangered green sea turtles on Queensland’s coast.

“As a teacher, I wanted to write about stories that empower young girls to strive for real changes and ‘be’ the changes in the world. My favourite quote from Mahatma Ghandi is – ‘Be the change you wish to see in the world.’ I was inspired to write this Australian Girl book because of my commitment to animal welfare and to raise awareness of habitat loss and endangered species in Australia. I hope to encourage young readers to be passionate about protecting our unique and precious Australian environment,” said Rose.

Following on from the second book in the series, Amy and the Wilpena Flood by Claudia Bouma, Annabelle and her four friends go on another exciting adventure with the help of the rainbow necklace. Whilst on a trip to Queensland, the five friends try to solve the mystery of the disappearing turtle population. Nobody seems to know the answer – not even the marine biologists at Marine World. Thanks to their rainbow necklace, the girls are taken back in time and given some very important information about loss of habitats and the changing environment since the last century. 

But will the girls be able to get back in time to save the hatchlings and help organise a rescue operation? The five friends face challenging circumstances, as their commitment to their cause requires teamwork and co-operation from everyone involved. They learn that compassion and bravery are two qualities that can bring about real change in the world.

The Australian Girl series is based on the Australian Girl dolls, inspired by Helen Schofield’s search for quality dolls for her granddaughters.

Selena Ewing, Senior Research Officer at Southern Cross Bioethics Institute, a Founding Director of Women's Forum Australia and the author of Faking It, says of the Australian Girl range, “Our girls are growing up in a world where young girls are pressured to pursue glamour, excessive thinness, and the attention of boys. Research shows this can have devastating consequences for girls' health and development. I find the focus on age-appropriate fun, friendship and diversity in the Australian Girl product range to be very refreshing and in fact desperately needed."

The book’s illustrator, renowned Ginger Meggs cartoonist and stand up comic, Jason Chatfield, has brought the Australian Girl characters to life with his humorous and lively cartoons that serves to enhance the reading experience.

Rose Inserra is an internationally published author of over 60 children’s books on a range of topics – from library resource books to fiction and picture books.  Her olive grove, on the edge of the Victorian High Country, is home to wombats, echidnas, kangaroos, many types of birds, amphibians and reptiles. Rose has been listed in ‘Notable Australian Children’s Books’ and the ‘Environment Award for Children’s Literature in Australia’.

When she is not writing books, Rose runs writing workshops, travels to writing conferences and inspires people to write their books as a writing coach and editor.

Available from all good bookstores or buy online now. Australian Girl Series 2 Book set also available: includes The Rainbow Necklace, Amy and the Wilpena Flood and Annabelle and the Missing Turtles.

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